Four unique alpine lakes sit in a wonderful mountain basin at the headwaters of Welsh Creek. The tiny blue/green lakes are surrounded by white rock and glaciers and the Welsh and IriZKey elevations: Lower Welsh Lake 2164m 7100’; upper Welsh Lake 2190m 7200’
Distance: 5km to first Welsh Lake (add 1.5km if you don’t drive to end of poor road.
Time: Backpacking 2-3 days
Access: Good gravel, only last 2km require 4WD
Season: July to early September
Map: 82K/9 Radium Hot Springs 82K/10 Howser Creek
Drive: From Radium: At 4-way at Hwy 93/95, turn west, follow signs for Horsethief Creek Road and cross the Columbia River. Drive 10kms to a 4-way junction with Westfall Road.
From Invermere: Drive the Panorama Resort/Wilmer Rd. 1.8km Turn north to Wilmer. 4.4km Turn right at Delphine Lodge in Wilmer and continue north on Westside Road.. 15.4km Turn left (west) on Horsethief Creek FSR.
0.0 Start on Horsethief Road going west
5km Turn right onto Forster/Horsethief Creek FSR
11km Turn left (right goes to Dogleg Lake road)
27.5km Turn left uphill onto small gravel road about .5km past third bridge.
27.7km Lower parking area. 4WD required to drive last 1.5km to the upper parking lot gain 152m 500’
29km TH by Welsh Creek.
Trail/Route: Cross Welsh Creek and follow an old logging road for 3.6km. Stay on the west side of the creek across a talus slope marked by cairns. The last 1.5kms is very steep up a rocky ridge. The maintained trail ends at the north end of the lower Welsh Lake. Camp on the SW shore.
The hike to the upper Welsh Lake is a 1km rough bushwhack gaining 150’. The blue-green water contrasts with angular rock slabs, the Irish and Welsh Peaks and extensive boulder slopes for a kilometre to the south.
Things to do?
1. Climb south from upper lake to the col between Centaurus Glacier and Killarney Peak 8700’. Views of Farnham Tower and bleak rocks.
2. From lower Welsh Lake, ascend west to Aberystwyth Lake, a steep scramble.
3. Olive Hut.