Vancouver, British Columbia, is a stunning city surrounded by natural beauty. While the city is known for its skyscrapers and urban setting, it is also home to numerous breathtaking lakes that are worth exploring.
Whether you’re looking for a spot to swim, kayak, hike, or just relax and take in the scenery, Vancouver has a lake that will suit your needs. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best lakes near Vancouver that are worth a visit.
At BeWild! Adventures & Wellness, we love stepping away from technology and heading into nature to recharge. We believe that reconnecting with oneself in body and environment leads to more meaningful life experiences and we love to share this possibility with visitors to Vancouver!
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the beauty of British Columbia summers, look no further than our guided hiking tours. On guided walks suitable for different levels, we’ll take you around some of British Columbia’s most breathtaking lakes, a stone’s throw from Vancouver.
If you’d like to experience British Columbia in a more intimate way, we also offer private guided tours from Vancouver. Our team is here to help you enjoy adventures at your own pace, so get in touch if you’d like a little more guidance in planning your trip.
1. Joffre Lakes Is a Beautiful Place to Explore Near Vancouver
Joffre Lakes is a group of three turquoise lakes located in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, about three hours north of Vancouver. The lakes are surrounded by glaciers and towering mountains, making for a stunning backdrop to explore.
The hike to Joffre Lakes is a moderately challenging one, covering a distance of 10 kilometers roundtrip and gaining over 400 meters in elevation. However, the hike is well worth it, as you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lakes and surrounding wilderness.
Enjoy the famous Sea-to-Sky Highway before arriving at Joffre Lakes on our guided hike. This moderate hike will take you across the lakes, with a packed lunch midway through to sit back, catch your breath, and enjoy the view!
2. Alice Lake Is a Peaceful Place in British Columbia
Alice Lake is a peaceful oasis located just a short drive from Squamish. Just an hour north of Vancouver, the lake is surrounded by dense forests and mountains, and several hiking trails in the area offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding wilderness.
The park also has several picnic areas, a playground, and a beach for swimming, making it a great destination for families or groups of friends. Visitors can also kayak, hike, and fish, or just kick back and relax on the beach.
3. Buntzen Lake Is a Breath of Fresh Air Near Vancouver
Buntzen Lake is a popular recreation area located about 30 kilometers east of Vancouver. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and mountains, and there are several hiking trails in the area so you can experience a panoramic lake view and get lost in the surrounding wilderness.
The park also has a beach for swimming, a picnic area, and a boat launch, making it a great spot for a day trip or weekend getaway. The Buntzen Lake Loop Trail is a popular hike that takes you around the entire lake.
4. Cheakamus Lake Is a Tranquil Spot Close To Vancouver
Cheakamus Lake is a beautiful, tranquil lake located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, about 70 kilometers north of Vancouver. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and mountains, and it’s a popular spot for hiking, fishing, and camping.
The trail to Cheakamus Lake is an easy one, covering a distance of 6 kilometers roundtrip and gaining only 60 meters in elevation. The trailhead for Cheakamus Lake is located at the Cheakamus Lake parking lot, just off the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
The trail takes you through a beautiful forest filled with old-growth trees, past streams until you reach the lake itself. The lake is a stunning sight, with its clear blue waters reflecting the surrounding mountains.
Our Guided Cheakamus Lake Hike takes between 1.5 to 3 hours and is a gentle incline, so there’s much less impact on your joint. Available between May 1st – Oct 31st, this hike takes in the rich landscape at the most beautiful time of year.
5. Elfin Lakes Is a Magical Alpine Lake in British Columbia
Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Elfin Lakes is a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by glaciers, forests, and meadows. The hike to Elfin Lakes is a popular one, covering a distance of 11 kilometers one-way and gaining over 600 meters in elevation.
The hike to Elfin Lakes is a moderate one, with well-maintained trails and beautiful views along the way. The first part of the hike takes you through a dense forest, and then the trail opens up to beautiful meadows filled with wildflowers in the summer months.
As you approach the lakes, the terrain becomes more rugged and rocky. The two Elfin Lakes are situated at an elevation of 1,575 meters, and they are surrounded by stunning alpine scenery.
The lakes are a popular spot for camping, and there are two campgrounds located nearby as well as huts that offer basic facilities like tent pads, pit toilets, and picnic tables. The area around the lakes is also a popular spot for hiking and backcountry skiing in the winter months.
6. Garibaldi Lake
Garibaldi Lake is another stunning alpine lake located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, about 80 kilometers north of Vancouver. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and dense forests, and its clear blue-green waters are fed by nearby glaciers. The hike to Garibaldi Lake is a challenging one, covering a distance of 18 kilometers roundtrip and gaining over 800 meters in elevation.
The trailhead for Garibaldi Lake is located at the Rubble Creek parking lot, just off the Sea-to-Sky Highway. The hike to the lake takes you through a beautiful old-growth forest, past waterfalls and streams, and up into the alpine zone. The lake itself is a stunning sight, with its turquoise waters reflecting the surrounding mountains.
There is a campsite at Garibaldi Lake as well as several backcountry campsites located nearby that offer basic facilities like tent pads and pit toilets. The lake is also a popular spot for day hikes and snowshoeing in the winter months.
Vancouver and its surrounding areas are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Canada and these are just a few of the many stunning lakes that are waiting to be explored.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike to an alpine lake or a tranquil spot for swimming, there is something for everyone in British Columbia. Our guided summer hikes will quench your thirst for wanderlust in these pristine lakes. Contact us to start planning your next adventure!