Sherk lake

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theshanergy's picture
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Shane
North Cowichan
Sherk lake

During some further exploration up copper canyon, we found this beauty. Sherk Lake.

I've had this little lake marked out on my gps for a while now, but wasn't able to actually reach it until now. There are several possible routes, though most of them are completely grown in or have large washouts. The route we ended up taking was actually really easy going once you know where it is. I'm attaching our route straight from hillcrest near Duncan. The journey takes about 1.5 hours each way if you don't doddle, and you'll find lots of cool trails forking out along the way. The lake itself is beautiful, completely remote, warm, and stocked with rainbow trout (though I'm unsure of specific fishing regulations). There's even a little cobbled together mini dock made from some old concrete slabs.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

GPS file (Google Earth): 
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Shane
North Cowichan

a few more..

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BeRad
duncan

Have you ever hit up reinheart lake while your up in that area?

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Shane
North Cowichan

Yep - I've been to Rheinhart a few times, as well as 2 other small lakes in the same area. I don't find Rheinhart quite as nice as Sherk personally, mostly just because it is more appealing for fishing, so it sees more traffic and sometimes stinks a bit.

There's also another route in to Sherk straight from the Cowichan valley, but it has one big washout that makes it virtually impossible to pass in any full vehicle. It would probably be doable in a quad though, or on bikes.

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Shane
North Cowichan

Just did this same trip again and camped for a couple of days. I love this spot!

We also detoured up Mount Whymper Landale which is one of the mountains surrounding the lake. Got some cool views from up top.

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Simon
Cowichan Bay

I keep saying I'll go out there then I don't, that view is awesome!

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Darren
Victoria

Shane - new to the forum and 4x4'ing. Wondering if your route to Sherk Lake is easy, medium or hard? Thinking about trying it out shortly, but won't if it is too difficult. Thx

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Shane
North Cowichan

This is subjective perhaps, but I would call it easy-medium. There isn't anything really difficult, however there are a few spots where you need good bumper clearance. This isn't a trail for larger/longer vehicles. That said, once you're into the chemainus river valley it's smooth sailing. An easier route would be to enter right at chemainus and check in through the logging gate, but then you can only do a day trip and have to rely on the gate being open.

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Darren
Victoria

Thx Shane - driving a 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser, so a fairly big vehicle (with running boards). Being a newbie, how do I get to the chemainus logging gate? Thx again

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Shane
North Cowichan

Here's a route from Victoria that will get you on to the logging road. From there just follow my original post and you will make it in your Land Cruiser no problem!

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Dave
victoria

looks like a cool spot anyone been up there since? thinking i might try a winter run see if we can make it with all the snow but want to go there in the summer for sure

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sam
Victoria

we might be trying to do this one todat actually! heading up in 20 minutes, just saw this now haha :)

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

lots of pics please :)

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sam
Victoria

Haha sounds good :)

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Dave
victoria

hey aaol1 did you ever make it out to sherk? just trying to get my truck fixed this week and then planning on heading up there so any pics or info on how your trip went would be great

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sam
Victoria

Posted a new thread with pics! Take a look, we didn't make it, bridge too sketchy

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Lee
Shawnigan

Haha the bridge isn't that bad it just looks scary. But then again, beep beep mah jeeps cheeeeap! :D

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sam
Victoria

It's pretty steep on both sides lol, and the bridge is literally wet wood covered in ice, and slanted lol. We decided no ;)

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Sam, dont worry about what the other guy says. He always backs out when there's a challenging trail to do.

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sam
Victoria

Hahaha oouuu :p

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Lee
Shawnigan

Haha you driving into a hole doesn't count. Race you to that lake I showed you in Jordan river. :p

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Jas
Langford/Duncan

Who told me to drive into it hahah.
Lets go out this weekend. Maybe try shrek lake so we're not getting off topic in this thread.

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Dave
victoria

i'm working on the truck sat but if i get it all done i'm might be looking to head out sunday if i'm not in shit from working on the truck all day lol. so let me know your plan if your going sunday and maybe i'll tag along

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sam
Victoria

yea post some good pics and updates if you guys go out, really curious about this place :)

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Tried getting there this weekend. Sun 24.
Could not make it due to snow.
I suggest waiting few more weeks before trying again.
Came close. Probably within 2-5kms from it.
I drove a 99 jeep with 3" lift. 31s with ok thread.
Welded rear and locker up front.

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sam
Victoria

did you need to use lockers? and yea im starting to think this is a summer thing, maybe dave could make it with 37's and chains but for most of us, I think we will be limited to no snow

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Dave
victoria

i'm going to see what weather looks like but think i'll try it this weekend or next so will let you know how it goes and get lots of pics

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sam
Victoria

yea perfect cant wait to see/hear about it! maybe if we can access we could even organize a camping night up there this summer for those interested!

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Dave
victoria

for sure i got a few spots i looked at up by arrowsmith that i really want to check out this summer too. altho have another little one coming in june so dont think i'm going to get out as much as i want or maybe she will want me to get out of the house with the other 2 :) lol

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sam
Victoria

haha just say its a father / kids bonding time, and is much needed for the cohesion and well being of the family, SOLD :) but yea sounds good dude, well see what we can do :)

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Dave
victoria

yep thats the plan

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Joe
Victoria

I went up the Hydro corridor road on the weekend, trying to get to Sherk Lake. Got stopped at a washed out gully across the track. Stupid low hanging bumpers. But aside from that it was all passable in my Cherokee KL Sport. Probably could have handled the gully too, if there was someone with me who could pull me out when I got stuck. Wet though, lots of enormous puddles. If I'd known you could go up the Macmillan Bloedel FS road, I would have done that. You access it off River Road at the north end of the industrial bit on Hwy 1 in Chemainus.

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Dave
victoria

There is no way you would have made it to sherk anyways. Me and a buddy tried to get there Friday but the snow was just so wet we did not even get close. I'll put a post up tonight or tomorrow when I have some free time with some pics

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Joe
Victoria

I guess it is pretty high. I didn't even think about snow.

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Joe
Victoria

Reminds me of going up Gordon Main in March a couple of years ago on my bike with street tires . Snow? we don't care about no stinking snow. Lucky for me, the second time the bike slid out from under me, it shoved the handlebars back into alignment. lol

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sam
Victoria

lol i guess thats a good fall? thanks for the updates guys, yea dave I thought you would of made it for sure, guess its still not the season then! stoked to see your pics

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sam
Victoria

so joe you DIDNT go on macmillan? I was under the impression that macmillan was gated..? where did you enter exactly?

dave, did you go the hillcrest way? did you manage to cross the river? curious to know about that gate right before or after the river that someone was talking about...

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Joe
Victoria

I went the Hillcrest way. I thought the Macmillan Road was closed. There was a gate house just off the highway. There was a trap shoot on Saturday and a sign saying range was closed, whatever that means.

Going up Hillcrest, I passed the turn off on the right that follows the hydro towers, It looked like there were some major humps and ponds just off Hillcrest, so I went 1/4 mile further and turned off a nicer looking road that met up with the hydro line road pretty quickly. I follow that up about 2 miles. The hydro line road kept going down a hill after it crossed the road coming up from the valley, but just past the intersection was a major rut that I couldn't get across. I tried but I was still head into it when my front bumper touched down.....so I backed out. There's a work around if you go down the hill a ways and then come back up, but the same stream that cut across the upper road, had dug a trench across the work around as well. I was stuck, so I went back. Never got anywhere near any gate, or river crossing. thought I think I was pretty close.

Going to ask for access at the gate on the macmillan road next time.
I did go back and go through Chemainus River Park and was going to try going up Mount Prevost or Mount Sicker and come down the other side but came across very serious looking no trespassing signs. So I turned around again.

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sam
Victoria

ohhh okay I know exactly where you got stuck, yea that rut is probably the biggest one there, it even gave me some issues, had to take it diagonal ( 3 inch lift tacoma) my issue is my truck is long but...yea that bypass was good last time we did it, thats too bad! Im sorry to say that you were still ways away haha, thats only the beginning ;) was there snow near that rut you got stuck? yea macmillan could be good, pretty sure gate is like weekend only or stuff like that

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Dave
victoria

Hill 60 in and micmillan out only locked gate was on our way to jump a few km past the turn to sherk

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Joe
Victoria

There was no snow where I was. Yeah I know I had a long way to go. I saw there was snow up higher but I didn't know how high the road went.

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sam
Victoria

nice , hows the section from hill 60 to the river? pretty steep / rough or pretty easy?

so there IS a locked gate to sherk...man that sucks, did you spot any bypass?

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sam
Victoria

joe - yea for sure, it doesnt go much "higher" but it does have alot more ruts, and theres that sketchy bridge that you can see in my pics on my page, thats where we turned around, wasnt worth it with ice and snow on it ( I have done it dry and it was fine)

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Jas
Langford/Duncan

We had a fail attempt as well few weeks back.
Snow wasn't that deep just very wet and compact.
We had the furthest tracks at the time.

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sam
Victoria

nice pics jas! did you guys go by hill 60 and try to go by the bridge to cross river and turn right? any gates?

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Dave
victoria

Are you at work tomorrow Sam? If so drop by the pipe shop and I can give you a bunch of info on what we saw we were on the road for 12 hr looking around on Friday till we got to a spot to camp

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sam
Victoria

ah yea im still in halifax unfortunately, Im back on thursday! I would of dropped in though, maybe some other time :) maybe pm the info? if you want

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Lee
Shawnigan

Yeah we went hill 60 down the 222 across the chemanius river and up copper canyon towards Sherk there is a gate that was open right after you turn onto the mainline but it's often locked. There is a bypass farther up but the river is impassable right now. Then we went up and got within a couple k from the lake but stopped pushing because the old snow was too hard on the heeps.

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sam
Victoria

oh kk good to know! so you think during the summer that the bypass for gate would be doable?

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Lee
Shawnigan

Definitely doable. Wear your flip flops.

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sam
Victoria

damn 0.0 hopefully its lower than that in summer, it should be

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Lee
Shawnigan

That pic was last summer, and last year was dry with no snow pack haha. That pic was on another trail a bit down the river so it shouldnt be as bad at the bypass.

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sam
Victoria

ah okay yea, i wouldnt wana get water like that in my truck haha :)

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Might have found a new route to sherk lake. Gonna have to test it out see if its doable.

jas's picture
jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Might have found a new route to sherk lake. Gonna have to test it out see if its doable.

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sam
Victoria

Yea let us know! Would love to be able to access that, are you talking about the cowichan route?

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Yes. Cowichan way. Looks like there is a gate there. Wonder if it's locked and if it ever opens. Hopefully there is a bypass there somewhere.
This is also more of a trail than just a logging road.

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sam
Victoria

yea i thought shane said that way was pretty much a write off? could be worth a shot though, just wana make it to sherk haha

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Shane
North Cowichan

You need a lift and lockers but it's do-able. Good possibility of damage as there are some fairly tight trees/rocks along the way. I've been that way a few time though - definitely do-able. In terms of getting around the gate - there's access within 100m. Look hard and you'll find it :)

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sam
Victoria

Cool! Doesn't sound like a trail for a lengthy Tacoma though haha

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Ah. Thanks for the info Shane :)
I'm welded rear and locker up front with a winch.
Should be fine.
Can't wait to Get out there.

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sam
Victoria

getting hardcore jas :P

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Jas
Langford/Duncan

Made a second attempt at the Sherk lake on Saturday April 3rd with Lee.
We went the Youbou way. Not a stock friendly trail. Lift, tires and a locker would be ideal to get through some of the stuff. We had no issues, but we're both locked up.

It was all going well until we went around a corner and came across 2-3 feet of old snow. Impossible to get through it. We made it about 3/4 of the way.

Anyway, onto pics.

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Shane
North Cowichan

Ahh you were so close! I would have winched through at that point.. hah

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sooke

i'd be in for a trip to sherk.........lmk

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

I'll head out again in a month or so. Still lots of snow left there. Ill send you a pm.

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Jay

Jay
Langford

Ive been up that trail, pretty fun eh. just passed the culvert at the top of the hill are some rocks to play on.

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sam
Victoria

Damn yea that looks pretty hardcore, so jas ( minus the snow) you think I could make it?

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Im sure it could be done.
But to put it this way. If that was my truck I probably wouldn't take it there.

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Jay

Jay
Langford

if you like your paint then the upper part of this trail is not for you. lots of narrow with alders.

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sam
Victoria

yea ill probably stay out of it then haha, i dont mind pinstripes but not a fan of NO paint left, jay have you been up there with yours?

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Lee
Shawnigan

Jay broke his windshield and pulled a flare today so maybe don't use that as a safe trail guide. Hahaha

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Jay

Jay
Langford

I have been up there, i dont usually care about my paint though

yep, took a good branch to the windshield today, and popped off a front flare and added some great new BC pinstripes.
when you get close to my jeep it really looks matte red now.
i had the roof off yesterday as well, that kinda sucked. so dusty and all the branches and debris i ended up with.

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sam
Victoria

haha alright i will def not use you as a safety then, yea same ive got so much pinstriping the sides of my truck look matt blue haha its weird...im sure nothing a good buff job wont take off

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

I wouldn't worry so much about branches and debris Jay. Your jeep is now full of spiders.
I see at least 5-6 every time I enter my jeep haha.

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Jay

Jay
Langford

there were spiders in it yesterday. LOL

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sam
Victoria

lol, i did an oliphant run last weekend and next morning i had a BUNCH of webs everywhere crisscrossed through my bed rack, looked like it was halloween!

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Joe
Victoria

Ya know, this place is only 3 1/2 km from Youbou. Think I'll just park in YB and walk over the hill some weekend. How hard can it be?

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Do it this weekend.
Tell us at which point you turned back :(

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BeRad
duncan

Saturday, the 16th late start over sicker up copper canyon to sherk camp out or ealy start and day trip? Posted up on west cost jeeps. Whos down not yet long distance highway friendly. Gonna be reworking the front end when I have more cash!

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Rich Metcalfe
Victoria

Hey guys, I just recently got a 2003 4Runner, only has a 3' spacer lift. looking to get into some wheeling, would this be a good route to start out?

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jas

Jas
Langford/Duncan

Sure.
Read the whole thread tho.
There's a gate in the way that could be closed etc.

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Joe
Victoria

haha...I just realized you were replying to my post.

I didn't walk, I rode my motorbike. Gate was open at River Road

turned around at the halfway point. ran out of time.

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Kyle G
Chemainus

Went the hill crest way yesterday. Got all the way to the T heading down towards the river......Fresh decommission. As in last 3 days. Did find a work around but was pretty grown in. Came into the mainline right before the red active logging gate.

Headed back down Copper Canyon as it was getting late.

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Cameron Swinton
Victoria

Hey new to vioffroad. I drive a stock 2000 jeep xj i was wondering if the trail in through hillcrest is stock friendly or not?

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Kyle G
Chemainus

I made it (at least to the mainline) via the route mentioned in the stock 06 Rubi.

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