Wells Gray Park 2018 - Regular park services start beginning of May! North Thompson and Pyramid now accessible. Clearwater Lake/ Clearwater Marine -May 15 opening. Mahood -May 15 opening. Murtle Lake estimated opening- May 21 Please check back for updates as there is a heavy snow load.

Murtle Lake

Welcome to Murtle Lake, North America’s largest paddle-only lake!

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.

If you rent a cart, a lock will be supplied by the rental company. If you bring your own, bring along a lock suitable for locking up a bicycle. If you bring a collapsible cart, you can just take it with you on the lake if you wish. Courtesy gear carts supplied with canoe rentals should NOT be locked up.

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.

Canoes and related gear can be rented at murtlecanoes.com or in Blue River at Blue River Campground

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.
Murtle Lake sunset

Wilderness Etiquette
“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.


Good To Know:
Use the Park Patrol to your advantage.

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!

How to Flag Down the PFO Boat Patrol

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.

Bring an Axe

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!

Eat Fish!

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.

  • Clearwater Lake Cabins

    The cabins have been removed. Sorry! :)
    Click here for more info.

  • Clearwater Lake

    New! There is now a small store at Clearwater Lake Campground with pay per use showers, and two cabins for rent. Ice, basic groceries, and some camping type stuff is available.
  • Need to Know - Murtle Lake

    Camping Locations: 19 - Boat access only
    Capacity: approximately 70 canoes (2-4 people each)

    camping fees
    Campsites: $5 per person per night, children under 6 are free. Pay by cash or traveller’s cheque or pre-pay online at discovercamping.bc confirm the link to get people to the exact page for Murtle

    Murtle Lake is accessed by travelling Highway 5 to Blue River and then following a twisting, rough gravel road 27 km to the portage parking lot. This is where you leave your vehicle, and transfer your gear down a 2.5 km trail to the lagoon launch, WHERE YOU PAY YOUR CAMPING FEES at the self registration station.
    The lake is still a further 1.5 km away; you paddle through the lagoon to it. Or, you can hike the trail into Campsite 1 for an overnight stay or just a look at part of the lake.

    Fire rings, outhouses, bear-proof food caches. There will be toilet paper in the outhouses.

    Average Use
    10 groups per night June and September; 20 per night July; 45 per night August (2 – 4 people per group)

    What to see
    The West Arm, the far North Arm, fishing, loons, a spectacular hike, Leo Island, Tropicana, Strait Creek

    Campsites are patrolled and maintained daily

    Unsplit firewood will be provided by park patrol staff.

    Sorry, they won't work.
    If you have a GPS and wish to program in the coordinates for the Ranger cabin it is at 52.09956N 119.70514W

    You'll only get reception if you have a very good radio

    No pets allowed (including dogs)


  • Good To Know

    There are several picnic stops along the Clearwater River, including Red Springs and Deer Creek.

  • About Clearwater

    About an hour and 20 minute drive north of Kamloops, Clearwater has one or two of everything; a small supermarket(Safety Mart), a hospital, a library, a couple of hardware stores, several auto mechanics, fine dining, and lots of excellent hotels, B and B's, and motels.

    The town is also a hive of outdoor adventure. You can try just about every outdoor activity imaginable, including:

    • Whitewater rafting & kayaking
    • Dog sledding
    • Horseback riding
    • Guided fly fishing
    • Guided canoe adventures
    • Cross country skiing
    • Hiking
  • Blue River

    Blue River is a good place for a pit stop, but don't look for much in the way of facilities. There are several motels and restaurants, a couple gas stations, two general stores, and a medical station. That’s about it. There's no bank, so if you need cash get it in Clearwater or Valemount. The same goes for most groceries and camping supplies.