There’s nothing better than cooling off in a lake on a hot summer day. With lots of lakes near Vancouver, you have lots of freshwater swimming options. Here are some of the best swimming lakes near Vancouver, from the Sea to Sky region to the Fraser Valley.
A quick note: Most of these lakes do not have lifeguards. Some of them have sudden drop-offs and cold water. Be careful around the water, don’t go beyond your limits and swim with a friend. If you are a beginner, consider bringing a lifejacket or floatation device. Unfortunately, several people drown in BC’s lakes and rivers each summer.
Did you know you can swim in a lake right in the middle of Vancouver? Head over to East Vancouver to visit Trout Lake in John Hendry Park. There’s a small sandy beach at the south end of the lake with a swimming raft and lifeguards.
White Pine Beach at Sasamat Lake
For some of the warmest water near Vancouver, go to White Pine Beach at Sasamat Lake in Belcarra. It’s a small lake so it really warms up on summer days. There isn’t much parking, so take transit instead. It’s easy as jumping on bus 150 from Coquitlam Skytrain station.
Another swimming option in Belcarra is Buntzen Lake. It’s a large reservoir lake so it’s much cooler than Sasamat Lake. The main beach is at the south end near the parking area. But if you want more solitude, hike for an hour around the lake to the beach at the north end. You can get here on transit too via bus 179 from Coquitlam Skytrain station.
Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge is a popular camping spot. But it also makes a great day trip to hang out at Alouette Lake. The lake is big and cold, but the shallow water near the beach warms up on sunny days. You can also rent canoes and kayaks in the day use area if you want to paddle around.
Cultus Lake in Chilliwack is pretty picturesque. It’s a warm lake, surrounded by mountains. There are a few different beaches to choose from. Popular Main Beach is at the north end of the lake near the waterpark. Entrance Bay and Maple Bay in Cultus Lake Provincial Park are a little quieter.
Tiny Browning Lake is squeezed between a granite outcropping and the Sea to Sky Highway. You can find it in Murrin Provincial Park just south of Squamish. Since the lake is so tiny, it’s quite warm. Go early to get a spot in the cramped parking lot.
You’ll find Alice Lake on the north side of Squamish. This popular provincial park has two beaches on either side of the lake. The northwest side has a designed swimming area with floating platforms. You can also rent paddleboards or kayaks. The southeast side is a little quieter and has a dock you jump off of.
On the weekends, Cat Lake north of Squamish is a bit of a party spot. But if you visit on a weekday, you’ll get this off-the-beaten-path swimming spot almost all to yourself. There are a few beaches around the small lake and a wharf to jump off of.
From the highway near Squamish, Brohm Lake looks marshy and not that appealing. But if you follow the lake inland, it turns the corner and becomes a deep lake, surrounded by granite bluffs. Locals often jump off the low cliffs into the lake or set up rope swings. Walk the trail around the lake, then stake out your own swimming spot. The parking fills up here too, so get here early.
If you’re visiting Whistler on a sunny summer weekend, head to Lost Lake. There’s a sandy beach, a dock, and platforms you can swim out to. Parking can be tricky here, so consider walking over from Whistler Village.
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