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If you’re driving the length of the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek, British Colombia, to Delta Junction, Alaska, you’ll spend several days in the car. Thankfully, you’ll find many great places to stop along the way, such as at Muncho Lake.
When you arrive, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard — it’s beautiful! Let’s look at what you can expect when you visit Muncho Lake in British Columbia, Canada.
Where Is Muncho Lake?
Muncho Lake is just off the Alaska Highway at kilometer 681 in British Columbia, Canada. The Alaska Highway is a little less than 1,400 miles long, and it opened in the late 1940s.
Many travelers take this now entirely paved route from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Delta Junction, Alaska, and then continue on the Richardson Highway north to Fairbanks.
The lake sits at the northern end of the Canadian Rockies. It’s part of the Muncho Lake Provincial Park. The lake isn’t very large — about 7.5 miles long, but it has a maximum depth of over 700 feet.
It sits at 2,690 feet in elevation, but the towering mountain ranges surrounding it reach over 6,600 feet.
Why Is Muncho Lake Green?
One of the reasons many visitors stop at Muncho Lake is to see the beautiful green color of the water. Copper oxide leached from the bedrock turned the lake waters jade green.
The Kaska people, who have lived in northeastern British Columbia and southeastern Yukon for thousands of years, named it “Muncho” Lake, which means “big water.” Lake trout, arctic grayling, bull trout, and whitefish are popular fish caught here.
Can You Camp at Muncho Lake?
Muncho Lake has 10 front country campsites and 30 vehicle-accessible ones. You can reserve some campsites; however, most are first-come, first-served. To make reservations, you can go to the British Columbia Parks website.
The Strawberry Flats Campground is on the southeastern side of the lake, and the MacDonald Campground is about 7 miles north. A standard, non-electric campsite costs $20 a night, but it does allow tents and RVs.
Can You Swim at Muncho Lake?
Visitors are encouraged to enjoy water recreation at Muncho Lake. You can swim, kayak, scuba dive, snorkel, and waterski. However, it has no lifeguards on duty.
Main Current Rafting Expeditions offer family floats and whitewater trips for guests who want to enjoy a rafting adventure. The lake also has a boat launch.
If you choose to fish, ensure that you have the appropriate license and help prevent the spread of invasive species by cleaning your boat after using it.
Are There Hiking Trails at Muncho Lake?
Muncho Lake has some hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts who prefer the land over the water. Mineral Lick Trail is an easy 0.7-mile loop that offers beautiful vistas. This would be suitable for families and hikers looking for a simple trail.
The Red Rock Canyon Trail is another easy hike but longer at 2.9 miles. It’s an out-and-back trail that follows the riverbed within Red Rock Canyon.
Finally, the Teeter Creek Falls Trail is a moderate 0.7-mile out-and-back trail near Liard River Hot Springs. You can end the afternoon with this hike and then enjoy a soak!
Keep in Mind: We loved spending time at Liard River Hot Springs! Read how to spend a day at Liard Hot Springs.
What Wildlife Can You See at Muncho Lake?
Moose, caribou, and wood bison frequently visit the swampy areas of the park. You might also see stone sheep from the highway. If you encounter wildlife on the road, slow down.
Never get out of your vehicle and approach the wildlife. If you want to watch or take photos, please pull off the road so others can pass by safely.
Unfortunately, the lake has no viewing platforms, but you’ll likely see wildlife as you hike, fish, kayak, or drive through the park.
Is Muncho Lake Open Year-Round?
The lake doesn’t remain open to the public year-round. You can visit from May to mid-September.
It has locked gates during the off-season. This is the same for the two campgrounds. Winter camping isn’t permitted due to the extreme and harsh conditions.
Keep in Mind: Why Does Canada Have Two Official Languages? Let’s dive in and see!
How Far Is Muncho Lake From Liard Hot Springs?
As mentioned earlier, the Teeter Creek Falls Trail isn’t far from Liard Hot Springs, which is another popular destination along the Alaska Highway. The MacDonald Campground toward the lake’s northern end is approximately 45 minutes from the entrance to Liard River Hot Springs Park.
The Liard Hot Springs Campground is open from May to early October, but the park remains open year-round. You have a day-use fee from April 1 to October 31 that costs $5 for adults, $3 for children, or $10 for families.
If you’d like to learn more about Liard Hot Springs, check out our article “How To Spend Your Day at Liard Hot Springs.”
Make a Stop at Muncho Lake as You Travel the Alaska Highway
As you travel the Alaska Highway, you can enjoy so many wonderful places to stop. Our article “The Highway to Alaska: Everything You Need to Know” can give you even more suggestions for places to stretch your legs or spend a few nights. Muncho Lake makes our list. It’s a beautiful place for a picnic, a hike, or a swim.
So as you plan your road trip to Alaska, don’t forget to stop at Muncho Lake and enjoy an hour or a whole day surrounded by mountain peaks, jade green water, and abundant wildlife.
Are you planning a trip through Canada?