Thutade Lake

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Thutade Lake
Location British Columbia
Coordinates 56°53′N 127°00′W / 56.883°N 127.000°W / 56.883; -127.000Coordinates: 56°53′N 127°00′W / 56.883°N 127.000°W / 56.883; -127.000
Primary outflows Finlay River
Basin countries Canada
Max. length 40 km (25 mi)
Max. width 2 km (1.2 mi)
Surface elevation 1,200 meters (3,900 ft)

Thutade Lake is located in the Omineca Mountains of the Northern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. About 40 km in length, and no more than about 2 km wide, the lake is primarily significant as the ultimate source of the Mackenzie River.[1] The lake is at the head of the Finlay River,[2] which joins the Peace River via Williston Lake. The area is very remote, being located about 260 km north of Smithers, although several mining operations for ores containing copper, lead, zinc and silver have occurred around the lake.[3][4] The largest of these is the Kemess Mine, an iron and copper property originally owned by Royal Oak Mines and now by Northgate Minerals, located in the valley of Kemess Creek, which is off the northeast end of Thutade Lake. The mine is accessed by the Omineca Resource Road and other resource routes, and is 400 km by road from Prince George. Just downstream from the outlet of Thutade Lake, the Finlay plunges over 180-foot (55 m) Cascadero Falls,[5] and then through a series of cataracts in a twisting course until it begins its main northeastward trend. Cascadero Falls is slated for hydroelectric development in connection with the power needs of the area's mines.


The first European to explore the lake and its surrounding area was Samuel Black in 1824.[6] The upper end of the lake is the Tatlatui Range, which is astride the Continental Divide of the Americas, and which with the adjoining valley of Tatlatui Lake forms Tatlatui Provincial Park.


  1. ^ Atlas of Canada, Rivers of Canada page
  2. ^ "Thutade Lake". BC Geographical Names. 
  3. ^ BC Minfile report summary
  4. ^ BC Minfile report summary
  5. ^ "Cascadero Falls". BC Geographical Names. 
  6. ^ Black, Samuel, A Voyage of Discovery from Rocky Mountain Portage on Peace River to the Source of Finlays Branch and North-Westward, 13 May to 23 June 1824 (MS-0619), British Columbia Archives