Two weeks after a fantastic winter overnighter on Jack’s Trail, we were ready for another adventure! The Bedwell Lakes Trail was the perfect trip. This was a new hike for us, plus we had good information that the tent pads were clear of snow. The trail was much gentler than our last trip and we enjoyed the well-engineered access to the subalpine. Along the way, views of Mount Tom Taylor and Big Interior Mountain were spectacular. We couldn’t believe the sunny skies, warm air, and scant snow. We will return again to add a day-trip to Cream Lake for a glimpse of Mount Septimus and Nine Peaks. Except for a couple of fellows who passed through on their way down from the mountains, we had the entire camp to ourselves.
- Drive 4 h 32 min (353 km) from Victoria to the Bedwell Lakes trailhead on Jim Mitchell Lake Road. The last 7 km of Jim Mitchell Lake Road is rough and has loose gravel with a few steep sections and cross ditches. A four-wheel drive or high clearance two-wheel drive vehicle is recommended…and good tires! Google Map
Permits & Fees
- There are designated backcountry sites located in the Bedwell core area (PDF, 36 KB). Camping fees are applicable from June 15 – September 30. Fees are $10 per person (16 years of age and older) / per night, $5 per child (6-15 years of age) / per night, and children under 6 are free. BC Parks Discover Camping Backcountry Registration System allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit before leaving home.
- Strathcona Walk-In/Wilderness Camping
Books & Maps
- Stone P. Island Alpine: A Guide to the Mountains of Strathcona Park and Vancouver Island. 1st ed. Wild Isle Publications; 2003. wildisle.ca
- 92-F/12. Scale 1:50,000. Edition 05. Buttle Lake. British Columbia. Produced by the Canada Centre for Mapping, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. Published 1991.
Location: Strathcona Provincial Park
Route: Bedwell Lakes Trail
Date: March 7-8, 2015
Distance: 12 km
Duration: 2 days
Peak: 1010 m
Gain: 450 m
We left from Victoria on Friday at 1500 h, drove four hours to Strathcona Provincial Park, car camped at Buttle Lake, drove to the trailhead early Saturday morning, hiked up the engineered trail, shot some video, enjoyed a yummy lunch at Baby Bedwell Lake, hiked on to Bedwell Lake camp, pitched our tent, explored the lake outlet, took some photos, ate a big bowl of noodles, went to bed in just-above-freezing temps, woke-up, drank “Shackleton” tea, warmed-up in the sunshine, took some more photos, hiked down Bedwell Lake Trail, drove back to Victoria, and arrived home at 2100 h Sunday night. Another perfect Vancouver Island weekend!