Callaghan Lake RatingCallaghan Lake Provincial Park is a relatively untouched wilderness of rugged mountainous terrain. The valley walls were formed by relatively recent glaciation. Evidence of this can be seen in the considerable glacial till and slide materials visible across the lake. Around the lake you will see talus slopes, flat rock benches, cirques, hanging valleys, tarns, waterfalls and upland plateaus with bogs.

  • Beautiful drive through Callaghan Valley
  • Drive right to free campsites & lake shore
  • Beautiful mountain lake in deep wilderness
  • Lots of secluded places to paddle to
  • Cirque Lake trail starts at the far end of the lake
  • The Callaghan Valley is relatively serene
  • Plenty of exploring if you have a boat
  • Snow often blocks access road into June
  • No marked hiking trails around the lake
  • Campground is notorious for loud parties

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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The wildlife that reside in the area include bobcats, cougars, coyotes, minks, wolverines, wolves, bears, deer, mountain goats and occasionally moose and grizzly bears.  Callaghan Lake is not really a hiking destination but more of a drive to campsite on a beautiful lake, and gateway to some beautiful intermediate hikes.  The campsite is small and looks a bit like a parking lot with about a dozen spots to put up a tent near your vehicle. There is a small boat launch at the campsite and the lake is large and beautiful to paddle. Surrounded by snowy mountains and nice rock outcrops the lake is good for fishing.  The hiking trails are minimal here due to the steepness and deep forest surrounding the lake. From the main parking area some short trails extend in either direction.  The trails to the left go for just a few dozen metres before ending at the lake and river outflow. The trail in the other direction(right if facing the lake from the parking area), takes you around the bottom of the lake and quickly fades into a bit of a bushwhacking route. You can, if you are determined, follow this route around the right side of the lake to its top end and connect to the Cirque Lake trail. The bushwhacking is not that bad and you can stay within sight of the lake the entire time.

Callaghan Park Map v8

 Callaghan Lake Parking and Campsite

Callaghan Lake Parking and Campsite

Callaghan Lake Short Lakeside Trail

Callaghan Lake Short Trail to Lake

Callaghan Lake Trail View

Callaghan Lake Trail View

Callaghan Lake Campsite View

Callaghan Lake Campsite View

Amazing Callaghan Lake Tent View

Amazing Callaghan Lake Tent View

More Great Hiking Around Callaghan Lake

Hiking Near Callaghan LakeThe Callaghan Valley lays quietly across from Whistler despite being home to some incredible hikes. Ring & Conflict Lake and Cirque Lake are two phenomenal hiking destinations in the valley that few people have even heard of.  Cirque Lake resides high above Callaghan Lake at the end of a very steep, though very short hike that runs startlingly close to the almost vertical falls that empty Cirque LakeRing & Conflict Lake sit high up in the mountains 10k west of Callaghan Lake.  You will never, or at least comparatively rarely see anyone on the trails to Cirque Lake, Ring & Conflict Lake for several reasons.  First is location.  Despite the Callaghan Valley being tremendously beautiful geographically.  The distant mountains are snow covered, even in September.  The lakes are emerald coloured and crystal clear.  The forests are an untouched blanket of beautiful green.  The creeks, rivers and waterfalls are everywhere in your view or if not in view, heard as distant sounds of running water.  Despite this beauty, it seems that the biggest reason for the Callaghan Valley's lack of use as a hiking destination is its location next to Garibaldi Park.  The beautiful and well known park focuses all the throngs of hikers in the justifiably popular areas of Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk, Taylor Meadows, Wedgemount Lake and Elfin Lakes.  Laying outside the monstrously famous Garibaldi Park exists the relatively untouched and unknown Callaghan Valley.  The second big reason of course is that the hikes in the Callaghan Valley are unmaintained or at least rarely maintained.  The campsite at Callaghan Lake is maintained to a very high standard, however the trail to Cirque Lake evidently doesn't fall into any park jurisdiction and finding the unmarked trailhead is a challenge.  There are flagging tapes along the trail after the trailhead.  The third reason, at least for Cirque Lake, for being hardly hiked is the fact that the unmarked trailhead starts at the far end of Callaghan Lake.  So you need to canoe or otherwise, boat there.  This added impediment surely contributes to this wonderful trail, continuing to be infrequently hiked.  The fourth, more practical, yet inexplicable reason is that the road to Callaghan Lake Provincial Park is horribly unmaintained.  Obviously grading this poor logging road is expensive, however it is beyond neglected. Boulders, waterbars and potholes exist on this road to such a high degree that the neglect seems malicious. In fact, the moment you leave the paved road and get on the Callaghan Lake FSR, the monstrous potholes begin, presumably scaring away any 4x4 lacking tourists.

Callaghan Valley Map v11a

Callaghan Lake Continued...

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