At 1,175 m (3,855 ft) elevation and 180 km², Chilko Lake at the head of the Chilko River on the Chilcotin Plateau is the largest natural, high-elevation freshwater lake in Canada. Glacier fed and surrounded by some of the highest colourful volcanic mountains in British Columbia, crystal-clear turquoise blue Chilko Lake is arguably one of the most visually appealing wilderness lakes in the province.
Chilko Lake is preserved together with Taseko Lake in Ts’yl-os Provincial Park to protect endangered wildlife and promote wilderness recreation. Wildlife viewing opportunities include grizzly bears, black bears, moose, mountain goat, cougar and bald eagles while enjoying an abundance of backcountry wilderness recreation opportunities, including kayaking, fishing and hiking. Kayakers should stay close to the fjord shorelines for ultimate enjoyment and protection from sometimes strong winds and fishermen should have larger fishing boats. Hikers should be bear aware, experienced in the backcountry, and prepare accordingly. Chilko Lake and Ts’yl-os Provincial Park are best accessed off Highway 20 at Tatla Lake, with travel time to its’160 km (100 mi) southwest location from Williams Lake varying on weather conditions. Four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance are recommended for the gravel road to this pristine paradise.
Until further notice, persons interested in access to the Tsilhqot’in Nation Title area for camping and associated recreational activities are encouraged to contact the Tsilhqot’in National Government to confirm permissions (tsilhqotin.ca).