1.1 km
170Elevation Gain (m)
Richmond Lake snuggles below a steep mountainside in the southern Purcells. This clear cold lake, 500 m in diameter, is at the headwaters of Perry Creek. Numerous side streams pour off the adjacent slopes, and many log bridges assist the hiker across boggy lakeside areas.

The trail to Richmond Lake stays near the creek and passes through a mature forest of spruce and balsam fir. In summer, meadows near the west end of the lake are abundant with lush wildflowers.

The peaceful mountain views and fishing at this tranquil dark-blue lake provide a worthwhile family outing and a great place to relax. Mosquitoes enjoy the wetlands around the lake in early summer (approximately late June and early July), but surprisingly these annoying critters were not a problem along the trail in the forest nor on the mountain traverse to Gold Run Lake.

Further explorations

Richmond Lake to Gold Run Lake circuit traverse

For a moderate and satisfying full-day trip, hike up and over the ridges to Nogalski Peak and down to Gold Run Lake.

0 km: Trailhead parking. Head into the bush (southwest) along a faint trail beside a tiny creek.

600 m: A round slope of bedrock to scramble up. It is slick in wet weather but the rock offers good grip to sturdy footwear. Stay up the centre of the bedrock and connect with the trail after climbing about 15 m (50 ft.).

1.1 km: Richmond Lake, N73000-E59500, at 1840 m (6,043 ft.). Continue around the north shore to the shallow tarn west of the lake.

1.7 km: Small tarn. The meadows west around the tarn are bubbling with springs and glorious with wildflower meadows in July and August.


Road: high-clearance vehicle from the Galway Creek bridge

Follow detailed road directions for Perry Creek Road.

28.5 km: From St. Mary Lake Road (27 km sign), cross the Galway Creek bridge. After the bridge take the right fork downhill to Richmond Lake and in 200 m cross the Perry Creek bridge. The road quickly deteriorates and may not be passable when wet. High-clearance.

33.8 km: At second switchback is the parking for Richmond Lake trailhead at a wide pullout (past 32 km sign), N73600-N60200, at 1665 m (5,470 ft.) (If you continue up this road for 500 m you’ll reach the trailhead for Gold Run Lake; see entry #28.)

Hike Map
Janice Strong

Janice Strong

Janice Strong is an established professional outdoor photographer. Her images grace collections all over the world and appear in many respected publications. She is passionate about hiking and is also an avid snowshoer and skier, exploring the outdoors of the East Kootenay in southeastern BC year round.

She openly shares her passion for the outdoors with others and has introduced hundreds of people to the joys of hiking. For a decade she led hikes for the City of Cranbrook – Parks and Recreation. With her guidance, many people have themselves become enthusiastic hikers.

Climbing mountains, finding new places and enjoying the experience of the journey have always been important to Janice. She cherishes the little things she sees along the trail, as well as the grand destinations.

When Janice is not writing, hiking or taking photographs, she is involved in various creative digital, website design or photographic projects for her clients. She and her husband, Jamie Levine, enjoy their rural property, near Cranbrook, BC.

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