Guide to Hiking Diez Vistas Loop (The Buntzen Lake Hike)
Distance: 15km Time: 6-7hrs Elevation: 460 m From Vancouver: 1hr Dog Friendly: Yes Toilets: Yes, at Buntzen Lake
If you love views, then you will love the Diez Vistas Trail because it has 10 of them! The Sendero Diez Vistas Trail has its name for its ten epic views! Located in Anmore, Diez Vistas (Buntzen Lake Hike) is a popular hike near Vancouver which takes you up above and around the entire Buntzen Lake and along the way you will see some awesome views. Alternatively, if you would prefer to just walk around the lake without the elevation you can take the Buntzen Lake Trail.
The views from Vistas are awesome and you can see for miles and miles! The Diez Vistas loop is 15km long and will take you approximately 6-7 hrs depending on your hiking ability. The hike is dog friendly. We saw some very happy puppies along the way.
Buntzen Lake is a great place to relax at either after or before your hike as there is a nice picnic area and swimming area at the lake. It is also one of the best places to go paddle boarding in Vancouver!
This guide tells you everything you need to know about doing the Diez Vistas trail at Buntzen Lake, including other things you can also do in the area once you have finished your hike and places to stay nearby.
NOTE ON CURRENT TRAIL CLOSURES
September 13, 2021 – Currently the trail is closed for construction after the first 3 Vista lookouts at the suspension bridge on north side of Buntzen Lake. Don’t let this stop you from doing the hike. This trail is great exercise and the viewpoints that are open are pretty awesome! Check out the BC Hydro Website for trail updates.
Update: 31 January 2023 – The trail is still closed from the suspension bridge as the bridge is being replaced. This means that you currently cannot complete the Buntzen Lake or Diez Vistas loop.
Work is expected to be completed March 2023.
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Where is The Diez Vistas Trail located
The Diez Vistas hike is located in Anmore at Buntzen Lake around a 1 hour drive from Downtown Vancouver.
Where to Park
You will need to park in the Buntzen Lake carpark which is also where you start the hike from. This works out well because then you can leave your car in the same spot and cool off in the lake after your hike. Luckily the parking lot is quite large, however it does fill up quickly in Summer so I recommend getting there early, even with a parking permit.
Parking Permits – Starting from June 27 2022, to park at Buntzen Lake you will need to book a free permit through the BC Hydro Website. This is to try to illuminate the amount of queues and overflowing at the lake.
How to get to Buntzen Lake via Public Transport
It is possible to get to Buntzen Lake via public transport from Vancouver but it is a little bit of a trek, taking around 2hrs. There are a few different options to get to the final bus stop but the bus that goes all the way into the Buntzen Lake area is the 179. The shortest way to get there would be to catch the Expo line to Lougheed Town Centre and change to the Millennium line. Then you can catch the 179 from the Inlet Centre Station @ Bay 2.
Finding the Trailhead
The trailhead for the Diez Vistas hike is located in the carpark, on the end furthest away from the lake entrance. The trail is to the right of a no parking sign as shown in the picture above.
Click here to open the map in Google Maps!
How Hard is the Diez Vistas Trail
We would rate the Diez Vistas hike as moderate. There is quite a lot of steep hiking early into the hike which could also be described as a bit technical. This steep part of the hike starts about 40 minutes in and takes about 1hr to get to the top. We definitely felt our knees a little on the way down but did it without hiking poles. Once you have reached the top however, there is definitely less elevation to deal with as you hike around the lake.
The Beginning of the Trail
The trail starts from the carpark and is super easy to begin with. Enjoy this section as it doesn’t last. You will walk on a flat, pretty wide trail through the forest. Follow the signs for the Diez Vistas trail and you will shortly come to a floating bridge that will take you over the lake. After you cross the lake, you will cross a service road and follow the trail uphill. The trail from here becomes more wild and you will notice more roots and a bit of mud that you have to navigate.
The Climb up Buntzen Ridge
After about 40-45minutes of hiking, you will reach a wide clearing next to a powerline with a fork in the path. Here you will need to continue straight along the Diez Vistas trail and this is where the elevation really starts and where you hike up Buntzen Ridge.
When you reach the top of the hike up, you will notice that you can choose to go right to a viewpoint called Punta del Este or continue along the path to the first Vista. We checked out Punta del Este, thinking it was the first Vista and would note that the view probably isn’t worth it as it is quite obstructed by trees.
The rest of the hike takes you around the lake, where you will be able to stop at each Vista to check out the view before heading back to the carpark. Some of the viewpoints you will have to look hard as they are kind of hard to find. The hike follows a loop so if you are planning on doing the whole thing, you won’t need to retrace your steps to end up back at the parking lot.
Places to Stay
There aren’t many options for accommodation near Buntzen Lake itself so we recommend staying nearer to the centre of Vancouver and hiring a car to do day trips to places like Buntzen lake. We have also included one accommodation option that is nearer to the lake but it would still be useful to have a car.
- Nature’s Door Guest Suite – located in Port Moody and a 16 minute drive from Buntzen Lake.
- Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre Broadway – slightly out of the city area but not too far.
- GEC Granville Suites Downtown – This is a more affordable option for staying downtown. We stayed here for a few weeks when we first moved to Vancouver and were still looking for an apartment.
- The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver – A more upmarket option and a hotel we really enjoyed. It is in a great location in the city and makes you feel like you are staying somewhere really nice.
Other things to do at Buntzen Lake
Buntzen Lake is a great place to spend half a day or even a full day with friends and family. There is a large grassy area next to the lake where you can set up a picnic space. There is also a smaller sandy area right next to the water. When we were there we saw a lot of families setting up their picnics on the grass. They had day tents, picnic rugs and paddleboards and kayaks to use in the water.
🛶 Check out the most beautiful places to go paddle boarding in Vancouver
During the warmer season, there are lifeguards at the lake which is nice to know. There is also a netted area for swimming in the shallower water. The lake is absolutely beautiful to swim in in the warmer months. We actually saw a group having a cold water dip in the Winter too while there was snow on the ground! It should be noted that dogs are not permitted in the main picnic area but there is a dedicated dog section to the right of the lake.
Buntzen Lake does get extremely busy in the Summer so make sure you plan your trip ahead of time and book your free permit nice and early! It is probably also worth arriving when the gates open in the morning.
This hike was great for getting some fitness in before relaxing at the lake or doing some fun water activities such as kayaking or paddle boarding to cool off. We also love that there are view points all the way around the hike so that you are constantly being rewarded for your efforts! Another hike that we love in the area and is a lot shorter and easier is Quarry Rock Lookout.