Bedwell Lake

Strathcona
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Bedwell Lake

Distance: 11.4km
Elevation: 929m
Time: 3-5h

Difficulty Rating:

The hike to Bedwell Lake is one of the best maintained trails in Strathcona Provincial Park. The hike up to Baby Bedwell and onto Bedwell Lakes is made easier by the highly engineered bridges, staircases and boardwalks. The views of Big Interior Peak and Mt Tom Taylor amidst the stunning ambiance of Bedwell Lakes is nothing short of fantastic. This is a great hike!

Getting there

From Campbell River head west along BC-28 W towards Gold River for 47.3km. A few km’s past the entrance to Strathcona Park you will reach a junction where you will continue strait towards Westin Mines on Westmin Rd. Follow this road for just under 35.0km. Right after passing the very southern end of Buttle Lake, follow signs for Bedwell Lake Trailhead and turn left onto Jim Mitchell Lake Rd. Follow this road for 6.5km until you reach the signed trailhead parking lot.

About

When to do

July - October

Backcountry Campsites

At Baby Bedwell and Bedwell Lakes

Toilets

At trailhead, Baby Bedwell Lake and Bedwell Lake campsites

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Elevation


Detailed Description

From the parking area follow signs to continue along Jim Mitchell Lake Rd for 200m before turning off to the left onto the Bedwell Trail. Descend two switchbacks then begin traversing the valley floor. After just under a kilometre you will cross over Thelwood Creek along a cool suspension bridge!

After another shorter creek crossing – this time on a regular wooden bridge – you will begin the climb to Bedwell Lake. The trail goes switch-backing up a narrow gully. While hiking here you will see how the trail maintenance has paid off. Being so steep, the numerous anti-erosion measures are clearly necessary, considering how well used this trail is.

After quite a bit of elevation gain you will cross several more creeks before climbing several of the classic wooden steps. Soon you will make a big switchback to the southeast and finally gain the plateau that holds Baby Bedwell Lake. Traverse the plateau and arrive at the northeast end of Baby Bedwell.

The calm waters of Baby Bedwell offer the perfect spot for a quick rest before the final bit of trail on the hike to Bedwell Lake. Here you will get your first major view, up to the snow-capped east shoulder of Mt Tom Taylor.

Contour around the east side of Baby Bedwell and climb the notch separating the two lakes. At the top there will be a sign pointing towards a viewpoint. Here you will get the best view of the hike, across the massive Bedwell Lake with Big Interior Mountain and its massive glacier on the left, and the east shoulder of Tom Taylor on the right. Truly a stunning view.

Honestly for most day hikers this is a suitable turnaround point as it saves gaining the notch on the way back. However, for those who want the full experience of hiking to Bedwell Lake (or for those planning on camping at Bedwell Lake) continue down the south side of the notch to Bedwell Lake.

Follow the trail as it contours around the east side of Bedwell Lake, eventually arriving at the campsites. After enjoying the splendid view across the waters and up to Tom Taylor, return the way you came.

Insider Hints

  • Part of the road to get to the trailhead is dirt and is only graded every so often. Depending on how recently the grader has gone through it can be challenging to drive. Sedans typically have a tough time going up one section of the road, however SUVs with at least a little clearance typically have no problem.

  • Swimming opportunities exist at both Baby Bedwell and Bedwell Lakes.

  • This hike to Bedwell Lakes is also a great one-night backpacking trip!

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