Date: July 25 2020.
Conroy Creek FSR (Conroy FSR) has always been tantalizing, with access to 2 decent-sized lakes on the border of Garibaldi Provincial Park that are almost entirely unvisited. We're talking a road that starts 15 mins from downtown Squamish, and these lakes aren't even named despite the larger one being 1.5 km long. The only other info I could find on the lakes was a snowshoer's report on here, and some rumours of an overgrown trail to the first lake. There's seemingly zero photos of the second lake in summer online in entirety.
Coords: 49.920869, -123.096067
We started on the road late, at about 9:10. The 2 parking areas by the campground/rock climbing area were full of cars and people, but we didn't see a soul once we started up the FSR. Logging has resumed in the area, and the road was graded earlier this year. Driving details
. Lots of little rocks on the road, some bumpy areas, but overall pretty good. 4WR required, though. We drove up to the sharp bend just before the lakes, where there is a couple cleared areas large enough for parking.
Route: Yellow is on the way there, red on the way back.
Any rumours of an overgrown trail are false at this point. The entire first hundred meters to the old-growth is harsh harsh alder thrashing, lots of blueberries too. That plus steep terrain make this first portion incredibly tough. Expect it to take 15 mins at least despite the short distance. After some brief relief when you enter the old-growth, you then once again encounter THICK blueberries, which remain all the way to the 2nd lake. There's no relief whatsoever, just constant bushwhacking, and not the fun kind. Wholly doable, but wear jeans and long sleeves.
After a nice slight descent to the first lake (where there's zero shore access, I mean zero, treed cliffs on all sides), there's a lot of steep climbing to do despite what topographic maps say. We walked for kilometres along the steep slope, using the blueberries as handholds. Unexpectedly rough, but still enjoyable. This hike is definitely not possible for those with any knee/ankle issues though and would be tough with a heavy backpack. You cross several steep gullies as well, though there's luckily no serious water to cross (just a few trickles that can be stepped across easily). Photo below has a mosquito mid-screen, which sums up lake quite nicely.
After 1.5 hrs of hiking, and only 2 km (sounds ridiculous, but the brush and terrain are just that bad) we finally exited the deep forest and arrived at the second lake. There're meadows along the shoreline, and overall gorgeous views. On the entirety of the hike, we never saw any evidence of human activity excluding an old fallen birthday balloon, and orange/pink markers of the logging falling limits, which extend right up to the border with Garibaldi PP through the old-growth (nice province!).
Fished the lake for an hour or so with varied gear, not even producing a nibble. The water is crystal-clear, warm, and contained many toads, salamander eggs, etc. -- considering their comfortability, I doubt there's fish in the lake. This is surprising considering the lake's large size.
We then headed back and trailblazed through the thick blueberries back to the road, the whole hike taking 4 hrs. Though this post highlights the negatives, this is overall a fun hike! Extremely few go to the second lake, so if you're looking for a real 'not a single person for km around' experience, without too much driving, this is it.
- Bear scat everywhere, several fresh piles seen every few dozen metres.
- Mosquitoes were on par or worse than what I've seen anywhere in BC or Northern Alberta, though with Muskol they were tolerable. This hike is truly impossible without long sleeves and serious bug repellent application.
Photos through the brush. There's barely even any animal trails to follow; it's just pure bushwacking.
Beginning of downhill on the edge of the second growth on the way back:
View of Tantalus range from mid-way down the FSR on the way out: