Sasamat Lake is a lovely place for swimming, hiking, and family barbecues that is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Port Moody.
I’ve written some personal posts about Sasamat Lake (you can read them here and here), but I decided to write this short “quick tips” post for people who want basic information about Sasamat Lake and White Pine Beach (there are actually two beaches).
Please look up complete directions using Google maps. From downtown Port Moody, you will be turning left on Ioco Road. Follow the signs to White Pine Beach.
You can also get to White Pine Beach by bus. The 150 bus leaves from downtown Port Moody every hour and takes about 15 minutes to get to the lake. See Google Maps for detailed information.
The park gates are currently (as of March 11, 2017) open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can hike or ride a bike in outside these hours. The park closing time depends on sunset times.
Parking (and important tips!)
On hot days (especially weekends), all of the parking lots are usually filled up by noon and the park gates are locked.
Tip #1: Even if the park gates are locked, you can park on the road. It’s better to continue past the park entrance, drive to the first stop sign, and then turn right to park along the road parallel to the lake. You can get down to the trail and you will be close to the southern walkway. You can swim from the docks on the walkway or continue along the trail after crossing the walkway to the beaches (20–25 minutes).
Tip #2: At 4 p.m. the park gates will be open, even if the sign on the way up says “Full”. You can always find a place to park because many people are leaving by then. Go to parking lot “F” at the end of the road to find a parking spot easily.
What activities/facilities will I find at Sasamat Lake?
There are two beaches at Sasamat Lake. Both beaches include shallow water suitable for children’s playing. The northern beach is more popular with teenagers, but this beach also has a rope-enclosed area for children. There are no lifeguards on duty at any time. Children under twelve must be supervised.
The lake is warm and is popular with people of all swimming abilities, from serious triathletes (who can do a triangular course from a beach to the southern walkway to Sasamat Camp and back to the beach) to casual swimmers.
Many people canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or just drift on their inflatable rafts. No motorized boats allowed.
There is a three-kilometre trail around the lake as well as well as more extensive trails throughout the area.
A concession selling typical beach “junk food” is open during busy summer hours.
There are two washroom/changeroom buildings, one at each beach. In addition, there is a pit toilet building across the lake from the beaches near the southern walkway.
Pets are not allowed on the beaches at any time. Dogs (on-leash) are permitted on the trail around Sasamat Lake. You might choose to take your dog to the off-leash area of the beach at nearby Buntzen Lake. Buntzen Lake isn’t as good for swimming, though, because it’s always very cold.
Alcohol is strictly forbidden. Park wardens are usually on duty on the beaches during busy times. There are also frequent police checks on the road leading up to the lake or on the road past the park entrance.