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Travel & Outdoors

9 Beautiful Lakes Within A 2 Hour Drive From Vancouver

Joffre Lake

Photo: @allywoow / IG

The best part about living in Vancouver is being within a couple of hours (and sometimes even minutes) of some of BC’s most beautiful lakes.

Take advantage of all the beauty the province has to offer this summer by visiting one of these bucket list worthy lakes near Vancouver (aka within a 2 hour drive from the city).

RELATED: 4 Of BC’s Most Popular Parks Will Require Day Passes This Summer

Best Lakes near Vancouver

Buntzen Lake

Discover this gem in Anmore, near Port Moody. The lake is 4.8 kilometres long and is named after Johannes Buntzen — the first general manager of BC Electric Co. There is also a smaller lake just to the north named McCombe Lake. This is a popular spot for both swimming and hiking in the warm summer months.

Cultus Lake

An hour-and-a-half away from Vancouver, this Fraser Valley lake is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the dog days of summer. Go swimming, camping or take part in a variety of fun water activities on the lake. Cultus Lake Marina allows you to rent out boats, jet skis, pontoons and more.

Sasamat Lake


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This lake is a local favourite and it’s easy to see why. Find it within Belcarra Regional Park in Port Moody, just outside of Vancouver. It’s one of the warmest lakes in Metro Vancouver. There’s a floating bridge at the south end of the lake, often used for fishing or swimming. And White Pine Beach is located at the north end of the lake.

Joffre Lakes


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Discover the magical Joffre Lakes Provincial Park just 35 kilometres east of Pemberton. There’s three glacier-fed lakes known as the lower, middle and upper Joffre Lakes. It’s only about a 2.5 hour drive away from Vancouver but feels like a world away. Plus, there’s lots of hiking trails and places to pitch up a tent with epic views of the area.

Garibaldi Lake


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This is easily one of BC’s most popular hiking and camping destinations. The turquoise-coloured waters of Garibaldi Lake are definitely worth the road trip. It’s located 19 kilometres south of Whistler and about 37 kilometres north of Squamish. As for Vancouver, you can reach Garibaldi Provincial Park in about an hour-and-a-half.

Lindeman Lake


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Visit this small but scenic lake located in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park that’s just a little over a 2 hour drive from Vancouver. This gorgeous spot is also a popular hiking destination as it’s located at the end of an easy 3.4 kilometre trail. The green-coloured waters also make for the perfect photo-op.

Harrison Lake


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It’s the largest lake in the southern Coast Mountains of Canada, and is perfect for going swimming or boating. To bring out the inner kid in you, check out the Wipeout-style water park located in the middle of the lake. The floating park has many obstacles and attractions that catapult you into the water. Harrison is also only a 2 hour drive away from the city.

Cat Lake

For an Instagram-worthy lake, look no further than Cat Lake in Squamish. This lake is a little less known than the others and that means it’s usually not as busy. It also has an easy loop trail if you’re looking to go for a leisurely (yet scenic) stroll with friends or family.

Mystery Lake


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Nestled in the breathtaking Mount Seymour Provincial Park on the North Shore, Mystery Lake is a stunning spot that is only a short distance from the parking lot. The lake is a popular spot in the summer for families to hike to and spend some time picnicing near the water’s edge.


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