Elsay Lake Emergency Shelter via Elsay Lake Trail

based on 48 tracks & routes #3 hike out of 48 in
5.4 mi
2 hrs 26 min
1,959 ft
Elev Gain


This trail is CLOSED in winter. In the summer the trail is marked with rock piles and ribbons. The hike from the upper Mt Seymour Parking lot is a 6 -8 hours round trip. The Elsay Lake trail is difficult, but features a variety of excellent views and ultimately ends at a beautiful lake, along with a nearby emergency cabin used by North Shore Rescue. There are a few basic spots for tents and camping. Depending on the time of the year, the lake has a reputation for having lots of flies.

Along the journey, you should expect to encounter steep grades, loose rocks, snow packs (until fairly late in summer), challenging water crossings, and potentially some challenging tree fall. There are plenty of non-turbid water sources as long as you have a filter. Not really recommended as a day hike. Certainly doable, but with a nice lake and area to camp, would be a shame not to stay the night!

Getting Started

The Elsay Lake trail follows the Mt Seymour trail until a fork with clearly marked signage for Elsay heading roughly east and down. See Mount Seymour for park directions.

Taking Children

This is a tough hike for smaller children because of duration, sections with steep grades, hazardous water crossings, and overall difficulty. There is a river crossing that can be slippery and dangerous.

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