Paint Lake Trail

Rating: 4 Stars.

Use: ATV, Biking.

Difficulty: Difficult. (mostly due to access)

Distance: 14.4 km return bike from parking to trailhead. 22 km return from parking to Paint Lake. 

Description: A classic example of one of our great trails that have been lost. Even fifteen years ago it would have been possible to drive right to the trailhead. Not any longer. This is  a great mountain bike trail ride. Recently it has been mainly used by ATV’s. I tried driving to this trailhead two years ago. After severely scratching up the paint on my truck, I eventually got stopped by a small creek washout. Since I had my wife and two year old toddler with me, that was the end of our day. I plan to go back this year with a mountain bike. I have flown over this area many times and can assure you this is worth the effort for those interested. A little bit of biking through some overgrown logging roads and you will get yourself to subalpine where you will be able to enjoy a 4 km bike through spectacular scenery. One more thought… a traverse from here over to the Lakes of Monashee Provincial Park would be relatively easy. Doing so would allow a complete traverse of the Monashee Mountains east to west ending up coming out the Spectrum River trails. Do it… before I do. See the Traverse section for more details.

Directions: Drive south of Revelstoke on Highway 23. Just before the Shelter Bay ferry landing turn right onto the Shelter Bay FSR. Follow this, paralleling the Arrow Lakes. 16.4 km from the Shelter Bay turnoff turn left onto the Paint Lake road. From here it is another 10.8 km to the Parking area. Driving past this point will not get you much further. Better to get on the bikes from here. 

Trailhead GPS:

  1. Shelter Bay FSR: N50 40.293 W118 06.939
  2. Paint Lake road turnoff: N50 31.076 W117 57.391
  3. Paint Lake Parking: N50 27.793 W118 00.770
  4. Paint Lake Trailhead: N50 27.637 W118 03.450
  5. Paint Lake: N50 27.529 W118 06.154

Useful Maps: Backroad Mapbook (the accuracy of active roads is not up to date)

MOF Paint & Empress Lakes Trail Description PDF

MOF Paint & Empress Lakes Trail Map PDF

Paint Lake Trail Overview Map PDF

Paint Lake Trail Detail Map PDF

Paint Lake Trail KML file on Dropbox

The Paint Lake trailhead. In need of some maintenance? Michael Watson Collection.
The Paint Lake trailhead. In need of some maintenance? Michael Watson Collection.
Wildflowers. Enroute Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Wildflowers enroute Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Unamed Lake enroute Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Unamed Lake enroute Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Paint Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
Returning from Paint Lake. Lower Last light above lower Arrow Lakes. Michael Watson Collection.
Returning from Paint Lake. Last light above lower Arrow Lake. Michael Watson Collection.
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Riding Paint Lake Trail. Alex Cooper Collection.
1240225_10153156201350203_983960813_n
Paint Lake. Alex Cooper Collection.

One thought on “Paint Lake Trail

  1. Having biked this trail last year, I have to say it’s not really worth it. Paint Lake is beautiful, but the old road up there is overgrown in spots, with the bushes creeping right across the middle. You’ll be bashing through the brush up and down. I would rate the trail 1 star, and the destination 4 stars.

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