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photo of Murtle Lake ' Wells Gray Provincial Park - Murtle Lake
important info, warnings, alerts for park visitors
general overview of park, size, special features safety, park hazards, wildlife information, health risks
park location, parks nearby, how to get to the park history, cultural heritage, conservation, wildlife
maps of park and/or campground, trails, etc. Management Planning
campsite reservations, group and picnic site reservations images of the park

vehicle accessible, drive-in campsites wilderness, backcountry, walk-in camping group camping - 15 or more campers picnic, day-use facilities, no camping wheelchair accessiblity drinking water toilets showers sani-stations, sani-dumps firewood, campfires BC Parks do not have electrical hookups interpretive, educational programs
walking, hiking trails playgrounds swimming, lifeguards canoeing, kayaking power boats, boat launch fishing cycling, mountain biking, bicycling horses, horseback riding pets, domestic animals in parks Icon Legend- Green =Available Grey = Unavailable

wildlife viewing
winter recreation, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, toboganning, ice skating scuba, snorkelling windsurfing waterskiing hunting climbing, rock climbing spelunking, caving cabins, yurts, lodges click on green symbols for more information


Attention Visitors - Important Notice!

  • As of March 30, 2005:
    • Full service will resume June 1, 2005.
    • Overnight visitors can pay at the lagoon with a self-registration system. Cash is the preferred method of payment. Deposit cash in the envelope, fill out the information and place in vault located at the lagoon. Please detach receipt and retain for presentation to Park Operator or Ranger to confirm payment.
    • Firewood is available at the firewood cache locations, along the portage trail or cut up for use at the campsites. Bundled firewood will be available for purchase from the Park Operator.

Park Info:

Murtle Lake is world-famous as the largest canoe-only lake in North America. Set in a pristine mountain valley, the north and west arms are approximately 20 km long, and the lake averages three kilometres wide. Note: a pre-registration form must be read and signed by all users prior to a camping pass being issued.

Return to Wells Gray Provincial Park.

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Park Size: 6,900 hectare mid-section of Wells Gray Park’s 540,000 ha total

Special Notes:

  • The Park Operator has emergency communication and a satellite phone link located in the Ranger Cabin on the south shore of Murtle Lake. The nearest public telephone is located at Blue River Campground and RV Park, 27 km from the Murtle Lake parking area.
  • No internal combustion engines or electric motors, no pets, and no firearms are allowed.
  • No overnight use and no campfires are allowed on Fairyslipper Island.
  • No dogs or pets are allowed at Murtle Lake.
  • The use of bear proof food caches is mandatory.

Management Planning:

Management Planning Information


Murtle Lake is accessed off highway #5 at Blue River. Drive 27 km west on a winding, narrow, gravel road to the parking lot. From there, a 2.5 km level trail (canoe-cart accessible) leads to the canoe launch.


Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.

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Nature & Culture:
  • History

  • Visitor Safety:
    • Boil or otherwise purify lake or creek water to reduce risk of Giardia lamblia (beaver fever).
    • The outlet of Murtle Lake is the swift-flowing and dangerous Murtle River, noted for its many waterfalls. Visitors wishing to hike to McDougall Falls must use caution in Diamond Lagoon.
    • Murtle Lake is a large lake and subject to gusts of strong wind. The lake often becomes choppy in the afternoon. If moving camp it is best to do so in the forenoon. Never try to out-run a storm; beach at the first available opportunity and wait out bad weather.

    Visitor Safety Information (park safety, hazards, wildlife safety information, health risks)

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    Reservations:If reservable campsites are available at this park, all vehicle accessible campsites (with the exception of group sites) must be reserved through Discover Camping.

    There are no reservations for the walk-in/wilderness in this area of the park.


    Explore Parks: Fees, park listings, what you should know before you go and other useful links.

    Contact Information:

    Blackwell Park Operations Ltd
    E-mail address:
    Phone: (250) 674-2194

    Click here to view a non-government website for additional information.

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    vehicle accessible, drive-in campsites

    No vehicle accessible camping facilities at this park.

    wilderness, backcountry,  walk-in camping

    There are 69 wilderness/canoe-in tenting sites at 20 locations along the lakeshore. (No vehicle access to lakeshore.) Camping is in designated sites only. No overnight camping on Fairyslipper Island. New permit system for Murtle Lake:
    Overnight visitors can now pay at the lagoon with a self-registration system. Cash is the preferred method of payment. Deposit cash in the envelope, fill out the information and place in vault located at the lagoon. Please detach receipt and retain for presentation to Park Operator or Ranger to confirm payment.
    Backcountry Camping Fee: $5.00 per person / night
    Hours of Operation for backcountry/walk-in sites in Wells Gray

    group camping - 15 or more campers

    No group camping.

    picnic, day-use facilities,  no camping

    No day-use or picnic facilities; although some day-use visitors walk the additional 1.5 km past the canoe launch to a sandy beach on the lakeshore.

    wheelchair accessibility

    Some facilities in the park are wheelchair accessible.

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    drinking water

    Bring your own drinking water, boil or otherwise purify lake or creek water as potable water is not available in the park.

    toilets This park only has pit toilets - no flush toilets.

    No showers.

    sani-stations, sani-dumps

    No sani-station/dump facilities.

    firewood, campfires

    While campfires are allowed and campfire rings are provided at each campsite, we encourage visitors to conserve wood and protect the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using campstoves instead. Firewood can be purchased in the park or you may bring your own wood.Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary from park to park. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don't gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil.

    BC Parks do not have electrical hook-ups BC Parks do not have electrical hook-ups.
    interpretive,  educational  programs

    There are no regularly scheduled interpretive programs at this park.

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    walking, hiking trails

    Trailheads are water-accessible only, and are marked by signs. Trails lead to small lakes, alpine wilderness, and McDougall Falls on the Murtle River. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure. Click here for more trail information and trail conditions and updates will be posted on the main page under the Attention Visitor Notice.


    This park does not have a playground.

    swimming, lifeguards

    There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks. Murtle Lake is glacier-fed, and the water is icy cold.

    canoeing, kayaking

    Only canoes and kayaks are allowed at Murtle Lake. A canoe launch is provided at the lagoon, 2.5 km from the parking lot.

    power boats, boat launch

    This park does not have a boat launch.


    Murtle is noted for rainbow and kokanee trout. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.

    cycling, mountain biking, bicycling

    Cycling is not permitted.

    horses, horseback riding

    No horseback riding.

    pets, domestic animals in parks No dogs or pets are allowed at Murtle Lake.
    wildlife viewing

    No wildlife viewing opportunities.

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    winter recreation, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, toboganning, ice skating

    No winter recreation opportunities.

    scuba, snorkelling

    No SCUBA diving or snorkelling opportunities.


    No windsurfing opportunities.


    No waterskiing opportunities.


    No hunting in the park.

    climbing, rock climbing

    No climbing or rock climbing opportunities.

    spelunking, caving

    No spelunking or caving opportunities.

    cabins, yurts, lodges

    No cabins, yurts or lodges for public use.

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