Do you love a thrill? Silver Spring Lakes (that’s right, there are three of ’em!) is located just 30 minutes south of Fernie. The first lake is becoming well-known for iconic cliff jumping. Honestly, it’s one of the BEST cliff jumping spots I’ve ever experienced! The water is clear blue and refreshing, plus the surrounding scenery is stunning. Few places compare to Silver Spring Lake.
About Silver Spring Lakes
Silver Spring Lake is a popular recreation area near Elko, British Columbia. Three beautiful blue lakes attract locals and visitors alike, as arguably the best swimming near Fernie. Not much of a swimmer? Bring a kayak or SUP and enjoy a day on the water. Fishers will be happy to know the lakes are stocked with trout.
To escape the crowds, you could lake trail to explore the second or third lake. At about 4-km one way, the lake trail is a short family-friendly day hike. All three lakes are spring-fed with clear blue waters. We didn’t have time to explore all of the lakes before dusk, but we sure enjoying jumping at the first lake.
Cliff Jumping in BC
Silver Spring Lake has become an iconic place for cliff jumping in BC. Specifically, the first lake due to the bedrock platforms and deep waters. These cliffs range from five to 60 feet, but the most popular jumping cliffs are between 25 to 30 feet high.
Avoid horseplay on the cliffs and use caution when climbing back up. Visitors have gotten injured in the past, and emergency services can take time. Unfortunately, there was one overly intoxicated visitor who was jumping, but luckily she didn’t get hurt. Alcohol and cliff jumping don’t mix.
Read more: 7 Things To Do in Fernie in the Summer
Directions to Silver Spring Lakes
I was excited to find out that Silver Spring Lake is very close to Fernie. In fact, the drive is less than 30 minutes—faster than getting across Calgary! Head south along Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway) from Fernie. You’ll pass through the Elko Tunnel and eventually reach the town.
To find the trailhead, take a left off of Highway 3 and onto Bates Ave. Turn right onto Main Street and left onto Alexander Avenue. Follow this road until you reach the River Forest Service Road on your left. Continue on the gravel service road for about 3.5 km. Then turn right and drive until you reach the yellow gate. Remember that this is an active logging road, so use caution and yield to logging trucks.
Hiking to Silver Spring Lake
The hike into Silver Spring Lake is about 500 metres from the parking spot. Bring sturdy shoes as you’ll be walking up rugged trails. Head west past the yellow gate for about 150 metres to the footpath. Cross the powerline and hike south up the steep trail for 20 to 30 minutes to reach the northern shore of the first lake. The elevation gain is about 100 metres. At the shore of the first lake, head east (left) up a steep and rocky trail and then follow the trail south. You’ll come to the bedrock platforms that make Silver Lake a popular cliff jumping destination.
Know Before You Go
There are no facilities or washrooms at Silver Spring Lake, and overnight camping is not permitted. Go and enjoy this incredible slice of heaven, but be respectful to the land and other visitors. Don’t leave anything behind, including your name on the cliffs. Always remember to leave no trace—pack it in, pack it out. Silver Spring Lakes are family-friendly and for everyone.
One reader commented with “shhh!” on my Instagram post about Silver Spring Lake. At first, I was a bit puzzled since Fernie Tourism actively promotes this spot on their website. After some back and forth, I learned that the reader was a Fernie local who was concerned about visitors negatively impacting the area. I understood exactly what they meant. Sometimes when local gems become popular attractions, they’re not well taken care of. As a visitor, I take this to heart. I encourage everyone else to do the same.
Read more: Hiking in Fernie, BC at the Spineback Trail
Have you experienced cliff jumping at Silver Spring Lake? Where do you like to swim or cliff jump? Let me know in the comments below.
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