Katya at Upper Statlu Lake:
“Four adventurous Wanderungers, Alazhar, Rob, Alexandra, and I, headed up to the Upper Statlu Lake (also known as Brotherhood Lake) last weekend. As one of us later noted, this trail is truly a “diamond in the rough”: it is overgrown and difficult to follow at times but it rewards you with spectacular views at every turn. We followed the directions to the trailhead and waypoints from this Club Tread entry. Be warned that the directions in 103 Hikes are outdated due to a recent landslide. The drive from Vancouver took just over three hours with the last portion on logging roads. The roads were in surprisingly good shape: they had been recently graded and should be accessible by 2WD vehicles for some time.
The first leg of the trail took us across two creeks and past a massive waterfall to the Lower Lake. The deadfall on the old logging road sections was thick, but the rest of the trail was fairly easy to follow. We came across two small campsites at the east end of the lake that could snugly fit up to two tents. As the trail continued along the north end of the lake it became significantly harder to follow: it crossed several talus fields and dense blueberry thickets. We wished we had brought clippers to clear our way and beat the bush. The views all along the lakeside were spectacular and ripe blueberries kept our spirits high.
At about 2/3 of the way to the far end of the lake we took a sharp right up the Brotherhood Trail. Please note that both the Club Tread entry and 103 Hikes take you to the far end of the Lower Statlu lake, not to the Upper lake. If you are looking for waypoints this resource might be helpful. The trail went steeply uphill, foot bed fairly well worn. We followed the trail until we came across a rocky gulley, where it just stopped. It took good fifteen minutes before we spotted some tape to the left across the gulley. The terrain was steep and unstable; the trail lead vertically uphill. From here on the trail was almost non-existent: just a few flags here and there. The last 200 m before the lake were a challenging bushwhack, but once at the lake, it was all worth it. We had a quick swim and ate our snacks on a sandbar overlooking a dozen waterfalls. We spotted a small site at the western end of the lake with a fire pit couple of logs, and two flat tent spots.
On our way back we reflagged the last section of the trail and added a rope to one of the steep climbs. It took us 13 hours for the round trip at an average fit hiker speed! We hiked the last hour and a half in the dark. Three drivers had to take turns on the drive back – we were that tired. Overall, a greatly rewarding adventure with a fantastic group of people!”