Tag Archives: scenic

Buntzen Lake Loop

 

The Buntzen Lake loop is the most popular trail in the park. This 10 km route can be done as fast as 45 min if you’re running and up to 6 hours if you just take your time, enjoy the views and have a picnic.

Route from GPSIES (click on ‘Details’ for large image)…

Route from Google Earth…

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Buntzen Lake is situated at roughly 130 m above sea level and the highest point on the trail is around 225 m. The single highest elevation gain on the trail is 70 m over 1.1 km.

I usually do the loop starting on the west side of the lake (starting at the old floating bridge area, now mostly a land bridge); some people prefer the other way. The west side is hillier, longer and more shaded. When taking this route, you’ll see this view at the half way point…

Buntzen Lake Trail

Also, starting on the west side, once you reach North Beach, you will have completed 60% of the loop. Here is North Beach…

North Beach

Below are a few random trail photos…

Trail2 (Medium)

BL Trail

Stump on Trail

BL Trail 2

BL Trail 3

Buntzen Lake Trail

BL Trail 4

Early morning hike

Here’s a little video of one of my hikes around the trail in February 2014…

★★★★★★★★★★★

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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    Lakeview Trail

     

    Lakeview Trail is, in my opinion, Buntzen Lake Trail’s bigger brother.  This trail is an alternate route to traverse the west side of Buntzen Lake.  There are more ups and downs and it’s about 1km longer than the Buntzen lake Trail. After completing Lakeview Trail, I usually take the east side of Buntzen Lake back to the parking lot. There is a great viewpoint of Swan Falls and the North Beach area near the end of the west side traverse.

    The stats…

    Distance: 12 km
    Time: 2-4 hours
    Low point: 125 m
    High point: 220 m
    Elevation gain: 95 m
    Cumulative Elevation gain: 500 m
    Trailhead: 49° 20’ 11.3” by 122° 51’ 29.7” (Google Map)

    Here are the photos…

    Lakeview Trail

    Lakeview Trail commences at the Pump House.
    See location HERE (its the left route option).

    Here is the route (click on ‘details’ for larger image)…

    Here’s a map of the area from Google Earth (click on image for large size)…

    lakeview trail

    A comparison of the Lakeview Trail / West Side of the Buntzen Lake Trail shows:
    Total one-way distance from the pumphouse to the suspension bridge is 4.9 km vs. 4.1 km;
    Maximum elevation gain is 150 m vs. 100 m; and
    Cumulative elevation gain is 240 m vs. 130 m

    The route statistics, when returning on the east side of Buntzen Lake, are:
    Distance: 10.9 km
    Maximum elevation gain: 150 m
    Cumulative elevation gain: 340 m

    Besides a more strenuous hike, Lakeview Trail is much less busy than the Buntzen Lake Trail and it is also used by bikers and horses, which I have seen very few. You’ll see more large trees (1 m diameter) and fewer large tree stumps.

    Below is a nice view you’ll see on the hike…

    Nice View

    There are signs for two viewpoints, but the southern ‘viewpoint’ is obstructed by trees. The northern viewpoint is at 250 m elevation and you see a great view of North Beach, Swan Falls, the Tunnel and Eagle Mountain. See below…

    Viewpoint from Lakeview Trail

    Below is a view of the Lakeview trail as it passes along the hydro right-of-way, before entering the forest again…

    Old sign

    Here is an old Lakeview Trail sign…

    Lakeview Trail sign

    This photo shows where the Lakeview Trail runs close to the Buntzen Lake Trail…

    Trails almost collide

    Below is a creek that flows alongside a section of the Lakeview Trail…

    Creek

    Next is a large downed tree alongside the trail…

    Large tree alongside trail

    Here are a couple more serene Lakeview Trail photos…

    Lakeview Trail

    Lakeview Trail

    ★★★★★★★★★★★

    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.

    ★★★★★★★★★★★

    Share and Enjoy

      Be Bear Aware

      Salmonberry

      I took this photo of a Salmonberry Flower at Buntzen Lake. Salmonberries are seen throughout the Buntzen Lake area, more so in sunny locations where the sun can reach the ground surface. In May, these flowers will turn into fruit and bears will be looking for a nice meal ! Bears will also get great meals from blackberries, blueberries and huckleberries to name a few.



      I’ve hiked the Buntzen Lake area for a number of years, completing hundreds of hikes and have seen a bear only once, which was on the Old Buntzen Lake Trail right HERE in July 2013. The bear was not concerned with me and was content with the salmonberries or blackberries.

      The thing with bears, is that you don’t want to startle them – usually if they know you’re coming, they’ll stay away.  Usually they can hear the sound of your walking, but not always. If I’m alone and in a low traffic area, I will make noise by banging two rocks together or anything that I can find.



      I also met two different bears on a walk on the Deboville Slough in Northeast Coquitlam in the Summer of 2013. They were so happy with the blueberries and the blackberries, they could care less about me. They also didn’t have cubs !

      Here’s are photos of the bears at Deboville Slough in August 2013…

      Having a glance

      Put on the brakes !



      Here is a great resource if you want more info on bears…  www.bearsmart.com

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        Swan Falls

        Today, I ventured up on Eagle Mountain for the first time. Specifically, I went up the Swan Falls trail. I knew the possibility of snow at high elevations was likely, so the plan was to go up as far as I can and turn around when the snow makes trekking difficult. Unfortunately, the cell phone could not get a GPS signal, so I couldn’t determine the elevation at the turn-around point, but I’d guess it to be 800 or 900 m. Below is my route for today…



        Today was an amazing April day. It was sunny with a high close to 20C. However, on the ascent, it was cool (still shaded) and there was breeze, but it was all good. I would say the highlight was the view from the Falls, which are at about 300-350m elevation. Below is a view from the falls looking west, towards Buntzen Lake…

        View from Swan Falls

        Just before reaching the falls, there is a 45 degree incline, where there is a rope to assist you; see below…

        Rope Climb

        Here is a view on the falls…

        Swan Falls

        And here is another scenic view…

        Great View

        Below is a random trail picture…

        Trail



        Next is our traverse through the Lower Gully…

        Lower Gully

        And here is our traverse through the Upper Gully 30 mins after the Lower Gully…

        Upper Gully

        Next is a photo near where we turned around. The snow was getting quite deep…

        Deep Snow

        At the trailhead, on the service road, you can see the falls and the creek, which drains into McCombe Lake…

        Swan Falls Creek

        Below is a view of Swan Falls from across McCombe Lake and the next one is when the falls were frozen in early February 2014…



        Swan Falls 2

        Frozen Swan Falls

        Here is the sign at the trailhead, with a warning…

        Sign at Trailhead

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          Interesting Nature

          Over the years, while hiking the trails around Buntzen Lake, I have seen some interesting things out there. For example, in the photo below, this tree is seriously leaking ! The sap is leaking from high up and it is about an inch thick on the ground and spreads downhill for about 2 m. This tree is on the west side of the Buntzen Lake Trail.



          Leaking tree
          The next photo is on the east side of Buntzen Lake; it is a burned out tree with a spiral shape. Pretty cool huh ?

          Burned out spiral tree



          As I wrote in another post, there are numerous old tree stumps around Buntzen Lake – remnants of logging in the early 1900s. The large stumps below are on the south beach of Buntzen Lake. Obviously new trees grew on the old stumps. The new trees were later cut down and the roots can be seen around the original stump ! I wonder how many people have climbed up these stumps on stumps !

          Cool stumps on southbeach



          One time during a walk on the Lakeview Trail, I noticed damage about 10 feet up on a tree – it looked like someone took a hacksaw to it ! On my next visit, I was surprised to see a woodpecker doing a number on the tree. Since the first time, the woodpecker had started on second section.

          More damage

          One day, I hiked the Buntzen Lake Trail after a heavy rainfall, and I found this neat little ‘droplet waterfall on a mossy rock’. Check out the video and turn up the volume…



          Here’s a branch on a tree that decided to do a loopy loop…

          Twisty branch

          The next photo below shows a tree with an interesting formation – possibly the result of some kind of trauma as a young tree ?? This tree is on the Diez Vistas Trail…

          Interesting pattern on this tree

          Below is a stubborn tree that decided it will grow in this place regardless of the big rock !!

          Tree grew around this rock !



          On the shortcut from the Diez Vistas Trail to the Lakeview Trail, I noticed this interesting pattern on tree roots…

          Interesting pattern on this root

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