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Access: From Campbell River take Highway 28 north east to the NVI mine site, once crossing the Buttle Lake Narrows turn left on the first and obvious gravel road. From town, 1 hour 45 minutes – 103 kilometres.
Distance/Time: 6 kilometres. Usually it only takes 3.5 hours to get to Big Bedwell Lake, however on this day there were a number of challenges due to the snow, so it took us almost 3 hours to get to Baby Bedwell, which is before Big Bedwell and we chose not to go further. Overall it took us 5.5 hours as descending was fairly quick, however that is not normal, the trail conditions in the summer months would bring this timing way down.
Difficulty: At this time of year, due to the snow conditions I would call this strenuous. in the summer I would rate it as a moderate hike with some elevation gain.
Elevation: 550 metres
Condition: The trail is in reasonable condition, where we actually had a trail. About 1/2 of it was snow covered.
Video: Watch the video to see the diversity of the trail conditions.
Our story on the Bedwell Lake Hiking Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park – A Spring Hike:
The Bedwell Lake Hiking Trail delivers you to a region that contains a cornucopia of possibilities for day hiking or mountain climbing. Take your pick. Cream Lake, Mt Tom Taylor, Big Interior, Septimus, Nine Peaks, and more if you are more adventurous.
A super wonderful day was had by all. This is my third hike since my pacemaker upgrade and to be honest it was a challenge but I am getting stronger with each hike and I have to mention how incredibly lucky I am to have these amazingly wonderful friends who are willing to accompany me on my voyage back into my happy place which usually includes a view and a lot of trees or rock. Even if they don’t let me doddle at the lunch spot for hours and hours.
We encountered a number of obstacles which were anticipated because of the snow conditions. It’s the transition from snow to dry land to snow again that presents the challenges. We carried gaiters and thought about snow shoes but opted out of the shoes, with the premise that we would turn back if the snow got too deep. We never did put the gaiters on even though on the way out I did get snow in my boots more than once. That was primarily due to my propensity to boot ski down the sloppy wet slopes. WEEEEEEE….Having quick dry pants and socks as well as breathable hiking boots makes all the difference in the world.
At first the trail was just like I remembered it, rooty with a pleasant uphill grade onto progressively larger rocky knolls, with streams all along the route and a number of spots with bolt fixed ladders, bridges and stairs.
The transitions from snow to ground and vise versa take time to navigate and it is best done one person at a time, these are the spots where you are most likely to get hurt so taking your time and ensuring you test the integrity of your foot placements before you bear weight on them is a must, lots of concentration needed. This will also save your strength, as falling through snow to the abyss below takes tremendous energy, and recovery from said bobo even more. Just a really good idea to be careful. Once you are on the snow it is easy hiking and highly pleasant travel where pacing oneself and maintaining a breathing rhythm is totally doable. I love snow travel especially when it is down hill, nothing like the opportunity to do a little boot skiing.
We also met the intrepid explorer Taisha at the lake, she was heading in for an overnighter and was advising us of the challenge of navigating Baby Bedwell Lake on the south side to Big Bedwell (the usual route), it wasn’t safe to pass through the snow covered fixed ladders positions, so she was heading to the north side of the lake which is more than just a bit challenging. You go Girl.
Overall a great hike in both winter and summer and obviously Spring. Highly recommended.
Check out all the other trails in the region on GoCampbellRiver.com/Hiking Trails
Two tired, happy, dirty and stinky campers, even though we neglected to bring a beer for the completion of the trail. Are we bad? Next time.