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Tatlayoko Lake - Valley to the Coast

Tatlayoko Lake is in the path of a route from the coast that many early surveyors were sure would be the best way to ship beef and goods from both the eastern and western part of the Chilcotin to city centres such as Vancouver rather than go the long, arduous overland route. The first attempt led by Aquamarine watersAlfred Waddington, for whom the highest mountain entirely inside B.C.'s border is named, failed when after cutting 30 miles of trail by way of Bute Inlet and the Homathko, fourteen members of Waddington's survey party were massacred by the Chilcotin tribe. This led to a series of encounters between the Tsilhqot'in and the British colonial government, which came to be known as the Chilcotin War. Some 30 miles of road with bridges was built but the route turned out to be arduous and would have required 8 miles of tunnel through the Coastal Mountains to succeed. Tatlayoko Lake is unusual in that it sits on a corridor that ranges from the wet rainforest of the coast to the high dry interior forest of the Interior. As such, the valley provides a critical inland route for coast species such as the Grizzly Bear that migrate through the Coast Range, travelling between salmon runs on the Homathko and Chilko Rivers.Tatlayoko Lake is 30 miles from Tatla Lake and the wind-blown aquamarine waters of Tatlayoko are exceptionally dramatic, being coloured by silt pulverized by the surrounding glaciers and surrounded by mountains. It's unusual location may be the reason it can be a dangerously windy lake, and small boats should use caution. The word "Tatlayoko" is in fact derived from the native Tsilhqot'in language, and means "lake of the big winds". It is suitable for boating, so long as caution is exercised but small boats should never stray too far from shore. For those willing to brave the icy water (a wet suit is Old farmsteadrequired), the dazzling setting makes for unsurpassable expert windsurfing. Downstream of the lake the tumultuous white water of the Homathko is considered to be quite dangerous and suited only for the most expert level river kayakers.The area also attracts fishermen, hikers, and trail riders. Besides salmon runs on the Homathko and Chilko Rivers, other fish found in nearby lakes, streams and rivers include bull trout, Dolly Varden and Rainbow trout. Before turning onto the Tatlayoko road from Tatla, you will see the Bluff Lake road where Horn, Sapeye, Bluff, Middle Lake and Twist Lake lay like a string of pearls following Mosley Creek to the southwest. Each lake displays its own special character, most have campsites and all have excellent fishing. Whitesaddle Air is located in the vicinity providing helicopter sightseeing or flying you into remote locations for fishing or hiking. There is lodging available offering you accommodation ranging from your own cabins to Bed and Breakfasts.

For accommodations and activities in Tatlayoko along the Homathko River, please go to Tatlayoko Valley Accommodations.

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