Cathedral Provincial Park — Off the Beaten Path
Cathedral isn’t your conventional camping trip, this is both a challenging and rewarding experience! This glorious Provincial Park is chock-full of stunning 360-degree vistas, sapphire glacier lakes, rugged mountain peaks, and untamed wildlife & ecology. Climb the highest peaks, make friendly with the resident mountain goats, and take a dip in a glacier lake all in a matter of hours. At the end of the day gather at the lodge for a brew and some laughter, or cozy up beside your fire and share stories with friends old and new.
Top 10 Yodel-worthy Experiences at Cathedral Provincial Park
- Canoe the turquoise Queniscoe, Ladyslipper, Lake of the Woods, Scout, Pyramid, Glacier Lakes
- Count the stars in the sky from your wilderness campsite
- Grab hold and lift, climbing the rock walls of Grimface, the Matriarch and Macabre Towers
- Drop your lure, angling for rainbow and cutthroat trout or picnic beside sun dappled lakes
- Hike for a day, a week or longer, from gentle walks to alpine hikes to scaling mountain cliffs; there are more than 100 kilometres of alpine wilderness to explore
- Explore your artistic inklings with photography at Cathedral Lakes Lodge
- The starting point of the Fat Dog 100 relay race, test your mettle against elite athletes
- Marvel at mountain goats, marmots and rare Arctic Ptarmigan; wildlife viewing is up-close and personal up here
- Saddle up for a pack-trip to Twin Buttes and Haystack Lakes
- Pat yourself on the back after summiting Smokey the Bear and Stone City
View Cathedral Lakes Location Map
Journey to the top
Your journey begins by taking Ashnola Road, just outside of Keremeos. Follow signs that direct you towards Cathedral Lakes Lodge Base Camp for about 22 km (13.7 mi). After reaching base camp, most hikers choose to ride the Unimog into the core of Cathedral Lakes (seat reservations necessary). This vehicle is heavy-duty and might make you feel like you’re apart of an infantry unit in WW2. This beast will climb 1300 m (4265 ft) in just under an hour, an awesome experience unto itself. Hikers do have the option to hike in, and though it is a wonderfully beautiful hike, it is not for the faint of heart. The hike from base camp is 16 km (10 mi) including the incline previously mentioned. It takes an extra day, so weigh your options wisely.
A Peak Experience
Your nearly off-road adventure delivers you to Quiniscoe Lake. It’s an alpine Shangri La at 2072 m (6800 ft). Breathe in the mountain air; old growth forests surround you. While you’re here you’ll be sharing this magical place with mule deer, mountain goats, the rare Arctic Ptarmigan and California Bighorn Sheep. Even on the hottest summer day it’s cool up here. It is perfect for hiking alpine ridges smoothed by the last Ice Age. These trails were made for nearly to extremely fit hikers. Start your morning hiking well-marked trails, carpeted with pine needles. Your hike leads you to breathtaking vistas of cascading waterfalls and alpine meadows blooming with lupine and mountain heather.
A resident herd of mountain goats may very well welcome you to Lake of the Woods campsite, one of three limited service sites in the park. As you settle in for the night, make sure you unzip your tent flap. While you look out at your rustic surrounding, you may catch sight of rainbow trout jumping in the jewel-toned lake, just begging you to drop in a line.
For something a bit less back-country, but no less rustic, plan to stay at Cathedral Lakes Lodge. It is the highest elevation full service hiking and fishing lodge in all of Canada. No matter where you stay, one thing is certain, the memories and friendships you’ll make along the way will stay with you, like the winsome call of the loon serenading you to sleep.