Cabin Lake – West Vancouver

Notes from Mom


It was a hot August afternoon, and my husband, out of the blue, made a suggestion: “Let’s go for a swim at Cabin Lake.” “I’ve never heard of it,” was my son’s response. “It’s nestled up on Cypress Mountain,” was my husband’s reply, and what got my daughter thinking. “I’m out; the water will be freezing.” “You’ll never know, unless you try,” was my husband’s reply; which worked for my son and I, but not our daughter. So we packed up and went: four people, three towels. We parked our car on the top lot at Cypress Mountain. From there it was simple enough: follow the signs to the Baden Powell Trail up Black Mountain. I have to admit, I wondered more than once on the way up if the lake would be enough to offset the complaints my kids were making about the steady uphill climb. For me it was more the downhill on the way back: loose gravel and dirt made it tough on my knees, and it was slippery in parts also. After about 45 minutes we made it to Cabin Lake. “Where’s the cabin?” Coleman remarked. “Yah, where’s the cabin Dad?” my daughter chimed in. An appropriate question I thought considering the lake was named Cabin Lake. Kelvin looked it up on his phone: apparently the cabin at Cabin Lake was no longer standing. Cabin or no cabin, the lake is picturesque: our kids couldn’t resist taking a selfie with the lake in the background. I have to be honest, I’m not big on swimming in water where I can’t see the bottom. Cabin Lake is clean, but it is not clear. My husband explained the color with some unconfirmed notions of unknown mineral deposits. Which was good enough for me; I dove in first. I couldn’t resist the temptation of swimming to the other side. The water was cool-ish, but tolerable. I was happy to report there were no weeds, logs, or unidentified floating objects in the water. Coleman found a salamander swimming close to the shoreline. I thought about how much fun it would be to have an inner tube and just paddle around the circumference of the lake looking for salamanders. The only problem would be, who would carry the inner tube up the 2.5 km trail to get there? We didn’t, but apparently if you keep walking another 45 minutes you’ll get to Eagle Bluffs, which have a spectacular view of Eagle Harbor, downtown Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and on a clear day, Vancouver Island. On the way down we were escorted by a family of grouse. My husband was commenting on how dumb they were, not bothering to get out of our way. Jen’s comment was, “sounds familiar.” “Oooh, burn,” Coleman laughed. Now that our kids are older it’s challenging to find an activity they want to do. All in all I think our outing to Cabin Lake was a success. We’re still trying to decide whose personality is most like the grouse.


Cabin Lake is located on Black Mountain in Cypress Provincial Park.


West Vancouver