Last August, Clarke and Karen Slootweg hiked and camped in the Centre Lakes area in Powell River’s backcountry. Here’s a glimpse of that adventure complete with gorgeous photos!
By Clarke Slootweg
To get to the Centre Lakes trailhead you will need a 4×4 vehicle that you don’t mind rubbing up against the brush. There are a few areas where you will need to have some 4×4 experience.
Being in bear country, bear spray, and bear bangers give you a small sense of security. Always be bear aware. Cougars are in the area as well. There is no cell service. A satellite device would be good to have at your disposal.
The trail itself is overgrown but quite well marked. Give yourself two to four hours to get to Little Crater Lake from the trailhead. There is a nice tent spot carved in the moss near the trail beside this lake. It’s a very good place to spend the night.
Head up from Little Crater Lake towards Ethelwulf peak and, if you desire, West, then South along a ridge to a peak we have named Twister Peak (apparently it’s name is Chippenham), two to four hours. So named by us because we experienced a small twister on our last stay.
Fantastic views of the Rainbow Range, the Emma Lake area, Mount Alfred, and an excellent place to raise your tent for the evening.
The next morning head back along the ridge over Ethelwulf to Northumbria Peak, with great views of Little Crater, and Crater Lakes, all the while wonderful views of Alfred, and an array of scenic vistas to be enjoyed. Climbing Northumbria Peak requires a bit of route finding and scrambling, but it’s not overly difficult for a somewhat fit individual.
Skirting the East side of Mucill Peak brings you to a perfect tenting spot on its North East slope. Views of the North end of the South Powell Divide along with Alfred’s glacier are quite enjoyable from this location, about six hours to this location.
Ascending Mucill Peak from this spot the next morning is not overly difficult, but descending to Centre Lake requires a bit of route finding.
The North side is best. There is a wonderful tenting spot above the lake if you desire, a nice dip in the lake is quite refreshing.
Heading down from Centre Lake begins at the top of a large rockslide where the creek exits the lake. It’s a bit scrambly on the way down.
Down to Big Crater Lake through the slide takes an hour or two. From Big Crater it is two to three hours back down to the trailhead. An easily discernible path takes you on a meandering route passing Little Crater Lake and down the trail you traversed a few days earlier.
A few well placed beverages could await the experienced hiker in the creek at the trail entrance.