In the northeast of the Pemberton Valley, visitors will find Birken, a diverse and artistic community located at Birken Lake in the Gates valley in the southern interior of BC, 20 minutes drive from Pemberton.The stretch of Portage Road from Pemberton through to Birken & D’Arcy encompasses spectacular scenery and is a popular route for drivers and road cyclists.
The road meanders through an eclectic mix of homes, hobby farms and artist studios. There are numerous recreational residential homes surrounding the lake and a small lodge and cabin and the area’s only store (the Birkenhead Resort) on its northwest side adjacent to the main road to D’Arcy. A campground (Whispering Falls Resort) is just northeast of the lake. The tracks of the Canadian National Railway run along the lake’s northwest shore.
Birken’s name is derived from the Birkenhead River and adjacent Birkenhead Peak which overlooks the settlement. It is one of the few places in the province where salmon enter from 2 sides. From the north they enter the valley, from Anderson Lake into Gates River system, and from the south, from Lillooet Lake into the Birkenhead River system.
Great places to see the salmon are at the hatchery on the N’Quatqua Reserve near D’Arcy and from the suspension bridge across the Birkenhead River just past Mt. Currie.The best times of year to watch the salmon run are late August and early September.