Well, the weather outside has been terrible, but that doesn’t mean we have to hermit away from the smoke.
Unless you’re concerned about air quality, which is a real issue.
Either way, you might want to wait until it clears up a bit before you drive out to Mitten Lake for a swim.
The 45-minute drive south of Golden gets you to Mitten Lake via forest service roads, but it is totally drivable in any vehicle. Just take it slow if you’re in a small car and you will be fine. The road is very well maintained, and only has a couple small washboard sections that might make your teeth chatter.
The lake is located only seven kilometres west of Parson. Heading from Golden, drive south on Highway 95, turn right onto Parson River Crossing, and head across the bridges. Just keep on the main road, travelling up and up, through a few switchbacks, and eventually there will be a sign directing you left to Mitten Lake.
I’ve heard stories in the past about how this lake used to be a Golden secret, but it has since been turned into a provincial recreation site. There are camp spots equipped with picnic tables, outhouses, and a nice beach with a dock, a closed off area for children, and a boat launch. Apparently dogs are not allowed on the beach, and I’ve been told mine could only swim at the boat launch “on leash,” which is totally unsafe, so I wouldn’t recommend bringing your pooch along for this trip.
The lake is busy on the weekends with tourists and motorized watercraft, so if you intend on camping, make sure you have the camp fee ahead of time. I wasn’t able to find anywhere online to reserve sites at this location. The camp ground has looked pretty full the past few times I have visited Mitten Lake.
At the beach, there is a picnic table, and a nice sandy area leading into the water. The dock is nice and big, and looks well taken care of. Once when I went, there was a floating dock not too far away from shore, with a bunch of people hanging out and sunbathing on it. Beside the beach is a nice treed area with benches. It is a good quiet spot to sit if there’s a couple of families on the beach. I’ve never seen it crowded, but sometimes it is nice to have a quiet place to yourself.
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