Trail Name: Gibraltar Rock II
Time: 1 – 2 hrs
Cell Service: Unknown
Trail Conditions: The entire trail is single track pack dirt and rock.
Highlights: This hike offers both a nice flat stroll along the lake followed by a long ascent up some switchbacks, gaining roughly 570m in elevation, to the top of Gibraltar Rock giving way to some beautiful views of the Paul Lake area.
To get there: Head north on the Yellowhead highway (Hwy-5) before turning right onto the Paul Lake Rd. In 12km the road will fork, keep to the right to stay on Paul lake Rd for another 2.5km. Just as you’re about to enter the Paul Lake community, you’ll notice a concrete barrier coming up on your left. If there’s room, you can park in the boat launch area just before the concrete barrier, or there’s additional parking on your right immediately following the concrete barrier.
The trailhead should be easily found at the boat launch, as it is marked by some signage and a brown fence. This trail is a linear that could easily be split into two parts. The first 2km hugs the shoreline closely and brings you to a cozy bench. Some may choose to turn around here for a relaxing 4km lakeside stroll. For those who want more of a climb with rewarding views, continue to the left at the bench and begin your ascent. Around the 3km point, you’ll come to a well signed intersection of 4 trails. Turning hard right is a rough, steep loose dirt path that heads straight to the top. Heading straight is a nicer, well packed trail that will bring you to another well signed intersection at which you must turn to the right again to begin your final ascent to the top. Once you’re on your way to the top, the trail may split and fork a few times, but all paths lead to the summit. Just keep climbing and you’ll get there!
This trail seems to be quite popular among local hikers, mountain bikers and their dogs. People of all ages were on the trail including young families at the summit having lunch. The vast majority of this trail is in the shade, but only the first (and last) 2km is close to water. If you’re bringing your dog, they may appreciate if you bring water for their ascent.
If you’re looking for a slightly longer hike, you can continue straight at the second intersection and head across to the Paul Lake provincial campground. This section of the trail is the topic of our first post on Gibraltar Rock described here.