hike

Tenquille Lake - Branch 12 Hike near PEMBERTON, BC

Expansive alpine meadows, old growth forest, stunning views of the Pemberton Valley and the crystal clear, sub-alpine Tenquille Lake.

Distance: 12 km out and back

The Tenquille Lake - Branch 12 Trail is 12km out and back to the hut at the west end of the lake.

There is an additional trail around the lake if you're looking to add an extra 2.6 km lake loop onto your hike.

Difficulty: Moderate

Overall, this is an moderate trail.

It is relatively easy going for most of the trail, but there are some steeper sections.

Time: 5-7 hrs return

It is an approximately 5-7 hour round trip from the trail head to the hut on the west side of the lake.

Tack on some extra time if you plan to hang out and soak up the views or do the 2.6 km loop around the lake.

Elevation Change: 450 m

The overall elevation change (from lowest point to highest point) is approximately 450 m

The elevation gain (one way) (the cumulative ups and downs over the course of the trail) is approximately 640 m

The maximum slope you will encounter is approximately 52%.

The average slope is about 15%.

High Point: 1700 m

The high point is 1700 m.

Season: July - September

This trail is typically accessible from July to September.

Other notes

Dogs

  • are permitted on leash.

Backcountry Camping

Topographical Map

  • Birkenhead Lake 92J/10

Trail Head Coordinates

  • UTM NAD83 Z10 : 499995E / 5598561N

Tenquille Lake - Branch 12 Trail

This crystal clear sub-alpine lake can be accessed by a number of hiking trails. The easier option (and the one highlighted here) is the Branch 12 Trail. This trail is rolling and relatively gentle for the most part, but there are some steeper sections.

While the hike in from this location is the easier option, the access is a bit arduous and requires a 4x4 vehicle with good clearance. For more details see the Directions Tab next to this one.

This 12 km out and back trail takes about 5-7 hours return and has an elevation change of about 450m. The high point is 1700m which is just before you descend to the shores of crystal clear, sub-alpine Tenquille Lake.

There is a cabin and rustic tent pads at the edge of the lake if you’re looking to stay the night (more on that below).
 
It is a gorgeous hike at any time, but if you can catch the wildflowers in bloom in the meadows through July and August you’re in for an extra special show.
 
If you’re feeling intrepid, take a chilly dip in the lake, or just enjoy a rest on one of the small beaches on the shore.
 
Still got a bit of juice in the legs after the hike in?
 
The loop trail around the lake offers spectacular views from all angles and is well worth the extra 2.6 km.
 

Tenquille Lake Hike

Alpine meadows

What you can expect on the trail

This is a somewhat gentle trail with a rolling grade. However, there are some steeper and rockier sections. You can expect some muddy sections when conditions are wet.

Tenquille Lake Trail

Highlights you’ll remember

Tenquille Lake (with Sun God mountain in the distance)

Alpine meadows

Spectacular views of the Pemberton Valley

Views of Copper Dome, Goat Peak and Sun God mountains

Tenquille Lake

Tenquille Lake and Sun God Mountain

Camping

There is a cabin at the west end of Tenquille Lake.

There are also several wilderness camping sites at the lake along with pit toilets and food caches.

The cabin is provided as a public service for back country campers. It belongs to the Provincial government, but is maintained and managed by volunteers from the Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA).  Find out more about the Tenquille Lake cabin rules.

Tenquille Lake Cabin

cabin at Tenquille Lake

Directions to Tenquille Lake (Branch 12) Trailhead

You will need a 4x4 vehicle with good clearance to make it to this trailhead.

It takes approximately 1.5 hours to get to the trailhead from Pemberton.

The Directions (from Pemberton)

  • From Pemberton: follow the Pemberton Meadows Road down the Pemberton Valley for about 24 km.
  • Turn RIGHT onto Lillooet River Forest Service Road
  • This road has the kilometers marked in square yellow signs.
  • Just past the 1 km sign you'll cross a bridge
  • Stay LEFT after crossing the bridge
  • You will be on gravel from this point on.
  • Just past the 8 km sign on the Lillooet FSR you will cross a bridge and come to a fork.
  • Stay RIGHT at the fork and head up the Hurley River Forest Service Road. This road is pretty high grade but has some zippy switchbacks and some loose gravel. You may need to engage 4x4 at this point.
  • The Hurley FSR has it's own kilometer markers, so you're starting at 0 km again at the fork.
  • Just past the 10 km sign on the Hurley FSR you will cross a bridge.
  • About 500 m past the bridge a small road branches to the right.
  • There should be a sign that reads: Hurley River Tenquille Branch Forest Service Road. A sub sign reads Branch 12 Trail
  • Turn RIGHT onto this road.
  • Note: The culverts have all been removed from this road so you can expect 48 water bars beyond this point. 4x4 with GOOD CLEARANCE is pretty much essential.
  • Drive for about another 5.5 km to the trailhead.

The Turnoff

Tenquille Lake Branch 12 Turnoff Sign

Sign at approx. 10.5 km on the Hurley FSR. Turn RIGHT here to get to the Tenquille Lake Branch 12 trailhead.

The Parking

Tenquille Lake Trail Parking

Parking at Tenquille Lake (Branch 12) Trail Head

The Trailhead

Teqnuille Lake (Branch 12) Trail head

Tenquille Lake (Branch 12) Trail Head

The Google Directions Map

Click image to get Google Directions Map

Driving Directions to Tenquille Lake Branch 12 Trailhead

Tenquille Lake (Branch 12) Trail on Google Maps

Click map below to see the trail on  Google Maps

Tenquille Lake Trail

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