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This review and trail description is about the Black Prince Lakes trail, which extends 2.9 km (1.8 mi) beyond the Black Prince Cirque trail.

For reference, the Black Prince Cirque trail is the 4.2 km (round trip) trail which starts at the parking lot. This trail is well marked and is suitable for casual walkers.

To pick up the Black Prince Lakes trail, take the Black Prince Cirque trail to Warspite Lake. At the lake, find marker 8 (these markers are at various scenic points along the trail). Just before marker 8, you will see a path leading to the right (the north). Follow this path, which will take you along the north side of Warspite Lake. Be watchful so you don't loose the trail, and look for little pink streamers tied to branches at random points, which mark the trail.

Once you emerge from the forest at the west end of the lake, the trail goes through waist-high scrub. Eventually you will come to a rock field. There are stone piles on the field to show you the way across.

It takes about 8-10 minutes to cross the rock field. If you miss the stone piles, or they have been knocked down, no worries. Look up the valley and aim for the right side of the opening, where the forest ends.

The path continues through the forest. You emerge into the valley, which has scrub-sized plants and lots of wild flowers (we did the trail in July). The trail is mostly dirt with some rocks.

The trail makes its way up the valley and towards the Warspite cascade which you can see and hear up the valley on the left. There seems to be a few parallel paths but they all end up at the cascade.

The cascade is the highlight of the trip. It took us about 70 minutes to get to this point.

You can turn around here or continue the trail up the right of the cascade. The trail gets pretty steep and is kind of tough going.

After an open section (tough climb) the trail goes into a forested area and eventually parallels the creek which forms the cascade. Look for a short path on the left which you can take to view the cascade from the top.

The path continues up the valley. It's hard to follow in places but the area is open so no worries. Looking up the valley you can see Mt Warspite and on the right is Mt Black Prince. You want to stay to the right of the valley and follow the edge of the forested area. At the end of the forested area the path goes up the slope to a plateau where you can see the Black Prince Lakes. This is the end of the trail.

Hiking time from the parking lot to this point was 1hr50min, including stops for pictures. Distance to this point is 5.1 km (3 mi), elevation gain around 1500 ft (estimated - reading from a topographic map, I'm a map-and-compass type). So plan for around 4 hours total time for the entire hike (10.2 km, 6.1 mi).

Great trail! We were there on November 8 and the weather was perfect. Quite a bit of snow up the trail and the footing was kind of difficult but the view of the cirque at the end was great. We took our old dog Moby and she was fine. Not a lot of other users.

hiking
2 days ago

Pretty steady climb up but a great beginners trail with a perfect picnic spot at the end.

hiking
3 days ago

This is my favorite hike in the Rockies! It only takes about an hour before you reach the meadow and the spectacular views. There's some steep sections but nothing too difficult. Once you reach the lake you're going to want to climb the headwall. It only takes about half hour or so and the panoramic views are simply amazing! It took me about 4 hours return which made for a great day hike. I'd definitely recommend this hike.

hiking
3 days ago

It's worth heading to the campsite... you can walk to the top of the waterfall and get closer to the snow, gives you a whole new perspective. Beautiful hike and it keeps getting better as you go:)

cruisey trail up to Lake. beautiful views through valley

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

Gentle inclines and wide track makes this an enjoyable hike. Take time to explore around the lakes!

hiking
7 days ago

Good trail and hike. The drive to Pemberton involves a bunch of curvy roads with not much traffic. I reached the parking lot at around 1:15 pm and it was full . The shoulder parking and the overflow parking were also full. Luckily, I got a spot as someone had just finished.

The first lake is right down the the trailhead and offers great views and is busy . The hike then starts going uphill and keeps climbing from there. The first part of the uphill is easy till one reaches the steps and rocks . It gets steep here and slippery too. A downhill hiker slipped and hurt herself badly - so be careful out there. Hiking Poles are a must for the downhill part. After climbing up steadily and then thru switchbacks , the hike kind of levels out before reaching the second lake. The lake is beautiful but go along a bit further for good colors and less crowd.

The third lake is easier to reach about 15 mins from the second. There is a lovely waterfalls on the way to the third. The third is full of boulders strewn over. The third lake is gorgeous and it gets chilly out there , so a jacket is a good idea.

The campsites are located on the other end of the lake near the glacier fed waterfalls. Absolutely lovely spot for the camps.

A hike well worth the effort.

I couldn't make it to the peak as it was very slippery.
The views from the first and second peak are amazing. There's no reason to risk going to the peak as there's still a lot of snow.
Crampons can be very useful.
Also, as mentioned before, a lot of bugs all around. It can be very annoying.

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Excellent trail. A bit difficult if you are out of shape. Wear proper footwear. Go all the way to the final lake - well worth it.

There are washrooms at each lake location.

Was tying for Dolomite Pass and Cirque peak but a thunder storm rolled in, so only made it to Helen Lake. Small section of Avalanche debris on the way up, otherwise trail is in great condition