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Metro Vancouver’s Buntzen Lake

Buntzen Lake

Buntzen Lake is a beautiful recreation site in Metro Vancouver with a lake, hiking trails and an active hydroelectric power generator.

The place is only a 20-minute drive from Port Moody.


Buntzen Lake

A popular park, Buntzen Lake is located just north of Anmore and about 10 kilometres from Port Moody. It’s a smaller park that is surrounded by Belcarra Regional Park to the south and Indian Arm Provincial Park to the north.

The lake is actually a BC Hydro reservoir. Consequently, the park and recreation areas are all maintained by the electricity company.



The area was named Buntzen Lake in 1905 after the first general manager of the BC Electric Railway Company, Johannes Buntzen. Prior to that the lake was actually called “Lake Beautiful.”

Once Vancouver’s main electricity source, the lake now produces less than 0.4% of Vancouver’s electricity. However, it is still an active hydroelectric site.


Getting to Buntzen Lake

Buntzen Lake is accessible both by car and by public transit. By car, drive to Anmore and then head north on Sunnyside Road.

There are two options to get to Buntzen Lake by public transit (depending on the season). Folks can take bus #182 year-round, but note it’s around a 2-kilometre walk from the nearest stop to South Beach.

There is also a seasonal bus – bus #179 – which runs on weekends and holidays from around Canada Day in early July until Labour Day in early September. It goes directly to the main parking lot.


Dock at Buntzen Lake
The docks at Buntzen Lake


Visiting Buntzen Lake

Despite the fact that there are hundreds of spaces in the Buntzen Lake parking lot, finding a good spot can sometimes be an issue as the area can get very busy, especially in summer. For folks wanting to get a good parking spot and spend the day there, it’s recommended you arrive before 10:00 am on a sunny weekend.

There are picnic areas at both the North Beach and South Beach sections of the lake. The South Beach area is generally much busier since it’s right next to the parking lot.

Both beaches have picnic areas. The one at South Beach, however, also has a covered picnic shelter. Canoeing, kayaking and other non-motorized water sports are allowed on the lake, with a rental store located in nearby Anmore. Battery-powered boats are also allowed on the lake.

In addition to the beaches, the area has many trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Fishing is allowed as the lake is often stocked with trout and small kokanee. There is also a dog park.


Fishing at Buntzen Lake
Fishing at Buntzen Lake


Hiking in the Area

Buntzen Lake is surrounded by a large selection of trails. Visitors can park at Buntzen Lake or they can hike from Sasamat Lake over to Buntzen Lake. There is a wide range of difficulty among the available trails, ranging from short and easy to long uphill loops.

One popular trail is the Diez Vistas Trail that leads around the hills surrounding Buntzen Lake. The trail is 15 kilometres long and takes anywhere from six to eight hours to complete. If you do this hike make sure to take adequate emergency supplies and give yourself lots of time to get back before it gets dark.

There is also a shorter trail that runs around the circumference of the lake. The Buntzen Lake Loop is only about 8 kilometres long and takes four to five hours to complete.


Buntzen Lake Video

The following video was taken in early November 2020, so after the peak of the fall colours. As you can see, it’s a beautiful place with stunning views and trails through the forest. There is a sandy beach at the south end, a rocky dog beach area and trails all around.



Other Information

For more information about the Buntzen Lake recreation site see the BC Hydro website.

For details about the area see our article on Port Moody.

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