Strathcona Wilderness Institute

The Bedwell Trail to Cream Lake


Just before the long weekend we had an opportunity to visit the the Bedwell Valley area at the south end of Buttle Lake, in the heart of Strathcona Park. The hike to Bedwell Lake is a rugged trail including everything from numerous bridge crossings, steep switchbacks, a multitude of wooden & steel stairs over steep rooted slopes & rocky bluffs, boardwalk over subalpine marshy sections and finally a couple of easy stream crossings at the shores of Bedwell Lake.

Overlooking the camping area at Baby Bedwell Lake

It was 4.4 km to Baby Bedwell Camp, and another 1.9 km to Bedwell Lake with a cumulative elevation gain of 500 m. Our total time to Bedwell Camp was 4 hrs. including many breaks for snacks, viewpoints & photography.

Big Interior Mountain & Bedwell Lake

From Bedwell Lake eastward to Cream Lake the next day, the route starts with more uphill, along a rough & sometimes muddy route, with increasing views of the mountains in the heart of Strathcona Park beyond.

Approaching Little Jim Lake

In about an hour, you reach an easy draw and soon after scramble up the side of a waterfall to reach the shore of Little Jim Lake, a beautiful destination.

American Dipper in Little Jim Lake

It was great to see that we weren’t the only visitors to Little Jim Lake.

Mt. Septimus from Drinkwater Pass

Beyond Little Jim Lake at the top of Drinkwater Pass there was still significant amounts of snow.

Reflections of Mt. Septimus

After the pass, the views of Mt Septimus, the destination, become more dramatic.

Approaching Mt Septimus

Nine Peaks with upper cascade of Della Falls

Far away to the south was Nine Peaks with the upper cascade of Della Falls visible, flowing from Della Lake on the flatter area hidden below the peaks.

Western Anemone (Anemone occidentalis)

Another hour along a bench with a multitude of wildflowers brings you to the spectacular scene of the turquoise waters of Cream Lake with Mt Septimus filling the entire field of view to the east.

Cream Lake & Mt Septimus

Cumulative elevation gain to the Cream Lake viewpoint was 400 m with a time of 3-1/2 hrs.

View Bedwell Trail to Cream Lake in a larger map


  1. It’s a nice hike. Next time I’ll do it when there is less snow on the ground.

  2. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  3. We are going this weekend. Cant wait it looks beautiful! Many dips in those lake in our future as it’s going to be hot hot hot!!. 🙂

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