Murtle Lake offers a very rustic camping experience; however there are outhouses at every campsite, bear-proof ground level food caches, and fire rings. There are no picnic tables.
Get a canoe cart it is well worth it. The portage trail from the parking lot to the lagoon is good, but it is not short. This is where you’ll do most of the work on your trip. The trail is about 2 metres wide and is of good fine gravel or sand; all creeks are bridged and all slopes are not too long or steep; there is a 100 ft change of elevation from the parking lot down to the lagoon.
A cart with at least a 12-inch diameter wheel is best for this location.
At the lagoon there are a series of posts that you can lock your canoe cart to. Locking up of canoe carts is MANDATORY, so bring a lock and chain. (Gear carts provided for the use of folks that rent canoes from murtlecanoes.com should NOT be locked up.)
There is one cabin for public use on the lake, and that is in the West Arm at Diamond Lagoon, BUT use caution, this area is actually in the Murtle River, so unless you’re confident with your canoe skills, don’t go there. The cabin has bunks for about 6 people.
The fishing is pretty good! There are rainbow trout and kokanee and several locations yield 1-4 lb fish. Locations? Ask the PFO staff when you meet them on the lake, they’ll tell you what fishing gear is hot and where the bite is on.
Find your place
The North Arm is usually very quiet, has a few beaches and by far the most spectacular mountain scenery. The very tip of the North Arm is absolutely stunning, with towering mountains and a huge moose meadow that has frequent wildlife visitors, with eagles and moose being among them.
The West Arm of the lake gets the most use by a ratio of about 3 to 1. This is due to the warmer water, sandy shallows and yellow sand beaches.
How To Pay
For a detailed explanation of how to pay for a campsite go here.
“Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”
If you pack it in, please pack it out. Help keep Murtle Lake the pristine wilderness that you and all the other visitors after you expect it to be.
The PFO staff are on the lake every day. They can travel much faster than visitors and have current knowledge of which campsites are busy and which are free. They can also tell you the weather forecast, fishing conditions, about firewood, where that big group of kids is camping, and other information that may affect your plans, plus, they’re very friendly!
Put your paddle straight up in the air, then quickly move it from left to right. You can also wave a life jacket from the shore.
Hatchets are not good enough; any cut firewood you may come across will require at least an axe to split. Bringing a small wedge is also an excellent idea. Be careful: medical help could be days away!
Whether you wander a canoe up the File Creek trail or just drag a spinner as you paddle, you are pretty much guaranteed to catch a trout, or even a kokanee. Trout range from pan fry size to 12+ pounds. Kokanee are usually small, but can hit a pound or more.