K2inCanada's Blog

July 26, 2015

Another jewel of a hike – Happy Canada Day July 1

Filed under: Canada, Hike — K2 in Canada @ 10:22 PM

I can’t believe we never came up here for a hike before. We ski in Callaghan Valley quite a bit – if there is snow – and even skied up to Callaghan Lake but never came up here in the summer. Maybe because the trails around Callaghan Lake are not as developed as many others. Or maybe because you can’t find this hike in my old outdated hiking book. Or maybe because you need a high clearance vehicle to get to the trail head just before the Callaghan Lake Provincial Campsite. We found the hike to Ring Lake past Conflict Lake thanks to the internet and it is definitely one of the more scenic hikes we have done. It’s describes as difficult but only because of it being 20kms return and not because of the elevation gain. In fact, all of the elevation of some 400m is gained in the last 3kms which makes that sections steep at times but not too technical. Trail was easy enough to follow too. It starts out through a beautiful cedar forest that soon thins out and opens up to views of the surrounding mountains topped with glaciers to the west. After 5kms one reaches Conflict Lake. Just before the lake you walk right by the Callaghan Lake Back Country Lodge which is only open in the winter (the road into Callaghan Lake is closed to all traffic Oct to May except for cross country skiers – it’s a long ways up on skis mind you). A short scramble after Conflict Lake the valley floor opens right up into a large meadow surrounded by mountains. You can see a waterfall coming of the pass in the distance that gives away where the next lake would be. The trails stays near the valley floor for about half way until you finally start climbing. And yes it is steep in sections but the pain is short and in less than 45min you reach the top and a most beautiful lake – Ring Lake.

We only met 5 “people” all day – a group of 3 and a single hiker/runner with his dog. We had the lake to ourselves for a dip into the icy water. Most pictures on the internet feature this lake with ice on it in July but not this year. Since it only took us about 2.5hrs to the lake we decided to walk along the lake and scramble up to the pass between Ring and Callaghan mountain. It was a rocky slope but the footing was better than I expected. Up and down. Even had to cross a couple snow fields before we reached the top of the pass which opened up the view into the next valley. Stunning! But it did add over an hour to our hike in one direction and it was getting a bit late in the afternoon. So we headed back – all in all 7hrs of hiking in this most beautiful part of home. Happy Canada Day!

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