Duffy lake is a picturesque destination located just minutes away of Banff National Park. This lake is surrounded by the mountains and the lake itself is surrounded by ancient growing pines. The scenery is simply spectacular.
To reach the lake entrance, you will need to travel west on the Duffy Lake Road for about 5 minutes and just before you reach the sign to the signed lot you will see a sign pointing to the east parking lot.
Right at the east parking lot you will see a very small parking lot to your right. Just before you reach the parking lot another sign will be in the right hand side of the road. This is where you want to turn right to begin your hike.
The Duffy Lake Trail itself begins at the parking lot and leads to Chalet Road. If you are coming from the north you will need to turn left at the sign pointing to Chalet Road. Take a left onto Muker Lake Road and soon you will see the main parking lot and trail entrance on your left.
If you are coming from the south, you will need to turn right onto Fishing Lake Road and then onto Lake Street. At the Lake Street entrance you will meet up with the main parking lot and parking area for the trail. This area will be one of the most popular and the busiest times for the parking lot due to the fact that people are always arriving early to make the best of the hiking experience.
However, as you continue on the trail you will enter a wide ranging forest that measures about 5,000 acres in size. The woods are well maintained and for the most part clear. You will see many species of flora including White Tailed Deer, Bear, Black Bear, Elk, Moose, and the elusive Bobcats.
Prior to your arrival on the trail you will need to stop and equestrian wash your horse. There are two natural ponds within the property where you can do this. Take your time and relax as you watch the water flow gently down the cascading rocks. Sometimes there is a second stream that flows downstream within the property where one horse can have a training session and the other can enjoy the rolling hills.
Once you are ready for a rest take a short break near a campsite. The next day you will train your horse to carry you off the trail and across the wood. Rest assured that you will be alright. The trail follows the stream which gives reasonable access to the water.
Continue the ascent until you are ready for a rest. Enjoy the flowering trees until you are almost ready for a break. But not too early as the blossoms can sometimes be a surprise.
Once you are both on the top of the trail you will view the Okanagan valley. This is a beautiful area where the abbreviatedyiad can be seen in full bloom in late July. The surrounding mountains provide fascinating views to those blessed with patience.
Once you are ready for a break, hop across the rock and onto Okanagan Lake. This lovely lake has a surface area of approximately 110,000 acres. It is well protected due to its location on a river and because of the flaking many rocks prevent serious damage to the bottom of the lake.
Continue to follow the trail and turn left at the fork in the path. Here you will see a small path leading to a dead tree where you can get to by a small wooden bridge. The path follows the bed of the creek and at points in between the creek and the path, it seems that the path and the lake are never-ending.
It intersects with a couple of walking trails and you can either by a footpath to Okanagan Falls or by the combined path to Hwy 99. Turn right at the intersection and then make your ascent up the mountain.
As you climb the path you will notice a lot of runoff inner cities and suburban areas. However, Okanagan falls are only 45 minutes away. The combination of the Yasawa and Okanagan rivers have made this a very important area in the rise of the Welland river. Also, when you are climbing the path you can hear the chirps of birds but not as many species of birds as you would expect.
The cluster of large trees are used by the First Nations people, the Mongolian people and others for accommodation in their campsites.
In winter, this mountain is not normally accessible for visitors. However, a two kilometre walkway has been constructed near the starting point of the trail between Electric Drive and the Skaha Lake near the community of Skaha. Also, the trail extends between Miles passages Bridge and the community of Mount Currie.
The construction of the path was commenced in 1985 and completed in 1996. The main purpose of this path is to provide a better way for people to travel through the area.