We did this hike by accident. We were looking for Cheam Peak but somehow, instead of going left we turned right. In a 4WD road we ascended steep switchbacks into the open bowl at 1160 m (3800 ft) below Williamson Lake. I couldn't resist the temptation of checking the Subaru. I saw a big dent in the muffler.
This is a climber route for three popular peaks, The Still, Welch Peak and Foley Peak. The most obvious route to the lake is a steep trail through the forest or the slash next to it.
After you left the forest you have beautiful views of the Cheam Range. The road looks like a snake sleeping on the ground
The guy who did this trail did not believe in the power of switchbacks. But still we were plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful colors of Fall.
I will never do this hike with snow on the ground, it's a short but steep hike. In some places the rock quality varies from very loose to decent. This lake (that seems to be divided in two) used to be the site of a small British Columbia Mountaineering Club cabin until an avalanche swept it away.
At 1655 m (5430 ft) we got fine views of Welch Peak (2438 m - 7999 ft) and Foley Peak. We saw some climbers on the top. I am not a climber, just a hiker. I was wondering how the view looks from there, fortunately I got an answer one week later (just wait for my next newsletter)
The last part of the hike is really easy, we spent a good time resting on the high basin in which the lake is located and looking to the climbers
We got more views of Welch Peak, this is the highest peak in the SE of Cheam Range. Despite its general ease of access, it is sometimes difficult to climb. One particular climber has reportedly failed to climb this peak despite 8 attempts. The south ridge and east ridge are the normal summit routes, both being exposed Class 3 Scrambles. The south ridge is much longer but slightly easier technically.
We walked around the lake and then we saw a little fall showing the start of a little creek going down to Foley Lake
Marmots, Goats, and Bears are common visitors on this area. One of our hikers (the blue point on the background) was having a last view of Foley Peak. Finally we reached the parking lot without incident.