The trail circling Gibson Lake is short and splendid, wrapping along the lakeshore and crossing tributary streams. Most folks will want to venture onwards and upwards into Kokanee Glacier Park, but if you’re looking for an easy hike or something to pair with the Old Growth Trail, then Gibson Lake is worth the drive!
Distance, round trip: 2.1km
Season: late June to mid-October
The Gibson Lake Trailhead is the main access into Kokanee Glacier Park. As such, there’s lots of parking, bathrooms, interpretive information, and a picnic shelter. Gibson is a popular fishing lake in the summer and also has a boat launch.
Our hike was on November 7th and the area was very quiet. With the snow-line at 1600m, anyone venturing up towards Kokanee Lake would need snowshoes. We were just below the snow, surrounded by white peaks and frosty forests above.
Along the Lake
We went clockwise around the lake. Ice was starting to form around the edges and was mottled with reflective pools. The trail had small amounts of packed snow and patches of mud, but nothing too messy.
At the far end of the lake, the trail crosses several tributary streams and has sections of boardwalk. It was here that we started to see some beautiful reflections in the still water:
The final section of the trail weaves through forest on the eastern side of Gibson Lake. We made it back to the parking lot in less than hour. It’s definitely a short trail, but it’s a great destination for photography!
Love the colors and the light. Great pictures!
[…] Lake is encircled by a 2km trail, but the better hiking is onwards and upwards into the alpine! Many folks choose to day hike into […]
[…] another 10 minutes up Kokanee Glacier Road and you’ll come to the trailhead for the short Gibson Lake Trail as well as the bigger Kokanee Lake […]
Note that even though this is listed under ‘2wd low clearance vehicles’, the access road Is not paved, and will often be in poor enough condition that you will struggle to make it through without at least high clearance. My last visit was Aug 11, 2019 and it was in pretty good shape overall.
Good point about the access road! It is often rougher in the spring and 4WD is required. The road has just been fixed up for 2020!
Fixed for 2020… would it still be possible with for example a mini van?
I’ve heard that 2WD low clearance are struggling to get up this year. There is a steep section of road that might have gotten rutted with increased use.