Deeks Lake

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This a very nice moderately challenging hike that is rarely hiked but well maintained. The whole trail goes through vast forest to come out in the end by the lake itself. If you are looking for a good work out combined with worthwhile scenery, then this is wold be a great hike for you. Although you do not get any 360 views of the top of a mountain, you get to see an incredible forest scene, nice lookouts onto Howe Sound, and an amazing quiet lake that is just perfect for a plunge after such a climb up to it. The several peaks that surround the lake are also well worth the look. If you are also tired of crowded trails such as up to Stawamus chief, then you'll be well pleased as usually not many people go up there each day. And as it is not far from Vancouveer or Squamish, it is a great location to find such a secluded and rugged area.

Route Info

Lake elevation: 1 097 meters

Trailhead: 61 meters

Trail length: 6.8 km

Time to complete: 6~7 hours

Difficulty: moderate

Technical difficulty: clear on-trail hiking


From Vancouver, take Hwy 99 north towards Squamish, and right after you pass Lions Bay, keep your eyes on the creek signs. Deeks Creek is the one after Loggers Creek, and approximately 6 km from Lions Bay. Keep your eyes well opened as it isn't hard to miss. There are two parking areas: one is on the left side of the highway right across the road from Deeks, and the other, bigger pullout just before Deeks creek. There is a turnaround area not too far ahead which you should use to get to the parking spots. Be cautious while crossing the highway on foot as it is dangerous. To find the trailhead, just look for the square orange markers on the left bank of Deeks creek. There is also the option of starting the trail about 5km north from Deeks Creek which is the official north end of the Howe Sound Crest Trail (although this one is the prefered one and more scenic one) which will join up with this trail about after 3km.

Trail Description

The whole trail is well marked with square orange markers and is very clear the whole way. There is some scrambling in the beginning of the trail as it is quite steep, but not dangerous and fairly simple. At one point you will come to an intersection where you will have to take a right as the left will take you on the Deeks Bluffs loop. Also, take note that there will be a bypass of dangerous slide area which was the original trail, but is dangerous, so it is suggested that you take the bypass that will rejoin the main trail about 1.5 km after this intersection. There are also multiple little side trails leading of the main trail to join with the Deeks Bluff Trail. If you are heading to the lake, all of the side trails should just be ignored - just keep the main trail which is well marked. Once Deeks Lake has been reached, there is still a trail going around it to the other side of the lake and then all the way to Cypress Bowl past the Lions which is another excellent trail (Howe Sound Crest Trail) which is about 29km long, takes about 3 days to complete, and is quite strenuous but very well worth it. So if you have time and energy to do so, you can continue up this trail for a bit (1~2 hours depending how far you go) you will reach Upper Deeks Lake and several other lakes. This is worth the effort as these lakes are really blue and extremely beautiful and you will also get a glimpse of Brunswick Mountain and other surrounding peaks.

A large 1,400 home housing development ("Porteau Cove") is being currently created by Concord Pacific directly over the trail. As a result, the majority of the Deeks Creek trail from Highway #99 up to the Howe Sound Crest Trail junction has either been logged or is slated to be logged. The trail currently exits onto a confusing, muddy mess of new roads and it can be difficult to find where the original route was.

In addition, Sea-to-Sky highway widening may also result in the removal of the small parking areas opposite the trailhead. The 2006/2007 winter season paid a heavy toll on the trail, with much of the footpath invisible under a large amount of branches.

It is not likely that this trail will recover from the severe man-made damage. There are plans by the developer to create a new trailhead for the northern end of the Howe Sound Crest Trail and parking area near the development. This will result in a shorter distance to the lake, but with the possibility of a NIMBY effect in which the new landowners will react negatively to the hikers in their neighbourhood (similar to Lions Bay).