The Lizzie Lake Cabin sits on the north bank of a stream draining Arrowhead Lake into Lizzie Lake, at the head of the Lizzie-Stein Divide, and offers a great base to ski tour this unique section of the Lillooet Ranges.
The Lizzie Lake area, though often an arduous winter trip in, offers access to a huge playground of skiing, with the open slopes of White Lupine Ridge above the trees behind the hut, more mellow glades on the other side of the creek, Arrowhead Mountain, Tynemouth Mountain, Long Peak, and unlimited variation in terrain for those who wish to explore the ridges, lakes, peaks and open faces further.
The trail in is pretty straight forward to the Lizzie Lake Provincial Camp Ground, then climbs steeply through trees above the Lake to the Gates of Shangri-La, east of Lizzie Lake. The trail can be quite arduous if you are breaking fresh tracks through deep snow, being 15km of climbing with 1300m of steady elevation gain. It can take more than 12 hours on the way in, and around half that on the return.
From the car, follow the Road for about 300 metres to a fork. The original trail continued straight ahead, but the road has been washed out a short way along and is impassable by vehicle or on foot. So, take the road up the hill to the left. At the first right hand switch-back, a small rock cairn (possibly buried) marks the start of the washout bypass trail. This trail follows above the road back the way you just came, then skirts very steep and slippery slopes above the washout, rejoining the Lizzie Branch FSR a short way past the washout. It takes about 30-45 minutes.
Follow the Lizzie Branch FSR south east, staying on the north side of Lizzie Creek. After crossing a small stream, stay right at a road intersection, and cross another stream before starting the climb up towards Lizzie Lake. Stay left at the next intersection, then stay right at the one after that. Once through the pass, leave the road, passing a sign as you enter the Lizzie Lake Provincial camp grounds at the north end of Lizzie Lake. At the edge of the camp ground, you will pass a sign board with a map of the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park. Just before arriving at the lake, head slightly to the left and you should see a trail sign nailed to a tree. This is the start of the new trail to the Lizzie Lake Cabin, and the Stein Traverse.
The trail is marked by orange markers and red ticker tape, but can be a little difficult to follow in winter. It passes through four or five steep narrow creeks, climbing gradually through the trees above the north side of Lizzie Lake, until an altitude of about 1580 metres where it breaches a small gap in steep cilffed slopes. This is called the Gates of Shangri-La. If you're too high or too low you will encounter steep treacherous terrain.
From here the going gets easier, as the valley slowly opens up with the final kilometre of trail heading gently along a meandering, boulder strewn creek. Shortly, the cabin becomes visible 200m above the north bank of the creek, slightly hidden at the start of the trees.
The cabin is a rustic log hut, built in the late 60's by David Nickerson. In 2001 it was cleaned up and repaired by a team of people including a nephew of the late D. Nickerson. This log cabin is breezy and the residence of at least one rat, or perhaps a very large and noisy mouse. The cabin is equipped with two coleman white-gas mantle lamps, one that has a refillable tank, the other uses those green disposable bbq cylinders. It also has a coleman stove (not sure if it works), a large wood burning stove, and loads of saws, axes and splitters for cutting wood.
There is often a supply of wood, but use it sparingly as it is an act of love by summer visitors who stock the wood pile each fall. There is usually only enough for a hand-full of winter trips.
The cabin sleeps 8 comfortably. The stove pipe is often buried in snow, and will smoke dangerously unless this is freed. As for all cabins, please look after it, put your fires out before you leave, leave it cleaner than it was when you arrived, make sure there is a supply of wood for anyone needing to make a fire quickly, take out your garbage, and treat it with all the respect it deserves. This cabin is visited infrequently throughout the winter.
From Pemberton, follow Hwy 99 east to the small town of Mount Currie. Turn right to follow Hwy 99 along Lillooet Lake. Once the Hwy leaves the lake, it climbs steeply up towards Duffey Lake. Almost immediately after leaving Lake Lillooet, you turn left onto Lillooet River Road, a well maintained and snow groomed all season dirt road. Pass Twin One and Twin Two Creeks. Cross one more unnamed creek, and park on the left hand side of the road, at the start of the In-Shuck-Ch / Lizzie Branch Forest Service Road, at about 15km from leaving Hwy 99.
(a) Click Wiki Edit This Page to get placed in edit mode
(b) When finished, your update is available to view as draft (click wiki update pending in trail to see draft)
* note: editors are notified and must approve the change
Posted By: threedot
- Sun Aug 05 00:24:52 UTC 2012
QuestionWas planning to stay at the cabin and do some day hikes but heard access is an issue - washed out bridge? Anyone have any info on this? Also is it open to anyone to use? or is there a fee? Any details would be really great...ANSWERS are in this forum: Access to lizzy lake
Posted By: trailrunner
- Sat Sep 10 17:07:08 UTC 2011
Upside It got progressively scenic and beautiful from the upper end of old logging road trail. Very clearly marked trail till the cabin. Downside Beyond the cabin the trail is impossible to follow the trails as they all branch out and fade away. In rainy weather with large back pack would be a challenge to maneuver. Comment Actually I was going for Tabletop & Anemone peak. I made it to the hut but then kept going in circles beyond that for almost 2hrs and turned around and came back. Time; Trail head to Lizzy hut 2hrs 13mins no stopping, return back 1hr 59mins with about 50 stops to take pictures(20-25mins lost). The trail to the hut is often somewhat rugged and it would be a challenge to haul a large backpack in rain on this trail. I also imagine significant route finding skill would be needed beyond the hut.
I took the trail described in the trail description here instead of creek wading option. The trail goes on the steep hill on dry soil- if it rains it could be slippery. Then it goes down to join the washed out logging road. Then at the beginning this old logging road trail goes under the alder stands. Eventually alder or plants at the side of the trail gets lower, and majority of trail section the grass will touch your body/face. Later there is one bridge creek crossing. Then it gets steep and the view opens up with some gorgeous Engelmann Spruce standing and their pretty blue seedlings at the old road bed.
About 10% of logging road trail opens up more than 3m wide free of grass. Right before reaching Lizzie lake, you would see cascading Lizzie Creek, and get to the end of old logging road- here there is a turn off to the right instead of going straight. Look for the large colored trail information board & outhouse on your right here. From here the trail gets nicer as it is no longer based on old logging road. In a couple of hundred meters you will get to Lizzie Lake and camp site. There were 5-6 lots of old BC Forest Camp sites, and the trail goes through them. If you take the trails down to the lake they end at the lake.
The trail gradually goes away from Lizzie lake and start gaining elevation rapidly. This nice soft rockless trail goes under old growth of Amabilis Fir and Mountain Hemlock, then later Alpine Fir. And it seemed 30-50% of this section was some kind of huge windfall or muddy sections - but they were all very clearly defined and flagged. With large backpacks this will present a significant challenges as there are many deadfall sections where you need to crawl under or jump onto the felled large trees in steep sections.
After this area you will traverse 2-300m long steep angled rock slide area; it took a very long time for me to get through here. You need a skill. Some rocks were unstable and scary. After this the trail goes right next to the nice brook. Then soon you reach the cabin. This cabin looks like 100% Alpine Fir construction. Never seen one before and it has been standing for a long time. This is a BC treasure! The door was locked.
From the hut, I crossed the creek to follow the trail, but it diverged into so many of them all of which I followed all over the nice meadow and they all disappeared. Sometimes they turned into a creek or pond bed. Sometimes I followed up to some screes. I knew I needed to find the waterfall. But there wasn't any that I could see. Then turned back to the cabin and followed some traces to the other side of the creek. I tried all traces but lost them all. I did meet one guy on the way and when I told him where I was going I should have asked him about the ease of access. If anyone knew how I could have reached Tabletop & Anemone Mtn I would love to hear it.
FOR RUNNERS; I was not going very fast as I didn't know what to expect at scrambling as I have little to no experience in it, and the old logging road was often covered by grasses and alder. Yet overall it is suitable for a mid speed comfortable long run on flat to low incline rise on this trail. It took 89mins from trail head to Lizzy Lake. From the lake to the hut(44mins) was often a full of obstacles (windfalls, muddy section, rock slide) and it is not suitable for running, though it would be a good uphill training. Fast runner can still do 1hr 45mins to hut, 1hr 25min return. I would imagine past the hut would be a good running terrain if you know where you were going.