Photo by Dave Steers
Take to the Water
In Pemberton’s rivers (all located within a 30-minute drive of downtown Pemberton), possibilities run as fast as the flow. Anglers frequently pull in Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout, Sockeye and Coho Salmon all year round. Sport paddlers play and compete in the whitewater park at Rutherford Creek. Rafters ride the Green & Birkenhead Rivers. Jet boats speed up the majestic Lillooet.
Some of Pemberton’s lakes are hidden and hard-to-reach, while others are within walking distance from town. Some you can swim across, others so big it would take days to explore every cove and bay on their forested shores.
One Mile Lake — With easy access off Hwy. 99 and just minutes from town centre, One Mile Lake sees plenty of both locals and visitors swimming and soaking up summer’s rays. One Mile Lake is also home to Pemberton’s World Champion Dragon Boat Team, the Laoyam Eagles, who regularly can be seen plying One Mile’s waters in their beautiful boat, either training or competing.
Mosquito Lake — Accessed only by foot or 4x4, Mosquito is a small, hidden lake nestled amidst forested mountains not far from town. This is a great spot to escape summer crowds and relax surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Tenquille Lake — Residents of the Pemberton Valley have been camping at Tenquille Lake since the 1920s. Nestled high above the valley in a mountain meadow, Tenquille takes some effort to reach – but the reward is worth every step for hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers, who can find respite from the summer heat in the lakes' cool waters.
Lillooet Lake — The original Port Pemberton was located at the head of Lillooet Lake, and served as a stopover for Gold Rushers heading north in search of fortune. Today, the lake – located some 30 minutes by car from downtown Pemberton – is a popular summer getaway for visitors keen on experiencing a taste of Pemberton's backcountry magic. Gorgeous lakefront camping is easily accessible. For those wanting to venture farther across the milky-green waters, exploration by kayak is the way to go. Secret spots abound for ambitious paddlers.
Joffre Lakes— Mother Nature worked her high alpine magic to its finest at this series of three sparkling mountain lakes. Located in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, just 20 minutes north of Pemberton along Highway 99, all three of these liquid jewels feature fantastic shades of turquoise and aquamarine. The first lake stands a short, easy walk through the forest from the parking lot. Rarely do visitors make the effort to carry a canoe to the first lake, but those who do are treated to the finest landscape surrounding any lake in the region. (In winter, the first lake transforms into a stunning natural skating rink.) The Joffre Glacier group towers behind, and other rugged peaks puncture the horizon. In more temperate months, the hike to the higher two lakes is consistently ranked as one of the most rewarding hikes in the region.
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