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Vanislander
Vanislander
Vanislander

Nimpkish Lake, the Deepest Lake on Vancouver Island

Nimpkish Lake is Vancouver Island's deepest lake with nearly 305 m (1,000 ft) above sea level. The name means "halibut on the bottom." It is located northeast of the island and formed a vast, deep point along  the Nimpkish River. Nimpkish Lake, formerly known as Karmutzen Lake, is an exciting choice and a preliminary destination for windsurfers and anglers.
The lake is located among the walls of the Nimpkish Valley. Surrounded by scenic peaks, mostly the second-growth forest, it runs on its route between Port McNeill and the little town of Woss along the eastern shore. The only community on Nimpkish Lake is Nimpkish village. Logging roads are single access to most parts of the shoreline. The region is home to numbers of black-tailed deer, black bears and a wide range of wildlife and smaller birds native to the area.


Nimpkish Lake Location

Nimpkish Lake is placed at Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park on northern Vancouver Island. It is approximately 32 km (20 miles) south of Port McNeill, in the regional district of Mount Waddington. The park comprises the southernmost east-facing slops of the Karmutzen Range and contains most of Tlakwa Creek drainage, excluding the Crown-owned forest land and the privately-owned District Lot 266, south and east of Tlakwa Creek. Going south of the park, at the top of Huson Lake, you have a chance to discover the Little Huson Caves in Little Huson Cave Regional Park.


How to Get to Nimpkish Lake by Car

From Nanaimo:
The fastest route to get to Nimpkish Lake from Nanaimo is via BC-19 N. It is 320 km (198.8 miles) and takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Head west on Fitzwilliam St towards Wesley St for 800 m (2624.6 ft). Drive onto Third St and after 1.9 km (1.2 miles), continue onto Jingle Pot Rd for 650 m (2132.5 ft). Turn right onto BC-19 N (signs for Campbell R). After 317 km (197 miles), you will reach Nimpkish Lake.

From Victoria:
Getting to Nimpkish River from Victoria is via BC-19 N. It is 430 km (267.1 miles) and takes about 4 hours and 43 minutes.
Head west on Pandora Ave towards Government St. After 99 m (234.8 ft), turn right onto Government St and drive 1 km (0.6 miles). Slight right towards Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 N. After 72 m (236.2 ft), use any lane to turn left onto Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 N. Drive 104 km (64.6 ft). Use the right 2 lanes to merge onto BC-19 N via the slip road to Parksville/Campbell River. After 325 km (202 miles), you will reach Nimpkish Lake.


The Hike to Get to Nimpkish Lake

There is no designated hiking trail to get to Nimpkish Lake. However, several hiking trails in the park offer scenic views, but no facilities are provided.


History of Nimpkish Lake

Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park is part of the traditional territory of the "Namgis" First Nation. It has a long and distinct history associated with the area in and around Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park. The First Nation has asserted its Aboriginal rights and title to Nimpkish Lake Park. It has identified it as an area of interest in its negotiation of a treaty under the British Columbia Treaty Commission process. To catch eulachon, most Nimpkish went each year to the Kingcome River, some to the Klinaklini River. When the salmon were running, members of local groups joined the Nimpkish at their river fishery to share its exceptional harvest.
Some Nimpkish travelled to camps on the lake during the fall from which the men went out each day with guns (as early as 1972, there were reportedly two or three per house), spears, and perhaps bows and arrows to hunt deer and elk. Women and children would gather and dry the last of the season's berries.
When the fall's work was done, all would settle for the winter in their large plank houses at Xwulk, although there were traditions of an earlier period when the upriver villages were also occupied at this season. Perhaps this was so before the nineteenth-century population decline was well advanced. The plank dwellings served as a shelter for their inhabitants and storage places for the household's supply of food. Of course, through the winter, the occasional deer or elk might be shot, there were cod and wintering seabirds to be taken in the Broughton Strait, some steelhead would be running in the river clams, and other shellfish were available at nearby beaches. But the focus of attention now was on ceremonial activities within the houses. The great feasts accompanying these affairs drew not on the little fresh food that could be gathered in this cold, wet season's few hours of daylight but on those dried and smoked provisions they had earlier worked so hard to assemble.


Things to Do around Nimpkish Lake Area

As Nimpkish Lake is located in Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park, it has some opportunities for water activities, hiking, cross-country skiing, mountaineering, and hunting. The popular one is fishing. Boat access exists from the lake via the boat launch at the Canadian Forest Products recreation site at Kim Creek for paddling enthusiasts. It is 3 km (1.8 miles) from Nimpkish Service Station, located halfway between Woss and Port McNeill on Highway 19. No established hiking trails are within the park, but access along the lower Tlakwa Creek may be gained by old forest roads from the Atluck Creek area and hatchery access.

Nearby Lakes

Nimpkish Lake

Nimpkish Lake

Nimpkish Lake Activities

Fishing

It's an excellent place for Anglers. Freshwater fishing can be done in the park in Tlakwa Creek and Nimpkish Lake. Fishing grounds also extending several kilometres to the north into the waters of Queen Charlotte Strait.

Skiing

Near Tlakwa Mountain and Karmutzen Mountain, backcountry skiing/ski mountaineering is possible. For accessing these areas, go through Western Forest Products logging roads.

Swimming

For people interested in icy waters, swimming can be done in Nimpkish Lake. A hot spot with its beautiful water scenery among the old-growth forests.

Kayaking, Canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing are possible outside of Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park. Because of strong and steady summer winds in the afternoons, paddling is challenging.

Hunting

Hunting is permitted for hunters who have valid licences and tags for specific species in the park under defined rules.

Nimpkish Lake Windsurfing

Nimpkish Lake is a popular choice for windsurfing adventure. The Strong winds rise in the area in summers make this activity challenging.

Water Rafting

Nimpkish Lake can be your starting point for water rafting in the area. Your adventure may extend to Nimpkish River and also Kaipit Creek whitewater. It is proper for novice paddlers.

What You Can Expect to Do Near Nimpkish Lake

Port Hardy Whale Watching

Port Hardy Whale Watching

Telegraph Cove Whale Watching

Telegraph Cove Whale Watching

Camping in Cluxewe Resort

Camping in Cluxewe Resort

Camping in Telegraph Cove Campground

Camping in Telegraph Cove Campground

Camping in Broughton Strait Campsite

Camping in Broughton Strait Campsite

Camping in Wildwoods Campsite

Camping in Wildwoods Campsite

Camping in Quatse River Campground

Camping in Quatse River Campground

Camping in Port Hardy RV Resort and Log Cabins

Camping in Port Hardy RV Resort and Log Cabins

Telegraph Cove Kayaking

Telegraph Cove Kayaking

Port McNeill Kayaking and Canoeing

Port McNeill Kayaking and Canoeing

Port Hardy Kayaking and Canoeing

Port Hardy Kayaking and Canoeing

Quatsino Sound Kayaking

Quatsino Sound Kayaking

Wreck of the SS Themis Diving

Wreck of the SS Themis Diving

Browning Pass Diving

Browning Pass Diving

Camping in Cape Scott Provincial Park Campground

Camping in Cape Scott Provincial Park Campground

Nimpkish Lake Outline

Specifications

Climate

Water Temperature

Timing

1- The Lower Nimpkish Landscape Unit is 195640 acres (79,173 ha) in size of which approximately 158147 acres (64,000 ha) is forested, and 98175 acres (39,730) ha are considered Timber Harvesting Land Base.
1. The numbers are estimated on average.
1- All the numbers are for surface temperature.
2- The numbers are estimated on average.

What You Can Expect to See Near Nimpkish Lake

Coal Harbour

Coal Harbour

Telegraph Cove

Telegraph Cove

Port Alice

Port Alice

Port McNeill

Port McNeill

Port Hardy

Port Hardy

Minigill Cave

Minigill Cave

Little Huson Caves

Little Huson Caves

Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park

Nimpkish Lake Provincial Park

Karmutzen Range

Karmutzen Range

Hankin Range

Hankin Range

Little Huson Cave Regional Park

Little Huson Cave Regional Park

Franklin Range

Franklin Range

Bonanza Range

Bonanza Range

Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park

Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park

Nimpkish River

Nimpkish River

Planning for Nimpkish Lake

Suitability

Camping & Resort

Services

Packing

Travel Tips

1. Kilometers of trails, rocky shores or enjoy the waters - fishing secret-coves and hidden streams or enjoy the spectacular wildlife view.



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