• Difficulty Intermediate
  • Time 3.5 hours
  • Round-Trip 10km
  • Elevation Gain 195 meters
  • Season year-round
  • Camping No
  • From Vancouver 1 hour
  • Public Transit Yes
  • Dog Friendly No

Trail Notice

April 2023 - The trail to Swan Falls is currently closed due to a large rockslide that occured in the area in March 2021.

The hike to the Swan Falls viewpoint follows the Buntzen Lake trail to the North Beach, then climbs steeply along the Halvor Lunden to the top of the waterfall. The view from the rocky bluff is a partial view of the northern section of Buntzen Lake as well as the mountains along the western shore of the lake.

The "Intermediate" rating is given to this trail due to the ruggedness and difficulty of the section of the Halvor Lunden. The 4km section of trail along Buntzen Lake to the North Beach is fairly easy, however the Halvor Lunden Trail is steep and very challenging in sections. It's noted that the viewpoint is only about 15% of the distance along the Halvor Lunden Trail to the junction at the top of the mountain.

From the Buntzen Lake parking lot, walk towards the dog off-leash area and follow the trail on the east side of the fence as far towards the lake as possible where there is a wooden map board and a bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the trail as you quickly disappear into the forest and leave the noise of the barking dogs behind you. During the spring, you will pass many small creeks along the first part of the route, however most are dry during the summer months.

The trail passes over another wooden bridge before reaching a sign that says "viewpoint". Go right at the sign and continue up the short hill as you pass through the beautiful, lush forest. The trail is easy to follow and continues its route northward, passing over many more wooden bridges and offering occasional glimpses of Buntzen Lake.

Eventually, the trail climbs up a short hill and reaches the gravel road. A few meters further, rejoin the trail and follow it downhill along the steep switch backs to the bottom where you have a view of the water flowing into the lake from the tunnel that joins with Coquitlam Lake on the other side of Eagle Mountain. Follow the path as it emerges at the North Beach area.

Continue walking past the North Beach towards the gravel road, then follow the road northward (do not cross the suspension bridge to the left). A short distance further, the gravel road crosses a small bridge and looking up and to the right, you'll see the water of Swan Falls cascading down from the rocks high above. Continue walking along the gravel road and round a corner to the right about 200-meters further to where a sign marks the start of the Halvor Lunden trail. Follow this trail as you begin your climb.

The beginning of the Halvor Lunden climbs gradually but after passing underneath the power lines, the trail begins to climb steeply. Although the route is rugged, occasionally having fallen trees, it is well marked with trail markers on the trees. The viewpoint is located at an elevation of about 325 meters (the start of the Halvor Lunden is about 135 meters elevation) and is easiest found when you reach a rope along the trail meant to help pull yourself up over the steep rock. Pull yourself up the rope and just before you reach the top of the rope, look to your right where a spur trail branches off to a rocky bluff. Carefully step up to the spur trail and away from the rope and walk out onto the rock next to the water flowing over the falls.

Be very careful along the rocky bluff at the Swan Falls Viewpoint as you are standing near the top of the Swan Falls waterfall and venturing too close to the water or edge will almost certainly lead towards death. The rocky bluff offers a nice viewpoint to stop and enjoy a snack or lunch before making your way back down the Halvor Lunden Trail. As you descend the trail where you came up, be careful to watch your footing and use your hands where necessary to ensure you do not slip and fall down the steep mountain side.

After returning to the gravel road at the start of the Halvor Lunden Trail, go left and return to the North Beach area. You can bypass the steep switch backs by the water tunnel from the Coquitlam Lake by just following the gravel road uphill, then taking the second trail on the right (the same one you came from earlier) that leads to the parking lot area at the south end of Buntzen Lake. Follow the trail back along the lake, enjoying the scenery as you make your way back to the busy beach and dog off-leash area before returning to the parking lot.

How to get to Swan Falls Viewpoint

Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver
1 hour

The hike to the Swan Falls Viewpoint starts from the Buntzen Lake area in the Village of Anmore, just north of Port Moody. From downtown Vancouver drive east along Hastings Street and continue into Burnaby. Follow Hastings until it turns into the Barnet Highway heading towards Port Moody.

Drive to the end of the Barnet Highway and turn left onto St. John's Street. Follow St. John's through Port Moody and turn left at the major intersection onto Ioco Road. Pass through 3 sets of traffic lights and continue driving straight as you drive up a hill. Go straight at another light as the road becomes a single lane route, then turn right at the large roundabout at the top of the hill.

At the traffic lights, turn left onto Forest Park Way. Then turn left at the first 4-way stop onto Aspenwood Drive. Follow this road for quite some distance until you reach a stop sign at a 3-way stop. Turn right onto Sunnyside Road and a short distance further, you pass the small store on the left and enter into the Buntzen Lake area. Follow the road into the Butnzen Lake recreation area and park in the area with the signs for the dog off-leash area as this is the closes parking lot to the start of the trail.

View a map of Driving directions to Swan Falls Viewpoint.

Transit Access to Swan Falls Viewpoint

The Buntzen Lake area is accessible by transit by taking the 182 bus from Coquitlam Centre. Get off at the Anmore Grocery store on Sunnyside road and then walk to Buntzen lake, an additional 2.4km (30 minutes).

On weekends between July and September, the seasonal Buntzen Lake Special bus 179 will stop at the north end of the first parking lot at Buntzen Lake. Check Translink's website for more information.

Traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Qayqayt, S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməx (Tsleil-Waututh) and Kwikwetlem.
Read More

Additional Info

Camping at Swan Falls Viewpoint

Camping is not permitted at Swan Falls Viewpoint.

Dogs at Swan Falls Viewpoint

Although there are no restrictions against taking dogs on the trail to the Swan Falls Viewpoint, it is highly discouraged due to the dangerous and steep terrain. There is are several sections of steep rock and one section that requires you to pull yourself up with a rope, which are not suitable for dogs.

Toilets at Swan Falls Viewpoint

There are washrooms near the entrance to the dog off-leash area as you start the hike. There are also outhouses located at the North Beach area of Buntzen Lake.

Dogs, Toilets and Camping

Although we try to keep information as current as possible, www.vancouvertrails.com makes no warranty or representation as to the availability, quality, fitness for purpose, conditions or accuracy of the information provided with respect to this trail or trails. The information provided herein is further subject to our Terms of Use.