Did you know that Murtle Lake is the largest canoe/paddle only lake in North America? Yes, that’s true – you don’t have to avoid powerboats or hear them on Murtle Lake, except for the single Park Ranger boat.
Murtle Lake is accessed via Blue River – the Information Center staff can provide you with directions. There is also a portage of about 2.5km to access the lake itself. The trail is in good conditions all the way to the lake, bar a few slopes. A canoe cart is a great asset – just remember that if you use a canoe cart you must lock it up. There are provisions made for this, however you need to bring your own lock and chain to do so.
The Lake boasts over 100km of shore line and is “divided” into a North Arm and a West Arm. The West Arm of the lake is known for its white sandy beaches and open scenery. Its also generally the busiest, but well worth exploring. The North Arm has high dramatic country due to the mountainous topography. Here is also a great place to watch wildlife because of the large meadows to be found.
Campsites have fire rings, bear caches and outhouses at each campsite. These campsites are $5/person/night cash on arrival. (You can pay online in advance if you’d prefer)
Visitors enroute to Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park are encouraged to use alternate Shell Road access. See map for route details.
Renting canoes at Murtle Lake can be done at two locations which are either, right at the lake from Murtle Canoes, or from the Blue River Campground.
From Murtle Canoes, you can rent them right at the lake for $60/night. These canoes must be reserved in advance, which you can do online. These canoes have a pick up and drop off time of 11:00 am and includes paddles, lifejackets and safety gear. Murtle Lake Canoes has a two day minimum. The website is http://www.murtlecanoes.com. COVID UPDATE: Murtle Canoes is only renting canoes to BC Residents.
Blue River Campground canoes are booked right from the campground in Blue River, and you have to transport them with your own vehicle up the 27km road to the lake, as well as carry it the 2.5km long portage.They do also rent canoe wheels for transport for the portage (which are very handy) and provide you with life jackets, paddles and safety equipment. Their website is http://www.bluerivercampground.ca
Overnight visitors can pay at the lake with a self registration system (cash only). Deposit cash in the envelope, fill out the information, and place in the lock box.
Unfortunately, no pets are allowed at Murtle Lake.