Hikes, Lakes

Things To Do In Squamish: Fly In Or Hike Lake Lovely Water

The breathtaking Lake Lovely Water sits in a basin at 3800 feet above sea level. The mountains surrounding this scenic adventure spot are part of Tantalus Provincial Park just outside of the town of Squamish, BC, north of Vancouver. The 11,351-hectare Tantalus Provincial Park provides access to several recreational adventures including hiking, climbing, fishing, and advanced backcountry skiing. This is a remote wilderness area with limited access and no park facilities such as washrooms.

From the Sea To Sky Highway, travellers driving from Vancouver to Whistler will see a set of jagged, heavily glaciated peaks dominating the skyline across the valley on the west side, this is the Tantalus Range home of Lake Lovley Water. Along the highway drive there is the Tantalus viewpoint rest-stop that gives an excellent view of the Cheakamus Canyon and towards the Tantalus Range.

History of Lake Lovley Water & the Tantalus Range

Whether you’re hiking, flying or driving past the Tantalus Range, you’ll notice that the group of mountains (named after their tallest peak) are extremely rugged and craggy compared to the rest of the surrounding Squamish mountains.

During the last ice age glaciers filled the valleys and only the tallest peaks were left free from the ice. When under pressure ice flows with the aid of gravity and meltwater lubrication. As the glacial ice moved it acted like sandpaper, grinding the peaks underneath into smooth rounded tops. The mountains of the Tantalus Range were tall enough to poke through saving peaks from erosion as the glaciers marched on below.

Lake Lovley Water is a glacial lake created from the meltwater of the last ice age ended around 10,000 years ago.

Lake Lovely Water Hike

The trailhead for Lake Lovely Water is located on the west side of the Squamish River. The journey is via is a rugged, steep but very rewarding trail that winds hikers up from the valley floor through lush west coast rainforest to the sub-alpine haven that is Lake Lovely Water. The hiking route is an overnight out-and-back that can take anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on fitness. We recommend that you take at least 3-5 days to really explore & appreciate all the area has to offer.  Thanks the Alpine Club of Canada hikers, climbers and scramblers can stay at the Tantalus Hut on the shores of the lake. The hut is locked and guests must book in advance, at the ACC Vancouver website.

Roundtrip Length: 13km (4-6 hour one way)

Elevation gain: 1170.4 meters (3840 feet)

Good to know: The hike has been described as “steep and difficult but well worth it” and BC Parks says “good route finding skills and proper equipment and clothing are required”. At the elevation of Lake Lovely Water weather can change quickly, causing limited visibility.

Lake Lovely Water From The Air

If you don’t have the time for a 3-day hike, hop on a sightseeing flight and we’ll get you the best very view of Lake Lovely Water usually only reserved for eagles. The Squamish Explorer sightseeing flight takes guests on a tour of the Squamish mountains including the Tantalus Range and Lake Lovely Water.

On the Squamish Explorer, you’ll get a little bit of everything from our other tours all rolled into one. Alpine lakes, jagged peaks, secret waterfalls, and rumbling glaciers are just a few of the unforgettable sights that will leave your jaw on the floor…and just wait until you see Lake Lovely Water itself.



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