Diez Vistas

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    The Diez Vistas hike is one of the most popular day hikes in Metro Vancouver.
    It has been featured in several publications, including:

    • CBC News “5 great Lower Mainland hikes from Vancouver Trails
    • The Province “Hiking in Vancouver: 7 day hikes to try
    • Super Natural British Columbia “5 Hidden Hikes Near Vancouver
    • Spirit Quest Adventures’ “10 Amazing Day Hikes Near Vancouver, British Columbia

    Personally, I have done this hike over 3 dozen times and I know it well. To get a description see the hiking page. To get more tips and insight read here ! ‘Diez Vistas’ is Spanish for ‘ten views’.  Sometimes the hike is referred to as ‘Sendero Diez Vistas'; ‘Sendero’ is Spanish for ‘path’ or ‘trail’.  The actual Diez Vistas trail is 7 km long; however, to make the full loop, most people come back via the east side of Buntzen Lake.  The trail length, taking the east side of Buntzen Lake to the end, is roughly 13 km; there is a 430 m ascent to the top and a cumulative elevation gain of about 875 m.  The BC Hydro description states that it is a 6 to 8 hour hike. Very fit hikers can do this hike in under 3 hours with minimal rest stops.  Elite trail runners can do it in under 1 hour 15 mins.

    The Diez Vistas Trail was built by Halvor Lunden, an outdoorsman and mountaineer, who volunteered his time to make this and many other great hiking trails. He was born in Norway on 9 July 1915 and he came to Canada in 1951. Halvor passed away on 30 July 2008.

    Diez Vistas Trail Fun Fact:

    The 7 km long Diez Vistas trail starts and ends in the Buntzen Lake Recreation Area (which is administered by BC Hydro) – a 1.7 km section of the trail winds through Belcarra Regional Park (which is administered by Metro Vancouver) – about 3 km of the trail goes through Indian Arm Provincial Park (which is administered jointly by the Province of British Columbia [BC Parks] and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation). The entire trail is maintained by BC Hydro.

    Here is the route with waypoints…

     

    IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT VISTA NUMBERING MAY BE CONFUSING.

    The trail dates back to the 1980s and 5 of the original vistas are obscured by trees (yes, how dare the trees grow !!). On the other hand, there are 5 viewpoints on the trail that were never official ‘Vistas’.

    Please check out my post, called Nuevo Diez Vistas to understand vista numbering.

    If you do the hike in a clockwise direction (i.e. starting at the old floating bridge area), the first vista (unofficial) is roughly a 3.5 km hike from the parking lot (conversely, if doing the loop in a counter-clockwise direction, you won’t see your first vista until about 8 km). I always do the hike in a clock-wise direction – this way, you’ll do the toughest part of the hike when you have the most energy! – Save the easy walking for the end of the hike!! The first leg of the hike is uphill, with some flat areas to catch your breath. A short distance after you pass the powerlines/pipeline, you’ll hit a number of switchbacks – this is the steepest part of the hike. Below is a view from the first viewpoint (not an official vista)…

    First Vista

    After resting and checking out this vista (which I named Vista #1 on map below), one has a choice to go to the 3 East Point viewpoints (usually skipped due to poor signage) or take the bypass route (see image below). If you choose to see the 3 East Point viewpoints, you’ll head back about 10 m or so and take a left turn onto a new path – shortly thereafter, you’ll see a viewpoint called Punta Aprecio (Appreciation Point) – shortly after that, you’ll see an unnamed viewpoint – shortly after that, you’ll reach Punta Del Este (East Point) – a view of Buntzen Lake and Eagle Mountain. After viewing East Point, you’ll continue on the trail and meet up with the bypass route at the trail junction.

    See image below for loop detail…

    Loop detail 2
    After another 1 km hike from the trail junction (shown above), you’ll find the next vista, which was originally Vista # 1. This 2nd ‘west view’ Vista shows the south part of Indian Arm and Bedwell Bay. This is my favourite vista…

    Best view from Diez Vistas Trail

    Some days, you’re above the clouds…

    Above the Clouds Diez Vistas

    On nice summer days, large groups of people can sometimes be seen at first two west view vistas as seen in the photo below…

    Large gathering

    Here’s a view from Vista #5 looking north down Indian Arm…

    Indian Arm From Vista #5

    Here are some trail pictures…

    DV Trail

    DV Trail 2

    DV Trail 3

    DV Trail 4

    You will see some more Vistas; however, some will have obstructed views. Below are 2 more of the Vistas…

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    13371984615_16f70b1941_b

    After your first big descent, you will reach, what kind of looks like an old forestry road – just go right and you will reach another trail CLICK THIS LINK FOR LOCATION where you have the choice to go left or right – For most of my hikes, I have gone left (You’ll see this neat bridge if you go left) and that is perfectly fine. Going right takes you to a shortcut to Lakeview Trail where you’ll do some bush whacking for 30 meters or so, then follow an unmarked trail/creekbed; I believe the creek is Sitka Creek. At some points it seems the trail crosses the creek, but stay on the right side of the creek. This trail will eventually meet up with the Lakeview Trail – you’ll see an old industrial drum in the creek near Lakeview Trail.

    Here is a map showing the shortcut to Lakeview Trail in green. The section from where the green line starts to the yellow pin is the shortcut; the remainder of the green line is the Lakeview Trail to the suspension bridge (click for larger image)…

    DV shortcut 2

    When you reach Lakeview Trail, you can go right (south) to Pumphouse Road) or north to North Beach. If you go to North Beach you’ll get to see another viewpoint (See below)…

    LV view

    If you don’t choose the shortcut route, you will wind through the forest and do some serious descents. This trail eventually leads onto a service road, at which you’ll go right; follow this road for 250 m until you meet up with the Old Buntzen Lake Trail SEE LOCATION HERE – you’ll see the trail on your right just before the old water intake building. This trail can get overgrown in the late spring and summer and bears love the salmonberries and blackberries – so keep an eye out. The lake on your left is McCombe Lake and make sure to check the great waterfalls – there is a really high seasonal falls coming out of the rocky slopes (furthest north) and the next one is Swan Falls (See below)…

    Swan Falls

    The trail will eventually join the Buntzen Lake Trail.
    I have many more photos of Diez Vistas and Buntzen Lake HERE

    ★★★★★★★★★★★

    Before heading out on your hike, make sure you are well prepared. This means, having the TEN ESSENTIALS. It is also important to leave a trip plan (route details and estimated return time) with someone you trust.

    Bring your smartphone, fully charged and put it in airplane mode while hiking. I always bring back-up battery packs for extra piece of mind. It is highly recommended that you bring a GPS device; I use my smartphone with a GPS app (Backcountry Navigator). The GPS will work in airplane mode. Learn how to use it before your hike.

    For anyone new to hiking, there is a rule to which hikers follow; it is called “Leave No Trace” or LNT. The concept is generally to pack out what you pack in and respect nature, so all future visitors can enjoy what you have enjoyed.
    To learn more about LNT, please check out this BLOG by a certified LNT Trainer.

    ★★★★★★★★★★★

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      5 thoughts on “Diez Vistas

      1. Hi, I was looking through your Flickr . Great photos. In some of the pictures it looks like people are on top of the waterfall. Is this part of the trail? If not how do you get there .
        . Thanks

      2. The shortcut route, where you turn right (traveling clockwise) just before the “log bridge” pictured in the article, is overgrown and no longer marked. Those maintaining these trails seem to have given up on that route, which is a shame as it is much easier and shorter. If you find it and attempt it, be prepared for challenging route finding and bushwhacking.

        1. The first part has always been overgrown as long as I’ve known about it.
          Yes, it can be challenging to navigate through here as it’s not marked.

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