Friday, January 2, 2009

Cathedral Lake Lodge

Near Keremeos, which is in the valley bottom on the Similkameen River.

The "camp" and Cathedral Lodge is high, high, high up.

You may have heard about Cathedral, obviously you have, why else would you be going.  Its not like the Rockies (Canadian) where 86% of the visitors barely get out of their vehicles to go for a hike.  They just want to drive through the park, and see its wide valleys to get the views.  14%, make the extra effort, ....... planned effort, and head out for places like Sentinel Pass and leave Morraine Lake or Lake Louise far below.

Ah yes, Sentinel Pass, we did that from the Morraine Lake side and then having made the long climb up, decided NOT to return by the same route.   We went down the opposite side, which was much longer, much more enjoyable (fewer people).  All that was needed later was to catch a ride back up to Morraine Lake where we had left our car.

Cathedral is different, thankfully, because its not a Must see Lake Louise tourist destination, yet.

From Keremeos and the Similkameen Valley, Cathedral's hiking area is not visible at all, and once you're up there, all of the nearby valleys look the same.    Closest thing to Cathedral, not in location, but in sheer enjoyment, is Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park, right on the western side of the Continental Divide.   O'Hara offers the same two options of getting into the hiking area, by School Bus or hiking, and like Cathedral, stay off of the Road, walk on the hiking trail (which is more difficult and delays, delays, delays....).  My advice, don't waste your time by hiking.  You're going to need every ounce of stamina, and strength, to enjoy the day(s) ahead of you, with of course, relaxing at night as well.


Everyone starts from the same location, the parking lot.   We took the Private four-wheel-drive method, rough ride, not paved, its four wheel territory.  Keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle, the trees are that close to the "road".   And you will get to know your neighbour on the seats!

Still thinking of hiking?   Stay on the trail, don't even think about using the "road".............. and if one or two of your group IS taking the trucks, give them the heavier packs!

Accommodations and Brochures

The Lodge and the Cabins;   electricity (generated on site), beds, wood stoves if needed, FOOD cooked by someone else, sandwiches too for the day hike.  Canoe on THE Lake ..... which is NOT called "Cathedral", its higher up.  Quiniscoe Lake is where the "accommodation" areas are.    The Lodge and the Cabins, along with the Public tenting area, are on Quiniscoe Lake.... and once there, don't forget to ask where the helicopter landing areas are.... NO!!!!  they're not to be used as a short cut In and Out (unless.......)

Don't even think you can buy a flight in or out.   The helicopters are only brought in in an emergency, like forest fire or some other disaster.    There is a "However Clause".

With the exception of winter helicopter and/or snowmobile access to the Resort, and the summer transport service, there will be no mechanized support allowed for commercial recreation use of the Park.  (Page 51)

In 2008, there was a working hot tub, in the Lodge......   its 2012, and hot tub is working just fine and you can thank the Pine Beetle for that luxury.  NB: 2014: no mention of the hot tub, but here are the going Rates....          Contact        &   Mail Too

The Map   at the top of this POST.

Yellow solid line is the Canada - USA border

Yellow PINS are on Hiking trails, it's difficult to say where it really becomes steeper, therefore I didn't mark it on my GPS, but from before #59, its definitely steeper, like in a forty-five degree angle with left and right sides of the spine dropping off steeper than forty-five degrees.  Plenty of rocks to stop you from tumbling.    Breathe......breathe..... the hike is well worth the effort, and if the weather holds, the view is Fantastic, it was for us in September of 2008.

Cathedral Lake Lodge is within Cathedral Park Provincial Park

Here are the Trails and the then "current" conditions for September 18, 2008

Not all trails go straight up, some go DOWN first then STRAIGHT up...... just remember that when planning your return hike.   Typically we saw more people at the Lodge at Supper time than we saw on the trail, which might sound right, but there's a lot of campers at the Lake too.  30 campsites

Sections of the Quiniscoe Lake Campground will be closed for re-construction in 2012, please check back to this website for updated closure information. Lake of the Woods campground will be used as the alternate location for camping when campsites at Quiniscoe Lake are not available.  SOURCE

Once 2012 is over and done with, and left time to Vote in the Provincial Election:

Quiniscoe Lake has 30 sites designated by number posts. The sites are spread out along the southern shore of the lake amongst Engelmann spruce, Lyall's larch and Sub-alpine fir. Boulders and rock outcroppings are strewn about the area, evidence of the area's glacial history. The sites feature framed earth tent pads to minimize the impacts of camping by keeping people in designated areas. The sites are grouped together in clusters of three or four in order to share the 12 picnic tables and 13 fire rings. There are four pit toilets in the campground, one is near the lodge access road, a second is behind the ranger cabin between sites 4 and 7 and the other two are further along the lake beside the trail to sites 21-25. A firewood corral is located near the lodge access road approximately 100m from the campsites. Campers are reminded to conserve firewood. There are four wire mesh food caches on the ground to protect supplies from rodents and birds. They are not bear proof.  SOURCE

The information above, and a map of the area, I photographed to have IN my camera, for use later on.  And yes I have several Back up Batteries as well.
"They", those at the Lodge, said that you wouldn't even have to stand on your tiptoes to see Mount Baker from Scout Mountain, which was true, however, I found that once home, with the use of Google Earth,  I did manage to plant a pole on top of the American focal point.

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