Spectrum Lake Hike

Hiking Trail Information

Use of this information is entirely at your own risk and the VOC accepts no liability whatsoever for your use of any trail information on this website.   VOC clears and flags trails to facilitate group hikes lead by a VOC member.   Hazards may exist on the trails and route finding skills and navigation aids such as a GPS and/or map and compass may be required.   You must assess your own ability and readiness to hike any trail mentioned on this website.


Spectrum Lake, Monashee Provincial Park

© Vernon Outdoors Club 2020


Hike distance                     14 km round trip                               Altitude gain                      325 m

Hiking time                         4  hrs round trip                                Max altitude                      1055 m

Govt of Canada topo map 82 L/8 & 82 L/9                              Difficulty                              Moderate

The Spectrum Lake trail is an attractive, undulating trail through interior rain forest to a peaceful mountain lake, ringed by the steep mountain sides of several Monashee peaks, notably Mt. Fosthall (2,679m).   The lake is a great spot for relaxing and photography.

The trail and the hike-in campsite are in Monashee Provincial Park and are maintained by BC Parks.    For more information about the park, trails, camping facilities and road & trail conditions visit the BC Parks website at https://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/monashee/

The Spectrum Lake trail is an excellent introduction to the Monashee area as the hike is not technically challenging, although it is reasonably long.  However, the trail is a LONG WAY from the nearest settlement and cell phone coverage at Cherryville.   A reliable, high clearance vehicle is essential.  If you hike in the early spring or fall when the campground is not in use, be aware that you may be the only trail users, even on a weekend.  This trail is at a modest altitude but be prepared for cooler and wetter conditions than at the same elevation near the Okanagan Valley due to the nearby alpine peaks.

Once you reach the trailhead (there is a rudimentary pit toilet there) cross Spectrum Creek by the footbridge.   The trail then heads up Spectrum Creek valley and offers occasional glimpses of the surrounding peaks.   As you approach Spectrum Lake you will reach a sign indicating a right turn downhill to the Lake or straight ahead for Peters Lake.  Take the right turn for Spectrum Lake (!) as Peters Lake is a high alpine wilderness area involving a substantial ascent of approx. 750m.

The trail is well defined and well signposted and navigation should not be a challenge provided you keep your eyes open for signs and markers.   BC Parks maintains the trail in the camping season but you may encounter the odd fallen tree in the early or late seasons.  The campsite by the lake has picnic tables and pit toilets.  Return to the trail head by the way you came in or you can continue through the campground, hike up to the upper trail for Peters Lake and return by turning left for the trail head parking if you prefer.   This adds approximately 1km to the hiking distance.

A trail map is available at https://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/monashee/monashee.pdf?v=1607967949057

Note that this map has a very large scale as it accommodates trails across the entire park.

You may also wish to visit Rainbow Falls on your return from the hike.   This is signposted from Spectrum Creek FSR and is well worth a visit as one of the most impressive waterfalls in the area.

Ascents of Mount Fosthall are usually multi-day trips using Peters Lake as a base camp.    Fosthall can also be hiked as a day outing from Sol Mountain Lodge or you can hike into the entire Margie Lk/Peters Lk area from Sol Mountain Lodge.   Access to the lodge area is from highway 23 by gravel roads.  Contact Sol Mountain Lodge for further information on the programs and accommodation they offer.


Driving Directions – Spectrum Lake, Monashee Provincial Park.  Last updated June 2020.

© Vernon Outdoors Club 2020


  1. Use of these directions is at your own risk
  2. There are extensive logging operations in the area (2020).  You may encounter logging traffic at any time of day.  Use caution and ideally carry and use a radio set to the correct FSR frequencies for the road you are on.
  3. The road used to be useable by a 2WD automobile with normal clearance, albeit with care.  Logging operations have caused deep ruts at some points and a high clearance vehicle – with 4WD in damp conditions – is recommended.
  4. At the trailhead you are approximately 50kms from cell phone service.  Plan and equip your party appropriately, especially if you are hiking in the fall off-season.   You could be the only people in the vicinity of the trail.


  1. Drive east on highway 6 from Vernon to Cherryville.  After 50kms from Vernon, in Cherryville turn onto Sugar Lake Road at Frank’s General Store and gas station.    There is a Monashee Provincial Park road sign at the exit from highway 6.
  2. Take the opportunity to fuel your vehicle if your fuel level is low.  You have a 100km round trip on gravel roads before you get back to this point.  You may wish to eat something and visit the bathroom as well!
  3. Reset your trip odo and follow Sugar Lake Road for 38.5 kms where you turn right onto Spectrum Creek FSR, again signed for Monashee Provincial Park.   There is a large log yard on your left just after the right turn.
  4. Continue for another approximately 13.5 kms to the trail head, which is signed with a BC Parks trail head sign and trail map.  Look out for and follow the small blue Monashee Provincial Park signs.