Buttle Lake

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Buttle Lake, Vancouver Island

Buttle Lake, Vancouver Island, Pacific Northwest
Buttle Lake, Photo By Bud Logan

Buttle lake is a long and deep lake. All along one side of the lake runs the Westmin mine road. This road gives you easy access to this lake. There are numerous camp grounds all along this lake with full use boat ramps. The fishing is just awesome with rainbow, cutthroat and dolly varden trout that average around 40 cm. Although some of these fish can reach up to 2 kg in size.

This lake is in Strathcona Park and has many of the parks trails leaving from the shores of buttle lake. Some of these trails are on the far side of the lake like the marble meadows trail and must be access by boat. The aug trail and flower ridge trail are on the road side of the lake.

You can camp at the buttle lake campground on the north end of the lake or at the Ralph river campground that is about half ways down the lake.

Buttle Lake, Vancouver Island, Pacific Northwest
Buttle Lake, Photo By Bud Logan

When I was a young man back in the early eighties, I was employed by the BC Forest service as a fire fighter and fought a huge fire on the shores and mountains of buttle Lake. This fire started around the Ralph river campgrounds and very quickly became a huge fire. I was on this fire for over a month along with 300 other men. You can hardly tell where this fire was now. It is amazing how nature repairs the damage from fire.

Myra river falls are at the south end of the lake as well as the della falls north trail head.

Dr. Robert Brown, commander for the Vancouver Island exploring expedition, was the first to explore the area but when he retired, he suggested that the job be offered to Corporal John Buttle, who was a member of the expedition crew in the summer of 1864. He gladly accepted and the committee appointed Buttle as expedition commander. His first assignment was the exploration of the island’s west coast.

Buttle Lake, Vancouver Island, Pacific Northwest
Buttle Lake, Photo By Bud Logan

Buttle set up a base camp in the clayoquot sound area where they explored the ravines, rivers and valleys of the coast, then in August 1865, Buttle looked down from a high mountain onto Buttle lake below and was quite taken by the scene.

Some of his crew reported finding gold here also. When weather and a bout of illness forced Buttle to head back to Victoria, he was greeted by angry prospectors who had headed there looking for gold and found nothing, this ended his position and he left the island to go to California and never returned.

In 1892, the surveyor William Ralph named the Buttle lake after Corporal John Buttle. There is some debate as to whether this is the lake the John looked down on.

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