There’s nothing quite like a summer camping trip. Cultus Lake is the perfect distance from Vancouver to escape the rat race, but close enough to reach for a weekend. Plus, the glistening water and plentiful forest make for a relaxing getaway.

Cultus Lake shines in the sunlight on a warm summer’s day, only a 1 hour 20 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. The lake glistens in the sunlight on a warm summer’s day. Unlike many lakes around British Columbia, Cultus Lake is more than just a lake. It has a number of ways to keep you entertained.

Mountain bike trails, beginner to expert, pepper the mountains that surround the lake. If you want a trail for the whole family, you can bike around the shore-front for a few kilometers. To get stuck into the proper trails, head towards Vedder Mountain Forest Service Road. The Sunnyside Up Trail is good for those new to mountain biking. It is a two-way switch back trail up the mountain. Once at the top, you turn around and get the downhill reward for the hard slog up. For those more experienced, there are a number of more difficult (blue and black graded) trails in the area. If you have a 4WD vehicle, it’s possible to drive to the top, rather than climbing up.

If mountain biking isn’t your cup of coffee, then try the Cultus Lake Water Park. Open June to September, it offers a variety of rides and attractions for the kids and big kids too. It can get pretty warm by the lake, so this is a great way to cool off and have a good time. Cultus Lake Adventure Park is also open from June and is filled with fun roller coasters. The Adventure Park is aimed at children and young-adults, but a little tame for adults.

There are a few camping grounds on Cultus Lake, but the biggest are the Sunnyside Campground and Entrance Bay Campground. The Sunnyside Campground is the better of the two, as it is right next to the lake. The Entrance Bay Campground is on the other side of the highway, so is a slightly longer (5 mins) walk to the lake, and is further away from the small town. Both campgrounds offer washroom facilities and a family-friendly atmosphere. Be careful to book early on long weekends and be aware of minimum stay rules.