Canoeing & Camping at Wells Gray Provincial Park, Murtle Lake, BC, Canada
Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park
Looking for a tranquil getaway while camping, canoeing and rainbow trout fishing?
Murtle Lake is in the Wells Gray Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada and is an expansive lake of over 16,000 acres which boasts over 60 miles of shoreline. This huge expanse of water is a haven for those looking for a smooth surfaced canoeing lake as all forms of motorized water vehicles are forbidden. This means that canoeing trips can be enjoyed in complete peace and tranquility. This fabulous canoeing lake is set amongst outstanding wilderness beauty and is renowned for its excellent rainbow trout fishing – note that a license is required to fish in this lake. These are available locally and are not expensive and can be obtained from http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/. Camping passes are also required and can be obtained at the entrance to the park.
Reaching the lake is via a 15 mile gravel road which is in reasonable condition but closed in the harsh winter months. Canoe trailers can be rented at nearby Blue River and help a lot when launching from the beaches. There is a dock to launch from and tie up to but in hot weather the tributary is often low in water and the dock becomes land-bound and useless - There are plenty of expanses of beach to launch from though so it’s not really an issue.
The put-in for the lake is up one of the tributaries and a mile must be paddled to reach the lake’s full open waters. This ideal canoeing lake has designated campsites around the shoreline of the lake and the wilderness can really be enjoyed here with camping, canoeing and all without the interruption of vehicles and noise.
The designated campsites are fairly basic; they have toilet facilities but as is common out in the wild, no showers. This can be easily remedied by taking along a light portable camping shower to get yourself clean after a hard day’s paddling and rainbow trout fishing. This is a Provincial Wildlife & Wilderness Park and patrolled by Rangers. Washing in the lake is both unsanitary and detergents are damaging to the ecology so campers are advised to act responsibly, keep the waters clean and to take their litter home with them.
There are bear-proof storage lockers provided at the site and their use is mandatory. Campfires are allowed in the fire-rings provided except on Fairyslipper Island where no camp fires are allowed at all. Pets are not allowed anywhere in the park or at the campsites. Firewood is provided at several firewood collection points and it is up to the campers to cut to size but mostly usable as it is.
Where the water levels have lowered during hotter weather it is possible to pitch tents on some of the lake beaches and enjoy the sunsets and sunrises across the water.
Overall this is a perfect place to go camp, fish and canoe in peace, tranquility and stunning wilderness.