Local History :
In 1860 the Royal Navy ship H.M.S. Plumper surveyed
Howe Sound. On this project Captain George Henry Richards noted the presence
of a large mountain at the northeast end of Howe Sound. Captain Richards
gave the mountain the name of Garibaldi. Richards was inspired by the 19th
century Italian patriot, Geissippi Garibaldi, a solider and mountaineer.
Hence Captain Richards deemed the mountain worthy of his name. Long before
this, the Squamish name or the Mount Garibaldi is Chi kay, or "place of
dirty snow" (Armitage 1997; Bouchard and Kennedy 1976 a and b).
Since captain Richards sighting of the mountain, the area has received extensive climbing and mountaineering attention. In 1902 the first exploration of the lower slopes of the mountain was done. In 1907 the first ascent of the mountain was achieved by three intrepid climbers of the British Colombian mountaineering club. In later years many climbing and mountaineering camps were set up in the study area. By 1920 the provincial government set aside 195,000 hectares around the mountain to establish Garibaldi as a park reserve. In 1926 the area was officially named a provincial park. In 1946 the first lodge was built at Elfin Lakes. This lodge was operated by Emil and Ottar Brandvold. This lodge was built using wood and sod materials from the area around the lakes. For 25 years this lodge was used by a number of visitors who came to the areas to climb, collect botanical specimens and conduct geological surveys. In 1971 the lodge was shut down, but still stands beside the Park Ranger cabin and a visitors chalet. In 1960 the southern part of the park was sectioned off and renamed Golden Ears Provincial Park (Armitage 1997).