If you are looking for a place to get away from the bustle of the Lower Mainland for a day, Buntzen Lake Recreation Area is an ideal destination, located 45 minutes’ drive east of Vancouver.
Formerly known as Trout Lake and Lake Beautiful (by a group of hikers), Buntzen Lake is an active hydroelectric reservoir that was once Vancouver’s main electricity source. Today, it is also an attractive recreation area that has something for everyone. The open water is peaceful and inviting as there are no powerboats permitted, and there are numerous hiking trails to explore in the surrounding area.
The Reservoir is a favourite program destination for Power To Be in Vancouver, as it offers the chance to get away from the city and out into nature to enjoy beautiful, fresh warm water and sandy beaches, and to explore the islands. From the water, the scenery is spectacular, as the lake is nestled between Eagle Ridge/Moutain to the east and Buntzen Ridge to the west.
When asked about his favourite part of running programs at Buntzen, one of our Power To Be facilitators said, “So much play happens at Buntzen, it really is nature as our co-facilitator. There’s laughter, silliness, and it’s a safe place to play on a paddleboard. The forest as you drive into Buntzen is lush and it helps transport you into the beauty of the mountains that cradle the lake. Even on a cloudy day, it’s beautiful, the clouds and the mountains provide so much depth and you feel like the lake is floating in the sky.”
The lake is ideal for paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking, with a car-top boat, canoe launch and dock. Canoe rentals are available at the Anmore Store on Sunnyside Rd on the way to the park. Families can enjoy the day with picnic tables, shelter, grass play areas and a designated off-leash area for dogs. Plan to arrive early, as the parking lot does fill up on busy summer days.
If you prefer to adventure on land, there are numerous hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking trails, suited for all levels of experience and physical abilities. For a quick, easy interpretive walk offering attractive views of Buntzen Lake, try the Energy Trail. For a little more challenge, try the Buntzen Lake Trail, which circles the lake and offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. For seasoned hikers, the Diez Vistas Trail offers a chance to push yourself, rewarding you along the way with spectacular views of Vancouver’s waterways and mountains.
Whether you prefer to relax on a sandy beach and enjoy the view, play in the warm peaceful water, or challenge yourself with a hike, horseback ride or mountain bike adventure, Buntzen Lake Recreation Area has it all.