Cathedral Provincial Park

Hiking

The park has many well-defined hiking trails and a number of cross-country routes. These routes are marked but not well-defined and should only be attempted by experienced, well-equipped hikers with map-reading and orienteering skills.

Trails Into the Core Area

Lakeview Trail Head to Core Area: This 16-km trail, which includes an elevation change of 1,300 metres, takes 6-8 hours. The trailhead is at 13 km on the Ashnola Forest Service Road, 23 km from Highway 3.. Lakeview Trail is the most direct route into the core area though it is still considered difficult.

Wall Creek Trail Head to Core Area: At 20 km and an elevation change of 1,100 metres, this trail takes 7-9 hours. The trailhead is at 38 km on the Ashnola Forest Service Road, 48 km from Highway 3. A footbridge crosses the river. The footbridge is visible from the road crossing the Ashnola River. This scenic trail follows the creek up through open parkland forest and into Red Mountain Meadows.

Ewart Creek Trail Head to Core Area: This trail is 28 km in length and boasts an elevation change of 1,740 metres; hikers can complete it in 10-12 hours, but many people turn it into an overnighter by camping at Twin Buttes en route. The trailhead is located at the confluence of Ewart Creek and the Ashnola River: follow the Ashnola Forest Service Road roughly 6 km then turn left onto Ewart Creek Road (a wooden Cathedral Lakes Lodge sign is posted at the corner) and cross the Ashnola River bridge onto a single vehicle road that follows the southside of the Ashnola River past private cottages for 3 km until it reaches Ewart Creek Trailhead. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead as well as an information shelter and horse corral. This is the most challenging trail into the Core Area. The first section of the trail is also used by horses accessing Snowy Protected Area. Please respect these other users.

Trails Within the Core Area

Lake is the hub from which trails and routes radiate to most of the park's scenic attractions. The approximate hiking times for the trips listed below are for a round-trip. Most of these trails are well-defined and some have improved walking surfaces. Distances, elevation changes and walking times are all approximate. Please stay on designated trails. Short-cutting and stepping off trail to avoid wet areas increases erosion and destroys plant life and soil structure. Due to the short growing season, these impacts take years to rehabilitate.

Quiniscoe Lake Trail: Length, 2 km. Suggested hiking time, 30 minutes. An easy walk around the lake that passes a small waterfall.

Quiniscoe/Lake of the Woods/Pyramid Loop Trail: Length, 2 km. Suggested hiking time, 1 hour. 30 metre elevation change. Walking surface is improved to hard-packed dirt, crowned to drain moisture and roughly three feet wide. Milled lumber bridges and boardwalk are in place over creeks and wet areas.

Quiniscoe Lake to Lake of the Woods: Length, 1 km. Suggesting hiking time, 30 minutes, 30 metre elevation change.

Quiniscoe Lake to Pyramid Lake: Length, 1 km. Suggested hiking time, 30 minutes. Minimal elevation change.

Scout Lake Trail: Length, 3 km. Suggested hiking time, 1 hour. Elevation change, 60 metres. A short detour from the Diamond Trail takes hikers to this small lake.

Diamond Trail around Scout Mountain: Length, 8 km. Suggested hiking time, 4 hours. Elevation change, 250 metres. The trail winds up through clusters of beautiful flowers and rock bluffs as well as a small rock glacier where the rocks are slowly moving and pushing into the soil. The Diamond Trail offers the best views of the Ashnola Corridor.

Red Mountain via Glacier Lake Trail to Centennial Trail: Length 10 km. Suggested hiking time 6 hours. Elevation change 250 metres. This trail provides some of the best views in the park as hikers scramble up through the open, mossy alpine. Hiking to the peak of Red Mountain is not recommended for inexperience hikers.

Glacier Lake Trail: Length, 3 km. Suggested hiking time, 90 minutes. Elevation change, 200 metres. This trail is the quickest way into the alpine and fairly steep. It is also one of the main access routes to the Rim Trail.

Quiniscoe Mountain via Glacier Lake Route: Length, 8 km. Suggested hiking time, 5 hours. Elevation change, 500 metres. Above Glacier Lake, this is a fairly easy well marked route. The plaque atop the mountain is a positional marker once used to aid in mapping the area.

Stone City and Giant Cleft via Glacier Lake Routes: Length, 12 km. Suggested hiking time, 7-8 hours. Elevation change, 500 metres. “Stone City” is a quartz monzonite formation eroded by the action of wind over the millennia. The “Giant Cleft” was formed when softer basalt rocks eroded, leaving a split in the granite.

Ladyslipper Lake Trail: Length, 7 km. Suggested hiking time, 3 hours. Elevation change, 200 metres. The trail winds up through larch and spruce trees offering great views of Grimface, the Matriarch and Macabre Tower. Ladyslipper is the best spot for fishing.

Goat Lakes Trail: Length, 10 km. Suggested hiking time, 4-5 hours. Elevation change, 150 metres. This trail stays in the valley bottom, following the outlet creek through wetlands and riparian vegetation, making it a good choice for days when the weather is poor.

Lakeview Mountain Trail: Length, 12 km. Suggested hiking time, 7-10 hours. Elevation change, 600 metres. Lakeview Mountain is the highest point in the park and, therefore, offers panoramic views of the park and neighboring Snowy Protected Area.

In addition to the above hiking trails there are a number of cross-country routes. These routes are unmarked and should only be attempted by experienced, well-equipped hikers with map-reading and orienteering skills.

Return to Cathedral Provincial Park.