Skip to main content

Hiking Diana Lake Lodge - Trip Report

Written by Corinna on . Posted in Stories.

The cool sub - alpine waters of Diana Lake. 


Diana Lake Lodge is a hidden gem in the Brisco Range, just outside the Northwest corner of Kootenay National Park. It started out as a hunters' lodge and outfitter's cabin in 1956 but has been a commercial lodge for the last 40 years.

The hike starts at the end of a logging road which is common for most hikes in this area of BC. This hike is unique and special - it is adored and treasured by the residents of the region. What makes this hike unique? I think you may need to come and find that out for yourself! 

As you leave the parking area, you will cross a bridge and follow an old road for a short while- after that, you will see a sign that starts the single-track ascent up to the lodge. The sign (provided by Diana Lake Lodge) often states the whereabouts and last seen location of all the resident bruins in the area. The trail follows a beautiful lush forest with a lovely variety of shrubs, flowers and/ or berries, depending on the time of year. You'll see the bear scat along the trail. (Please see the photo in the article below.)

As you hike upwards through the forest, it will start opening, and beautiful extensive avalanche paths and a beautiful creek (great break stop) will come into view. The avalanche paths are spectacular, filled with flowers or glowing fall colours. As you gain elevation, you'll start entering sub-alpine meadows glowing with flowers and greenery- into the fall, a stunning array of red, yellow and orange colours. Then, Diana Lake will come into view. It is surrounded by rock and often holds snow and ice late into the summer. If you are into cold plunging – here is your spot! This is also great for letting your pooch play and cool off. You will find another short distance to the lodge as you leave the lake.

When you arrive at the Lodge, you will see a rustic log cabin in a beautiful larch meadow. Beautiful ridges surround the meadow and nearby lake. Day hikers can sit down to enjoy baked snacks and tea and soak up the mountain views at the Teahouse, while backpackers can relish in a hot outdoor shower and enjoy a plate of Backcountry nachos at the end of a good day's hiking. 

Local hikes from the lodge include trips to Whitetail Pass and the lower ridge of Judge Ridge, a moderate to easy scramble up the Judge (!!), and fossil hunting adventures to Fossil Ridge. This area is a prime Grizzly Bear habitat; mountain goats, wolves, birds, cutthroat and rainbow trout live in the lake itself. 

The lodge strives to minimize its environmental impact. It has installed a composting toilet and uses solar power for hut operations. The lodge's philosophy is to create an accessible family experience for small groups of 8-10 individuals. It's a great place to relax, photograph, and hike in a stunning mountain environment!

Here, you see the evidence of a very berry-eating bruin! Although there are many signs of bears up to the trail, I have never heard of a negative bear-human encounter here. Please remember this is the bear's home, and they are not looking to harm you. Please make noise while on the trail, travel in groups, and keep your pets on leashes. For more information on wildlife and free Bear Safety Courses please see this link!

Wildflower season in the Canadian Rockies is very short, but wow—is it ever amazing? Every year, when spring comes around, I eagerly await the return of the flowers. And of course, bees—along with those flowers come their pollinators, and our friends the bees! Here, in this picture, we have a stunning close-up of a Leafy Aster Symphyotrichum foliaceum - with its pollinator in action.

These three photos show different aspects of the Diana Lake Lodge. Photo 1 on the left shows you leaving the lodge to continue up the meadows towards the Judge and Fossil Ridge.

The middle photo shows Lindsay, Corinna, and Ila Bean in front of the unique and rustic, lovely little lodge.

Then you see the meadows, fireplace and lounging area outside the lodge. 


Hiking Stats

  • Distance

    7 km (One way)

  • Elevation Gain and Loss

    700 meters

  • Hiking Time
  • Starting Location

    From Radium, turn North towards Golden, drive 18.5km. Just after blue and white highway sign for Luxor Corrals, turn East (Right) onto the Kindersley-Pinnacle Forest Service Road (FSR).

    Once on the Kindersley-Pinacle FSR, stay left at 7.3km, stay right at 8km and stay left at 8.5km. From here follow the main road all the way to the Diana Lake trailhead. Do not turn onto any marked Branch Roads. Do not cross Pinnacle Creek. There are 3 Diana Lake trail signs along the way. 

    Trailhead parking is located at 24km just as the road ends. There is a small area for turnaround for cars and trucks only, not big enough for trailers. 

  • Permit Info

    No permit required. 

  • Transportation Options

    Private vehicle parking is available at the trailhead.

  • Season

    The trail is best hiked from July- September. In winter months there is avalanche hazard on the trail and travel is not recommended.

    Teahouse is open most days from 11am-4pm, Closed some Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact Diana Lake Lodge for more detailed information.

    Overnight booking can also be made through the Lodge. Maximum booking number is 10, though generally group sizes are 8 people.


Other Posts of Interest

Related Trips and Courses