On my constant persuit in learning cross country I headed to Birkenhead Lake (somebody please teach me how to stop!). If you have a vehicle with winter tires you should be able to make it to the entrance of the park. In my case to make things more interesting, I stopped at km 5 of the logging road with 10km to go
This area is considered a wildlife corridor and signs for not hunting or not trespassing are common along the road. The land along this corridor is mainly used for feeding cattle.
On my way towards the lake I had views of Mount John Decker, this is the southernmost peak on the divide between Phelix and Sockeye Creeks. The name apparently honours a long time resident of the Pemberton area, perhaps from the same Decker family that Mount Decker near Whistler is named for.
Mount John Decker (2209 m - 7427 ft)
After 9km I made it to the entrance of Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park. It is still one kilometer to go before you reach the day-use area. The road on the left is called Phelix Creek Forest Service Road and is used to reach the Brian Waddington Hut (http://ubc-voc.com/wiki/index.php?title=Brian_Waddington_Hut)
I have always wanted to visit the Hut but two things stop me to doing it: 1) Juanmobile IV cannot make it to the end of the road and 2) I don't have the balls to hike alone on this part of the province, if you want to see wildlife this is the place to be.
Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park entrance
After 1 kilometer I made it to the frozen lake. Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park was first established in 1963 to provide lakeside camping and other recreation experiences for travellers between Whistler and Lillooet. The park was expanded in 1996 from 3,642 hectares to 9,755 hectares, adding significant conservation values of the Sockeye Creek watershed.
The park protects important habitat for a variety of wildlife, including spotted owls, mountain goats, black bears and grizzly bears. Old growth forests, subalpine and alpine environments, large and small lakes all contribute to the park's diversity.
Birkenhead Lake provides good fishing for Kokanee and Rainbow Trout but there are no Dolly Varden. Fishing regulations require anglers to release all caught Bull Trout. Bull Trout are on the endangered species list. Some anglers have mistaken the Bull Trout species for a Dolly Varden. Since the Bull Trout species has suffered, there is currently a recovery program in place and the park is requesting the public's assistance.
Tenquille Ridge's white walled flank, hidden from view at the dock, begins to reveal itself to the west, while the mountains that hem Anderson Lake begin to appear in the north. Late spring, when the surrounding snow-topped peaks reflect on the lake's surface, is one of the best times to visit here.
Goat Lookout is located on the middle of the mountain
Goat Lookout trail is a one kilometer steep and rough trail which leads to (you guessed it) a goat lookout. In the spring and fall time mountain goats can be seen defying gravity on the cliffs above the campground from here. During the summer you'll have to settle for just a spectacular view of the lake.
The beachfront is lovely, and those that enjoy swimming will not be disappointed, however the water can be cold at times as the lake water itself comes directly from the surrounding mountain snow
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.
There is another trail called Wilderness Trail. This 2 kilometer trail leads to a wilderness campsite. It is used by hikers and mountain bikers and connects to the Birkenhead lake trail.
The Birkenhead Lake trail is an 8 kilometer trail used by hikers and Mountain bikers that leads to Birkenhead lake estates (privately owned land) at the south end of the lake and ends at a gravel road. This road leads to one of the four access points to Tenquille Lake
1. 50:33.311-122:34.264 Elev 702 m Km 5
2. 50:34.154-122:37.436 Elev 700 m Km 10
3. 50:34.139-122:39.056 Elev 692 m Km 14 - Park entrance
4. 50:33.647-122:40.361 Elev 628 m Wilderness Trail
Roundtrip length: 20 km (12.5 miles)
Allow 4.5 hours
Elevation gain : minimal
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To get there, follow Highway 99 north to Pemberton. From Pemberton you will reach the indian reserve of Mt. Currie, where it is the turn off Highway 99 to D’Arcy. Just before D’Arcy (about 50km from Mt. Currie) there are highway signs indicating a turn off on to a gravel road that leads to Birkenhead Lake. From there it is a 14 km drive along a gravel road.
Driving distance from Vancouver: 212 km (132.5 miles)