Snow capped peaks, a waterfall, glacier and series of beautiful alpine lakes. Top notch hiking, fun scrambling, epic camp spots. A great choice if you're looking for some off trail exploring. 5km round trip to the lakes + camping area; 300m/1000ft elevation gain.

How does a series of sparkling blue alpine lakes, beautiful mountains, a huge waterfall, glacier and uncrowded camping sound to you? For me, the area around Semaphore Lakes has been one of my favorite destinations for quite a while. It has some of the best camping you could hope for, and two incredible mountains to climb if you're up for some route finding and scrambling - Locomotive Mtn. and Face Mtn.

It's possible to climb Locomotive in a day trip from the Hurley FSR (Forest Service Road), but the camping is so good, you might as well stay a few days. The Semaphore Lakes trail is in a couple of hiking guide books for the area, so it's likely you'll see other people on the weekends, but there's so much space here, it never feels crowded. In fall or during the week, you might have the entire place to yourself.

There is a well worn trail from the Hurley FSR to Semaphore Lakes, for hikers of intermediate ability. You'll find some serious mud puddles here any month of the summer, no matter how dry it's been, so waterproof your boots and bring gators. From the lakes, there is a playground of ridges, alpine lakes and mountains to explore, depending on your ability. Route finding skills are required for all travel beyond the lakes.

Head north on HWY 99, turning left into Pemberton towards the Pemberton Meadows. At 25km, turn right onto the Lillooet FSR for about 9km, then keep right to merge onto the Hurley FSR. The trailhead is marked by a few pieces of flagging tape on your left, almost exactly 50km from the stop light in Pemberton (yes, there's only one). The Hurley is best suited to 4WD vehicles, but you can carefully drive your 2WD car up if you don't mind the bumpy road.

On your way home, stop in at the Goat Mtn. veggie stand at the junction of Pemberton Meadows and Lillooet FSR. It works on the honor system. Just put your cash in the metal box and choose what you want from the fridge. Yum.

Pack List

  • Backpacking/camping equipment
  • Water filter (it's pristine here, but there are lots of animals so filter the water)
  • Camera
  • Everything you need in a daypack for exploring
  • Sturdy hiking boots + gators
  • An empty vehicle if possible (you'll be leaving it on the side of the road if camping, best to not leave anything valuable inside)
Show More
RT Distance 3.1 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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