From Secwepmec hunters to fur traders and gold seekers, Loon Lake, on the edge of the Bonaparte Plateau, has a rich history. Nestled in a pristine wilderness surrounded by ponderosa pines and Douglas fir, the lake is home to fighting rainbow trout. Fed by the brisk waters of Thunder and Loon creeks, as well as other streams, Loon Lake is nearly 65 metres deep and almost 12 kilometres long.
Long before recreational enthusiasts arrived in the region, the Secwepmec were forging trails for hunting and fishing. And it was these trails that many fur traders followed. However, it was Alexander Caulfield Anderson in the mid-1800s who saw the significance in joining trails and forging new ones to bring furs from Fort Alexandria to Fort Langley for the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Anderson crossed and forged new trails through field and mountain and along rivers and lakes.. And in doing so he enjoyed the stark beauty of following and creating trails through one of the most beautiful areas in the province. The Bonaparte Plateau, named for the Secwepmec chief who admired Napoleon Bonaparte so much he adopted his name, is home to many lakes, streams and natural areas.
Heading north from Kamloops, Anderson trekked across the plateau continuing his journey through the rugged landscape, arriving at the north end of Loon Lake. And it was here, camped on the shores of Loon Lake, that Anderson was witness to the rare beauty of a lake haunted by the bewitching sounds of the great northern loon. At Loon Lake one can experience not only trekking part of the New Fur Brigade Trail, but a lake rich with waterfowl and the bounties of nature. Loon Lake is developed only on the west side, leaving most of the surrounding area in serene wilderness.
To the east of Loon Lake lay the canyons and hoodoos of the Arrowstone Hills through which Anderson hiked, while a multitude of lakes lay more northerly. Beyond to the northeast, one can glimpse the mountains of Wells Grey Park. From the north end of the lake the Fur Brigade Trail leaving Loon Lake travels further north traversing the hills and valleys to finally reach Green Lake and then onto Drowned Horse Lake.
Not only rich with nature another lure attracting folks to Loon Lake is the excellent fishing. Avid fly fishers come from around the world to wrestle the mighty fighting rainbow trout. Naturally stocked, with several spawning creeks feeding the lake, the trout are plentiful.
Not only is Loon Lake a wonderful place to absorb the joys of summer, it offers lots of winter recreation. Ice fishing is one of the favourite activities of outdoor enthusiasts and the lake is as busy in winter as it is the rest of the year. Skating is enjoyed under the bright clear moons of the season and the Winter Carnival is the highlight during the snowy frozen months.
From fur traders trekking the pristine landscape, to fishers fighting the great rainbow trout, Loon Lake is a lake to be discovered and enjoyed any time of year. Loon Lake is a year-round recreational enthusiasts dream come true in the heart of Gold Country.