• Difficulty Intermediate
  • Time 3 hours
  • Round-Trip 6.8km
  • Elevation Gain 320 meters
  • Season July - October
  • Camping Yes
  • From Vancouver 3 hours
  • Public Transit No
  • Dog Friendly Yes

Trail Notice

There was a washout in January 2024 on the Hurley FSR at about 7kms, be sure to check I Survived The Hurley before attempting to drive to the Semaphore Lakes Trailhead.

The hiking trail to Semaphore Lakes is located north of Pemberton, BC, and has incredible views of Face Mountain and Locomotive Mountain. There are several waterfalls that drop from the nearby mountains and from Train Glacier into the area near the three lakes, making for some beautiful alpine scenery.

The hike to Semaphore Lakes is relatively short and not a lot of elevation gain for an alpine hike as most of the elevation gained is done driving up the Hurley FSR to the start of the trail. There are three lakes that make up Semaphore Lakes and a longer hike / scramble can be done to Locomotive Mountain.

From the trailhead along the Hurley, drop down onto the trail and follow the markers through the trees. After a short distance, the trail begins to climb through the well defined route as you rapidly gain elevation. The trail briefly levels as you pass a meadow on the right.

As you continue your hike, the trees begin to thin while the trail continues to ascend. When the trail reaches a junction, go to the right as this route will wrap around the mountain and take you directly to the first lake, avoiding extra elevation gain.

The trail continues ascending at a gradual pace as you pass through alpine vegetation until you begin to see the view of the Semaphore Lakes area. The view at the first lake is awe inspiring with Locomotive Mountain towering high above on the other side of the valley.

Continue walking along the trail as it passes the second and third lakes, both with scenic views of their own. There are plenty of places to stop for lunch to enjoy the view but one of the areas that is beautiful is close to the river where you get a view of the mountains and can look down the valley.

After enjoying Semaphore Lakes, make your way back, passing each of the lakes and following the trail around the mountain until it reaches the junction. Go left and head downhill, passing the meadow, and carefully hiking back down the steeper section until you reach the trailhead where you began.

How to get to Semaphore Lakes

Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver
3 hours

The trailhead for Semaphore Lakes is located about 1 hour from Pemberton, BC, and requires driving up a very rugged and steep dirt road for 14km known as The Hurley. A 4-wheel drive vehicle with clearance is recommended.

From Vancouver, drive to Highway #1 and enter the highway heading westbound. Drive through West Vancouver heading towards Horseshoe Bay and merge onto Highway #99 the Sea To Sky heading North to Squamish. Continue driving through Squamish and Whistler until you reach the community of Pemberton.

Turn left off of Highway 99 and drive into the town of Pemberton, crossing the train tracks. At the 3-way stop, turn right onto Pemberton Meadows Road and begin driving into the scenic Pemberton Valley for the next 23km.

Turn right onto the Lillooet Forest Service Road and drive a short distance before crossing a bridge. The road veers left and becomes gravel. Drive for 7km until you reach a junction and turn right onto the Hurley River Forest Service Road. Set your odometer to zero and drive for about 14km on the Hurley. There will be a couple of small parking areas on the left of the road marking the start of the Semaphore Lakes trail.

View a map of Driving directions to Semaphore Lakes.

Traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Traditional and ancestral and unceded territory of the Lil’wat and St̓át̓imc Tmicw (St’at’imc).
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Additional Info

Camping at Semaphore Lakes

Camping is allowed at Semaphore Lakes, however there are very few facilities aside from two outhouses.

View more details about camping at Semaphore Lakes

Dogs at Semaphore Lakes

Dogs are allowed on the trail to Semaphore Lakes but please be sensitive to the local ecology, keep dogs under control, and properly dispose of any dog waste so not to pollute the lakes or attract bears.

Toilets at Semaphore Lakes

There are two outhouses located near the lakes and campsite area.

Dogs, Toilets and Camping

Although we try to keep information as current as possible, www.vancouvertrails.com makes no warranty or representation as to the availability, quality, fitness for purpose, conditions or accuracy of the information provided with respect to this trail or trails. The information provided herein is further subject to our Terms of Use.