Carpenter Lake near Lillooet, Cariboo-Chilcotin Region, British Columbia, Canada is a man made reservoir located in the Bridge River Valley area located west of the community of Lillooet. The lake is 55 kilometres long extending from the Village of Gold Bridge on the western most point of the lake to the Terzaghi Dam on the eastern most point.
Carpenter Lake is a direct result of a hydro electric project consisting of 3 dams and 4 power stations. The process starts west of Carpenter Lake with the Downton Reservoir funneling water through the Lajoie Dam into the Carpenter Lake Reservoir. From the Terzaghi Dam on Carpenter Lake the penstocks and tunnels carry the water to the two power stations on the Seton Lake Reservoir. From Seton Lake the water is, finally, funneled into the Fraser River.
The Terzaghi Dam on Carpenter Lake is a giant and can be seen from many miles away. The dam rests in the mountains at an elevation of 651 metres (2136 feet). It stands at 55 metres (180 feet) tall and is over 360 metres in length.The gravel road leading to the dam eventually crosses over the structure providing elongated views of the lake and valley.
In the summer months the man made lake is a popular destination for fishing, canoeing, horseback riding and boating. Hikers, horseback riders and wilderness backpackers, with a good map book in hand, will enjoy the many trails surrounding the lake like the Grey Rock Mine, Tommy Creek, Marshall Ridge, Gun Lake, Hog Creek, Cedarvale, Keary, Nosebag and Viera Creek Trails. In the winter the gravel roads become popular routes for snowmobilers and cross country skiers.
Most fish Carpenter Lake seeking kokanee, rainbow trout, char and dolly varden. The few camp sites located on the lake include the Gun Creek, Carpenter Lake, Mission Dam and Bighorn Creek campgrounds. Gun Creek offering the most amenities while the other sites are recreation wilderness sites - pack in, pack out, little amenities.
The Bridge River Valley region consists of many lakes, all connected by a network of gravel back country roads. Some of the lakes in the region include Seton Lake, Anderson Lake, Marshall Lake, Gun Lake and Tyaughton Lake. From the Terzaghi Dam the gravel roads climb over Mission Mountain and then descend into Shalalth and then into Seton Portage.