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Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
January 3, 2019: Stay off the ice
Please note, frozen lakes are extremely dangerous and ice thickness is not monitored. Our recommendation is to stay off the ice. Should you choose to proceed onto the lake, this is at your own risk. If you would like more information on the dangers of ice, please visit: Canadian Red Cross: Ice Safety.
December 12, 2018: High snow levels
Due to snow levels, the park gate is now closed for the winter season.
June 12, 2018: Birkenhead Lake Trail (Sockeye Trail) and Wilderness Trail (Lakeside Trail)
Winter storms have caused significant washouts on both trails. Route finding may be challenging in some areas. Mountain Biking is not possible on the trails at this time. Please exercise caution when using the trails.
Volunteer Host Opportunity
Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park offers volunteer host opportunities.
About This Park
Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park was first established in 1963 to provide lakeside camping and other recreation experiences for travellers between Whistler and Lillooet. The park was expanded in 1996 from 3,642 hectares to 9,755 hectares, adding significant conservation values of the Sockeye Creek watershed. The park was again expanded by 684 hectares in 2008 to include more of the alpine headwaters of the western side of the Sockeye Creek watershed.
The park protects important habitat for a variety of wildlife, including spotted owls, mountain goats, black bears and grizzly bears. Old growth forests, subalpine and alpine environments, large and small lakes all contribute to the park’s diversity.
Established Date: October 10, 1963
Park Size: 10,439 hectares
Know Before You Go
Bear Safety Advisory
Bears are very active in this park. Please read the bear safety information.
Please note: Quiet hours are 10 pm to 7 am
Music, generators, etc. must be shut off completely between these hours.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Activities Available at this Park
Bicycles must keep to roadways and designated mountain bike trails.
Birkenhead Lake Trail: The 8-kilometre gravel trail to Birkenhead Lake Estates at the south end of the lake joins up with Birkenhead Road and Tenas Valley logging road. This trail is used by both hikers and cyclists.
Caution: There may also be horseback riding on the west half of the Birkenhead Lake trail up to Sockeye Creek.
Good fishing for Kokanee and Rainbow Trout. There are no Dolly Varden in Birkenhead Lake.
Please note: fishing regulations require anglers to release all Bull Trout caught. Bull Trout are on the endangered species list. Some anglers have mistaken the Bull Trout species for a Dolly Varden. Since the Bull Trout species has suffered, there is currently a recovery program in place and the park is requesting the public's assistance. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Caution: The lakeside Wilderness Trail and the Birkenhead Lake Trail: approximately 1.0 km from the trail head at the parking lot, both of these trails cross a 50 metre section of a rock debris avalanche path. Trail users must use caution when crossing over loose rock rubble and may be required to ford the stream. Crossings should be avoided during periods of prolonged, heavy rain.
Wilderness Trail: A 2-kilometre hiking trail through old growth forest leads to a flat, treed area with views of the mountains across the lake and views back of the day use area beaches. A short section connects with the Birkenhead Lake Trail, allowing for a longer hike or a loop back to the trailhead.
Birkenhead Lake Trail: The 8-kilometre trail to Birkenhead Lake Estates at the south end of the lake joins up with Birkenhead Road and Tenas Valley logging road. This trail is used by both hikers and cyclists. There may also be horseback riding on the west half of the Birkenhead Lake trail up to Sockeye Creek. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on this trail.
Goat Lookout Trail: This 1-kilometre trail on the south side of the valley is a bit rough and steep in places, but offers a view of the lake at it’s end and in the spring and fall mountain goats may be seen on the cliffs above the campground. Cautionary Note: During the spring snow melt (April - June), Phelix Creek water levels rise and may crest the log bridge approximately 100 metres from the start of the trail. High water conditions may require temporary seasonal closure of the trail. Best you otherwise hike the trail in the mornings during May and June.
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle accessible campsites, 7 of which are double sites. There are no pull through sites. There is room for a maximum of 2 vehicles per site (extra vehicle fee applies). No extra parking is available. There is no gatehouse. There is a locked gate in the off season, generally from late October to early May, however you may still hike in and camp. There are no facilities or services available, and no fees, in the off season. A sani-station is available and operational only during the full service camping season.
If there is no staff available to direct you to a site, check the reservation board at the park entrance, then choose a site with no reservation or camping receipt posted at the campsite. Staff will come around to collect fees. The closest store is D’Arcy approximately 22 kilometres on the Pemberton Portage Road. The nearest pay phone is also in D’Arcy. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.