Mortar and Pestle Lakes

Marysville, British Columbia

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This little niche of wilderness is so far off the beaten track, it doesn’t even have an official trail in its 22,650 acres. Hikers who visit St. Mary’s Alpine Provincial Park can do it their way over the granite boulders and through the alpine larch, which ignite to brilliant gold in late September. This hike into two of the park’s 30-some lakes is the gentlest possible introduction. Weak ankles? Be careful. The trail, such as it is, heads uphill, gaining 1,300 feet in about 1 mile, depending on where the access to the trailhead develops. Hikers have worked together in the past, hanging a little surveyor’s tape or building a cairn when necessary. The trail tops out near a ridge, which is the park boundary.
100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest

by Rich Landers & Spokane Mountaineers (The Mountaineers Books)

This little niche of wilderness is so far off the beaten track, it doesn’t even have an official trail in its 22,650 acres. Hikers who visit St. Mary’s Alpine Provincial Park can do it their way over the granite boulders and through the alpine larch, which ignite to brilliant gold in late September. This hike into two of the park’s 30-some lakes is the gentlest possible introduction. Weak ankles? Be careful.

The trail, such as it is, heads uphill, gaining 1,300 feet in about 1 mile, depending on where the access to the trailhead develops. Hikers have worked together in the past, hanging a little surveyor’s tape or building a cairn when necessary. The trail tops out near a ridge, which is the park boundary.

©  Rich Landers & Spokane Mountaineers/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Marysville
Distance: 5.4
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 4 to 6 hours or overnight
Season: Mid-July through early October
Trailhead Elevation: 5,600 feet
Top Elevation: 7,950 feet
Local Contacts: Kootenay Regional Parks, Cranbrook Office
Local Maps: Dewar Creek 82 F/16
Driving Directions: Directions to Mortar & Pestle Lakes

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May 2018