Backpack to Semaphore Lakes

Rate this Adventure Canada Sephamore Lakes Trail

Added by Emily Haggar

Snow capped peaks, a waterfall, glacier and series of beautiful alpine lakesTop notch hiking, fun scrambling, epic camp spotsA great choice if you're looking for some off trail exploring5km 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)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3.1 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1000 Feet

Features:

Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Swimming Hole
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Emily Haggar

One half mountain adventurer and one half creative entrepreneur. Live the life you want to live, not the one you're supposed to live. IG: @lifeinthemtns + farandwild.ca + mountainlove.ca

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Cataract Falls at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Canada / Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

The main parking lot is off of McLaren Road on the north-east side of the park, with an honour-pay system. Multiple hiking loops are well marked, with clear "Falls this way!" arrows on every sign.

Photograph the Toronto Skyline from Polson Pier

Canada / Jennifer Kateryna Koval's'kyj Park

Polson Pier has a small park at the very end near the nightclub that is ideal for taking dawn/dusk and night photos of the city.

Hike the Panorama Trail

Canada / Sea to Sky Gondola

After taking the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish (or hiking up!), just off the Sea to Sky Highway (HWY99), you are brought to the main lodge area where straight ahead, there is a larger viewing platfo.

Marissa Glavas
4 Saves