Quesnel Lake, British Columbia
Quesnel Lake is reported to be the deepest fiord lake in the world. At junction of the North and East Arms Quesnel Lake is approximately 4 miles across. The North Arm is 25 miles long, the East Arm is 34 miles long and the Main Lake is approximately 50 miles to the outflow of Quesnel River located at Likely, B.C.
Quesnel Lake boasts a trophy fishing population of rainbow trout, lake trout, dolly varden, and ling cod. Be sure to study the fishing regulations for Quesnel Lake before you venture out.
Quesnel Lake has several major tributaries: Horsefly River, Niagara River, Roaring River, Penfold River, Mitchell River, Grain Creek plus many smaller creeks. Quesnel Lake rears a major population of Sockeye Salmon that spawn in the above mentioned rivers, then journey down the Quesnel River, to the Fraser River, and on to the Pacific Ocean. After 2 years in the ocean they return to spawn where they were born.
There is scenery around Quesnel Lake that is second to none. The end of the North and East Arms are right in the Cariboo Mountains with peaks in excess of 7000 feet that are snow capped a good part of the year, and in the summer have beautiful alpine meadows. There are many interesting names that all have stories attached to them: Mount Watt, Mount Brew, Niagara Peak, Mount Wotzke, Roaring Peaks, Mount Mitchell, Mount Mathew, Mount Youngren, Mount Spranger, Miller Peaks, Roberts Peak, Three Ladies Mountain, Welcome Mountain, Mount Stevenson, and Spanish Mountain – just to name a few! There are fabulous sandy beaches at numerous locations around Quesnel Lake, many accessible by boat only.
Other geographic locations of interest are Hurricane Point (appropriately named), Lynx Peninsula and Hobson Arm, Cariboo Island, Plato Island, Horsefly Bay, Peninsula Bay, Shoals Bay and Slate Bay.
You could spend a lifetime exploring Quesnel Lake and not run out of new places to stay. There is Bowling Point, Goose Point, Deception Point, Bean Point and Rocker Point and more.
Of great interest is our own Niagara Falls located on the East Arm of Quesnel Lake, where the Niagara River spills into the lake creating a great natural show every day. Niagara river has a lot of natural silt which forms a white cloud in the water around the falls.
The village of Likely is an interesting village located at the outflow of Quesnel Lake where the history goes back to the 1870’s gold rush days. There is still an active mining economy combined with forestry and tourism. Likely has a fish hatchery, museum, information centre and many historical sites to visit.
There are two other ways to access Quesnel Lake, through the village of Horsefly. Go out toward Horsefly Lake, then on to the junction area where the North Arm, East Arm and Main Lake meet to form a giant “Y”. Or go out toward Mitchell Bay and Horsefly Bay on the Horsefly-Quesnel Lake Road (locally known as the Ditch Road, which will take the adventurous traveler right over to Likely.)
A word of caution, not to discourage, but to inform, is that Quesnel Lake can become very stormy, very fast and you will want to be prepared to get off the lake if necessary, and stay there until the storm blows over.
Quesnel Lake is pristine wilderness at it’s’ best and is a treasure that should be protected for all time. You will not forget this lake once you have seen and experienced it. It has been known to change peoples’ lives forever.