Jade Lakes – Revelstoke National Park

Jade Lakes – Revelstoke National Park

Hiking to Jade Lakes was one of the best hikes we did last summer. You can start with the trail through the Meadows-in-the-Sky to Miller and Eva Lakes. But if you have some extra energy, you can continue on to the beautiful, secluded Upper Jade Lake. This trail starts at over 1800m, so your car does the main slog up the mountain; Leaving you to enjoy the alpine meadows, lake and incredible mountain views. This post will describe the route if you’d like to visit all the lakes as a day hike. We visited Balsam Lake, Heather Lake, Miller Lake, Jade Lakes and finished with Eva Lake.

The tough part about this hike is that you descend around 400m from the high point above Jade Lakes. That means you need to re-climb up that 400m on the return journey. This can be a bit exhausting if you are not used to gaining over a kilometer in elevation gain in one day.

Jade Lakes trail map

Jade Lakes – the basics

Distance: 25 km+ (my phone thinks it was 29km)ย 
Elevation gain
: 1280 m
Highest Point: 2180m (for Jade pass) or 2260m (if you scramble up the extra peak)
Time: 9 -10 hours
What to bring:
The 10 Essentials
Bear spray
Swimming things if you fancy a dip
There are loos at the trailhead as well at Eva Lake, Miller Lake and Jade Lake.
Dogs: No. You cannot bring dogs to the alpine meadows in Revelstoke National Park
How hard is it? Challenging. Not because of the path, that is easy to follow and not technical. It is just quite long with a lot of elevation gain for a day hike. It is also tough to have so much elevation gain on the return journey when your legs are tired. The only technical section was the scramble up to the peaks just off Jade Pass (which is not part of the main trail.)

Jade Lakes – Getting Started

I have a whole post about the first half of this hike, so click through for more details. Basically you need to park at the top of the Meadows-in-the-Sky parkway in Revelstoke National Park. From there you follow a well trampled route to the summit, then past Heather Lake and Miller Lake (my photos below.) If you fancy an easy walk to see the flower-filled alpine meadows as well as a jewel-like glacial lake, then you can stop here.

Miller Lake from above

You’ll probably want to stop for a while to admire the beautiful Miller Lake. From this point the trail becomes a bit rockier, steeper and more fun! Follow the trail through the piles of rocks above the lake. You’ll be treated to gorgeous views of Mount Begbie off on the other side of Revelstoke as well as fabulous birds-eye views of Miller Lake.

How steep is the trail?

The trail gets steeper as you get closer to Jade Pass, but like the other well-built trails we have found in Canadian National Parks, it never gets crazily steep. The switchbacks are added in just the right spots so your heart might be working hard, but it’s easy to follow.

About half way up the section between Miller Lake and Jade Pass, there is a stream that seems to spring from the rocks. This area is carpeted with flowers, and you can peek through the trees down to the Miller Lake.

Jade Pass

Jade pass is the best viewpoint of the day! You’ll have your first glimpse of the objective for the day – Jade Lakes. You also get incredible views deep into Revelstoke National Park. We had a break and a snack here as it is such a pretty spot!

This is the view from Jade Pass back where we just came from. That tree covered mountain with the green grassy patches is the Meadows-in-the-Sky – we started on the far side of that.

If you have a little extra energy, there is a small peak just off the main path, with even better views of the surrounding mountains. It’s only an extra 40m to scramble up here, and you may have it all to yourself. The rocky mountain that towers over Jade Lake is called Inverness SW4. It looks fabulous from here!

Jade Pass to Jade Lake

This is where you need to decide how much puff you have left. If you area already feeling tired, it might be best to make do with the views of Jade Lake from above. However if you are still full of beans, you can follow the trail down towards Jade Lake. We did this trail in August, and there were still plenty of snow patches that we had to clamber over. If you do this hike earlier in the summer you will definitely need microspikes for the top section near Jade Pass.

The trail is pretty rocky close to Jade Pass, but as you wiggle your way down into the valley you gradually hike into patches of alpine flowers, then trees.

Wildflowers on the Jade Lake Trail

I loved how the sides of the mountain were so covered in Dr Seuss poof-flowers (anemones) and red paintbrushes.

The path is easy to follow apart from a couple of places where you need to clamber over patches of snow. The path wiggles to avoid steep sections of terrain, but this is great because it means you keep facing new directions to see more fantastic mountain views.

Jade Lake Campground

If you have a backcountry camping permit, then you can pitch your tent in view of this beautiful turquoise waters. I would love to return to camp here as it was such a stunning area. This time, we stopped here for lunch before hiking back the way we came (plus an extra detour to Eva Lake.)

We were the only people at the lake at noon on a Saturday in August. Isn’t that mad? If this location was anywhere near Vancouver, or in one of the other nearby National Parks I would have expected it to be heaving.

Lunch at Jade Lake

We had a fantastic lunch to go with this beautiful scenery. I have mentioned this spot before, but whenever we drive through or visit Revelstoke, we stop at La Baguette for some food. They have the most delicious freshly made bagels, sandwiches and treats. Although stopping off to buy sandwiches got us off to a late start, we were really happy to munch them!

Possibly the best loo with a view so far!?

I might have to update my loo with a view (Canadian Rockies edition) because the toilet at the Jade Lakes campground has to have one of the best loo-views in the world. You could just see the lower Jade Lake along with a backdrop of mountains. The loo did not have a door, so you are forced to contemplate the beauty of the Canadian Rockies while you do your business.

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Heading back

The return journey is what might make this trail a challenge for some hikers. There are lots of large undulations and elevation gain for the return journey. If you are used to hiking to a high viewpoint, then zooming downhill on the way back, then this trail might come as a shock. Still, as the trail is never very steep, most hikers that are used to long day hikes will be fine.

Bonus Peaks

If you look at the topographic map at the top of the page, there are two small peaks just above Jade Pass. We visited one on the way to the lakes, then scrambled up the other on the way back. The views from the taller peak (to the North) were spectacular! I have to share some photos. This is the view South East, towards Jade Pass and Inverness SW4 (the mountain that towers above the Upper Jade Lake)

This photo is looking down Southwest above the trail you need to hike back on. Jade Pass is to the left, the tree-covered mountain in the distance is the Meadows-in-the-Sky, where you need to get back to. The Mount Begbie is looking epic, off in the distance.

This is the view of Mount Williamson (Northeast). Apparently you can climb up this one from Eva Lake (which we visited on the way back.) It looks like a tough scramble from here.

Here is the scenery looking East, further into Mount Revelstoke National Park.

There is a flat bench like section up here. We hiked out to the end for extra views.ย Aaaand this is the view looking West (well, maybe Northwest.)

You might not fancy an extra peak tacked on to an already long day hike. But if you can manage this extra mini scramble, it was the highlight of our day.

Eva Lake

We also took a mini detour (it’s 1.2km extra each way) to Eva Lake on our return. You can see more about that section of the trail on my previous post to Miller and Eva Lakes. Even if you are a little tired, it’s pleasant to walk the whole way around the lake.

Heading back

It only took an hour to walk back from Eva Lake through golden hour when Revelstoke Mountain National Park was lit up beautifully. We were pretty tired by the time we’d finished the hike, but felt incredibly lucky to have such perfect weather for our adventure. It is such a beautiful area, with so few hikers (after the popular trail to Miller Lake.)

Panoramas from above Jade Pass

I’ll finish with a few panoramas from the scramble above Jade Pass. I was taking these as an excuse to catch my breath, so I have a few different viewpoints. Click to see larger versions.

If you fancy doing this as a day hike, it is a long (but amazing) day. However, if you have more time (and don’t mind carrying a heavier backpack) camping at Jade Lakes would be a fantastic option too. What do you think? Would you give this area a visit as you drive through to the other National Parks in the Canadian Rockies?

If you like the look of Jade Lakes as much as we did, please click on the pins below to save this for later.

Beautiful Jade Lakes - in Mount Revelstoke National Park, Canada Jade Pass with view to Jade Lakes -Outstanding hike in Mount Revelstoke National Park, Canada Jade Lakes - Outstanding hike in Mount Revelstoke National Park, Canada

53 thoughts on “Jade Lakes – Revelstoke National Park

  1. This national park looks so beautiful! I definitely want to visit national parks in Canada and the US whenever I can.

    1. Lol You are not the only one to appreciate it. There is a “views from the thunderbox” group on fb (where people share photos of loos with good views) this one went down well with that group. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. I really think you guys are part mountain goat. It looks like another gorgeous place to explore. You definitely live in a beautiful place.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  3. This looks gorgeous! I’m curious, what do you guys carry for bear protection? In the US, our options range from bear spray to pistols, but I don’t think you guys have quite that range of flexibility. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wow, what an incredible route! These lakes are SO BLUE! Miller Lake looks especially pretty! The landscapes in your photos are always so beautiful and unreal! I’d love to try the hike out for myself one day. Thanks for the great guide!

    1. Thanks Hannah! I was so impressed with this area (and so miffed that we drove right past it multiple times before stopping to explore!)

  5. At this rate, I think I’m gonna have to carve out a couple weeks someday to go visit! ๐Ÿ˜› You’ve shared so many places I’d love to explore/hike in!! *-* I love all the blues and greens here, and yay for a beautiful view with that loo! ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. Over 25 km! That’s a loooooooong day but I’d say the views and sense of accomplishment are totally worth it! I think I’d need a few days to recover after this one! Looks like loads of elevation change! Who needs a gym?!

    1. Yep, it was a bit of a long-un, but we were driving back to Vancouver the following day, so at least our legs could recover then!!

  7. I’ve had these lakes on my radar for a little while so it’s wonderful to read your report and see your photos. They’re absolutely stunning, and now I’m wondering when we can fit in an overnight trip there! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. That is my next thought too. It would be nice to spend a bit more time there, swimming, exploring the second lake and camping. I am sure you will LOVE the flowers.

  8. Ohh this is absolutely stunning! Theres a Jade Lake in Washington too that I’ve been wanting to visit. I’m definitely adding this to my list when I can eventually make it back up there!

  9. Wow! Another hike with stunning scenery. I never realized how many lakes and mountains were so close to Vancouver. Jade Pass and Miller and Eva Lakes are so beautiful and love that there are no crowds. The bathroom with no door is hilarious and awesome! What a view indeed. ๐Ÿ˜

    1. This one is a bit far from Vancouver (over 6 hours drive) but it was still amaazing. We like to make stops like this on the way to the Rockies.

  10. I would want to do this hike backwards. I always prefer to get most of the elevation out of the way early. Even hikes that I’ve done that are undulating always end with a descent. It’s possible that an ascent near the end might kill me, haha.

    I presume you stayed in Revelstoke? I think it would be difficult to do such a long hike after driving several hours to get there!

    1. Yeah me too. I like getting the tough part of the hike over with. That is what made this walk a bit more challenging than it would normally have been. I guess you’d just need a helicopter ride to do it backwards. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yep.. We stayed in Revelstoke, before driving back to Vancouver the following day.

  11. Wow! All the views are so gorgeous and the Eva lake is so picturesque. Canada has such amazing national parks and heavenly nature. Fell in love with this place! <3

  12. Canada have amazing national park and Eva Lake is confirmation. I hope one day I can visit these fantastic territories. While I look your beautiful photos.

    1. I dipped my feet in and it was freezing! I’d like to camp too so I’d have more time to warm up after a possible swim!

    1. Thanks Anna. Yep, they build trails really well in the Rockies. Everything was less steep than the trails out near Vancouver!

    1. It really would be amaaazing! We’ve only ever been for 10 days, and even that long made it an epic holiday. A few months would be dreamy! (and a bit pricy!)

    1. Thanks Sarah! If it’s too long to do 25km all at once, it is still a goorgeous hike to Miller and Eva Lakes. You can totally do it.

  13. This is sooo pretty! I love that you have the option to make it a long day hike or a short overnight. I’d probably pick the overnight so I could see sunrise and sunset with those views!

    1. Yeah, we were nervous about camping as you can never guarantee you’ll get to camp where you planned…but I think I would like to bite the bullet and stay overnight next time.

  14. You are killing me!! This is torture to not be able to hop in the car right now! This one is INCREDIBLE!

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