We began the hike up from the trailhead to Bedwell Lake at 1:00 and walked through the impressive forest of old growth, boulders and stairs up to Baby Bedwell Lake (6 km, 3 hours). We set up camp at Baby Bedwell Lake and took advantage of the warm, sunny weather to go swimming and cool down. This was a trip to try out new gear: foamies, stoves, GPS and inReach.
The next day we hiked up one of the approaches to Tom Taylor. We walked to Bedwell Lake, then west to the south shore of Baby Bedwell and more or less along the west shore of Bedwell Lake on an up and down, somewhat overgrown, flagged and cairned route. This led to excellent views of the area, especially Septimus, Big Interior Mountain, Bedwell and neighbouring lakes. There were also lovely lakes at the northeast foot of Tom Taylor. Progress was somewhat slowed by eating lots of great blueberries and swimming in the lakes. We continued on up the northeast ridge of Tom Taylor, but turned back at 3:00. We retraced our route until we reached Baby Bedwell and then followed a route to the west of the lake back to the campsite. (about 10.5 km, 9 hours)
On the third day, we had expected the weather to deteriorate, but since it was still warm and sunny, we decided to explore more of the area. We hiked to Bedwell Lake and a short way down the trail to Bedwell Sound. We then hiked along the east shore of Bedwell Lake, which is also an undulating, somewhat overgrown, flagged and cairned route. Even without the blueberries and swimming, this was not fast walking. At 1:00 we headed back, broke camp and hiked out. We left the Baby Bedwell campsite following a well cleared and flagged route to the west of the established trail, joining that trail after about a kilometre. (about 16 km, 8.5 hours for the day) This is a truly spectacular sub-alpine destination, which is quite readily accessible and has lots of opportunities for side trips.
Sidebar: As we walked in on the first day, the talk on the trail from those we met coming out was about the 140 lb, injured dog at Bedwell Lake. The dog was unable to walk, and he and the owners were running out of food. All rescue alternatives were problematic. The next day, the dog was retrieved by a volunteer helicopter and rescuers, which was the big news event of the week in Campbell River.
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