Cinco Vistas… deceptively known as Diez Vistas takes you on a beautiful hike up and around Buntzen Lake. On a hot day you can end the five hour hike with a cool dip in the glistening waters of the lake.
Beginning the walk across the floating bridge, the hike begins with a steady climb through the tall forest. It takes about an hour to get to the first lookout, after scrambling a little to get to the top. The first vista is a panorama over the ridge back towards the city and Deep Cove. Many of the following vistas have been overgrown by trees and no longer provide a view, hence the more aptly named Cinco (five) Vistas. Most of the remaining vistas look down to the Burrard Inlet, each providing a slightly different outlook. The Diez Vistas trail continues along the ridge, through varying forest and rocky landscapes.
The trail is quiet considering how close it is to the city. It may be due to the multitude of trails in the Buntzen Lake area, providing a variety of options for all walks (pun intended) of day-trippers. Also, given most people do the hike in the clockwise direction, the chance of seeing other hikers is reduced. After a couple of hours the trail zigzags back down the ridge towards the lake, popping out on the BC Hydro Service Road. A small picnic bench sits next to the water at the north end of Buntzen Lake. New signs informing you there is a cougar in the area exist as of August 2016. Hikers need to be careful not to leave any food behind and to make plenty of noise when walking along the trails.
Shortly after you connect with the Buntzen Lake Trail the path becomes much wider and more populated. It is possible to head back either side of the lake, but the east trail is the nicer of the two and completes the loop of the lake. The remainder of the trail takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete and ambles along next to the lake. It is possible to follow the road back, but this is the less interesting way to go.
At the completion of the loop, you find yourself back at the car park. The lake front is the perfect spot for a swim, a float, or just a dip of the toes. There is even a segregated dog beach, allowing dogs to run freely off-leash.