The Nazko Lakes Canoe chain is in Nazko Provincial Park. It consists of 6 lakes (including some river) that trail down the Nazko River approx 22 kms, one way. This canoe chain is wilderness area. There are no facilities except at the start (Deerpelt Lake). The paddling is fairly easy, none of the lakes being very wide, but many of the portages cannot handle canoe carts so you will be carrying everything. The up side is that the portages are all under 800 metres. There are at least 5. There are also a couple short stretches that you will need to line your canoe through. Nastachi Lake is quite weed choked and can be a chore to get through.
There are nicely located camp sites, from previous users, up & down this chain. Most are located at one end or the other of the portages but there are also 2-3 island campsite areas. All are easily spotted with some quite large fire rings erected. Bears & coyotes abound as do the American White Pelican. Otters, beaver, osprey and fish are plentiful as well as the occasional bald eagle. Game sign is present but not that plentiful. The water can be quite mucky from animal/bird activity and there are plenty of shallows at the ends & portage put-ins & take-outs where creeks join the lakes together.
The best thing about this chain is that it seems to be a fairly well kept secret. I saw no one out on the chain in my 5 days out on it. See my more detailed trip journal in the article by following this link; Dog GONE, Mean Horesflies on Nazko Lakes
The topo map reference for the Map that gets 2/3 to 3/4 of this chain on paper is 93B5 in 1:100,000 scale. It shows up to the exit from Tzazati Lake. Nazko River & Tchusiniltil Lake would continue on Map 93B12.
The turnoff to the trailhead is about 112 km West of Williams Lake. See the MWLAP Provincial Parks web site for details on how to get there. It is an 8-9 hr drive at least.
Take Highway 20 west from Williams Lake. Pass through the village of Alexis Creek (111 km from Williams Lake). Bull Canyon Park is six km further on. At the top of the hill past this small park, look for the Alexis Lakes Road and turn right. Travel approximately 32 km on the Alexis Lakes Road, then turn left onto the 4600 Road (Clusko-Aneko Forest Service Road). The road to Loomis Lake and the Nazko Lake Canoe Chain is at kilometre 11.5, on the right, just past the 4645 marker sign. Loomis Lake is 11 km from the 4600 Road, and Deerpelt Lake, where the Canoe Chain starts, is about another 2.5 km.
Traveling west on Highway 20 approximately 67 km west of Williams Lake (or 21 km west of Riske Creek), turn right on the 1300 Road (also called Bush Road or Alex Graham/Raven Lake Forest Service Road). Continue on the 1300 Road for approximately 44 km. Just past the 45 marker sign on the 1300 Road, turn left onto the 4600 Road. Travel for 45.5 km. The access road to the Nazko Lake Canoe Chain is on the right, just past the 4645 marker sign. Continue as above.
These roads are active haul roads, and you may encounter logging trucks at any time. Please drive carefully and use your headlights.
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Posted By: Kanu
- Thu May 13 06:17:26 UTC 2004
UpsideGood Description. CommentI just got back(5.12.04) from doing the route. Dave didn't make it to Tchusiniltil. Unfortunately, I did. No campsites at either end of 450 meter portage, which is not terrible. What is bad, is that even in spring, that last lake is shallower than Nastachi. After getting stuck in the middle of the Tchusiniltil, and finding no route through, I turned back to a camp on a point on the west side of Tzazati Lake. Lots of bear scat on the Nazko-Tanikul portage. A moose carcass(probably drowned after it fell through the ice) floated at the north end of Tanikul. A deer carcass(cougar kill?) was spread about the Nastachi-Tzazati portage.
I had hoped to make it all the way to the end, but unless it is done during spring runoff, I doubt whether it would be any fun. Nazko and Tanikul are very nice and worth a visit. A dozen or more golden eagles, as well as a few balds, plus loons, kingfishers, and pelicans, all make this great for birdwatchers. Oh, as you travel farther north, you'll encounter more cow pies...open range, which takes away from the general wilderness feeling.
Posted By: hawke_gh
- Tue Dec 09 20:40:49 UTC 2003
CommentJim - fishing was "supposed" to be GREAT. In Nazko & Tanikul there were LARGE fish rising & jumping all over the place. I never got a chance to enjoy the fishing though... See my article on the Home page - darned dog thought the lure was stick!!.
Posted By: Jim Briar
- Wed Dec 03 17:23:47 UTC 2003
CommentIs the fishing good? Where do you leave the second vehicle?
Posted By: trailpeak
- Thu Nov 27 00:52:26 UTC 2003
CommentI also hear that 'Nazko Cone' is a relatively intact Volcanic cone to visit, is that anywhere near this canoe route, or, are there other volcanic geographical features to see on this route? Yep, pics would help, anyone? e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted By: BarryMaya
- Wed Nov 26 22:17:43 UTC 2003
UpsideGood basic description, and good directions for getting there. DownsideNo Pictures!!!