This time the approach to Tenquille Lake was through the easy approach from the West. Because nothing is perfect in life you need a decent 4WD vehicle to reach the trailhead.
To get there, follow Highway 99 north to Pemberton. Zero the odometer at the junction with Petro Canada and go left towards the village and follow the signs to the Hurley River Road. It's more or less 25 kilometres through the Pemberton Valley until you reach the Hurley Road intersection (magenta line).
Go right on the paved road to the bridge. On the other side of the bridge it is the trailhead for the real hike to Tenquille Lake. At around 33.2 kilometers the road forks and now you need to go right onto the Hurley Road (yellow line)
Almost ten kilometers later you will cross a single lane bridge and 300 meters later you will see a road branching to the right. Take the road (blue line)
The road goes for almost two kilometers until you reach a fork where a sign tells you to drive another 2 km on a 4x4 road before you can reach the trailhead. The real distance is 3.5 km.
If you are very sensitive about your job paint, park here and add two hours to your journey.
Total driving distance from Petro Canada at Pemberton: 49 km.
But wait a minute, Juanmobile's butt is not high enough to deal with this road. Today's hike was organized by the Xtreme Picnic Team Group. For several reasons only her fearless leader was available to do this hike.
The end of the road offer scenic views, a great way to start this hike.
The trail is located northeast of the parking area and climbs towards an old clearcut that is in the process of growing back. From there you have the last views of the Pemberton Valley before entering into a quiet forest of lichen-draped hemlock.
After maybe 30 minutes of hike the trail open up before descending to cross a creek that I believe must be very difficult to cross during the spring run-off
On your way to the lake there is another viewpoint where you can have a short break or like some people do, used it as a rustic campsite.
There are two more creeks to cross, the last one has a washout, just follow the tapes to a slighter higher trail that avoids that washout.
As we continue hiking, we had the first views of Copper Mound. This is my reference point to know there is still one hour to reach the lake. In the 1920s, Copper Mound as other mountains surrounding Tenquille was riddled with mining claims.
I started to hear the sounds of Wolverine Creek. Very soon we reached the junction of the trail coming up from the Lillooet River. Looking up on our left we had views of Goat Peak.
We keep going up into an expansive alpine meadow. In summer, this is a sea of beautiful blue lupines and other wildflowers.
It's very tempting to spend hours exploring this area, just remember that the thin soil and short-growing season in the alpine means the meadows can easily be damaged and take many years to recover, if at all. For that reason we stayed all the time on the trail.
The first miners looking for gold, silver and lead visited this area in 1909.
Nobody got rich from the ventures, but today we found a treasure when looking to the beautiful colors of fall covering the old-growth forest and the expansive alpine meadows.
An alpine meadow is a high-altitude grassland located in an alpine climate, above the treeline of a mountain.
Alpine meadows, along with sub-alpine meadows, are part of the Montane grasslands and shrublands biome as defined by the World Wildlife Fund.
After 35 minutes we reached the biggest of the meadows. From there the trail drops down through the pass and the lake and the old cabin became visible within minutes.
The old cabin was built in the mid 1940s by a group of Pemberton residents, headed by Sandy Ross and Morgan MIller. Tenquille Lake was a favourite destination for families, but not many owned tents. The windows, stove and many of the kitchen utensils, cutlery, tin plates and mugs were retrieved from abandoned mines in the area.
Time for lunch. Directly south we had views of Crown Mountain. Near the summit of that mountain it was a large cabin, two mine shafts and numerous trails leading to other sites. By 1929, most of the Tenquille Creek country has been staked.
The 2130-metre Crown Mountain (also known as McLeod)
The main trail leads to a Forest Service campsite for people staying overnight. Other trails go around the lakeshore, the perfect place for a long lunch break and more views of the sorrounding mountains.
Sun God Mountain (far background), Mounts Ronayne and Barbour
I had some fun playing with the Gray Jays. The Gray Jay is well-known for its bold, almost tame, behavior around humans. In logging camps, at mountain resorts, and at backwoods cabins, the "Camp Robber" or "Whiskey Jack" will brazenly raid campsites or cabins, even taking food from human hands.
Perisoreus canadensis (grey jay)
For now, there is not mining activity. Just hikers, bikers and campers enjoying nature's treasures.
1. 50:32.326-123:00.003 Elev 1206 m Parking Lot - Trailhead
2. 50:32.034-122:57.181 Elev 1556 m Junction with Tenquille Lake Trail
3. 50:32.247-122:55.970 Elev 1705 m Cabin
4. 50:32.135-122:55.748 Elev 1643 m Tenquille Lake
Roundtrip length: 12 km (7.5 miles)
Allow 5.5 hours
Elevation gain : 450 m (1476 ft)
Driving distance from Vancouver: 200 km (125 miles)