"When the winds whistle up the
Atnarko River valley, it's time to head for shore." -
Charlotte Lake is located 15 miles south east of Nimpo Lake.
Turn off just south of the cattleguard at Towdystan to the
west. There are small signs indicating the turnoff.
Like many of the lakes of the West Chilcotin, Charlotte Lake
is a cold, high altitude lake with water so pristine, you
can see everything under the surface clearly,and it's as though
looking through a magnifying glass. The lake is over 10 miles
long and nearly 5 wide and is known to produce trophy rainbow
trout averaging 5lbs but much larger have been caught. However,
it gets very little pressure and although there are a small
number of summer and full time residences on a short section
of her shoreline, you can often have a good part of the lake
Charlotte Lake is surrounded by mountains of the Coast Range
on every side but the east and empties into the Atnarko River
which in turn eventually winds its way down out of the mountains,
through the Bella Coola Valley to empty into the inlet there.
The Atnarko River is considered to be one of the cleanest
and ecologically sound rivers in British Columbia.
Although Charlotte Lake is a very deep lake, it is one of
the few in the West Chilcotin that sports an expanse of sandy
beaches and in some spots a gentle shelf from the shoreline,
making it more fun for children to play in the water.
There are several horse trails and old logging trails on
the east side of the lake, and some trails that can lead to
strenuous hiking up into the mountains on the south and west
There are few operators on the lake but there is a B&B
offering a large cabin as well as in house lodging, a small
resort with cabins, and a non fee provincial recreational
campground at one end. Explore this pristine lake with a boat,
kayak or canoe but just be aware that winds do come up suddenly
and the lake can produce some good sized waves.
At the west end of Charlotte Lake there is a small portage
past a set of rapids into what's called Little Charlotte and
a lake called Baby Charlotte. They are small lakes with rocky
shores and fantastic fishing both with flies and lures and
a wonderful place to have a picnic. From there you can look
down over the Atnarko River valley and follow the river's
route toward the ocean.
The incredible mountains sweeping up around the lake make
for spectacular views and the area abounds with wildlife so
have your camera ready!
Operators - Charlotte Clearwater Region