Watersprite Lake

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
6-8h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
17.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
996 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
10.0
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Watersprite Lake

Discover what was once considered the hidden gem of the Squamish area on the Watersprite Lake hike. Here, you’ll find a draw-dropping lake with pristine, turquoise waters, surrounded by picturesque peaks.

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Route Description for Watersprite Lake

Start the Watersprite Lake hike from the yellow gate in the parking lot, then head onto the gravel road heading right. Keep an eye out once on the hill for a marker pointing you towards Watersprite Lake.

Watching the rocks for flags, head uphill until you reach the top of the peak. To your lower left, you’ll spot the Skookum Dam. Follow the trail as it bends right and flattens out, already rewarding you with beautiful mountain views directly in front of you.

Trail over a small debris field and follow the markings towards a dirt road, heading eastwards. You’ll cross over a wooden bridge. This is Skullhead Creek. Following the bridge, depending on the season, the trail can become very muddy.

Continue, passing over multiple creeks, until the path eventually drops down into the forest.

This part of the trail can be tricky with hidden roots and tricky sections. Soon, the trail moves uphill again, but the orange markers make it easy to follow.

At the next junction just past the treeline, you’ll head right towards Watersprite, Enjoy a quick, uphill climb through a bush trail, as the path opens up again.
At the next wooden bridge, cross over Skullhead Creek and let your legs take a break as the trail flattens out.

Cross over multiple creeks, continuing to follow the orange markers and the path will veer right, providing you the first glimpses of Atwell Peak off in the distance.

The trail will suddenly take a hairpin turn to the left and begin climbing uphill. There is another view of a prominent peak directly ahead of you as you climb up the hill.

From here, embark on a switchback to the right, enjoying the expansive views to your right. From here, the landscape gets interesting as you cross a creek and come to a small waterfall. Find a cliff face to your left and follow it, eventually reaching a small rockslide area.

From here, at the Prow Lookout, take in the breathtaking mountain views, where the Mamquam River, the Skookum Dam, and all the way to the City of Squamish can be seen. You can also see many mountains – Atwell Peak, Columnar Peak, Spire Peaks, Pyramid Peak, and even Sky Pilot Mountain to the south. Push forward along the trail as it turns east, down into a valley where you can spot the mountains surrounding Watersprite Lake before you.

Next, you’ll be faced with a tricky boulder field that you’ll have to pick your way across. Take your time and follow the markers.

The trail then opens back up again, but can be slippery, muddy and filled with obstacles. Again, take your time. But know you are in the home stretch!

Cross over one final debris chute and you’ll spot the original Watersprite Trail, but continue up the chute to the top and to your left, you’ll find a path leading to the Watersprite Lake Cabin. If you aren’t staying the night, continue straight to the lake.

Finally, you’ve made it to Watersprite Lake! Find mesmerizing, crystal-clear water surrounded by Dreadnought Peak (1,994 m) to the left, Watersprite Tower (1,810 m) straight across, and Martin Peak (1,877 m) to the right.

Spend time resting at Watersprite Lake, snapping photos and just soaking in the view. When you’re ready to make the hike back, retrace your steps back to your car.

Insider Hints for Watersprite Lake

  • The path on the Watersprite Lake hike can be muddy. Wear either rain boots or waterproof hiking boots depending on your preference. Note that the trail can be challenging, so the more supportive footwear, the better.
  • There is also a 10-person cabin at the lake available for reservation by British Columbia Mountaineering Club members. Make sure you book far in advance if you want a spot!
  • You will require a 4×4 or AWD vehicle with good clearance to reach the trailhead.

Getting to the Watersprite Lake Trailhead

A 4×4 vehicle is needed to reach the trailhead. Drive with caution. From Vancouver, take the Sea to Sky Highway (#99) north towards Squamish. Just beyond the parking lot for the Stawamus Chief, take your next right onto the Mamquam River Forest Service Road, go left over the next bridge. There is a pullout on your left. Keep driving and go right over another bridge. After the second bridge, there is a junction. Go left. At the 16.0 km point, you will come to a junction. You will see a candy cane-shaped vent here. Go left. Going right would take you to the old trailhead.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June – September

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Watersprite Lake Elevation Graph

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