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Sasamat Lake

WONDERFUL BC-2 / Sasamat Lake: Sasamat Lake is located within Belcarra Regional Park in Port Moody, British Columbia.

Happy hiker Bahar Cınarlı at the Sasamat Lake Loop Trail.
Bahar Çınarlı

Article and photos by Bahar Çınarlı

Sasamat Lake is located within Belcarra Regional Park in Port Moody, British Columbia. It is an hour drive from Vancouver downtown. The parking lot is located near the northeast end of the lake at White Pine Beach. This sandy beach offers water fountains, washrooms and many picnic tables.


Garbage bins at the entrance of the lake by the White Pine Beach. Along my hike I also saw bins for dog waste. They were all designed to be bear-proof.

‘Sasamat’ is the indigenous name for the lake, originating from the peoples who lived in the Coquitlam region of British Columbia.

I personally did not spend much time at the White Pine Beach, the main recreational area at Sasamat Lake. Instead, my goal was to hike the nature trails that surround the lake, capturing the beauty with my camera while nourishing my soul. So, I headed directly to the 3.2 km trail that loops around the lake.

An overall view of the Sasamat Lake.

The trail winds its way through an old-growth forest full of many Douglas-fir and large cedar trees. It was delightful and easy, but, perhaps, a bit too easy for those seeking to get into shape.

Swimmers in pristine waters.

At the entrance of the trail there was a Covid-19 related sign stating “The Sasamat Lake Loop Trail is now one-way only”, as well as the -now usual- 2 metre social distancing message. During the hike, I came across similar signs, with some adding the reason for the one-way foot-traffic requirement, such as the following “This is due to narrowness of the trail, high use, and the need for physical distancing”.

A professional swimmer seen with his orange float.

Ironically, on an overcast day at the end of May, I found the trail to be quite empty. I suspect the signs were placed there in anticipation of the summer crowds who would soon be arriving at the lake later in the year.

The moment when 2 professional swimmers crossed paths.

As I continued on the trail, I came across the Sasamat Outdoor Club, which offers programs for many community groups and local schools. It still had not yet opened for the summer.

Swimming and kayaking are popular activities.

During my hike around the lake, I passed several tiny beaches and groves of evergreen bushes and tall trees. At several points along the trail, I felt very much welcomed by a number of delightful lookout points. Each provided astounding views of the lake and nearby mountains through the trees and tiny beaches.

Paddle boarding is another popular activity.

The most popular activity at the lake is hiking. And I did meet a few friendly hikers along the way.

Sasamat lake is one of the warmest lakes in Greater Vancouver. Its beauty, accessibility, and warmth make this lake a great one for swimmers.

The floating bridge has a couple of docks built into it. On the proximal one seen here there were a few people casually fishing. The distant one was used by the swimmers.

On this visit, I saw 2 individuals in body suits, who appeared to be professional swimmers. As they swam, the two individuals rarely lifted their heads out of the water to breathe. On each stroke, they quickly plunged their heads right back into the water. For the most part, I could only see their arms and their orange -coloured floats.

I saw a few people paddling and kayaking on the lake, activities along with fishing which are very popular in the park.

Youth having fun and enjoying swimming in the lake.

At the south end of the trail there is a floating bridge that crosses the span of the lake. This narrow white floating bridge flanked by the forests on either end of the connecting trail, was a delight to my eyes. It has a couple of docks built into it, making it a great spot to toss in a fishing line or to jump in for a short swim.

A family strolling on the floating bridge.

I spent a good deal of time on the floating bridge, in quiet contemplation, adoring the natural splendor and quietly observing the various activities at the lake.

The trail by the lake was lovely.

At one point, 8 young people arrived with their back-packs. They wasted no time changing and jumping in the pristine waters. Their individual positive attitudes and warm collective energy were contagious and exhilarating.

Another view of the trail by the lake.

On a neighbouring dock I witnessed 3 people casually fishing.

While heading hiking back on the loop trail, towards where I had initially started, at While Pine Beach, the sun occasionally peered through the clouds, playing peekaboo with me. Nature like this that is pristine looks even more stunning when there is even an ounce of sunshine.

Nature offering raspberries.

It was a perfect day.

I hope to share my set of photographs from my next adventure, which will undoubtedly be from another park location in “Beautiful British Columbia”.

A few people relaxing by the lake.

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