Friday, August 12, 2011

Diez Vistas Trail

Our second walk of last week was another new route – the Diez Vistas Trail in Buntzen Lake Recreation Area.  While we have circumvented the lake a number of times before, this particular trail takes you up onto the ridge to the West of the lake, affording views from the top before winding it’s way down to the North end of Buntzen Lake.

We set out early as we once again have a need to be back in North Van for 4pm.  However the early sunlight and birds make it a lovely time of day to be walking.

First we cross the floating bridge which connects either side of the southern most ‘leg’ of the lake.


The view from the floating bridge towards the narrow end of the ‘leg’.


North from the bridge, the still water providing reflections of the trees.


Then the trail continues straight ahead, away from the lake and up up up into the forested hillside.

The Diez Vistas trail is so named as when the trail was first cut through the hillside 10 lookouts were created.  Unfortunately a number of those lookouts are now getting somewhat overgrown and the view now overrated.

The first lookout we get to still has a reasonable view, but the weather back towards the city isn’t great so it’s extremely overcast and grey.  Here we look over Belcarra Regional Park.


Another lookout provides a view down onto Sasamat Lake.


Another lookout apparently provided a view to Buntzen Lake but this really seems to be fully overgrown now, with barely any lake visible.  Only views across to Eagle Ridge on the other side of the valley.


The trail continues onward and upwards, meeting the peak of Punta Del Este at 550m and a short while later the highest point of the walk Cima Amanecer at 570m.   The forest here is beautiful, not too dense with plenty of sunlight coming through.

Soon we reach by far the best lookout of the walk – the view opens up right across Indian Arm and into the city.  The long finger of land sticking into the bay is Belcarra Regional Park, with Deep Cove beyond on the opposite bank and Seymour shrouded in cloud to the right.


This image is super grainy due to the zoom & grey weather but you can just see the white of the cruiseship at Canada Place and the red of the ports to the left.  It was actually clearer to see by eye and on a clear sunny day would be a terrific view.


Deep Cove in North Vancouver across Indian Arm.


Mojo enjoys the view !

Mojo on Diez Vistas Trail

Here we can see Jug Island Beach and just offshore Jug Island which we visited back in February (click here).


More views from the lookouts on the West side of the Diez Vistas trail.



A panorama from one of the outlooks before the trail heads further North.

Mojo catches his breath while I take photos and have a drink.

IMG_5080 A view of two people on jetskis performing ‘doughnuts’ !


Views of the rural parts of the Indian Arm coastline, lots of water-access only cabins and homes.


We spot this house and figure it looks like a good fit for us (except perhaps the boat-access).



The trail continues along the ridge and gains further views North up Indian Arm, whilst the weather in this direction improves steadily.

IMG_5087 Another small rural waterfront community up Indian Arm.


Views North.

IMG_5092 IMG_5094 Zoomed in on a waterfall in the distance.

IMG_5095Finally the views cease and the trail descends a long winding route back down through the forest, eventually joining a forest service road.

IMG_5098 The forest service road joins the West side of McCombe Lake.

IMG_5099 Views along the trail as it leads us back towards Buntzen Lake.


McCombe Lake.



Another waterfall tumbles down the hillside

IMG_5105 Soon we get our first glimpse of Buntzen Lake  from the North end.


We cross the suspension bridge that leads us to North Beach.


Views from the suspension bridge back up McCombe Lake.  The pumphouse in the distance is connected to the pumphouse seen in Indian Arm on the Jug Island walk.

IMG_5109 We reach North Beach and the time is perfect for lunch.  We also grab the best bench in the picnic area, absolutely waterside so I can eat while Mojo swims.


After eating and swimming we head back along the lakeside trail on the East side of the lake.  Nothing much new to report here except that a number of the bridges across creeks have been replaced in the last few months.  Clearly they have a better standard of construction than the old ones or the litigation department is snoozing because apparently you’re allowed more than 4 people on the new bridges !


Views of Buntzen Lake from along the trail.

IMG_5112 IMG_5113


No motorized craft are allowed on Buntzen Lake so if you can paddle you can enjoy it but it’s still a relatively peaceful environment.


Or row yourself to your own private piece of lakeshore.


Another 45 minutes or so walk we reach the South end of the lake and the Dog Beach.  Views of Buntzen Lake from the dog beach.


Mojo of course partakes in many more good swims.


Finally a view of the surprisingly quiet dog beach before we head back to the car and home.


It made a pleasant change to the usual around-the-lake walk although some of the viewpoints on the Diez Vistas trail were somewhat disappointing.  A couple of the really good views though would be greatly enhanced on a fully sunny day, so we’ll have to come back again sometime in the future to improve on those photos.

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