Skip to content

Ready for a dip? 10 jaw-dropping B.C. lakes that will take your breath away

Have a look at some of the best spots to check out this summer.
Several B.C. lakes have jaw-dropping colours and warm waters, providing idyllic options for a swim on a hot summer day.

If you're planning on going on a road trip this summer, finding a spot to go for a swim might be top of the list. 

Even if you don't plan on swimming, there are several places to hike or camp with stunning lake views. Many of B.C.'s most breathtaking bodies of water are glacier-fed, meaning that they stay pretty cool, even in the summer months. But they do offer some of the most spell-binding, turquoise hues framed by tree-lined mountain ranges. 

Have a look at some of the best B.C. lakes to check out across the province. 

Lindeman Lake

With stunning, bright-blue waters like the Caribbean, it's not a surprise this body of water is a social media darling. 

Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks and lush forests, visitors enjoy stunning views of the sparkling blue-green water along a hike through the park. The 3.4-km hike to the glacial lake is considered "intermediate" and takes a couple of hours to complete, with a 300-metre elevation gain. It is also dog-friendly and is generally safe to do from May to September, according to Vancouver Trails. 

Find out everything you need to know about visiting Lindeman Lake.

Emerald Lake 

Surrounded by views of soaring mountain ranges and lush forests, Emerald Lake in B.C.'s Yoho National Park Lake dazzles visitors with its hypnotic bright blue-green waters. 

The Emerald Lake Lodge is located on the side of this breathtaking body of water, providing the ideal vantage point to soak in the surrounding scenery. What's more, it offers a range of amenities and exceptional service that creates a luxurious stay for guests at the mountain accommodation.

Find out everything you need to know about visiting Emerald Lake.

Okanagan Lake 

Okanagan Lake is the largest lake in B.C.'s interior and is believed by some people to be the home of a mythological creature called Ogopogo. Stories of the legendary beast date back thousands of years when the "Interior Salish First Nation people spoke of N’ha-a-itk, the spirit of the lake." Since then, people have transformed the stories into a creature that is most commonly described as having a long, snakelike body and a horse, goat, or reptilian head, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. 

There are over 30 beaches along the lake and it is bordered by several cities and municipalities, including Vernon, Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, and Penticton.

There are numerous activities to enjoy at the lake during the summer months, including stand-up paddle boarding, boating, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and snorkeling. 

Cultus Lake 

As one of the most popular lakes in the Lower Mainland, Cultus Lake sees throngs of visitors daily to enjoy its warm water and the surrounding forest-clad mountains. 

There are numerous activities to enjoy on the water and the surrounding area, which is home to the popular Cultus Lake Adventure Park and Cultus Lake Waterpark. 

Located roughly an hour-and-a-half drive from Vancouver, Cultus Lake Park "has four campgrounds, a large day-use area for picnicking and boating, and ample opportunity for fishing, water skiing, wind surfing, and hiking," according to the government of B.C.

Boya Lake 

Located near the B.C./Yukon border, this lake stuns visitors with its striking blue-green water, which appears to be a variety of hues based on the depth of the water. There are several small island formations throughout the lake and the area around them has a light-teal colour that transitions into a deeper blue. 

The lake's bottom is "composed of marl, a mixture of silt and shell fragments," which reflects the light and creates aquamarine hues. It is one of the only lakes in Northern B.C. that is warm enough for swimming, according to BC Parks. 

Beavers are often spotted swimming in the lake and there are ample wildlife viewing opportunities on trails in the area. 

Ruby Lake 

Located on B.C.'s breathtaking Sunshine Coast, Ruby Lake is suitable for a variety of watersports, swimming, boating, and more. 

You can rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards at the lake and the lake's boat launch is located just a two-minute drive from nearby Ruby Lake Resort. The 60-acre resort offers a variety of accommodations, including cottages, suites, tiny wood cabins, and safari glamping tents.

It takes under four hours for Vancouverites to reach the resort by car and ferry. 

Buntzen Lake

Located in Anmore, Buntzen Lake was named after the first general manager of the BC Electric Railway Co., Johannes Buntzen, in 1905. While it was once Vancouver's main source of electricity, it is now most commonly used as a recreation site for several watersports and swimming. 

BC Hydro advises that visitors must book a free parking pass before heading to the lake during peak season from May 16 until Sept. 4.

Chilko Lake

This striking turquoise body of water is also Canada's largest natural, high-elevation freshwater lake. Located at the head of the Chilko River on the Chilcotin Plateau, the glacier-fed lake is surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges. 

While Chilko Lake is beautiful, only experienced boaters and kayakers should brave the waters due to "unpredictable winds, potentially high waves, icy waters, and a shortage of safe landing areas," according to

There are also a couple of campgrounds in the area and the lake is home to B.C.'s third-largest Chinook/sockeye salmon run from August through October. 

Sproat Lake 

Located on Vancouver Island, Sproat Lake offers a range of activities to enjoy when the weather warms up, including swimming, fishing, water skiing, and windsurfing. The water is warm and there are also opportunities for freshwater scuba diving. 

While there are several ways to access the lake, one that accesses the eastern end of it is home to a panel of prehistoric petroglyphs. However, no one knows exactly what the panel, called K’ak’awin, depicts, according to BC Parks. 

There are a couple of campsites in the area.


A post shared by @067.kk

Christina Lake

Christina Lake, located on the Crowsnest Highway near Grand Forks in the West Kootenay region, sees plenty of sunshine throughout the warmer months, making it an ideal place to enjoy a refreshing dip. It is also considered one of the warmest lakes in Canada, with temperatures averaging 22 degrees during the summer. 

There is a range of accommodations to choose from in the area, including campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, RV resorts, cottages, and motels.