a new parking reservation system is coming to a super popular British Columbia lake in Metro Vancouver this summer.

Known for its crystal clear surface and incredible trails, Buntzen Lake is often packed with sunbathers in the summers. But moving into the warmer months of the year, drivers will have to save a spot online before they arrive.

The new reservation system launches June 27 and allows drivers to make a free reservation before arriving at the recreation site, according to BC Hydro. The utility provider operates the lake and is organizing the new system. It will run until September 5.

“Buntzen Lake is an amazing place to visit year-round, but we know it’s especially busy during the summer months,” Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Rick Glumac said in a statement shared by BC Hydro.

“My hope is that the new online reservation system being tested by BC Hydro will help reduce the frustration around parking so that families and visitors can fully enjoy the incredible outdoor experience that Buntzen Lake offers.”

To enter you must get a place no later than the day before.

Users can reserve a pass to access the parking lot either in the morning or in the afternoon.

People entering by transit or on foot do not need to reserve in advance, and BC Hydro does not offer all-day passes at this time.

“BC Hydro’s new logging program for Buntzen Lake is a game changer for our community as we believe this will help alleviate the excessive traffic jams we have experienced in our community in recent years,” said John McEwen, Mayor of Anmore , in the statement.

“We appreciate the work BC Hydro has done to address our concerns so we can all enjoy the amazing outdoor recreation area at Buntzen while mitigating the significant safety concerns we have been experiencing due to lockdowns at roads and access to the property.

More than 700,000 visitors access Lake Buntzen’s hiking trails and swimming areas each year, the organization says. And last July, nearly 116,000 people used a vehicle to access the lake, up from 83,000 in July 2019.

Before planning a trip, there are also some situations that 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 into the Coquitlam River. This is part of the improvements to the tunnel between the lake and the reservoir.

“Water levels in Lake Buntzen are expected to be at low operating levels during the tunnel outage. Users are asked to be careful and obey signs and safety barriers,” says BC Hydro.

“There will also be higher than normal flow and water levels in the Coquitlam River during this time. With storm season also upon us, we ask the public to exercise extreme caution when active around the river, as water levels can rise and fluctuate without warning during storms.”

The suspension bridge is closed for replacement until further notice, which means you won’t be able to do a full hike around the lake. Plan an alternate hiking trail if you can.

There will also be trail closures due to a rock slide on Powerhouse Road between North Beach and Buntzen Dam until further notice. The Swan Falls Trail is also closed for an undetermined time.

Additionally, “Hikers completing the Ten Views Trail must use the Old Buntzen Lake Trail to access the Lakeview Trail or the west side of the Buntzen Lake Trail to return to South Beach and the main parking lot,” according to BC Hydro.

More information will be available later this spring.


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