Directions to trail head
The area surrounding Elk Lakes is spectacular and worth the hike. The distance of 21.2 kilometers is from the Elk Pass Parking Lot to the Elk Lake Lookout (return). To continue on to Lower Elk Lake is an additional 500 meters past the intersection to the lookout. The Elevation Profile shows the return trip from the lookout on the left to the Elk Pass Parking Lot on the right. If you are starting at the Elk Pass Parking Lot, take and stay on the Elk Pass Trail for approximately 4.5 kilometers. The turnoff to continue from the Elk Pass Trail to Upper Elk Lake via the Great Divide Trail is 400 meters after the intersection of the Blueberry Hill and Elk Pass Trails. You will see a sign bearing a hiker silhouette pointing the way to the trail. Along the Great Divide Trail you will pass the intersection to Frozen Lake and Fox Lake. As you can see from the profile from the Elk Pass Parking Area to the highest point on the Great Divide Trail you will gain elevation totaling 200 meters and a fairly steady rate. You will then drop down to Upper Elk Lake and the trail to the Lookout requires climbing an additional 140 meters in elevation. Below is a picture of Upper Elk Lake.
The climb to the lookout overlooking Lower Elk Lake is worth the additional distance and climb in elevation.
From Upper Elk Lake the trail past the intersection to the Lookout to Lower Elk Lake is approximately 500 meters.
If you choose to drive to the parking lot on the Elk River Forest Service Road, the distance to the Lookout is 3 kilometers (one-direction) with a total elevation gain of 130 meters.
There are camping sites near both Lower Elk Lake and Petain Falls which are an additional 2.5 kilometers from the trail intersection near Upper Elk Lake. Because the lakes are in B.C. you will need to check the local regulations and you will need a license both to fish and camp. Follow the link to a larger version of the Google Earth image of this trail via flickr.
Elevation Profile Image