The 2 times I've paddled this pretty lake have been gorgeous sunny days. Buntzen really sparkles under those conditions! It's not long about 3 kms one way and will only take 1 hour of paddling each way but I challenge you to resist the urge to dally along the way, either fishing or soaking up the sun on one of the beaches or rocky promontories or taking a short walk on the surrounding trails.
The scenery is awesome. The lake however is a reservoir on BC Hydro's power grid and is fed by
rushing mountain streams. In fact, if there is snow on the North Shore Mountians, Buntzen will be
icy cold once away from the shallows near the beaches! Dress accordingly... During a training
session for the Bowron Lakes circuit I volunteered to tip my canoe to try (notice the word
TRY?) & show my less experienced friends how to right the boat and climb back in. This was in early May and the shock of hitting such icy water drove the breath from my lungs leaving me
gasping and in "mild shock". The attempt to right the boat was a failure and a sobering reminder
of why canoeists drown in supposedly familiar waters.
The lake is extremely popular for paddling and canoes or kayaks can be rented there. Fishermen/women are common along the shoreline and often found hogging the docks. Watch out for their lines as they are not appreciative of inattentive paddlers that foul them. Only electric motors are allowed so noise and boat wash are not present. There are booms and warning signs where BC Hydro's facilities present a danger to swimmers or boaters - pay attention!
Take a picnic lunch along and make a pleasant afternoon here. Because of the park's popularity expect a lot of company in the area but North beach will usually be more peaceful since they have to either hike, ride or paddle to get there.
From Vancouver/West Vancouver - Take the Barnet Hwy through North Burnaby & Port Moody and then
turn North on Ioco Road. towards Ioco & Anmore. Follow the signs they will eventually lead you to Sunnyside Road in Anmore. Head North past White Pine Beach at tiny Sassamat Lake.
From the Fraser Valley side take the Lougheed Hwy west through Port Coquitlam. It will turn into the Barnet Hwy near Ioco Road. Once on
Ioco Rd. follow those signs again
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Posted By: Mattscho2814
- Sun Mar 29 21:41:22 UTC 2015
UpsideClose to the city, great views, good wet weather hike Downsidebusy, busy, busy place, fills up early in good weather. CommentMarch 27 2015, west side of the lake lower sections of the trail were under several feet of water! took the Lakeview trail, amazing views but you need an extra hour or two to go all the way around. Floating bridge was under water too so it was closed.
Posted By: Fortyylove
- Thu Apr 17 19:44:53 UTC 2014
UpsideRemote, but not too remote CommentAmazing place, so many great hikes and things to do.
Here's a great resource for the Buntzen Lake Area.
Posted By: mortgagediva
- Sat Jul 02 03:26:36 UTC 2011
UpsideAll the trails are open and the lake is back to normal DownsideJuly is bad for cougars and bears... CommentJuly 1. Hiked today. Beware of Cougar noticeably growling and stalking us on the lower trail about 5 minutes from the suspension bridge in the area underneath the power lines. Scared the pants off of us. Didn't see any sign of bears...yet. All the trails are open and the lake is back down to normal.
Posted By: miss_saraa
- Fri Jun 11 19:59:43 UTC 2010
UpsideLove the trail, the view and the friendly people. Our Westie really loves the walk too DownsideSome areas are very narrow in the trail right now so be careful CommentOverall it's an amazing place. I'd recommend it to anyone. It's not difficult in anyway :)
Posted By: Gabe-o
- Sun Aug 16 04:35:26 UTC 2009
UpsideVery pretty little lake, close to the city. It's perfect for a day trip, or picnic lunch. DownsideCan be very crowded on summer weekends.
Posted By: evgenykravchenko
- Mon Jul 23 02:08:31 UTC 2007
Upsidefun, well marked, anyone can do it, easy on the knees, close to Vancouver and most importantly New Westminster Downsidebears and cougars in the area. CommentI enjoyed this trail. Even though it was raining through half of the hike, I still found it pretty fun. There weren't too many people on this hike, and I stumbled [didn't step in but stumbled =) ] on cougar or bear droppings, so make sure to carry a bear spray when hiking the western part of the trail. I'm planning to do it again, and next time I'll hike the Diaz Vistas part to see what the fuss is all about.
Posted By: vpigeon
- Mon Aug 14 05:41:24 UTC 2006
UpsideAn easy 10 kms walk around beautiful Buntzen Lake. DownsideNone, really, unless you're an advance hiker, in which case you'll prefer the Lakeview of Diez Vistas trails. Can be very crowded in the summer, so arrive by 10 am to make sure you can get into the parking area, otherwise it's a 2.5 km walk from the entrance to the south beach area. CommentA pleasant 10 km walk around beautiful Buntzen Lake. Great to take kids (I'd say 7 and up if you walk all around, including the west side of the lake - younger if you just do the 4 km walk along the east side).
Max el gain is 100 m, trail very well maintained, lovely beach at north end, where kids (and adults) can swim without danger.
Read the info panels on Buntzen Lake's history and vocation at the north beach area.
At least 4 geocaches along this trail, including 1 at each end, and 1 on each side of the lake. For more on geocaching, go to www.geocaching.com
See uploaded GPS data. There are a few gaps (they show up as straight lines), due to the occasional heavy tree cover.
Great year round (although the swimming could be a bit chilly in the winter).
Posted By: Kmarshall
- Sat Jan 28 03:56:05 UTC 2006
UpsideWe liked this trail there are many different trails to go on. You can not get lost. It is a great day out we went in the summer and took the dogs they had a blast. There is a beach for them to swim and play so take the pup he or she will thank you. The hike is lovely. There short walks about 1 hour or so DownsideCan be very crowded in the summer and especially on the long weekends. CommentWe had a great time we also hiked this in September and October and it was cool but rooty trails very easy to walk take the trekking poles