Strathcona - Helen McKenzie-Kwai Lake-Croteau Lake Loop Trail (Forbidden Plateau)

Strathcona - Helen McKenzie-Kwai Lake-Croteau Lake Loop Trail (Forbidden Plateau) near Courtenay, BC

This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
14 kms
Spring, Fall, Summer
Courtenay, BC
User toolbox
NTS Map:92F11. This hike starts out as an easy hike on boardwalk, and then becomes a bit rougher. The trail length is about 14 Kms, taking about 5 hours, with an elevation gain of about 185 meters. At every junction there is a direction map and - a you are here - arrow on it. However, the points between junctions have no indication to help you along, so make sure you stick to the path at all times and when in doubt retrace your steps. One wrong turn and you could be lost for a while. You'll be treated to beautiful alpine lakes with some nice views of the distant peaks.


Forbidden Plateau: The main access route to Forbidden Plateau from Courtenay and Campbell River is via the Paradise Meadows Trailhead at Mount Washington. From Highway 19 follow signs to Mount Washington Ski Resort via exit #130 (the Strathcona Parkway) for 20 km. Turn left onto the Nordic Lodge road for 1.5 km to the Paradise Meadows parking lot.


Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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By jimpcPosted By: jimpc  - Sat Sep 14 02:46:42 UTC 2013 Not Rated Comment once you leave the boardwalk the trail to the right (west) is overused, deep ruts, continuos tree roots. Even after several v. dry days there were still lots of mud patches. The trail to the east side ( past the campground)is longer but a bit better. But overall we were too busy watching our footing to enjoy any views.</br></br>
By harryreid_iiiPosted By: harryreid_iii  - Fri Jan 11 18:11:52 UTC 2013 Not Rated Question Has anyone tried this at this time of year?

ANSWERS are in this forum:   Winter hike
By jabulaPosted By: jabula  - Sun Jul 15 14:54:14 UTC 2012 Not Rated Comment Tried this July 14th and decided to wait a few weeks till the snow is reduced. Lots of areas were clogged with unstable snow footing, easy to break through half melted snow pack.
By AbsolumPosted By: Absolum  - Mon Jun 13 19:16:09 UTC 2011 Not Rated Question Someone know if its still snow up there in mid june ? Or with normal summer gear im gonna be alright ?


ANSWERS are in this forum:  Snow ?!?
By dmarrPosted By: dmarr  - Thu Jan 08 16:37:19 UTC 2004 Not Rated Upside Easy access to subalpine and alpine. Downside Busy. Can be buggy. Comment If you want to camp in this area, rather than just dayhike it, there are a few options. The two designated camping sites are Circlet Lake (good site for those who want to hike up Mt. Albert Edward)and Kwai Lake (good central spot for a variety of dayhikes). Both of these spots can be busy, see considerable dayhikers(especially Kwai)and while in appealing spots do show a bit of wear. A third optiuon is to backback souheast on a much less-used trail from the Murray Meadows area, past Panther and Johnson Lakes towards Douglas and McKenzie Lakes. The latter are at a lower elevation than the core area and are forested, with few views. The area can be bug-infested. It is more enjoyable to random camp in any of a number of spots along the trail between these two areas. This trail runs along a subalpine plateau from just past Johnston Lake to the drop towards McKenzie/Douglas Lakes. There are small ponds and streams, level sites and even some views, with far fewer people than the core area sees.
By trailpeakPosted By: trailpeak  - Wed Nov 12 01:31:49 UTC 2003 Not Rated Comment To the trail contributor, if you have pictures you can also e-mail them to Thanks.

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