Grizzly Lake


Distance: 11 km
Elevation Gain: 797 m (2615 ft)
Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: Difficult
Region: Tombstone
Date Added: October 14, 2012
Last Update: October 14, 2012




The route follows the well marked Grizzly Ridge Trail, traversing rocky talus slopes and beautiful alpine meadows, with ever improving views as you get closer to the lake and its entourage of rocky peaks. This hike is an overnight destination (permit required) or can be done as part of a multi-day trip including Divide and Talus Lake. There are also numerous side trips you can do from the lake, including Grizzly Pass and Mount Monolith / Twin Lakes viewpoint.


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Scroll below photos for Driving Directions and Trail Description.



Photos


The beginning of the trail follows the Grizzly Ridge Trail.



Crossing the alpine tundra towards some interesting rock formations.



Following the trail along one of the many talus slopes.



Descending down to the large meadow along the trail.



A hoary marmot perched on a rock. Keep an eye on your food and keep your dog on a leash.



Finally, a view of Grizzly Lake and Mount Monlith.



The final descent down to the campground.



Happy hikers arriving in camp after a long hike.



The campsite facilities - cooking shelter, bear cache, outhouse, and grey water barrel.



The rocky shores of Grizzly Lake.




Driving Directions

At kilometer 58.5 of the Dempster Highway, there is road that leads to a large parking area on the left (west) side of the highway. The trailhead is signed at the highway, so you can't miss it. The parking area has many parking spots and an outhouse.




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Trail Description

Note: The distances and times noted here are one way, from the trailhead to the campground at the lake, as many people continue to Divide and Talus lakes as part of a multi-day trip.

The trail starts out the same as Grizzly Ridge, winding through the forest for the first 15 minutes following along Cairns Creek. The elevation gain is gradual until the trail switchbacks up the slope, gaining elevation and exchanging the forest for subalpine shrubs.

The climb to the ridge is direct, gaining elevation quickly. There is a viewpoint partway up with the first glimpse of Mount Monolith at the end of Grizzly Valley. Once on the ridge there are moderate ups and downs and the trail stays mostly on the top or contours along the side of the ridge for most of the hike. The trail is marked with rock cairns and yellow flagging essentially all the way to the lake.

The trail drops down to a large meadow, and then continues along the side of the ridge. Once you turn the corner, you will start to slowly lose elevation but gain beautiful views of Grizzly Lake and the rocky peaks surrounding it, with Mount Monolith in the background. Once down in the valley bottom continue following the trail to the campground, crossing a small stream just before reaching the first few tent sites. The campground has ten tent pads, a cooking shelter, a grey water barrel, bear proof lockers and an outhouse. If you are camping at the lake you will need to register and pick up a permit from the Tombstone Park Interpretive Centre. Registration can be done online through the parks website or in person at the centre.

The ground squirrels at the campground love to chew on your sweaty gear that is left on the ground. Backpack straps and the tops of hiking poles are their favourite. Always keep your belongings in your tent, including your hiking poles, if you want to be able to use them again.