This is probably the easiest hike into the alpine we’ve had for some time. For this reason, it’s a really popular hike, despite being a very long drive from Vancouver, past Pemberton, through Pemberton Meadows, and up the Hurley Road towards Goldbridge. For one night, we’d question whether it’s worth the drive, but at least it is less busy and feels more remote than all the hikes closer to Vancouver. The lakes area is also really a large alpine bowl with lots of moraines and small lakes, which means it did not feel crowded at all. If you think the Semaphore Lakes area is too crowded, the lake on the shoulder of Railroad Mountain might be a better choice.
We should probably have started the drive much earlier, so we could hike, pitch the tent, and then make an attempt on the summit of Locomotive Mountain, which is a fabulous scramble available from the lakes. As it turned out, we were only able to scramble up to the shoulder of Locomotive before dropping back down for some dinner. Even from the shoulder of Locomotive, there are great views of the surrounding ranges and down to Pemberton Meadows.
The hike from the pullout off the Hurley Road (1,350 m) is only 3.5 km to where we camped at the far end of Semaphore Lakes (1,690 m). Too easy! There is plenty to explore in the area and it would be good to spend a couple of nights to explore.
Check out our Google Photos.