When you set yourself up in a beautiful vacation rental on Cultus Lake in British Columbia, you’ll enjoy an excellent view of a large, warm freshwater lake and forested mountains in Fraser Valley, just 90 minutes east of Vancouver. This peaceful location provides an ideal habitat for wildlife such as blacktail deer, beaver, and coyote. Five salmon species and several kinds of trout thrive in the lake and surrounding rivers. It’s easy to find a wilderness home for a long family vacation, romantic break or a weekend getaway with friends. There are a few waterfront towns on the lake, and several other towns to visit within a 30-minute driving distance. BC Highway 1 links Cultus Lake to Vancouver, which is 90 minutes away, and you are not far from scenic countryside across the border in the U.S. state of Washington. Here are the ten best places to stay at in and near Cultus Lake.
1. The town of Cultus Lake
This small, friendly community on the northeastern tip of the lake offers everything you need for an active outdoor vacation. Canoe, boat and paddle board rentals are available on the waterfront, and there is an 18-hole golf course and a putting course inland. There are also hiking trails nearby that you can explore. The village is home to British Columbia’s biggest water park, with waterslides, rides, and a picnic area. Alternatively, you might just want to relax on your front porch and enjoy the fabulous views of the lake and surrounding mountains. With cafes, restaurants and a grocery store close at hand in Cultus Lake, there’s no need to venture far from your vacation rental if you want to spend ample time relaxing.
2. Lindell Beach
This quiet, family-focused community at the southern tip of the lake is just 10 minutes’ drive from the town of Cultus Lake. The swimming area and boat launch at Maple Beach are close by, and it’s a short drive to the hiking trail up Teapot Hill. This peaceful area is a great place to relax and enjoy the wonders of the natural world.
3. Slesse Park and the Chilliwack River
Follow the Chilliwack Lake Road, and travel a few miles eastwards from Cultus Lake toward Slesse Park. This region has world-class salmon and river fishing, kayaking, and rafting. Some rental properties in this area are right on the Chilliwack River, so you can almost fish from your front porch. Enjoy the seclusion amidst forests and mountains, as well as the proximity to charming Cultus Lake village.
For a vacation that combines outdoor fun with cultural activities, the city of Chilliwack is ideal. Located less than 30 minutes north of the lake by car, and close to the Frasier River, you are never far from fun on the water, but you can still have easy access to the city’s restaurants, bars, nightlife, and historic sites. Get to know the area through a self-guided heritage walking tour that takes you through the city’s streets. You’ll see unique historic buildings, housing, shops, restaurants, and cafes. The Antiques Museum and Pioneer Village is a great place for families to explore. If you’d like to go shopping, the Chilliwack Mall and Cottonwood Mall are a short drive south of Highway 1.
The city of Abbotsford, around 35 minutes west of the lake along Highway 1, also offers a good combination of cultural and outdoor activities. With over 150 parks and 60 miles of gentle urban trails, you don’t need to travel far to enjoy the great outdoors. For more challenging outdoor experiences, take a set of mountain bikes or strap on walking boots and head to Sumas Mountain. Abbotsford has a flea market, malls such as the Highstreet Shopping Center, and a historic downtown area with delightful boutiques and specialty stores.
Located on Frasier River’s north shore and easy to reach from Cultus Lake via the road bridge, the lively community of Mission has many different activities for visitors. The river here is famous for its salmon and sturgeon fishing, and there are many hiking and biking trails, including circle routes that take you to local farms. The area is home to many artists and artisans, and you can see their work at Mission City’s Farmers Market. For a complete contrast, the Mission Raceway Park offers motorsports fans a chance to watch drag racing and motocross and admire hot rods and custom cars.
7. Popkum and Bridal Falls
In this small community east of Cultus Lake along Highway 1, you can enjoy the outstanding beauty and tranquility of Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park. The picturesque falls that give the park its name tumble nearly 200 feet down the rocks, spreading out like a bridal veil when water levels are high. If you’re an adventure junkie, you can enjoy the thrills of off-road riding at Popkum Motor Park. If you don’t own an ATV or trail bike, you can rent them on site.
The community of Agassiz sits north of Popkum across the Fraser River. This friendly farming community is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities, including water sports, fishing on the river, skiing, hiking, and cycling. It is also home to the Agassiz-Harrison Museum and Visitor Information Centre, which is set inside a former Canadian Pacific Railway station that was built in 1893. The museum has information about railway history, examples of period clothing, artifacts, photographs, and tales of life in the pioneer days. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop to take home a unique, handcrafted artifact as a memento from your visit.
9. Harrison Hot Springs
After a day of hiking or biking, relax and re-energize in the healing waters at Harrison Hot Springs. The surrounding area has many beautiful trails to explore, and the nearby Harrison River is perfect for water sports. Take a set of kayaks and follow the route taken by thousands of gold miners on their way to Port Douglas in search of their fortunes. Follow a circle farm tour simply relax on one of the sandy beaches at Harrison Lake.
10. Harrison Mills
Catch the world’s largest gathering of bald eagles at Chehalis-Harrison Flats near Harrison Mills in October and November. This charming agricultural farming and tourism community provides visitors with numerous outdoor activities year-round. Summer is a great time for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and having fun in the water, while winter is perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. For an educational trip back in time, visit Kilby Historic Site where the Kilby General Store, once the hub of the town, is now a living 1920s-era historical site.