a new parking reservation system is coming to a super popular British Columbia lake in Metro Vancouver this summer.
Known for its glassy surface and incredible trails, Lake Buntzen is often crowded with sunbathers in summer. But as we head into the hottest months of the year, drivers have to reserve a spot online before they arrive.
The new reservation system will be launched on June 27, allowing drivers to make a free reservation before coming to the recreation site, according to BC Hydro. The utility provider operates the lake and organizes the new system. It lasts until September 5.
Next month, we’ll be launching a free online parking reservation system for Buntzen Lake to help reduce community traffic congestion. Here’s some more info: https://t.co/rPRT39JbZJ #Anmore #BuntzenLake pic.twitter.com/EhLMB9QsIa
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) May 4, 2022
“Buntzen Lake is a great place to visit year-round, but we know it’s especially busy during the summer months,” said Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam, in a statement shared by BC Hydro.
“I hope the new online reservation system being tested by BC Hydro will help reduce frustration around parking so that families and visitors can fully enjoy the incredible outdoor experience Buntzen Lake offers.”
To enter, you must score a spot the day before at the latest.
Users can reserve a pass to access the car park in the morning or afternoon.
People entering by public transport or on foot do not need to pre-book and BC Hydro does not offer day passes at this time.
“BC Hydro’s new registration program for Buntzen Lake is a game changer for our community as we believe it will help reduce the excessive traffic backups we have experienced in our community over the past few years,” said Mayor John McEwen from Anmore, in the statement.
“We appreciate the work BC Hydro has done to allay our concerns so that we can all enjoy the great outdoor recreation area at Buntzen while reducing the significant safety issues we have experienced due to blocked roads and property access. “
According to the organization, more than 700,000 visitors enter the hiking trails and swimming areas on Lake Buntzen every year. And last July, nearly 116,000 people used a vehicle to access the lake, up from about 83,000 in July 2019.
Before travelers plan a trip, there are also a few situations travelers should be aware of.
Water levels in the lake will change between January 17 and May 15 as crews divert water from the Coquitlam Reservoir to the Coquitlam River. This is part of upgrades to the tunnel between the lake and the reservoir.
“The water levels at Buntzenmeer are expected to be low during the tunnel shutdown. Users are asked to exercise caution and obey safety signs and barriers,” says BC Hydro.
“There will also be higher power and water levels than normal in the Coquitlam River during this time. With storm season also upon us, we are asking the public to take extra care when operating around the river as the water level during rain showers can rise and fluctuate without warning.”
The suspension bridge is closed for replacement until further notice, preventing you from doing a full walking loop around the lake. Instead, plan an alternate walking route if you can.
There will also be path closures until further notice due to a rock slide on Powerhouse Road between North Beach and Buntzen Dam. The Swan Falls trail is also closed indefinitely.
Additionally, “hikers completing the Diez Vistas trail should use the Old Buntzen Lake trail to access the Lakeview trail or the west side of the Buntzen Lake trail to get back to South Beach and the main parking area,” according to BC Hydro.
More information will follow later this spring.