**2023 update – Most of the Cathedral Lakes valley was burned down in Aug 2023 including the area around Lake of the Woods. It is uncertain at this time what effect this will have in the 2024 season and beyond***
Cathedral Lakes is a unique hiking area of BC because transportation is offered to a sort of base camp where stunning peaks can be accessed without the effort often required just to reach the alpine.
It is possible to avoid the transportation and hike in from three separate directions. It requires a full day of hiking one way just to reach the Cathedral ‘base camp’ area. Alternatively, transportation can be arranged through the Cathedral Lakes Lodge. In 2023 it was approximately $150 round-trip per person.
Camping / Accommodation:
Aside from transportation, it is possible to book a stay at Cathedral Lakes Lodge. Campers can opt just for the transportation and camp at one of the nearby lakes. As of 2023, the options are Quiniscoe Lake which is right across from the lodge or Lake of the Woods, which is a bit more secluded. Pyramid Lake campground is closed at the moment.
From the lodge or campgrounds a variety of routes can be taken. Here are 4 optional routes.
This route starts north of the lodge and climbs up to Red Mountain. Following the ridge or rim, it continues on to Quiniscoe mountain and Stone city before dropping down to Ladyslipper lake and looping back to the start. This is hands down one of BC’s best dayhikes.
Rim Extension to Grimface
This is an extension of the rim walk from Stone City Mountain to Grimface Mountain. Many choose to do it as an addon to the rim hike but depending on how far you follow the ridge, it makes for a ridiculously long day (if the rim hike is to be completed). Grimface is the crown achievement of the park – a fantastically satisfying scramble up to the highest peak in the park.
Scout Lake + Mountain
For a shorter half day hike, consider Scout Mountain. A visit to Scout Lake can be the first order of business, followed by a journey up to Scout Mountain. A loop can be completing by crossing the ‘rim’ between Scout and Red Mountain.
Lakeview Mountain is across the valley from all the other routes so is typically chosen as a separate day hike. It is possible to first visit Goat Lake (a stunning lake surrounded by a ‘cathedral’ of peaks) and then traverse Lakeview Mountain to loop back and complete the return journey.