coastal british columbia  

Brigade Lake trail  
- guide & photos by Jordan Worrall  

Brigade Lake trail - Photo:Jordan Worrall

Brigade Lake trail 49.270745, -125.279202
The perfect overnight adventure 3-4 hours up, 2-3 hours down.

Brigade Lake trail - Tom Thumb Fly - Photo:Jordan Worrall
Tom Thumb Fly
Brigade Lake trail - Staircases - Photo:Jordan Worrall

The quick and dirty:
Drive west on Hwy 4 to Tofino. You will pass Sproat Lake which turns into the Taylor river. After the Taylor River Bridge, take your first left up a gravel logging road for about 500m. Next, take your first sharp right and drive up to the end of the road for about 1km. You will find big boulders blocking the road. Here you can park and find the trailhead. Four-wheel drive is helpful.

First of all learn from our mistakes: Donít go looking for the trailhead in the dark. If you step on mud wasp nest RUN! Donít forget mosquito repellent as some of the boggy areas around the lake were buzzing with them.

Brigade Lake trail - Trailhead - Photo:Jordan Worrall
Brigade Lake trail - Pond - Photo:Jordan Worrall
Brigade Lake trail - Flower - Photo:Jordan Worrall
Brigade Lake trail - Crew

What to expect:
Brigade Lake is a gorgeous spot in the mountains with some great fishing spots, camping under the stars and swimming in a refreshing lake. We did this hike in September on a clear sunny weekend. We drove to the trailhead at night so we could wake up in the morning and get an early start. The morning air was cold but as soon as we hit the stairs we were just fine. The hike up took us about 3-4 hours, straight up stairs for the first half and through needle covered switchbacks for the second half. Elevation is about 900m. A few squirrels and stellar jays followed us along the walk. With packs on our backs, the pace was much slower but worthwhile to spend the night and watch the moon rise. For a hike in the old growth woods, there were an awful lot of man made stairs. We marveled at the trailblazers who managed to build stairs so far up the mountain. Once you reach the ridge, you will head down to the lake where there are small spots to set up camp. We managed to fit 2 small tents to accommodate the four of us. On site, we explored the other trails leading up to Mt. Klitsa and some fishing holes that proved successful! The water was gorgeous and there is a nice slippery rock to slide down. Bring swimming gear! As night falls, prepare for the cold but watch for the moon to light up Mt .Klitsa, itís stupendous. The walk down was much faster, especially after Lonny stepped in a mud wasp nest.

Brigade Lake trail - Jordans Fish

Brigade Lake trail - Jordan and Lonny Swimming

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