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Backpacking in Southwestern BC with kids #3872
Back To Discussion List Written: 2012.08.23 by: Jenn Voss

I'm looking for a good backpacking destination in southwestern bc to do with kids from age 12 to 14 - not too long (up to a couple hours in), with a rewarding alpine destination and good day hiking or exploring opportunities. Did Tricouni Meadows east last year and it was great - one hour in and stupendous basin (despite 2 metres of snow in August!). Looking for something a little longer this year. Have a Jeep Wrangler, so can get to high trailheads. Any suggestions?


#1702 - 2013.08.19 Mark Crosbie - Another Good Hike for Kids - Buckhorn Camp on Three Brothers Mountain Trail
We hiked into Buckhorn Camp from Blackwall peak on the Three Brothers Mountain trail when our daughters were only 3 and 5. The beauty of this hike is that it is short (only 5km) and you drive right up to the alpine. The parking lot is at 1850 meters. There is relatively little altitude gain or loss along the trail - I think the trail drops 200 metres to the camp. If you haven't been there the meadows of flowers on this trail are truly spectacular in the fall or the spring.

We also just did Tenquille Lake this weekend past. It was a bit of a haul for our (now 5 and 7 year old) daughters. It took us 3.5 hours from the Hurly Silver Branch 12 trailhead and 2 hours 40 minutes back. However the new hut up there is excellent and we ended up staying in it due to very rainy weather. Tenquille Lake is great for kids because it has huge open meadows with stands of trees and there is a perfect gravel drop off where the creek enters the Lake near the hut that would be great for swimming.

If anyone has other kid friendly ideas I would really appreciate the input as we are actively looking for overnight backpacking trips we can do with them.

#1623 - 2012.08.28 Jenn Voss - Excellent and thanks!
I think we've decided on Semaphore Lakes. Can't wait!

#1622 - 2012.08.25 Shelley Wales - try...
Andrews suggestions are fantastic, I have a 7 year old that has gone into most of those places with me. You might also like to check out, taylor basin in the spruce lake area and manning park. I haven't tried it yet but Brimful lake in the Stein looks like it would be good for kids too.

#1621 - 2012.08.24 Andrew Wong - Suggested backpack destinations
These areas always look like good backpacking destinations whenever I'm hiking there. The approaches aren't too long (up to 3 hours?) or steep and some places have facilities. Note, I'm not a backpacker & don't have kids so take my advice with a grain of salt.

  1. Semaphore Lakes
  2. Garibaldi Park, Elfin Lakes (outhouse, tentsites, cabin), best midweek or after Labour Day
  3. Garibaldi Park, Taylor Meadows (outhouse, tentsites), best midweek or after Labour Day
  4. Garibaldi Park, Garibaldi Lake (outhouse, tentsites, eating hut), best midweek or after Labour Day
  5. Garibaldi Park, Helm Creek campground approach from Cheakamus (outhouse, tentsites), best midweek or after Labour Day
  6. Tenquille Lake (outhouse, cabin), managed by VOC
  7. Brew Lake (hut), managed by VOC
  8. Wendy Thompson Hut, Marriot Basin (outhouse, hut), managed by ACC Whistler
  9. Blowdown Pass, lake campsite in the north basin of Gotcha Peak