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Murtle Lake — North America’s Largest Paddle Only Lake > Blue River

The Edge of Civilization

Welcome to wild, big sky country where the gentle sound of nature serenades you on your back-country canoe camping adventure. Breathe in and let the mountain air revitalize you as your boat dips and bobs on the azure blue of Murtle Lake. Craggy snow-capped mountain peaks watch over you as you unplug from the world and commune with Mother Nature.

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Murtle Lake – Explore on and off the Water

Murtle Lake, North America’s largest only paddle lake, is a nature lover’s paradise. The weathered Cariboo Mountains rise on the horizon and reflect off the water. Golden, sandy beaches give way to forests overflowing with every shade of green. Spend your day exploring the lake from your kayak or canoe, then toss in a line and catch one of the huge rainbow trout that live here.

Explore the Wilds of Murtle Lake

Spend some time on a hike through old growth rainforests. Stop and listen as the birds and chipmunks chatter away. Deer and elk graze on leaves as moose amble through trees. Watch the slow, gliding ballet of an osprey, or the hunter-like eagle snatching fish from lake’s surface. Blue skies give way to indigo nights awash with stars. If you’re lucky, you may even see the dance of the Northern Lights.

Venture out for a full day hike through Wavy Crest Range through old cedar and white pine. Be prepared for the view as you emerge onto a ridge of unspoiled wilderness.

Combine hiking and water fun with a 20-minute trek to Henrietta Lake where solitude is at its finest. From Diamond Lagoon, take a 5 km (3 miles) hike to McDougall Falls. Let the sound of water, cascading 14 metres (46 feet) over rocks, captivate you.

Easy Access

Murtle Lake is where wilderness is just a step away. It is easily accessed off the iconic Yellowhead Highway through Blue River. Follow the signs and wind your way along a backcountry road to a parking lot. Here you’ll find the head of a 2.5 km (1 mi) wheelchair accessible wooded trail to the lake.

Pack your gear into your canoe or kayak and launch yourself into a one of a kind experience. Paddle west, and you’ll find Fairyslipper, Leo and Smoker Islands. Go north and you’ll find scenes of rough, rugged mountains and tranquil, clear water. Leave your cares behind; paddling this stellar beauty is the best way to unplug, disconnect and recharge.

camping at Murtle Lake

Imagine waking up to the sound of water lapping outside your tent. Murtle Lake has several sandy beaches in approved locations, where you can camp, share a campfire, and make new friends. Pack in a tent and let nature sooth away your cares.

Access by Water

There’s only one campsite accessible by land at Murtle Lake. The other 70 wilderness campsites are spread out over 100 km (62 mi) of forested shoreline. Twenty of them are so secluded, you may forget other people exist.

Murtle Lake is known for its fishing. Go ahead, cast your line and catch a rainbow trout (up to 3 kg/7 lb) for dinner. Cook your catch over an open fire as a picture perfect sunset signals the end of another day in Nirvana. In the morning you’ll awake to the sunrise reflecting off the glass like-surface of the lake. You may like it here so much, you’ll never go home.

No Gear? No Problem

A mere 24 km (17mi) from Mutle Lake is the Blue River Campground, where you can stock up on goods, canoes, carts and fishing gear.