Sea to Sea: Peden Lake Loop
BC-Vancouver Island / Sooke
45 min driving from Victoria, BC
There are many trails in the Sooke Wilderness Region and it can become confusing. You are very far away from anything, so come prepared. This trail has a nice variety of features including steep rock sections, soft flat forest trails, amazing views and lake access for recreation.
Trailhead - from the NE corner of the upper parking lot, cross the galloping goose bike path and the trailhead has a large boulder beside it, and runs along the right hand side of the creek. Continue along the creek for several hundred meters, there is a small hitch to the left to view the waterfall. After the waterfall, the trail begins to climb to the right and there is a T. you can go around the lake in either direction, however going clockwise (Go left first) is recommended as this way you will climb up the steep and slippery sections, then down the soft forest trail, and reach the cabin 2/3 of the way in your hike which is a nice time to stop for lunch and a swim, and then the last part of the hike is shorter and mostly downhill. Keep in mind there is NO water available anywhere along this trail in the summer except the creek at the beginning, and the lake access at the research hut.
So go left at the T, and then cross the creek and walk left on top of the water pipe until you see the trail head up the hill on your right. After about 200 m you will come to a fork. To the right is Larry's Trail and is marked with flagging tape on an Arbutus tree. This route is shorter, but steeper, there will be some scrambling up rock faces which can be quite slippery when wet. To the left is Pedan Bluff Trail, it is marked with a stone marker. It is longer but less steep. Both will get you to the top.
Once you are more or less on top of the bluff, there are several trails all around the top. Stay along the edge of the ridge where you can see down to the lake (This is Pedan Lake-view Trail). Continue North and eventually you will come to a T where Lake-view trail hits Ridge-lake Trail. Turn right and head down into the trees and then across a muddy section. Keep taking all the right hand turns to stay on the trail around the lake. The trail to access the research cabin and swimming area will be on your right, it is wide open and muddy with many logs to walk along.
Once you're done visiting the cabin, get back on the lake trail and follow it around the south end of the lake. At the Y intersection go left (don't cross the creek). Keep the creek on your right hand side and follow the trail down. At the bottom of the hill turn right (the left hand trail is blocked with sticks and rocks to indicate it is wrong). The trail meanders down for another 2 km, stay right at the next Y and you'll arrive at the water-pipe. Cross the water-pipe and keep going down, and you'll end up at the original T intersection just above the waterfall. Take a left and head back down to the parking lot.
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