Elaho Forest Service road takes you through spectacular views of the Squamish Valley to visit Clendinning Provincial Park, which is an undeveloped park full of natural beauty, tranquil meadows, and a perfect opportunity for wilderness backcountry recreation.
In July 2015, the Elaho Wildfire impacted an area of more than 12,500 hectares. The wildfire burned for approximately 10 weeks and destroyed a large old-growth forest area including the 1000 years old tree known as the Elaho Giant. In spite of the firefighters’ best effort to save the Elaho Giant, the fire took a toll on the tree and it has unfortunately been confirmed dead by Recreation Sites and Trails BC on their website. After the wildfire, in 2016 and 2017 we made two attempts to get to the Elaho Giant but were unsuccessful due to the area conditions and hazards from dead and burned trees.
This post combines information from two road trips, one in 2016 and another in 2017. We attempted to track the growth and change in landscape after one year and two years of the wildfire. I will include some comparative photographs as well.
Highlights of Elaho Main
Spectacular views of Squamish River
Maude Frickert Waterfall – at 8 Kms after turning on to Elaho Main
Peaches and Creme Falls – at 10 kms turn left onto the G-Main, and continue for aprox 2.5 km
Feel the devastation caused by the wildfire
Alert: There is a public advisory in place because there continues to be a significant safety risk due to falling rocks and burnt trees as a result of the 2015 wildfire. Be aware that rockfall may obstruct the road at any time and block the road for up to several weeks. Before finalizing your trip, read BC Government Road Condition Advisory for Elaho Branch.
How to get there?
From Squamish, drive Hwy 99 North towards Whistler, and drive for aprox 16 kms and turn on to Squamish Valley Road. Continue on Squamish Valley Road till the paved road ends and turns into Squamish Valley Forest Service Road.
Stay on Squamish Main FSR (S-Main) for approx 28 km and then turn left onto Elaho Main Forest Service Road and over the bridge across the
Squamish River. Enjoy spectacular views of the Squamish River along.
Elaho Main FSR offers amazing views of rivers and mountains with spectacular waterfalls. Upon crossing the bridge you will notice on your right an abandoned building that was used during the logging and some logging machinery. After you start driving on Elaho Main you will probably not encounter anyone driving or very few people in the area.
Note: The road can be very rough with many potholes, fallen burnt trees, rock debris, and multiple washouts. Elaho Main is a wilderness FSR with no services and very few people in the area.
After driving on Elaho Main or E-Main for approximately 8 km you will reach Maude Frickert waterfall on the right. Step out and enjoy the rush.
Further after driving for approximately 2 km, you will arrive at a split of G-Main FSR. Keep straight if you would like to continue on Elaho Main.
However, I recommend taking a short side trip on G-Main to visit Peaches and Creme Falls. The falls are spectacular and have a small picnic area
Continue driving on E-Main FSR and enjoy the nature.
After driving on E-Main for approximately 33 km from the split of Squamish main or at 55 km mark, you will arrive at the Clendinning Provincial park on your left across from the river.
The river at between 55-60 km mark offers a great picnic spot for your lunch. Enjoy and relax the serenity of the wilderness.
After spending some time by the river, we continued to drive on Elaho Main and went as far as approximately 68 km and then turned around without being successful in locating the Elaho Giant due to burnt forest and hazards in the area. Feel free to continue driving as far as you can get on Elaho. The Elaho Giant was located between 60 km – 70 km mark.
Comparison 2016 and 2017
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