Trip 112 - July 29, 2016 (Friday)

Windfall Lake Trail Hike

Near Tumbler Ridge BC

Trailhead Location:
Northeastern British Columbia. The trailhead is located off Windfall Creek Forest Service Road, which begins off Bullmoose Mine Road, which, in turn, starts off BC Highway 29, approximately 20 kilometers North of Tumbler Ridge.

Liked: The views of the lake and mountains, shade in the forest, virtually no mosquitoes, information boards, the second half of the trail can be done in a loop.

Of note: Some parts of the trail are steep, hiking boots and poles are highly recommended, Windfall Creek FSR has numerous deep potholes, including a suspension-busting cross-ditch at the 22.0 km mark.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 43 (Mount Crum) E4.

Related Trip: 082 - Bullmoose Mine Road & Windfall Creek FSR.

Related Website: WNMS Windfall Lake Trail Brochure (PDF File).

Other Trips Off Bullmoose Mine Road: Cowmoose Mountain Trail Hike, Holzworth Meadows Hiking Route, Pinnacle Peak Route Hike.

Other trips in Tumbler Ridge Area: Bootski Lake Trail Hike, Mount Clifford Trail Hike, Stone Corral Trail Hike, Monkman Falls, Bergeron Cliffs Trail Hike, Bergeron Falls, Nesbitt's Knee Falls, Barbour Falls, Babcock Falls, Shipyard & Titanic Trail Hike, Boulder Gardens Route Hike, Town of Tumbler Ridge, Tepee Falls, Kinuseo Falls.

Windfall Lake trail shares the trailhead with Pinnacle Peak Route, but, within the first fifty meters, these trails go their separate ways, though it is technically possible to do a giant loop trail, start hiking one trail, and finish at the end of the other. For directions to Windfall Lake Trailhead, please see Bullmoose Mine Road & Windfall Creek FSR trip report, and Pinnacle Peak Route Hike trip report.

1. We are at the shared Pinnacle Peak route / Windfall Lake trailhead, with very useful trail brochures neatly stored inside the wooden boxes attached to the tree seen in the photo below. Coordinates: N 55'01'271 W 121'37'101. Elevation: 1230 meters.

Windfall Lake Trailhead near Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

2. Within a minute, Pinnacle Peak route takes a left turn, and Windfall Lake trail continues straight ahead, with several interesting information boards attached to trees. Photos of two such boards are at the end of this trip report.

Windfall Lake Trail near Tumbler Ridge British Columbia

3. The first part of the trail is through a forest, with little elevation change.

Tumbler Ridge Trail - Windfall Lake trail Northeastern British Columbia Canada

4. But your blood pressure might get elevated upon seeing THIS on the ground :)

Bear paw footprint - Windfall Lake trail BC Canada

5. A sturdy boardwalk allows to keep your feet dry while walking through an especially wet area.

BC Trail - Boardwalk on Windfall Lake trail near Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

6. Things get serious soon after the 3 km mark. There is a split, and the trail on the left is where you would emerge from, should you choose to go a circular route. Or, you can get to the lake and hike back the same way. Coordinates at the split: N 54'59'776 W 121'37'867. Elevation: 1,422 meters.

Tumbler Ridge Hike - Windfall Lake trail circular route split

7. We took the path to the right towards the lake, and the steepest part of the trail appeared in no time. There is even a rope to assist - it's a tricky area, especially if wet.

BC Hike - Windfall Lake trail British Columbia Canada

8. The steep part doesn't last for very long, and, soon, you are walking through a meadow, with mountain views appearing as well.

Tumbler Ridge Hiking - Windfall Lake trail BC Canada

9. Neat.

 Windfall Lake trail near Tumbler Ridge BC Hiking

10. Just a bit further...

Trail in Tumbler Ridge Area - Approaching Windfall Lake in BC Canada

11...and here is the lake - looking right. Coordinates for Windfall Lake at this point: N 54'59'296 W 121'38'308. Elevation: 1,508 meters.

Hike in Tumbler Ridge Area - Windfall Lake BC Canada

12. Looking straight.

Windfall Lake in Northeastern British Columbia Canada

13. Looking left.

Windfall Lake by Tumbler Ridge British Columbia Hiking

14. Once you reach Windfall Lake, there are several further hiking options. We decided to do the circular route. To do that, turn left and walk along the side of the lake until the slope to your left more or less has no trees, so you can go up without being tripped by the roots and scratched by branches. Here we are walking along the lake. At the end of the lake on the left side there are four flat areas to pitch tents, as well as four bear-proof containers.

Hiking in Tumbler Ridge Area by Windfall Lake BC Canada

15. Ascending the slope on the left side.

British Columbia Hiking

16. Climbing up allows for an awesome lake view.

Windfall Lake near Tumbler Ridge BC

17. And those mountains look better and better the higher you go. The following photos were taken after we have already climbed up.

Windfall Lake Route - Mountain View


Canada Hiking


Tumbler Ridge Hiking

Here is our video of the mountains in this area:

A Complete List of Our Videos

20. Once you have climbed up the slope, the general idea is to head back on the top of the slope while keeping the lake to the left, and mountains to the right. There is no flagging tape to assist you, but a few cairns provide good landmarks. One such cairn is near a small cave seen in the middle of the photo below. Coordinates for the cave: N 54'59'140 W 121'37'653. Elevation: 1,630 meters.

Hike in British Columbia

21. Here is another one. Coordinates: N 54'59'248 W 121'37'543. Elevation: 1,626 meters. After this cairn you start descending in earnest while steadily turning left.

Inukshuk on Windfall lake route near Tumbler Ridge BC

22. Upon descent, you are walking through a meadow.

Windfall Lake route - Tumbler Ridge Hike

23. There is a barely discernible path here and there, but you know you are almost there when flagging tape does, eventually, appear. Coordinates: N 54'59'452 W 121'37'499. Elevation: 1,520 meters.

Hike in Tumbler Ridge Area

24. A few minutes later, forest emerges straight ahead, so you get into it, complete your circular route, and rejoin the main trail at the point seen in photo #6.

Windfall Lake route near Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

25. As for further destinations once you reach the lake, here are the options as shown on an information board at the beginning of the trail.

26. Windfall Lake information board.

Windfall Lake trail leads to some fantastic views, and takes relatively little time and effort. As such, this trail is highly recommended.

<--- Carp Lake Road (War Falls)    Cowmoose Mountain Hike ---> -> 112 Windfall Lake Trail Hike