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15 Beautiful Lakes in Vancouver

When it comes to offering the perfect blend of urban and nature, nothing compares to Vancouver, Canada. It is home to some beautiful lakes, including Beaver Lake, Cultus Lake, Trout Lake, and the Lost Lagoon. This city, surrounded by mountains and oceans, is a nature-lovers paradise and also offers all the amenities of a large urban centre.

Couple jump off wooden dock into lake in Vancouver in the Summer

The travel experts at Canadian Train Vacations help visitors to Canada plan their trips. Many of our popular itineraries start or end in Vancouver.

If you wish to learn about the stunning lakes in Vancouver, we have listed some of the ones you should include on your itinerary.

1. Trout Lake (John Hendry Park)

Situated in John Hendry Park, Trout Lake offers visitors a breathtaking experience. You can indulge in various activities here, whether dipping in the lake for a refreshing swim or having a nice picnic with your family. There are several sports facilities and a BBQ area. Other highlights here are the pet-friendly area and the free parking. Also, the Trout Lake Market is one of Vancouver's oldest and biggest farmer's markets.

Three seniors sit side by side facing Trout Lake in Vancouver, British Columbia, and fall foliage

2. Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake is located in the centre of Stanley Park. It is a popular recreational site in Vancouver due to its surrounding forest and local wildlife. Visitors can stroll around this picturesque lake but cannot swim or boat on it. You can even watch the beavers here at dusk or dawn. Given its wildlife attractions, it ranks among the best lakes in Vancouver Canada.

3. Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park

Known for its serene backdrop and natural grandeur, Lost Lagoon lies in Stanley Park. Do walk the scenic 1.8-kilometre pathway around the lake. If you visit the lake, head to the nearby Stanley Park Ecology Center to learn about the diverse flora and wildlife through its many interactive displays.

Lost Lagoon pond in Vancouver's Stanley Park in British Columbia, with view of buildings

4. Sasamat Lake

Sasamat Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes near Vancouver. The pristine, clear water reflects the tall trees of the Belcarra Regional Park. This regional park is situated approximately 39.4 kilometres from Vancouver. It is a popular spot due to the sandy White Pine Beach along the shoreline of this lake. Another feature of Sasamat Lake is a path that enables guests to enjoy a peaceful and pleasant stroll. It is open every day for visitors from 7 am to 5 pm.

Mountain reflected in the water at Sasamat Lake in Port Moody's Belcarra Regional Park

5. Rice Lake

Rice Lake is a gorgeous lake situated in Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. It's an ideal place to take in the splendour of the natural world. A main attraction is that you can fish for beautifully coloured Rainbow trout. It is often considered the best lake fishing near Vancouver.

Rice Lake and forest near Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver District

6. Buntzen Lake

Standing still and calm amidst tall trees and natural vegetation, Buntzen Lake is among the nice lakes in Vancouver. A favourite recreational spot for locals of Vancouver, the shores of Buntzen Lake offer picturesque views of the forests. It's recommended to visit the lake early morning or early afternoon.

The lake is popular for its adventure activities, such as hiking and biking, and its suspension bridge. It's recommended that you come early in the morning to escape the crowds.

Woman stands facing reservoir, Buntzen Lake, in Anmore located in British Columbia

7. Capilano Lake

Capilano Lake was created in 1954 when Cleveland Dam was built over the Capilano River. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic views of the lake from the Cleveland Dam. In addition, visitors can engage in some stunning photography while hiking along the 27.4 km (17.4 mi) of beautiful paths in Capilano River Regional Park. Plan to bring a picnic to enjoy with friends and family.

Green boathouse floating on Capilano Lake on the North Shore

8. Cabin Lake

Considered among the best lakes close to Vancouver, Cabin Lake is a must-visit. It is one of the scenic lakes along the hike to Eagle Bluffs on Cypress Mountain. Cypress Provincial Park is a great spot for adventure seekers, providing them with sporting opportunities like skiing, hiking, running, swimming, and more.

Do note that Cabin Lake tends to get quite busy during summer.

9. Burnaby Lake

Burnaby Lake, a spot with heavenly views, is ideal for a picnics and makes a perfect day out with family. It is among the largest Vancouver Canada lakes in this region, occupying over 3 square kilometres.

It is also a wonderful wildlife sanctuary home to amazing species, including blue herons, kingfishers, eagles, belted kingfishers, beavers, ducks and turtles.

Three colourful Wood Ducks in Burnaby Lake, British Columbia

10. Cultus Lake

Considered one of the best swimming lakes near Vancouver, Cultus Lake is known for its beautiful, sandy beaches and clear, clean, freshwater lake. It's a popular spot for fishing, hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, and a plethora of other outdoor activities. This scenic spot is often called the gem of Fraser Valley. The Cultus Lake Provincial Park is a great place to base your activities. Then you can also dine at the shoreside restaurants and shop at the beachy boutiques.

Freshwater gleams under the sun in Chilliwack's Cultus Lake near Vancouver British Columbia

11. Lost Lake

Situated only a few miles away from the famous Whistler Village, Lost Lake is a perfect lake destination, especially for cyclists. The Valley Trail network of bridges and paths wind through Whistler's lush surroundings. There is also a shuttle service to Lost Lake. Enjoy the beach, plus biking and hiking trails in summer, then cross country skiing or snowshoeing on Lost Lake Nordic Trails during the winter months. There are over 25 km of trails to explore. There is also a food concession in the summer at the waterfront park.

Senior woman sitting on wooden dock soaks feet in Lost Lake, Whistler, near Blackcomb village

12. Alice Lake

The locals' fondness for Alice Lake is due to its stunning location amidst tall trees and majestic mountains. Alice Lake Provincial Park is 71km north of the Lions Gate Bridge in North Vancouver. Along with its popular campground, it's a favourite destination for mountain bikers. Other activities include swimming, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and fishing.

Keep an eye out for small mammals, such as squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons, and birds, such as stellar’s jays, crows, and osprey.

For people looking for a romantic hike, the trail around Alice Lake is a popular spot for evening strolls.

Alice Lake and surrounding mountains in remote area north of Squamish

13. Whyte Lake

Located approximately 30 minutes away from downtown Vancouver, the Whyte Lake trailhead takes hikers into the lake. This 5 km loop-trial averages two hours time to complete and takes you to a tranquil lake in the hills over Horseshoe Bay. The lake is bordered by trails, wetlands, creeks, and old-growth woodland. Whyte Lake is a lovely place to swim in the summer, with its charming pier. Hikers follow Nelson and Whyte Creeks on the route to the lake. It's a tranquil environment, perfect for a quick weekend day trip.

14. Green Timbers Lake

If you are looking for a fishing spot to visit with your friends near Vancouver, visit Green Timbers Lake in Surrey. One of the best fishing lakes near Vancouver, the lake is usually full of trout and black bullhead all year long. Swimming, wading or watercraft are not permitted in the lake, but you can enjoy the surrounding trails. Whether for strolling, riding a bicycle, or fishing, it is an ideal destination for a day in nature.

Nature trail in Green Timbers Park in Surrey, British Columbia

15. Mystery Lake

Mystery Lake, a picturesque lake in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, is just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver via the Trans-Canada highway. And the lake is just a short walk from the parking lot. It's an excellent place to cool off on a hot summer day. It is considered one of the best in Vancouver for a quick cool dip in the lake. If you want to enjoy a day out with the kids, take them hiking to Mystery Lake.

Even if you do not indulge in activities, you can sit by the lake and admire nature's beauty! The tall trees, the still water, the warm and pleasant weather, and the cool breeze are all the major attractions you will find at Mystery Lake.

Final Thoughts

Vancouver Lakes are the perfect places to appreciate the spectacular beauty of Mother Nature. Whether you're camping, bird watching, swimming, or fishing, these lakes, should be added to your itinerary. Canada is one of the best places to visit if you are looking forward to immersing yourself in the wonders of Mother Nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of fish are found in Vancouver Lakes?

Vancouver lakes offer incredible fishing experiences. The primary reason is the species and variety of fish it has. Some include Black Bullhead, Trout, Black Crappie, American Shad, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Coho Salmon, and many more.

Are Vancouver lakes man-made?

Not all lakes in Vancouver are man-made. Most of them are natural. The Capilano Lake, situated in North Vancouver and West Vancouver, is man-made and was created when a dam was put across the Capilano River.

Can we swim in Vancouver lakes?

Yes, there is a plethora of lakes that are safe for visitors to enjoy a good swim. Even though Canada is freezing most of the year, a few lakes are ideal for taking a dip during the summer months.

Which lake is the most popular in Vancouver?

All of Vancouver's lakes are generally stunning and alluring, but Cultus Lake is by far the most well-known. It is situated in Canada's Lower Mainland, in the city of Vancouver.

Do we get any accommodations near these lakes?

There are different accommodations available at the different lakes. Some don't have any and some only offer camping. The lakes in Stanley Park are close to the hotels in downtown Vancouver. The lakes near Whistler are close to its variety of accommodations.

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