CONTRIBUTION · 27th August 2010
Living in such a beautiful and awe- inspiring landscape I am always looking for areas of beauty long forgotten or not often visited. I have heard of an amazing lake called Fiddler Lake that seemed to be on many hikers bucket list.
I looked it up on Google Earth to find a beautiful picture posted by "Northboy", I was then hooked and knew I would visit this gorgeous looking lake. I checked out many suggested routes from Kalum Lake to Glacier Peak, Maroon Creek and others before hearing the best access would be Skeena West Bridge and up Hardscrabble Creek. With this in mind I began planning my quest.
Our first attempt brought us 6 km up Hardscrabble Creek Forest Service Road in my truck before being stopped by a slide, we then chose to hike another 6 km up the road to where we figured the best attempt at gaining the ridge would be. We cut up the side of the last cut block to find a good game trail that followed the side of a big gully. There was some old falling line ribbon here and there but mostly following obscure game trails and using blueberry bushes to help pull ourselves up the steep old growth slopes.
A couple hours into our hike we broke out of the trees into the alpine. After a quick lunch and brief exploration of the alpine ridge we were getting onto 5 hrs of our day (2 hrs hiking up the road, 2 hours on the ridge and an hour for lunch) and decided to head back to the truck.
We spent the next week clearing the road of fallen trees and making a couple washouts passable although still extremely rough. The next week we then reattempted our quest. This time we made it to our "trail head" in the trucks and brought tents for an overnighter.
Following the same route to the ridge we then took an additional hour hiking across the alpine before we hiked over a shoulder to our first view of Fiddler Lake. Its turquoise glacier silt color was absolutely stunning.
We spent the night and on the next day took a 1/2 hour hike to the shore where we circumnavigated some of it's shore before the banks were to steep to continue. We hiked up to the ridge on the back end where I took the above picture. There were surprisingly few signs of wildlife, the odd bear track and few signs of goats.
This is a great hike for an experienced hiker, a long, strenuous day hike from last cut block with route finding skills. You will want to go down EXACTLY the same way you go up as there are many deep dangerous gullies and devil's club for those who don't heed the warning.
If you meet the criteria this is a MUST for your bucket list especially before the Hardscrabble Road deteriorates anymore. Happy Hiking!