UBC Undergraduate Research

Managing for a quality visitor experience in Garibaldi Provincial Park Eslake, Miki


In order to manage crowding levels at Elfin Lakes and Red Heather in Garibaldi Provincial Park, I recommend that BC Parks not implement a traditional reservation system. A mix of visitor education and a modified reservation system would be much more highly supported by the current users of the park. Since Elfin Lakes and Red Heather play valuable roles as unique areas where beginners can learn to backcountry ski and more advanced skiers can go to when the avalanche danger is too high in other backcountry areas, it is important that people perceive they have the freedom to go at a moment’s notice. I recommend three main management strategies: 1. Visitor education – educating those who are new to the backcountry about proper etiquette and backcountry preparedness could help reduce visitor conflicts. I recommend adding information to the BC Parks webpage and at the beginning of the trailhead and increasing park ranger presence at the huts. 2. Adjusting expectations – by providing a space online and at the trailhead for visitors to record how big their group is and how many nights they are planning to stay, others will have a better idea of how full they can expect the Elfin Lakes hut to be and adjust their expectations accordingly. 3. Modified reservation system – a modified reservation system could allow the beds in the Elfin Lakes hut to be reserved, but still allow others to hike up and camp if they desire. With this system nobody would be completely restricted from going, and people would know if they should be prepared to winter camp or not.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada