English Lake Provincial Park access via Mount Macpherson West Approach Trail

Rating: 5 stars.

Use: Hiking.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Distance: 3 km one way to English Lake.

Description: Other than hiring a helicopter to land you just outside the park, this is the best option for getting into English Lake Provincial Park. A newly reconstructed bridge over English Creek and a recently brushed access road to the power lines (thanks to BC Hydro) puts this hike back on the books! The access trail is old and overgrown (rumoured to have been put in by the Vernon Outdoors Club 25 years ago) but will save you a bushwhack. From English Lake it is easy walking in any direction. Whether it is to the summit of Mount Macpherson, the summit of Mount Tilley or just a couple of days camping at Tilley Lakes this is a fantastic route. An alpine traverse over to Mount Begbie and down the Begbie Trail would also make for an excellent few days. See the corresponding section of this website for the various options. 

Directions: Drive west of Revelstoke on Highway 1. Just before the 3 Valley Gap ‘Resort’ hang a left onto the Three Valley – Victor FSR. Drive for 2.6 km on this road until you come to a Y. Take the  left hand road (100 Road) that leads into the English Creek drainage. Here you will cross the recently rebuilt English Bridge and head up the recently brushed access road. Once under the power lines look for the parking spot marked by a rock cairn and proceed through the old cut block to the trailhead. The trail is non-existent through the cut block so make your way through it wherever it seems easiest. Once at the edge of the timber edge locate the trailhead. Follow the overgrown trail that leads up the drainage to the small lake (where the trail ends) and onto the boulder gully that leads to the col. From the col it is a half a kilometre descent to English Lake. 

Trailhead GPS:

  1. Three Valley – Victor FSR: N50 56.202 W118 25.939
  2. English Bridge: N50 56.693 W118 23.191
  3. English Lake Parking: N50 56.566 W118 20.752
  4. English Lake Trailhead: N50 56.409 W118 20.672
  5. Small Lake at the trail end: N50 55.892 W118 20.503
  6. English lake Col: N50 55.496 W118 20.204
  7. English Lake: N50 55.106 W118 19.990

Useful Maps:

English Lake Provincial Park via Macpherson West Approach Trail Garmin BaseCamp overview map PDF

English Lake Provincial Park via Macpherson West Approach Trail Garmin BaseCamp detail map PDF

Mount Macpherson summit via Macpherson West Approach Trail Garmin BaseCamp detail map PDF

The start of the trail. Punch the waypoint into your GPS and look for this tree. Even when you are at the tree the trail isn’t obvious. Look for the orange ribbon, hop over the blowdown and pick up the old trail. Ben Wilkey Collection.
July Wilkey heads up the overgrown trail. A little bit bushy but still better than a full on bushwhack. Ben Wilkey Collection.
The boulder gully beyond the end of the trail. From here it is an easy hike to the col. Ben Wilkey Collection.
Above the col looking down at English Lake. Ben Wilkey Collection.

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