4.04 out of 5 - 27 reviews

View Watersprite Lake Description | Add Comment

Lee from Surrey writes:

After looking forward to doing this trail all summer, we finally had a free sunny Saturday and headed out. The forestry road wasn't as bad as we expected for vehicles with good clearance (a must) and the trail was clearly marked. Unfortunately at about the 2 km mark, there must have been a wasp next right under or beside the trail as we were suddenly swarmed by wasps and my 10 year old and I were quickly covered with extremely painful wasp stings. I was starting to have a bit of a reaction to the stings, so we figured the safe thing to do was head back down. Our hike was over, and I'm pretty sure there's no way I'm going to convice my child to come back here anytime soon. Obviously my rating doesn't represent the whole hike, but since I have to give one, I'll give it a 3 based on our experience with the wasps tempered by what was an enjoyable experience up to that pont.

    Posted: September 18, 2017 08:17:52 AM PST


    Jillian from Vancouver writes:

    Incredible hike! Went up 09/04/17 and it was HOT. It wasn't too crowded, even though it was Labor Day, likely because the road was so rough getting up. Really rough. Like, the roughest road I've ever been on.

    You've all read the hype and seen the pics, so I'll only post what I feel I can add to the wealth of information here:

    1. Dogs ARE allowed. They are not recommended. This is because of the big bear/cougar population, and how tough and exposed the trail is. But I made sure to go on a well-traveled day and we were fine.

    2. This hike is even more exposed and tough than described. The elevation gain isn't awful, but on a 30 degree day every hiker there was struggling. My dog and I went through 4 (4!!) liters of water just on the way up, not including the streams my dog drank from on the way up.

    I would highly recommend bringing a filter or water purification tablets, as well as popping some electrolyte tabs in your water. This will significantly improve your comfort and performance.

    3. The road up is hell. It takes about an hour from the Sea to Sky highway to the parking lot - if you don't make a wrong turn. Be very careful if you are driving back in the evening, as the way back is even more confusing than the way up. I'm a pretty good navigator and I took the wrong fork right from the first bridge away from the parking area. That road ended in a rock slide and I nearly got stuck before I realized the horrible mistake I'd made. I ended up reversing for a quarter mile to get back to the road.

    Ultimately, this is an awesome hike. Just make sure to be prepared!

      Posted: September 5, 2017 10:52:56 AM PST


      Ray O from Vancouver writes:

      Thanks for your detailed hiking guide. We consider your website as a great service and always use your information to plan our hikes.

      Some feedback regarding this hike: We hiked Watersprite Lake yesterday and it took us about 5.5 hours going and 4.5 hours coming back., a far cry from the estimated 7 hours return that we were expecting. We used an app to track our distance and elevation and total ascent was 784 meters. It was a hot day for a hike (31C) and most of the trail is on a West exposure without forest cover. It also took us a good 1.5 hours to drive through the Forestry Service Roads from the Sea to Sky Highway in our SUV. We were surprised to find a Honda Civic and a Toyota Camry that made it to the parking lot at the trail head!

      We personally would describe this hike as difficult. At first we thought we were the only ones having a difficult time but we met up with many young ones (in their 20s (about half our age or more) and almost all of them said that would agree that the hike is a difficult and not moderate as advertised. We were worried about our return trip and didn't linger long enough to enjoy the lake due to the time constraints. We felt that it would be unsafe to hike through the three boulder fields and the rooty rocky technical and steep sections on final 25% of the hike in the dark (last 2 km) so we safely hiked through that section before sunset . We encountered four parties at and after sunset on our hike back and most of the them didn't realize how difficult and slow the last 25% of the hike would be. We hope they all made it safely to the lake.

      We would greatly reconsider this as a suitable day hike given the amount of time needed to reach the trail head by car and the amount of time to hike to the lake and back. We've hiked to Elfin Lakes and Garibaldi Lake before and your guide is right on the money for these ones. Hopefully in the future, the roads and trail to this beautiful lake will be improved so more people can enjoy it for a day hike.

      Thanks again and happy hiking in beautiful BC everyone!

      • Watersprite Lake photo
      • Watersprite Lake photo
      • Watersprite Lake photo

        Posted: September 3, 2017 01:36:50 PM PST


        Luke from Vancouver writes:

        This hike was unreal! There are lots of people who do this as a day trip although I far prefer to camp up there and enjoy the views. Make sure you pay careful attention to the directions on this site for how to get to the trail head because it's easy to get lost on the logging road. Camping spots are limited so I suggest getting in before 4pm and don't forget a sleeping mat because you may have to set up on a large boulder.

          Posted: August 21, 2017 08:21:46 AM PST


          Marlon Doll from Vancouver writes:

          This hike was amazing and def recommend reserving the cabin. Be careful on the slushy snow on the rocks at the top! Someone slipped through and cut their shin. I filmed an eye-catching video of the experience you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0T9c5ypRnU

          • Watersprite Lake photo

            Posted: August 17, 2017 04:05:30 PM PST


            Montana from North Vancouver writes:

            The flies. Oh the flies! There must have been a hatching recently because our entire hike to the lake was accompanied by black flies and the occasional horseflies. We wore bug spray with fly repellent and it stopped them from biting, but not from a constant swarm around the face for the entire 3 hour hike. We wanted to relax and camp at lake but ended up going back. Such a beautiful hike, and still worth going, but wear a mosquito net hat if you don't want constant new friends in your face. Side note: We saw a car in the parking lot and have no idea how's it cleared the road. Do not drive a car that you car about up here.

            • Watersprite Lake photo
            • Watersprite Lake photo

              Posted: August 9, 2017 09:33:45 AM PST


              Elise M from White Rock writes:

              We hiked up here late on August 2nd, and camped the following two nights. It was beautiful despite the smoke, and I highly recommend. We saw some fresh bear poop near the trailhead, but didn't encounter any critters.

              To anyone who has done this hike in past years, you should be aware that they have built a completely new trail. The new trailhead is few km past the old one, and I think the hike is a km or two longer (although that's just a guess). In my opinion the new route is more scenic, and the elevation gain is a bit more spread out.

              We made it up (slowly) in my Honda civic, but I wouldn't recommend attempting it in a 2WD vehicle if you are an anxious driver or if you really care about your car. The last km before the trail is a bit hairy with two wheel drive, so if I did it again I would park on the shoulder and walk to the trailhead (I realize this isn't to helpful if you're not sure where the trail starts - sorry).

                Posted: August 4, 2017 05:56:04 PM PST


                jessica relkoff from VANCOUVER writes:

                great hike! would definitely recommend. just a word of caution for those camping at the lake: you really shouldnt set your tent up on the right side of the lake! as you will see there are many boulders and rocks ready to tumble. From our camping spot on the island my friend and i woke up to the sound of several large rocks crashing down and luckily missed the couple tenting right below. not sure how they had peace of mind sleeping there...glad theyre ok.

                  Posted: August 4, 2017 06:20:42 AM PST


                  Daniel Rowsom from Vancouver writes:

                  My wife and I headed out to camp at Watersprite on Thursday, July 27. I was hesitant to drive the road in my Forester, but after getting a first-hand report, we decided it was worth a try. It was slow-going, but we made it to the trailhead without incident. I would not recommend attempting the road without 4WD/AWD and half-decent clearance.

                  We unfortunately did not make it to the lake. After only about half of a kilometer of hiking, we heard a very strange sound in the distance, perhaps several hundred meters away. It seemed to have originated behind us and off to the right. It was unlike anything I had ever heard before, and so was difficult to place. It was an odd mix of a woman screaming and fabric scraping. My wife was instantly nervous (and correct) that is was a cougar, but I was in denial that it was anything to be too worried about, based mostly on the distant quality it seemed to have.

                  We carried on for maybe another quarter kilometer. At this point we heard much closer, louder, and more clearly: a big, scary cat noise. Again, it had a quality of a woman’s scream, or what you could imagine a housecat might sound like, if it was much larger, more gravelly, and coming directly from hell. This time it sounded as if it could be directly to our right, within 100 meters.

                  I have never heard from or otherwise encountered a cougar before. But based on the two calls/growls/screams we heard, it seemed to be following us. A big, wild cat potentially stalking you is a terrifying thought, so we changed our direction and headed back to our car. Since we could not see the animal, and the only information we had was that it was perpendicular in direction to the trail, we figured the change in direction would not appear to be running away (since that could provoke a chase). I kept a watchful eye over my shoulder, we each had our bear-spray out, and we both stamped and yelled to each other (to seem large) until we reached the parking lot.

                  Most of what I know of cats is that they are stealth predators, and so the fact that it was announcing itself would mean that it may not have been likely to attack. Perhaps it had made a recent kill and wanted to scare us away. Perhaps it was a second cat, and they had been communicating in some fashion. But it was a terrifying experience, and neither of us would have slept soundly that night had we continued onward.

                  The notice-board at the trailhead included a picture of a four-inch-wide cougar print in the snow from a few months ago. It would seem that the cougar has decided to stick around.

                  The first 750 m of the trail are quite nice. Hopefully I can bring myself to try the rest some other day.

                    Posted: July 29, 2017 04:36:28 PM PST


                    Ela from Vancouver writes:

                    My Mitsubishi outlander from 2003 made it up with no problem. Of course, with 5km/h and a lot of attention. Plan for the lodging road to take you about 1:30 h-2 h. We did not approximate well left the house at 6:30 am and with the traffic and the FSR conditions we made to the trail head at 11... But it is sooooo worth it.

                      Posted: July 27, 2017 05:38:35 AM PST


                      Karen from Burnaby writes:

                      Will an old 2005 Subaru Forester make it up to the trail head ? Will this car have high enough of a clearance ?

                        Posted: July 27, 2017 12:28:52 AM PST


                        Chris Ludwig from Richmond writes:

                        BCMC Volunteer Trail Crew Update
                        We finally completed the installation of a new and important bridge at KM 8 across Watersprite Creek yesterday. We also completely brushed out KM 0 to KM 3.2 of all new growth with brush cutter, and added additional trail markers.
                        Outstanding work includes construction of our final bridge across Upper Demon Creek at KM 4.2, clearing of new vegetation growth from KM 3.2 to 4.0, and route optimization and trail bed improvements of the final last KM of trail. These task may remain outstanding until the fall.
                        Beware of nails, screws and metal in the parking area as I got a flat in my Jeep yesterday. Please respect the sensitive environment at Watersprite Lake by not leaving garbage or human waste in the alpine.
                        Chris Ludwig - BCMC Volunteer Crew Chief

                          Posted: July 24, 2017 08:40:06 AM PST


                          HOWARD ADAM from North Vancouver writes:

                          July 16, 2017: What an absolutely spectacular view/lake at the top! I am absolutely amazed that there is such beauty so 'close' to Vancouver. Yes, you need an AWD or 4x4, or a vehicle with good clearance, but well worth the 20km FSR scenic drive to get to the TH. Most of the hike is 'in the open' (not alpine - but clear views to the south and west mountains). The lake at the top is surrounded by large peaks, and the lake itself was still snow/iced over, with dark blue pools here and there, but that added to the shear beauty of this place. I'll be back in summer to gete a totally new experience of the same place...and probably camp over this time to immerse myself and bask in nature. WELL DONE to all the volunteers for making this a gem of a hike!

                            Posted: July 17, 2017 09:00:02 AM PST


                            tilo from Vancouver writes:

                            awesome hike. we did it on July 15. Lake was mostly frozen. Top has and outhouse ( across the cabin)
                            drove up to trailhead with 2003 Honda CR-V. Following the awesome comments on his site.
                            watch out for bears and cougars. We saw lots of droppings.

                            • Watersprite Lake photo
                            • Watersprite Lake photo
                            • Watersprite Lake photo

                              Posted: July 16, 2017 06:30:37 PM PST


                              Bryan from Vancouver writes:

                              Its worth noting that about the 15.7 or 15.8km into the drive you run into a split in the road with the right fork going uphill and the left fork heading downhill. Although both forks eventually meet up and will take you to the parking lot, the right fork is a much easier drive.

                              Beautiful hike and mostly clear of snow except at the top on July 10. Be prepared for a long drive in once off the highway (~ an hour to 1.5 hours). Lots of animal droppings on the path and reported sightings of a black bear + cub and cougar tracks near the lake so just be conscious that they are in the area while hiking.

                                Posted: July 10, 2017 12:20:42 PM PST


                                Christine from Vancouver writes:

                                July 9th update: Lake is still frozen and some snowy patches up at the top. Stuffy views, beautiful trail - thanks BCMC!

                                Quite a few campers up at the lake - and little bits of plastic that come along with it. Pickup your plastics, people! keep it beautiful :)

                                  Posted: July 9, 2017 08:44:17 AM PST


                                  Sarah S from Vancouver writes:

                                  ****There are no pictures because we lost our point and click digital camera on the trail or at Watersprite hut. If you find it, please message me*

                                  Wow, what an adventure! First of all, please don't attempt to drive to the trailhead with a low clearance 2WD vehicle. We made the rookie/foolish mistake of believing that our Prius (with 4 people and 4 packs) could make it somewhat close to the trailhead. It didn't take us long to realize why people in their big trucks/SUVs either laughed or shook their heads at us as we passed them on the Forest Road. We ended up having to ditch our car at the power station and tacking on additional 9km uphill hike to our day (which included getting lost at one point).

                                  The trail is gorgeous - and the folks who are fixing it up are doing a great job. Just make sure to wear appropriate footwear to get through the wet patches, and watch your feet as there are lots of roots and stumps to snag your feet on. Personally I enjoyed all of the varied challenges of the terrain, as well as the stunning views along the ridge. The only challenge that at times felt insurmountable was the last ~150-200 metres of snow. Mind you, at that point we had been hiking for 7 hours with heavy packs, the we were trying to beat the setting sun. So every time one foot punched through three feet of snow, or slipped backwards down the hill - it felt a bit demoralizing. But it was worth it! The views from the Watersprite hut were stunning, and the hut is so perfect!

                                  Sadly there is still several feet of snow, and there was only a tiny glimpse of the blue water on the lake. I really hope that the snow melts by September and we are able to return to see it in all of its glory. **Avalanches were happening off the chutes behind the hut ALL night long. Do not walk near the chutes***

                                  The hike back is really easy - and we did it in 2.5 hours - even with our packs on. A big shout out to the group of folks we met on the trail who generously shuttled us back to our car the next day.

                                    Posted: July 3, 2017 02:05:49 PM PST


                                    JSR from Vancouver writes:

                                    This is an unusual West Coast BC hike. Most of the hike is NOT spent in forest. Through the middle 5-6km, you are in the open and there are scenic vistas of Garibalidi, Pyramid, the Tantalus Range, and Sky Pilot. You also get tremendous valley views right down to Squamish. Jaw-dropping. The BCMC hut at Watersprite Lake is first rate (kudos to BCMC!).The trail is well-marked, except for the last half a kilometre-or-so steep ascent to the Lake and Hut, but you can't really get lost. The hike is accurately graded as "moderate," but with some challenges through some boulder fields, and there are a couple of log bridges over quick running water (in late June 2017). Lots of running water and some wet patches along the trail. Good hiking boots and probably poles required. You have to believe you are lucky to take your chances with 2W drive to get to the trail head - and then home. It should be rated 4W drive with proper clearance.

                                    As of June 23, there is snow on the last .5km ascent to the lake and the lake itself is still frozen. The scenery around the lake is spectacular. If you are waiting for the snow to clear from the last part of the trail, check back in 2 or so weeks. When the snow goes, the peaks around the Lake look like scambling material. We were a 61 year old hiker plus 24 year old son...

                                      Posted: June 23, 2017 07:10:35 PM PST


                                      Mia from Whiterock writes:

                                      Drive to the trail was very rocky. MY SUV was struggling on the way up the rocky parts. A 4wd vehicle would be best if you're going up there. I suggest to wear proper hiking boots because some parts of the trail were very wet and muddy. Also, have a bear spray handy just in case you encounter bears along the way. We attempted the hike this morning, but when we got to the middle of the trail, we decided to head back down because there was a cub hanging around just a few steps away from us. It sucks we didn't get to the lake, maybe next time we'll be more prepared.

                                        Posted: June 22, 2017 09:18:53 PM PST


                                        Jennifer from White rock writes:

                                        Is this trail clear of snow now? We have been waiting to do this one. thanks!

                                          Posted: June 19, 2017 06:24:16 AM PST


                                          Chris Ludwig from Richmond writes:

                                          Hello Hiking Public,

                                          As the BCMC Trail Crew Chief responsible for the New Watersprite Lake Trail, I wanted to let everyone know that we have been late this year in clearing downed alder and deadfall from the trail this year.

                                          The reason being is we have been investing our time into heavily upgrading the first two Kilometres of the trail with new infrastructure. There are now three bridges spanning all major creeks in the first half of the trail (only two remain to be bridged in the later half of the trail) and 90 feet of newly installed boardwalk across Demon Creek Swamp. This Saturday, we will be constructing up to 90 stairs and heavily upgrading the "connector" trail at KM 1.5 to 1.8. We will also be installing a large trail Kiosk, and removing all deadfall from the first 2 KM.

                                          We are scheduled to clear the deadfall and alder for KM 2 - 5 two weeks following this Saturday (As well as repairing the culvert/logging bridge which was damaged this winter at the 4 KM Mark).

                                          The long term plan is to make the trail BC Parks quality, but that is a multi-year project on our part.

                                          See you on the Trail

                                          Chris Ludwig - Your friendly neighbourhood BCMC Trail Building Crew Chief

                                          • Watersprite Lake photo
                                          • Watersprite Lake photo
                                          • Watersprite Lake photo

                                            Posted: June 15, 2017 03:27:50 PM PST


                                            Daphne from Vancouver writes:

                                            Emma, we used 4WD but we saw several other 2WD cars up there this past May long weekend They clearly made it just fine but I personally wouldn't want to drive up there in anything less than a high clearance 4WD.

                                            There is tons of snow, starting about halfway up. It's melting pretty quickly and we were postholing waist deep in areas. Some of the creek crossings are also getting weird with high/fast water levels and snow bridges. Be careful of avalanches as there are a few significant avalanche slopes.

                                              Posted: May 25, 2017 03:05:04 PM PST


                                              Emma from Chilliwack writes:

                                              Thank you, Scott!! I really appreciate the reply :) If I'm reading this right, you do need a 4x4 to get up there?

                                                Posted: May 22, 2017 06:46:04 PM PST


                                                Scott from Vancouver writes:

                                                Emma,

                                                I haven't been up there, but there is currently still decent amounts of snow up in the 1200m - 1400m elevations. I'm looking to do this hike sometime in June or July this year.

                                                  Posted: May 22, 2017 12:20:35 AM PST


                                                  Emma from Chilliwack writes:

                                                  Do you think there would be snow up there in May?

                                                    Posted: May 21, 2017 10:10:50 PM PST


                                                    Greg from North Vancouver writes:

                                                    Did this hike August 2016, and I liked it a lot. Wasn't too easy finding the trail as I believe it changed, but we managed to make it all the way up. We had to go all the way to the end of the logging road until we couldn't go any further as there was a closed gate. While not too bad, there were some spots where it got a little rough. The hike was pretty tough, with 2 boulder fields to cross and several ups and downs with technical terrain. I think it took us roughly 7 hours round trip, and we were actually keeping a respectable pace. Some of the sections remind me of Hanes Valley, and there is tons to see along the way, including some panoramic vies of Squamish Valley. The actual lake is gorgeous, with a huge rockface looming over you, and it's well worth the trip. Very quiet compared to most glacial lakes (Joffre or Wedgemount), and the trail is much less beaten up. A unique hike that will feel more like an adventure and less like a tourist attraction, very cool!

                                                      Posted: May 12, 2017 06:37:49 PM PST


                                                      Gemma Coughlan from Vancouver writes:

                                                      In the winter, snow covers the road which makes it hard to find the trailhead. We parked at around 15.5km, which means walking to the candy cane shaped air vent/pipe. At the pipe, take the left fork and continue for 4km. You'll go over at least two bridges and past at least one more candy cane air vent. Apparently the trailhead is well marked after 4km.

                                                        Posted: April 14, 2017 06:31:45 PM PST


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