Turner Lakes Chain

CanadaBritish ColumbiaPacific
Submitter & Author Information
Route submitted by: 
Trip Date : 
Additional Route Information
25 km
5 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
1 m
Longest Portage: 
500 m
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

This route is located in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park

*Turner Lake
Turner Lake is about 5 km. Canoes can be rented at the south or north end of the lake. Cabins are available at the south end. The Panorama Lakes trail leaves from the south end of the lake as does the short hike to Hunlen Falls.

*Turner to Cutthroat portage
At the south end of Turner Lake, go up the creek to the left of the campsite. A 400m portage trail starts about 300 metres upstream on the right. Paddle upstream for about 500 m, then portage around a short rapid for about 100m. Put in and paddle up the creek to Cutthroat Lake.

* Cutthroat Lake
Cutthroat Lake is less than 1km long.

* Cutthroat to Vista portage
Look for the white portage marker at the south end of the lake. The first portage is 400 metres long and it leads to a pond. Another portage starts on the left of the creek at the south end of this pond, and comes out at Vista Lake after 130 metres. If you prefer not to load and unload twice, an extra trail section around the pond links the portage trails.

* Vista Lake
Vista Lake is also about 1km long.

*Vista to Junker Lake portage
There is a white route marker at the southwest corner of Vista Lake. Paddle about 400m upstream then take the portage trail on the left for 100 metres to Junker Lake. To reach the Junker Lake campsite, turn east and head for the red sand beach.

* Junker Lake
Junker is about 3.5 km long. It is prone to strong morning winds, so it is best to paddle this lake in the morning. It is possible to use Junker Lake camp as a base and do the round trip to Sunshine Lake in 1 day.

* Junker Lake to Widgeon Lake
The 150-m portage trail to Widgeon Lake is in a small bay at the far end of the lake. The campground on Widgeon Lake at the end of the trail is large and beautiful and also has excellent views.

* Widgeon Lake
Widgeon Lake is about 2.5 km.

* Widgeon Lake to Kidney Lake
The portage trail starts just west of the creek inflow, and is over 500 m long with several uphill sections for a total elevation gain of 40 m.

* Kidney Lake
The camping area on Kidney Lake is directly across the small bay from the end of the portage.

* Kidney Lake to Sunshine Lake (hike)
The trailhead for the Sunshine Lake trail is at a small sandy beach directly south of the campsite and SE of the portage from Widgeon. It may be difficult to access in rough conditions. The marker is orange. The hike to the lake is about 1-hour, 3-km. Views across Sunshine lake show jagged peaks and hanging glaciers. Camping is possible at the lake and canoe rentals may be available (inquire with the rental company).

Maps Required
Other Maps: 
BC Parks has online maps available of the Turner Lake Chain. Topo maps are not required.
Special Comments: 

Approach to the lake is either via a 16km trail or via a 15min flight from Nimpo Lake via Tweedsmuir Air Services. If you decide to hike, be aware that parts of the 16km trail in have very high grizzly bear activity during salmon spawning seasons. Canoes can be rented on Turner Lake at the south or north end.


Post date: Thu, 07/12/2018 - 03:40


Dear Eli, 

As the rowing part is only about 25 km, wouldn't it be possible to do the whole stretch in a day? I am looking to hike up from the Turner lake trail to the Junker lake trail to Vista lake, camp there and packraft down Vista, Cutthroat and Turner lakes to Hunlen Falls. 


Geert van Mourik