Location: Northeastern British Columbia, West of the town of
Mackenzie, off Parsnip West Forest Service Road.
views of Williston Lake and Canty Lake. Moss along the trail.
Of note: Half-hidden hole in the middle of
the trail after the 2.0 km mark. Some parts of the trail are steep and
muddy. Unsecured bench by the table closest to Canty Lake. Hiking boots
and poles highly recommended.
Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition)
64 (Williston Lake) F7.
The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available
for purchase at
Canty Lake trail starts off Parsnip West Forest Service Road (via a
small access road), and leads to Canty Lake Recreational Area.
It's a moderately challenging trail (though quite steep at times) with
has several good views, and leads to a neat mountain lake. Having a few
tables and a pit toilet by the lake is a nice bonus. Elevation gain is
571 meters over about 3 kilometers.
1. We start with the turnoff from Parsnip West FSR onto a short road
which leads to Canty Lake trailhead.
Coordinates: N 55'57'077 W
123'47'068. For directions on how to get up to this point from BC
Highway 97, please see
Parsnip West FSR
trip report. The photo below is the same photo as photo #37 in
Parsnip West FSR trip report.
Parsnip West Forest Service Road British Columbia Canada
2. The short road after turning right off Parsnip West FSR. After the
turn, it's 2.8 km to the trailhead.
The road to Canty Lake Trailhead off Parsnip West FSR
3. There is a split 1.8 km after turning right from Parsnip West FSR.
Take the road on the right.
Northeastern British Columbia Canada
4. The last 500 meters before the trailhead the road narrows
significantly, and you would have to deal with this hill. Should not be
a problem, if you have a 4x4 or if the surface is dry. But, as we've got
a heavy 2WD and the road surface featured wet dirt, this turned out to
be quite a challenge. Might have been better to park before the road
narrowed, as there is plenty of parking space back there.
Final approach hill to Canty Lake trailhead
5. Looking back at the hill after we have finally made it. There is a
drop-off on the right side (as you are driving up), and our ride started
sliding in that direction. Much praying and the use of Tow Truck in a
Box resulted in a successful outcome. The pieces of Tow Truck in a Box
are seen in the middle of the photo below half-buried in dirt. This is
the second time this nifty device proved its value. The first time was
in 2011 on
East Forest Service Road.
Tow Truck in a Box in dirt after helping to conquer a hill
6. Parking area by Canty Lake trailhead. Good for 2-3 vehicles. Pit
Canty Lake Trailhead Parking Area
7. Start of Canty Lake trail.
Coordinates: N 55'57'053 W 123'44'628.
Elevation: 757 meters.
Canty Lake Trailhead British Columbia Canada
8. Small creek crossing comes soon thereafter.
Canty Lake Trail in the vicinity of Mackenzie BC Canada
9. Canty Lake trail is moderately challenging, as the photo below
Canty Lake Trail BC Canada
10. Twenty-five minutes later, the only (but quite good) view of
Williston Lake appears behind you.
Williston Lake British Columbia
11. Around here you would also see this gooey trail surface.
Canty Lake Trail
12. Some moss grows in this part of the trail too.
Moss on Canty Lake Trail BC Canada
13. Canty Lake Trail is easy to follow, and is marked every 500 meters.
Canty Lake Trail Near Mackenzie BC
14. Large moss-covered stone on the right side of the trail.
Canty Lake Trail off Parsnip West Forest Service Road BC Canada
15. After the 2.0 km mark there is a dangerous
hole in the middle of the trail. The hole is partially covered by
grass, and is sure to cause a serious injury to an unsuspecting hiker.
The hole is located behind this fallen tree.
Canty Lake Trail British Columbia
16. Here is that hole.
Hole in the Ground Canty Lake Trail
17. Less than 3 km after the trail starts, Canty Lake recreation site
arrives straight ahead.
Canty Lake Trail by Canty Lake recreation site
18. The 3 km mark arrives shortly.
Canty Lake recreation site Near Mackenzie British Columbia Canada
19. Walk just a bit further, and here is Canty Lake.
55'57'233 W 123'42'725. Elevation: 1,328 meters.
Canty Lake BC Canada
20. The close up of the mountains at the end of the lake.
Mountains by Canty Lake BC Canada
21. There are also two mountain peaks on the right side of the lake.
Canty Lake Near Mackenzie BC Canada
22. The first peak.
23. The second.
24. The campground itself has two tables, separated by about 30 meters,
and a sling shot (pictured below). A pit toilet is there too, a but
further into the woods. Be careful when using a
bench at a table closest to the lake - one end of the bench is
not nailed down, and you may easily fall off that bench.
Canty Lake recreation site BC Canada
25. The view of Williston Lake on the way back.
Williston Lake British Columbia Canada
Canty Lake trail is fairly short, and leads to a picturesque campground
setting. If you are in the Mackenzie area, this is certainly a good
trail to hike. Just watch out for that hole in the ground and the broken