Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
535.00 m (1,755.25 ft)
Trail type
15.20 km (9.44 mi)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Kwai Lake is a backpacking trip for all adventurers from beginner to advanced. Paved road access, well-maintained trails, and prepared tent pads make it easy for people new to the outdoors. Those looking for an extended adventure can use Kwai Lake to prepare for larger objectives in the park such as the prominent Mount Albert Edward.

Strathcona Park is a popular place on weekends and in the heart of summer. Try to come during the week or arrive early on weekends for quieter trails and better campsite selection. Get a backcountry camping permit on the Discover Camping website or bring $10 cash per person per night and register at the trailhead. If going in May or June, check with Mount Washington Alpine Resort, local hiking groups, or social media for snow level and trail conditions. They are also sometimes posted at the trailhead visitor center.

Ideally, follow the loop counterclockwise past Croteau Lake on the hike in. This avoids climbing up a steeper section of trail on the west side of the loop. The trails are clearly signed with distances to each lake listed as well.  The campground has a vault toilet and food cache to discourage wildlife.

Kwai Lake can be a final destination or the basecamp to go deeper into Strathcona Park to climb peaks or explore more subalpine lakes.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Backcountry BC Parks Pass

Open Year-round



Beautiful Views. Many water sources. Well-maintained trail.


Busy. Muddy in the early season. Moderate mosquitoes.

Trailhead Elevation

3,904.20 ft (1,190.00 m)

Highest point

4,133.86 ft (1,260.00 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Family friendly
Backcountry camping
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required


Permit self-issue on site



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Cortes Island, British Columbia


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