View four lakes on a single hike | Squamish Chief

View four lakes on a single hike

Four Lakes Trail is one of many popular paths in Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park was established November 1956 and is open year round. The 411-hectare park has been a popular picnic and swim area for local residents since 1890 and has a history of soothing the pains of hard-working people. 

On the Four Lakes Trail, the warm freshwater lakes are conveniently spaced along the eight-kilometre path. Through the park, hiking, biking, swimming, paddling, camping and relaxing are the main activities. Motorized boats are not permitted on any of the lakes. Sea to Sky Park Services, on behalf of BC Parks, operates the park.

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The campground makes an excellent base for a weekend of biking and hiking, but reservations are recommended, as this is one of the most popular parks in the province. 

Access to the many and varied trails to the east, north and south in Garibaldi Highlands and Garibaldi Provincial Park is an easy trip up the Alice Ridge Forest Service Road. Going west will take you to our early version of the Grouse Grind up to the top of DeBeck’s hill. You will break a sweat on the three kilometres with a gain of 280 metres as you pass the old donkey engine, which was last used in 1970. 

There are 10 trails leading in many directions, so best follow the signage. There are many trail users around, and the friendly parks staff is never far away. 

At the northwest edge of Alice Lake is the signed Swamp Lantern Nature Trail. This interpretive loop explains the wetlands and the role of the swamp lantern plant – better known as skunk cabbage – in providing fresh nourishment for bears just out of hibernation.

The four lakes are: Alice, Edith (named in 1889 after the wife of Henry Judd, an original pioneer), Stump (with logging remnants from Merrill and Ring Company from the 1920s) and Fawn (where young deer were sighted).

The lake’s name in the Squamish native language is translated as “the place where deer gather.”

This is also bear, cougar, bobcat and coyote country. Do not let your pet roam free; a scared pet will lead an annoyed wild animal back to you and your children. Avoid the Cheekye River area during salmon spawns because the wildlife will be protecting their meal. Securely lock away all food and attractants, because bears will be put down when they become repeat offenders. People who have left food unattended have been evicted from the park.

The four lakes are stocked with trout but are not to be fished during the swimming season, mid-May to September.

Dryden Creek flows south around the west side of DeBeck Hill, and the Wonderland Trail follows this watercourse to Depot Road. Hop Ranch Creek flows south from the south end of Alice Lake, and Jacks Trail follows this watercourse to Tantalus Road. 

The Cheema development of the northern part of Garibaldi Highlands above Pia Crescent is due to start in the near future. The building of roads for this new subdivision will cause some changes to the southern parts of a few of the trails originating in Alice Lake park. The developers are keen to maintain trail connectivity, but there will be interruptions once construction gets underway. 

Alice Lake is family oriented and provides easy, relaxing recreation. 

Map provided by www.trailmapps.com.

Alice Lake 

Our most popular provincial park is a destination for families, campers and bikers from all over the Pacific northwest.

Origin of name:Alice, the wife of Charles Rose, who managed the Hop Ranch from 1894 to 1914, was the first white woman to see the lake in 1888.

Trailhead:Next to the parking lot of the provincial park.

Use: Double-track, hiking and biking.

Difficulty:Green (easy) and some blue.

Elevation: 160 to 340 metres.

Etiquette: Group hikers should take no more than half the trail width.

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