Trip 095 - September 22, 2015 (Tuesday)
Callaghan Lake Provincial Park Visit
Near Whistler BC
Liked: Several great lake views.
Of note: Rough access road (suitable for
high-clearance vehicles only), very few spots in the campground by the
lake, no developed trails in the park, hiking around the lake is a bona
fide obstacle course. For hiking around the lake, hiking poles, hiking
boots, rain pants and a windbreaker or a rain coat are essential, while
safety glasses are recommended. Hiking around the lake is for
experienced hikers only, due to numerous opportunities to get hurt.
Related Website: Callaghan Lake Provincial Park - BC Parks.
Callaghan Lake Provincial Park is located near Whistler. There are no developed trails in that park, so today we did something for the first time - hiked without a trail through all the obstacles. There were some great views to be had, but this also proved to be a good way to fall a lot of times and get hurt. We took pictures over two days, hence the lighting difference here and there.
1. To get to Callaghan Lake Provincial Park from Vancouver, take Highway 1 West, and then Highway 99 (Sea-to-Sky) and drive past Squamish towards Whistler. Here we are on Highway 99 North approaching a left turn onto Callaghan Valley Road, located several kilometers South of Whistler.
9. We took the road on the left, and it was full of large potholes, as well as a few treacherous cross ditches. Low clearance vehicles would likely get damaged.
10. About 9 kilometers after the start of Callaghan Creek FSR, the road ends at a campground by Callaghan Lake. Coordinates: N 50'11'508 W 123'10'982. The campground has four or five camping spots. Despite a fairly cold day, and despite that being a weekday, there were two parties camping by the lake early in the morning, with more people showing up later in the day. What happens here on weekends, especially in the Summer, is anyone's guess.
11. There is a car top boat launch available, according to the BC Parks Website.
12. View of Callaghan Lake from the boat launch.
13. Take a short path on the left side...
14. ...and check out this view.
15. So, we decided to hike counter-clockwise around the lake to reach what looked like a waterfall on the other side. Our painful hike begins.
16. At first, it was actually quite good, as there were large stones along the shore, making it easy to get around the lake by hopping from one stone to another. The waterfall we tried to reach is seen across the lake.
Here is Our Video of Callaghan Lake From This Spot:
17. Looking forward now.
18. Alas, the stones ended soon, and we had to start tackling the plants.
19. Young trees were our next challenge. Safety glasses would have been very helpful, with numerous branches trying to scratch the eyes. Rain pants and a windbreaker proved indispensable during this hike.
20. There was also a mini-swamp there, followed by a relatively easy stretch pictured below.
21. About an hour into the hike, you would reach a large stone. You can see a small part of it on the right side of the photo below. This is where we should have stopped, in hindsight, as the views hardly got any better, and the terrain became even tougher.
22. But, we kept going, and reached this rockfall.
23. Walking across the rockfall.
24. Here is a good view.
25. Our waterfall was getting closer, but not fast enough.
26. After three exhausting hours of numerous falls, it was time to stop right here, at least an hour away from the waterfall. Tied up a piece of flagging tape there to commemorate the occasion. Coordinates: N 50'12'196 W 123'11'466.
Here is Our Video of The Area at the End of Our Hike:
27. Got this neat creek view on the way back.
Despite a few good views, hiking around Callaghan Lake is hard to recommend. Camping, fishing or boating could be a different story.
ihikebc.com -> 095 Callaghan Lake Provincial Park Visit (by Whistler)