PWA TENQUILLE (TOLRA) Committee

Welcome to Tenquille Lake - Owl Lakes Recreation Area, see below for:

  • ALERTS
  • Intro to Tenquille Lake - Owl Lakes Recreation Area (TOLRA)
  • Trails Overview
  • Listing of PWA Trails and Details

Alerts

Avoid use of Lillooet River to Tenquille Lake trail in high winds as trees damaged by 2009 wild fire may fall.

Chain Lakes Trail: Condition of Chain Link Trail beyond old trappers cabin is unknown at this time(June 2014). May have significant fallen trees across the trail as it descends to the Birkenhead River.

Intro to Tenquille Lake - Owl Lakes Recreation Area

The Tenquille Lake to Owl Lakes Recreation Area is 730 hectares of wilderness threaded by 5 main trails(totaling over 51 Km with many Km of secondary side trip or service trails). The primary routes are:

  • Owl Lake Trail
  • Chain Lakes Trail
  • Chain Lakes to Tenquille Lake(multi day traverse)
  • Lillooet River to Tenquille Lake
  • Branch 12(from Hurley FSR) to Tenquille Lake Trail

There are also 2 Wilderness Recreation sites:

  • Chain Lakes Recreation Site
  • Tenquille Lake Recreation site which includes wilderness camp sites and a cabin.

The PWA is responsible for the maintenance and management of trails and recreation sites within the Tenquille - Owl Lakes Recreation Area through an agreement with the Provincial Government. Our mandate is to maintain the area for the purpose of recreational and conservation activities and provide safe, navigable trails into a wilderness environment for all non-motorized users†.

Club volunteers work hard to open up trails in the Spring, clearing brush fallen/overhanging logs and conducting repairs throughout the season till early winter. Funding for materials and cabin supplies is provided by the PWA. Donations gratefully accepted!

The provincial government also helps with supplies and work on projects beyond PWA resources such as FSR and branch road upkeep.

† in winter snowmobilers may use the Tenquille cabin; the local snowmobile club contributed funds to the construction

Our biggest recent project was the construction of the Tenquille Lake Cabin (summer 2011) replacing the original, built in the 1940s. Truly a collaboration of many community members, the PWA helped steer the administrative and permitting process in addition to managing the donations and funding. The PWA continues to manage the shelter and provide upkeep and repairs.

Trails Overview

MOTORIZED USE ON ALL THESE TRAILS IS PROHIBITED.

Hike or ride them on your Mtn Bike but please stay on established trails only. Please leave the motorbike / ATV at home.

Travel on these wilderness trails is wholly at the users risk. There is no cell phone coverage. Mtn weather is unpredictable and you may encounter black & grizzly bears, cougars, wolves and other wild creatures. Be prepared with proper clothing, food/water, footwear, map/GPS (and extra batteries), whistle and bear spray. Don't hike alone and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. In winter and spring there can be high avalanche dangers on some trails. Prepare to encounter snow on the trails from late October to mid-July (at higher elevations).

These are also multi use trails so be courteous to all hikers, Mtn bikers, fishermen and hunters [in the fall].

Garbage Please PACK OUT what you pack in, all food remains & wrappers - so that wildlife does not become a nuisance or a threat.

Listing of PWA Trails and Details

Owl Lake Trail

Difficulty: relatively flat and easy.
Distance(one way): 4.Km
Brief description: CLOSED due to extremely muddy sections and deep holes caused by ATVs. Trailhead will have to be reconstructed.
Facilities: Wilderness campsite, room for several tents.
Trailhead access:
Take Hwy 99 North from Pemberton, pass by right hand turnoff towards town of Lillooet (church on corner), continue straight on Old Portage Rd. through village of Mt Currie. Go over train tracks, turn left onto Owl FSR approximately 4Km further. Owl FSR is steep and not recommended for 2 wheel drives. Watch for logging trucks. Travel 9.3 Km up main road to junction of spur road (to right) to Chain and Fowl Lakes trailhead. Park near junction and walk straight-on for short distance to reach Owl Lake trailhead.

Chain Lakes Trail

Difficulty: Short and easy, slight elevation gain.
Distance(one way): 2.5Km to first of 3 small lakes, options are to continue on via 'Chain link Trail' to end (located 7.4 Km past gravel pit on Westside Rd in valley bottom near Birkenhead river). OR continue up trail to left to Fowl Lakes(approx. 1.5hrs further).
Brief description: Easy hike through timber to first lake, where there is a small wilderness campsite. Approximately 3 Km further on flat trail to the third Lake. From here, trail continues to remains of old trappers cabin before descending through timber to Birkenhead river valley. Best to leave a car at both ends if planning to do complete trip.
Facilities: none
Trailhead access: Use same direction as for Owl Lake(above) but take right hand road at 9.3Km. Travel up for short distance to find trailhead on the left to Chain and Fowl Lakes.

Chain Lakes to Tenquille Lake (multi day traverse)

Difficulty: High. A good map & GPS and navigation skills are essential to find your way through the mountain passes. Everyone embarking on the traverse should be physically fit and have the appropriate gear. A minimum of 4 to 5 days is recommended for this trip. Suggest leaving a car at both ends or arranging pickup.
Distance(one way): 25Km + distance from Tenquille Lake out to various trailheads.
Brief description: First section of the trail is a very easy grade to Chain Lakes. From Chain Lakes a well marked trail climbs at a moderate pitch into the pass. Here in semi-alpine, the trail weaves around small ponds and boggy sections then travels slightly downhill to Fowl Lake. Hikers should be aware that in bad weather or snow, trail could be difficult to follow. Trail continues to Upper Fowl Lake - beyond here the trail becomes a route - marked only by rock cairns in some sections. NOT a place to get caught in bad weather! We encourage using existing campsites at Fowl, Upper Fowl, Ogre and Tenquille Lakes to minimize human impact on this wilderness area.
Facilities: wilderness campsites, cabin and outhouses at Tenquille Lake.
Trailhead access: Use same directions as Chain Lakes or if starting from Tenquille Lake use Branch 12 or Lillooet River trailhead directions.

Lillooet River to Tenquille Lake

Warning: Do not travel in high winds. Trees damaged from 2009 forest fires are vulnerable to falling in wind storms. High avalanche danger in winter and spring approaching Wolverine Creek and through Tenquille Pass.

Difficulty: Moderate. Long and steep, and should be attempted only by those in good physical condition.
Distance(one way): 9.5 KM
Brief description: Easiest to reach with any vehicle. Although more difficult than the more popular 'Branch 12' route to Tenquille Lake, this trail winds through open forest and offers excellent views of the rich Lillooet River valley below. En route, you'll cross several small ephemeral streams and pass through small meadows. After crossing Wolverine Creek, the trail meets up with the alternate Branch 12 route, soon climbs through Tenquille Pass then descends to Tenquille Lake. Note: this trail is a favourite for Mtn bikers descending from Tenquille lake.
Facilities: Cabin at Tenquille Lake, wilderness campsites, outhouses.
Trailhead access: This trailhead can be accessed with 2WD and is located approximately 25 KM from the village of Pemberton. Travel North on Pemberton Meadows Rd, take a right turn on the Hurley FSR @ 23Km, continue for approximately 2 km to bridge crossing Lillooet River. Cross bridge and park immediately on other side. Trailhead is approximately 50 meters up spur road to right.

Branch 12 (from Hurley FSR) to Tenquille Lake Trail

Warning: High avalanche danger in winter and spring through Tenquille Pass. In spring to mid-summer, exercise caution when crossing snow bridges across creek gullies.

Difficulty: Moderate. Generally easy grade with some steeper sections.
Distance(one way): 6 Km
Brief description: Trail leads northwest, swinging around the south side of Goat Peak, ascending the upper Wolverine Creek drainage where it meets the trail from the Lillooet river bridge(above). The grade of this trail is generally quite gentle, and the route offers views of the Pemberton Valley, Copper Dome and other mountain peaks. After hiking for approximately 5 km, you'll reach the meadows at Tenquille Pass before descending to Tenquille Lake.
Facilities: Cabin at Tenquille Lake, wilderness campsites, outhouses.

Trailhead access: Drive past Lillooet River access(above) on Hurley FSR - zero your odometer at bridge, at approximately 7KM take RH(up) turnoff to towns of Bralorne/Goldbridge. Approximately 20 Km past Lillooet river bridge, look for Hurley River/Tenquille Branch sign('Branch 12') - turn right here. Mainly 4x4 access beyond turnoff, distance to trailhead is approx. 5 KM. Some 2WD vehicles with good clearance can drive part way down Branch 12 and park in the designate parking area approximately 2 Km from turnoff, 4X4 vehicles only recommended beyond this point.

Tenquille Lake Cabin

A new cabin was funded and built with a huge community effort. Can be busy on weekends, you may want to pack a tent - but welcome to cook in the cabin. Please RESPECT this cabin and the work that built it for you to use and enjoy. See Cabin Rules (/news/2011/8/31/tenquille-lake-cabin-rules/).

Any suggestions, comments, or reports on hazards or the condition of the cabin, trails, or roads are welcome!

Thank you.

Committee Contact: David Harkley