Mamit Lake borders the road that goes from Logan Lake to Merritt (Highway 97). From the juction west of Logan Lake, drive 11.5km south. There are 3 pullouts next to the lake and there is a boat launch at the second one. A good gravel beach is excellent for a hand launch.
The paddle around the circumference of the lake is about 9km. The setting is scenic and the area is fairly quiet. This should be a good paddle. In early September, though, the lake was choked with green algae. The south half of the lake felt like paddling through green pea soup. Wildlife had abandoned the lake and I was a lone paddler on the lake. There was a faint odor to the lake and I came off the lake happy to get to dry land. Perhaps the lake is nicer in the spring? We won’t return to this lake unless something is done to change this lake’s ecosystem.
From Lac le Jeune Provincial Park or from a short drive up the Ross Moore Lake Forest Service Road, a loops follows double tracks up to a scenic viewpoint. Follow the Stake Lake Trail system trails up Rustler to Ambush, then south on Lookout. After visiting the lookout, return a 0.9km back to a junction and take Ricochet down to the junction with Sidewinder and follow Sidewinder back to the start.
The view from the lookout takes in all of Lac le Jeune and the hills surrounding it. Fred Lake and Ross Moore Lake can be spotted to the east and on a clear day, the Coast Ranges can be seen in the distance. This loop is about 8.5km (2 hours and 15 minutes of hiking). The whole route is on moderate tracks in the upper montane forest and is a good hike for summer or the shoulder season.
Emar Lakes Park was created in 1996 as a wilderness area of small lakes, potholes, and wet areas in a forested area off Highway 24. The lakes are used by fishermen, but there is also a lake chain loop with portages for canoeists and kayakers. Access is from Janice Lake Recreation Site or from Willowgrouse Recreation Site. The trails/portages are mostly user maintained and have become difficult with windfall. To do the loop counter-clockwise, paddlers would have to do the following:
- launch at Janice Lake (link to an article) at N51 29.457 W120 24.410
- paddle 1.5km to the landing spot (at N50 29.115 W120 25.090)
- portage for 1030 metres to Club Lake (past Next Lake)
- paddle to the end of Club Lake (780m)
- portage 100m to Boulder Lake
- paddle across Boulder Lake (400m)
- portage 400m to Willowgrouse Lake
- option to paddle Willowgrouse Lake (670m) then portage out the campsite (500m) or
- paddle across Willowgrouse following the loop (230m)
- portage 150m to Emar Lake
- paddle across Emar Lake (1.2 km)
- portage 450m to a pothole lake then 100m into Sedge Lake (or push through to Dytiscid Lake)
- paddle across Sedge Lake (220m)
- portage 700m to the end of Janice Lake
- paddle to the start (400m)
All of the trails are currently closed with windfall and danger trees on the route. Hopefully Parks can find some funding or perhaps volunteer user groups can help keep the routes open (count me in)? A BC Parks map is included here and more information can also be found on the Parks website (link).
Mahood Lake lies in the western edge of Wells Gray Park, but must be approached from the west, so from Kamloops we drive to Little Fort (95km), then west on Highway 24 (Interlakes) for 70km, then we turn north at Sheridan Corner onto the Horse Lake Road, then the Mahood Road (8000 Rd.) for about 40km to Canim Lake, and finally east for 15km to the west end of Mahood Lake. This takes about 3 hours. It can be done in a day, but the campsite at Mahood Lake is worth a night or two of paddling and hiking.
On this last trip to Mahood, I launched from the boat launch/beach at the end of the lake and headed down the lake to camp at one of the marine sites 21km away to the east. The winds were light at the start, but soon heavy winds came in from the northwest, so I beached about 1/3 of the way down the lake.
On this September day, the campsite was empty, the few cabins east of the campground looked locked up, there was no one on the lake, I was paddling solo, the temperature had dropped, and there was snow on top of Mount Mahood. With a choice of braving the winds downwind, waiting the winds out on the shoreline (it actually blew for 2 days), or turning back, I decided to turn the kayak into the wind and work my way back, a slow paddle in strong headwinds. Safe back at the launch, I went for a hike to Deception Falls and the Canim River Trail, but left Mahood Lake with the goal of paddling the whole lake another time.
The Mahood Lake area is a great place to camp and explore. The Deception Falls Trail is a short drive on a narrow, rough road. From the Provincial Parks Campground, follow the road north until it crosses the Canim River. This is the end of the maintained road and the rest of the route is manageable by all vehicles with slow driving. Watch for a trailhead sign 6km along the road. The trail in is a 1km hike up through birch, aspen, and fir forest. The trail comes to a bluff lookout across from Deception Falls.
Deception Creek spills over the 50m falls in a volcanic gorge, then runs down to Mahood Lake. The view is an impressive one, but it is hard to get a full picture photo without trees also in the view. Cliffs line the gorge up the south side and it is unsafe to go down below the trees. A rougher trail does climb up above the brink of the falls, but it does not improve the view.
The trail is a pleasant one up and down. The falls can't be seen or heard until the last minute or two of the hike, and the surprise is the height and volume of the falls, definitely worth the effort.