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Hike the Semaphore Lakes

Squamish-Lillooet C, British Columbia


Added by Ashika Parsad

Distance: 8.81km (5.5 miles) roundtripElevation gain: 460m (1500 ft)Quick access to the alpine and surrounding summitsSummits: Locomotive, Tender, Caboose, Handcar, Face, etc.Range of scrambles from beginner to advanced levelsWater sources along the trail

Semaphore Lakes is a series of beautiful alpine lakes located near Pemberton, BC. They're a short distance from a well maintained gravel road, the Hurley FSR.

The hike follows a creek outflow, first heading uphill while paralleling the creek, then into a subalpine meadow, and right into the alpine. You'll stop frequently on your way up, not because the trail is too steep or difficult, but because the 360 pano views are breathtaking.

Once you reach the lake, there's an adventure around every corner. Adventure options include relaxing at the lake, going for a swim, checking out the waterfalls, and/or continuing up nearby summits where ascents range from easy to difficult scrambling. For the experienced mountaineer, you can check out train glacier, located near Face Mountain. If you aren't comfortable with steep ascents and somewhat loose scree, no worries - there's a lot of pleasure to be found in taking it easy, too.

Beware of early season hiking, as the trail has mud of epic proportions well into September. Gaiters aren't absolutely necessary if you don't mind slipping and sliding every now and then. Thankfully, there is no exposure in the muddy sections.

If you're looking to expand your day-trips from local mountains to the backcountry, Semaphore Lakes is an ideal place to start. For the full trip and photo set, visit here.

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