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Buntzen Lake parking reservations start Monday. Here's what you need to know

BC Hydro is set to begin distributing daily parking passes for visitors to the popular Anmore summer site.
A man wades into the waters of Buntzen Lake. As BC Hydro's most popular recreation area in the provi
A man wades into the waters of Buntzen Lake. As BC Hydro's most popular recreation area in the province, more than 700,000 people the lakeshore and surrounding trails every year.

Visitors, picnickers and beach-goers who plan to drive to Buntzen Lake will need to book a parking pass on the BC Hydro site starting Monday (June 27).

The provincial utility service is set to launch its reservation system in an effort to reduce traffic problems as the popular summer destination in Anmore attracts thousands of people each year.

Options include day passes, as well as specific reservations for the morning or afternoon.

The Tri-City lake's gates are open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through until Aug. 7, and 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Aug. 8 to Sept. 6.

The reservation system is set to end Sept. 5.

The addition of day passes is the result of a backlash from hikers upset with BC Hydro's announcement in early May. They said the half-day reservations wouldn't give them enough time on the local trails or Eagle Mountain.

In an earlier interview with the Tri-City News, spokesperson Kyle Donaldson said the company encourages users to "respect the reservation time of their pass."

"The reservation system is a pilot project and we’ll be monitoring feedback and use of the new system throughout the summer," Donaldson said, noting BC Hydro will review the plan from feedback as it rolls out the new parking control measure.

In anticipation of the system launch next week, here's what you need to know before booking a Buntzen Lake pass:

Register the day before arrival

Parking passes are available as early as 24 hours in advance and are required for all vehicles heading to Buntzen Lake.

BC Hydro adds it can be booked "up until the day of your visit, based on availability."

Commuters are asked to present the parking pass to the gatekeeper upon arrival, either a physical copy printed out, or a digital copy saved onto a mobile device. There's no cell service or WiFi.

The absolute latest you can arrive is 30 minutes before the end of your time slot.

Street parking in Anmore is strictly prohibited and violators in the no parking zones may be ticketed or towed by the village.

Passes available

There are three passes available for parking at Buntzen Lake:

  • Morning = 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Afternoon = 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • All day = 8 a.m. until closing

There's no fee to book a parking reservation, and the pass will be connected to your vehicle's license plate.

Weekend transit

Interested visitors can also take transit to Buntzen Lake, courtesy of TransLink's expansion of summer services.

The authority is encouraging residents to leave their vehicle at home, if they can, and take the bus to Buntzen Lake from Coquitlam Central SkyTrain Station.

The weekend and holiday service, Route 179, also begins next week and is set to run every 30 minutes between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

What's at Buntzen Lake

  • Picnic tables, shelter and grass play areas
  • Boat launch at South beach for motorized and non-motorized vessels
  • Canoe rentals nearby, available at the Anmore Store located on Sunnyside Road
  • Hiking, mountain biking, and nature trails
  • Developed viewpoints and interpretive displays
  • Designated area for dogs
  • Drinking water