Plaid Lake Trail
This trail provides access to Plaid Lake, a large lake in an alpine basin ringed with significant ridge systems below Mt.Crawford. Spectacular views of Kootenay Lake and the West Arm enhance the hiking on this trail. There's some beautiful meadows and larch forest to walk through before arriving at this beautiful sub-alpine lake.
To get here head east on Highway 3A and then Wadds Road from the community of Crawford Bay for 2.5 km. Take a left onto Crawford Creek Road, and stay right at the main junction at 3.5 km. Continue on this road for another 7.8 km (stay left at the refuse transfer station), and take a left at the next junction. Follow this road for 6.0 km. At this point there is a road that leads to the right that is marked 4wd, follow this for another 1.3 km to the parking area and trail.
The trailhead is well marked, and the trail easy to follow. About 45 minutes of hiking will take you up through the subalpine forest and along the ridge to the saddle at 2134 metres (approx. 7000 ft) with marvelous views of Crawford Bay and Kootenay Lake along the way.
From the saddle you can go off trail and scramble up Mt. Crawford (2340 metres, 7675 ft.) using hands as well as feet to clamber over large broke rocks to gain the peak.
Alternatively, continuing north on the trail, you begin following switchbacks down a rocky basin until you see Plaid Lake. A well-travelled trail will take you 2 km. down to the lake, which is a well-known fishing lake and is stocked with Cutthroat Trout so bring your rod and lures. There are also suitable camping areas near the lake as well for those wishing to stay. Alternatively take a break and explore the surrounding area before heading back up the trail to your vehicle.
Note that there is no water on the Mt. Crawford trail. There is plenty at Plaid Lake, however you should filter or treat any surface water.
- Distance: 8.4 km Round Trip
- Elevation Gain: 564 m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time: 6-8 hrs
- Season: Spring-Fall
- Road Access: Difficult, unpaved forestry road, 4x4 required
- Parking: Limited
Plaid Lake Trail
Riondel, BC BC V0B 2B0