Rohr Lake – Pemberton Hikes
The hike to Rohr Lake was our first snowy day of the year in 2020. We had planned to walk the whole way to the lake (I thought it would look beautiful with the sprinkling of snow.) However there was a bit more snow than we expected, so we didn’t make it the whole way up the bolder field. Even not getting to our planned destination, we still really loved the misty views. I would love to go back and explore more around here in the summertime.
The hike itself is not very hard until you make it up to the beautiful meadows below the boulder field. It’s only the final half kilometer that is challenging.
Rohr Lake trail map
Rohr Lake – the basics
Distance: 8.5 km (10km if you reach the lake and hike to the opposite side.)
Elevation gain: 540 m
Highest Point: 1800 m
Time: 4-6 hours (It took us 4 hours including breaks, but we didn’t make it the whole way)
What to bring:
The 10 Essentials
Swimming things in summer if you fancy a dip in freezing water
In winter you need avalanche gear (transceiver, shovel and probe) as well as snowshoes.
Facilities: Nothing along this trail.
Dogs: Yes, on a leash.
How hard is it?
The last section in the boulder field makes it challenging. It’s intermediate up to that point.
Rohr Lake – Getting Started
There is parking at the side of the Sea to Sky Highway, opposite a huge salt shed. This trailhead is 3.5km after the parking area for Joffre Lakes, North of Pemberton. If you have 4×4, you can drive part of the way up the forest service road, however there is limited space to park, so you might have to drive back down and park by the highway.
There’s a mini short cut from the highway over to the logging road. After that, you just follow the gently sloping forest service road right to the end. It is only 2.2km along this road. We started our walk in sleet, and it slowly changed into snow as we hiked along here.
Main trail to Rohr Lake
Once you reach the end of the logging road, turn right into the trees to start the main muddly, rooty trail towards Marriot Basin and Rohr Lake. The snow had just started to settle here, but we were happy to continue.
Rohr Lake in winter
There is an avalanche terrain map posted at the start of the trail. You can see the route to Rohr Lake is mostly simple terrain, with challenging terrain in the very last section up to the lake.
If you’d like to see the full map, it is in the trip planning section of the Avalanche Canada website. To learn more about the different types of terrain and how to read Avalanche forecasts, take a look at the fantastic Avy Savvy website. Please do not attempt to visit Rohr Lake later in the wintertime without Avalanche equipment (as well as training, so you know how to use it!)
On this occasion, near the start of the trail there was only enough snow to cover teeny mushrooms, so we were not too worried about avalanches!
Marriot Basin Trail
This trail is the winter route to Wendy Thompson Memorial Hut and Marriot Basin. There was a sign saying the hut is closed (and locked) due to covid-19 this year, but it would be a cool snowshoeing adventure to go there another time!
There are plenty of creeks to cross (on ice/snow covered bridges). The route is a constant, but easy-ish ascent through beautiful forest. It looks like it must be a very muddy trail normally. When we visited, the ground was frozen.
Watch out for the Rohr sign! Turn right at this tree to continue onto the Rohr Lake trail.
At this point, the snow started in earnest. The forest is so pretty when the snow starts to fall. We both made plenty of stops to soak up the quiet, calming views.
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As we hiked higher there was a bit more snow. There wasn’t enough for snowshoes, but we were glad to have microspikes in our bags to stop us from sliding around too much.
At around 1680m the trail flattens out into a meadow that was blanketed in snow and shrouded in mist.
You can see this area had not been cold for long. The creek was still flowing, and there is only a thin layer of snow on the ground.
We couldn’t see the route, but we were able to follow the map on my phone to find the base of the boulder field below Rohr Lake.
The boulder field
The last stretch is through this snow-covered boulder field. Rohr Lake is only 1km (and 200m elevation gain) away. Unfortunately we’d arrived when it wasn’t quite snowy enough to hike straight up with snowshoes.
Some of the boulders are huge (with large gaps in between them.) so when the snow is new and soft, you could easily lose your footing and hurt yourself.
Follow the flags!
We found flagging that followed a pathway through the trees on the right-hand side of the boulder field. The trail follows a stream that had not yet frozen, so we hiked through cold water to make our way up. This was much easier than attempting to climb up the boulders as we could at least see where we were placing each step.
This section is a bit of a challenge. It is slippery. Plus you need to be able to pull yourself up some vertical rocky sections and you can’t help but get wet in the stream, so you’ll be cold.
In the end, the route turns back into the boulder field to avoid some cliffs. We traversed part of it, but it was just a little beyond our comfort zone. It seemed far too easy to break through the snow into a hole between boulders and twist an ankle or really hurt ourselves. GPS showed that we were only about 20m below the lake, but we called it and turned back. The Lake will still be there next time, so we’ll just have to return another day.
Views from the boulder field
We may have failed to reach Rohr Lake, but look at the views from just below it!? This was such an incredible hike.
The mist kept floating along, revealing different mountains as we slowly climbed back down the edge of the boulder field. It’s always much harder climbing down, but at least we had views like this to keep us company.
Head back via the same route
We made it down the tricky section safely, so now we just needed to retrace our steps back to the Sea to Sky highway and our car. Heading down from the meadow back to the car only took 1.25 hours. So we didn’t have to stay cold for long! We stopped off in Pemberton for coffee and hot chocolate to warm us back up.
We may not have reached our destination on this occasion, but I think we made the right choice. I’d love to hear from you if you have done this hike, or if you like the sound of it. Next time, I’d like to come in the summertime and attempt to go the whole way up Mount Rohr. I like the idea of attempting to roar like a bear from the peak.
If you’d like to find other fun hikes in this area (the most famous is Joffre Lakes) take a peek at my Canada Page, or the map below for more ideas.
If you like the look of this trail, click on the pins below to save them.
55 thoughts on “Rohr Lake – Pemberton Hikes”
You have to go back – the lake is lovely, and if you can push all the way to the summit the view is beyond spectacular! It’s one of the best summits I’ve visited, and it’s not technical at all. I love seeing the forest in the first snow like this – it looks so pretty!
I really hope we can go back for the summit. It’s great to hear it isn’t technical! 😀
This looks like a truly stunning adventure! I’m not a fan of snow…but these photos almost change my mind 🙂
It’s kind of nice when the snow is brand new like this. Thanks for reading Diane.
vow looks amazing. I have to do this hike when I visit.
Yay! Maybe aim for the summer so you can reach the lake.
I love a good snow hike! Thank you for the beautiful photos and videos. And I really appreciate your map! It’s always hard to set out the door for a snow hike, but so worth it once it’s done. And you certainly proved that with this post!
To be honest, part of the reason we decided to head up to the snow line was to avoid the rain! We both like hiking in the snow more than in the rain. 😉
Such a beautiful hike. It looks like a winter wonderland with the snow and trees!
Looks very pretty. I’ve haven’t done this hike in summer or winter. Adding it to my list.
Maybe once we’re all vaccinated we can go together!? This whole area does seem to be packed with fabulous hike (and most people only really visit Joffe Lakes!!)
Even for a partial hike, I can see Rohr Lake is beautiful! Would love to check out all the Pemberton trails!
Same. I am now super keen to go back and explore more near here.
That snow is beautiful and I love the detail you share about your hike.
What a beautiful winter walk! When it snows I typically hide at home under a blanket but you’re making me think I’m missing out! That trail looks a little slippy in parts though! Thanks for sharing it with us!
I guess you just need to be a bit more careful on snowy days (you need spikes in your bag, extra layers… then later in the winter you need to bring all the avalanche gear.) It is worth the effort once you’re out in the wintery scenery though!
Looks like an incredible adventure. Another great one to add to my list! I really need to explore more of Pemberton!
We’re the same – it is just such a long drive for day hikes. I think we’ll have to come back and camp so we can explore more as it’s gorgeous near Pemberton.
Have you ever been to the Pony in Pemberton Deb? If you do visit, they have burgers that are so good it made my friend cry.
What a pretty hike all covered in snow! The dark skies and mist add to the beauty. Until reading your posts it would never have occurred to me to hike in the winter but I’d like to try it. You are brave to get wet! Yikes I don’t think I could do that. Lol. Oh and I love those tiny mushrooms!
Hehehe if we avoided rain we wouldn’t be able to hike for most of the winter here! On this occasion we headed up to the snowline to avoid the rain – it worked pretty well apart from hiking through that stream!
Ahhh! Another beautiful (although cold-lookin’ 😛 ) hike!! I’d love to try snow hiking sometime! Was going to last year but then COVID hit and the person we were going to go with who knows what he’s doing is sadly not in our household, so it got tabled. :[ Definitely would love to know if you ever go back and go the whole way up! :D! I’d love to go someday!
We’ve all had to change so many plans due to covid-19! Hopefully you can give it a try next year. The tricks is to have loads of warm clothes…and if you’re not used to the cold, a flask with tea/coffee/hot choccy makes things better too!
Wow that’s quite the hike! But it looks so peaceful and definitely a winter wonderland that’s great for getting out of the house 🙂
It was mad how quiet it was! It made a nice change after all the busy trails this year.
Wow what an incredible winter hike! I’m sure I would fall over a couple of times even with studded boots on.
Nah, you’d be okay! It might be a bit of a shock after the nice sunny weather in Spain though!
Such winter hiking has something unique in it. I love the fog on the pictures. What a climate 😉
Wow!!!! What beautiful views. I love winter hiking. your photos are fantastic. This area seems to be gorgeous EVERY season.
It is pretty lovely North of Whistler isn’t it. <3
This hike looks simply stunning – with the low fog and the trees. It’s hauntingly beautiful. It’s so cool to see how the snow accumulates as you increase in elevation. Thanks for sharing another great hike!
Thank you lovely! I guess this must look similar to some of the hikes you are used to in Alaska.
This looks like an amazing hike! But I am far too chicken to do this in winter. You are brave! That log crossing looked scary!
Even in the snow and rain, this is such a beautiful trail! I love how the forest looks with a dusting of snow on everything. Thanks for sharing!
It’s pretty magical eh? <3
What a beautiful hike! All of that snow makes it look like a true winter wonderland. I’m so impressed that you went on such a long hike in the winter, I would be so cold!
It isn’t too bad once you get moving! I only ever get cold when we stop… and at that point, we often bring soup/hot drinks to warm us up. 🙂
Ahh I have never hiked in the snow and I love hiking! It looks amazing and it’s good to hear that it’s not too challenging! Thanks for the tips about Avalanches! I would never have considered it coming from abroad! So helpful!
We only just did our avalanche safety course this year (as I’m not from Canada) we learned sooo much. But mostly we now just steer well clear of avalanche terrain. Those links are pretty good for learning the basics.
What a beautiful hike! The snow everywhere makes it even more stunning. I hope to get up to BC when the border reopens and this hike looks like a wonderful addition! Thanks for the inspiration.
Thank you! You might also like some of the interpretive forests near here. They are great for learning about how the forests are managed.
The hike to Rohr Lake seems amazing. I a hiker and trekker person. And, I love the snow. Your pics are pulling me.
What a beautiful hike! I like hiking in the snow, the landscape is just amazing during winter isn’t it?
It really is. Thanks for reading/commenting Kitti.
This sounds like an epic hike! I have so many bucket list spots for when I finally get to visit Canada, and I’ve added this to my list!
Woot woot! It must be turning into a long list. 🙂
The mist makes everything look GORGEOUS! On another funny note, I have family with the name of Rohrer so this feels close to my heart. 🙂
Oooh nice! I wonder if they’d like to visit!? It’s so cool when you find mountains or lakes with your name.
I’ve really come to love hiking in the winter! Even though it’s cold, the snow, fog and lack of crowds makes winter hiking so peaceful and serene.
Are the trails quiet near you in the winter too? I always assume Minnesota hikers are so hardy that it’d still be busy in the snow!
How did that quote go, “it’s the journey, not the destination”. I would have loved this hike, even in this weather. But good decision to go to the top some other time. Well-earned hot chocolate!
Yes! That is so true. If you only enjoy the destination, then you’re missing out on 90% of the fun of each adventure!
Thanks for sharing another beautiful hike! I love how it starts all muddy and green and then your photos change to embrace a winter wonderland. Good choice turning back, but I’d love to see your summer photos of this spot!