Trip 115 - August 1, 2016 (Monday)

Bootski Lake Trail Hike

Near Tumbler Ridge BC

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Trailhead Location:
Northeastern British Columbia, approximately 87 kilometers Southeast of the town of Tumbler Ridge off Highway 52E.

Liked: Mountain and lake views, few bugs. The access road is quite smooth until the last 12 kilometers, but is passable in a medium-clearance 2WD vehicle all the way to the trailhead.

Of note: Remote wilderness area, some parts of the trail are steep, several creek crossings required, the lake could be somewhat difficult to find, the last 12 kilometers of the access road are full of large potholes, hiking boots and poles are highly recommended (or essential, if you decide to climb the mountain by the lake). The mountain by the lake is for experienced and properly equipped hikers only - avoid the final narrow ledge if windy or wet.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 29 (Monkman Provincial Park) G1. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available for purchase at

Other trips in Tumbler Ridge Area: Mount Clifford Trail Hike, Cowmoose Mountain Trail Hike, Windfall Lake 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.

Related Website: WNMS Bootski Lake Hiking Route Brochure (PDF file).


Bootski Lake trail is located off Wapiti Forest Service Road, which branches off Ojay Forest Service Road, which starts off Highway 52E approximately 71 kilometers Southeast of Tumbler Ridge in Northeastern British Columbia. The trail is steep at times, but leads to great views, especially if you are experienced and equipped enough to climb the mountain near the lake for better views.

27. It's very steep out there, and the stones are loose, so hiking boots and poles are essential.

Mountain by Bootski Lake near Tumbler Ridge BC Canada

28. View to the left as we climb. You can see the trailhead where a road branches off the Wapiti FSR (which goes along the mountain), and goes towards us in the middle-right of the photo.

Wapiti FSR seen from the mountain by Bootski Lake

29. Looking back at the alpine. We came from the right.

Alpine area by Bootski Lake in Northeastern British Columbia Canada

30. Looking to the right.

31. Almost there.

32. Twenty-five minutes of huffing and puffing, and we are on top. Coordinates: N 54'34'245 W 120'39'598. Elevation: 1,952 meters. Bootski Lake trail brochure from WNMS lists this as a 1955 m peak. You actually need to slightly descend the first peak, then climb the second peak, and only then walk on an even narrower ledge to see Bootski Lake from above. We are still at the first peak here.

33. Great view to the left.

Mountains near Bootski Lake British Columbia Canada

34. And a narrow ledge ahead. Avoid, if wet or windy.

35. Getting closer.

36. What a view to the right!

View near Bootski Lake Province of BC Canada

37. A long way down.

38. At long last, Bootski Lake. We did get a bit closer than that, but, even with a very light wind, it was quite unsettling to be on that ledge.

Bootski Lake British Columbia Canada

39. Now heading back. View of the first peak from the second. By the way, there appears to be an easy descent route between the two peaks. However, the bottom part of that descent is much steeper than the ascent route of the first peak which we took, so we didn't take any chances and returned the same way.

1955 m peak near Bootski Lake

40. Descended the mountain, turned left, and headed towards the lake.

41. Here it is. Coordinates: N 54'34'216 W 120'40'365. Elevation: 1,361 meters. Despite the super-steep appearance of the walls behind the lake, it's quite possible to get up to "the saddle" and see the lake from above even better than from the mountain.

Bootski Lake

42. The view of Bootski Lake from "the saddle."

Bootski Lake near Tumbler Ridge British Columbia Canada

43. Looking behind from "the saddle".

44. Back at Bootski Lake.

Bootski Lake

45. Now heading back. Another awesome view.

46. And here are the two peaks we climbed to look at the lake from above. We started the climb on the left side of the left peak.

Mountains by Bootski Lake

47. Going through the alpine again.

48. A pair of mountain birds hanged out in the area.

49. There is also a cross in the alpine. Since there was no plaque or anything, we couldn't tell if it's there to commemorate a person, for whom Bootski Lake was their last hike, but it's quite possible.

Cross in the alpine by Bootski Lake near Tumbler Ridge British Columbia Canada

It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to return from the lake to the trailhead. Bootski Lake trail/route features excellent views, and is definitely highly recommended.

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