Forest Recreation

Bonnie Lake

Bonnie Lake is a scenic subalpine lake, tucked away in a small valley east of the Rim Trail’s South Peak. Cradled between  rockslides and lush alpine forest, the lake sits at an elevation of just under 1900 m. The Community Forest’s 2022 Summer trail crew completed the trail connecting Bonnie Lake to Mt. Thompson’s Rim Trail in late August and it is now open for public use. The Bonnie Lake trail branches off to the left around 2.9 km along the Rim Trail and is about 1.4 km long itself. It is recommended for use by intermediate to advanced hikers as the steep terrain can prove to be challenging at times. The total vertical distance between the top and bottom of the trail spans around 250 m. Hiking down the Bonnie Lake trail is sure to provide you with stunning panoramic views of the eastern side of Mt. Thompson and the Purcells. Stop by and enjoy the lake for a satisfying destination day-hike. Or pack in your gear and make use of the spacious unofficial campsite on the lakeside, under the old sturdy Spruce tree. 


From the Creston Valley Visitor Center, head southeast on Highway 3 towards Cranbrook. At roughly 5.8 km, turn right at Canyon-Lister Road. Continue on this road, and turn left onto Whimster Road after about 1 km. Follow Whimster Road until it’s end – keep left to continue onto Mount Thompson FSR. Stay on this well maintained gravel road for 10.5 km. Right before the last pitch to the top of Mount Thompson, take the short spur to the right for 150 m to the Mt Thompson Campsite and park at the trail head adjacent to the camping area. Follow the Rim Trail for 2.9 km and stray left at the junction to Bonnie Lake. Follow the Bonnie Lake trail for about 1.4 km to the lake. Walk the trail along the shoreline for another 100 m to reach the unofficial Bonnie Lake campsite.

  • Trailhead access from town: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  •  Hiking Time (Return): 5 – 6.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 350 meters
  • Distance (Return): 8.6 km

Bonnie Lake in Late June

Looking East Down the Bonnie Lake Trail

Bonnie Lake View From the Valley’s Northern Rockslide

Jerry Bauer and Adam Mjolsness Flagging Trail Toward the Lake

Bonnie Lake

Trail Crew at Work

Volunteer Trail Work Bees Admiring the Lake