7 stunning swimming holes across the West Coast worth road-tripping to this summer

Jul 12 2022, 4:00 pm

It’s finally getting hot over here on the Canadian West Coast, and that means it’s officially swimming season.

After last year’s heat wave, many of us got creative with ways to cool down — but nothing beats a refreshing swimming hole dip. And this side of the country is scattered with prime swimming spots, from lakes north of Edmonton to those up BC’s Sunshine Coast.

So, we rounded up some of our favourite swim spots across BC and Alberta that are worthy of a road trip adventure.

Before getting out on the road to check out these pristine waters, it’s worth looking at ways to save at the pump. RBC clients always save three cents per litre of gas instantly at the pump at Petro-Canada along with earning 20% more Petro-Points and RBC Rewards with a linked RBC card. There is also a limited-time offer to get $25 worth of free gas (25,000 Petro-Points) with a new credit card. With savings that happen right at the pump, the focus can be on filling up on adventure.

Sakinaw Lake

Sakinaw Lake, a top swimming spot on the West Coast's Sunshine Coast

Sakinaw Lake (EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock)

One of the largest lakes on the Sunshine Coast is popular partially due to the glorious temperature and its connection to the ocean — salt meets fresh water? Yes, please.

Here you’ll find talented waterskiers and wakeboarders shredding waters, jumping rocks all along the endless shoreline, and tons of space on calm waters for kayaking, canoeing, or standup paddleboarding. There’s also a full-scale boat launch and parking for cars with trailers. Basically, there’s something for everyone here.

Lions Bay Beach Park

Kayaking in the Howe Sound (EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock)

If you’re looking to get a little salty on a day trip out of Vancouver, Lions Bay Beach is your spot. The gorgeous drive along the Sea to Sky takes about 30 to 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver and winds you away from the city into the jaw-dropping landscape of the Howe Sound.

This beach is gorgeous, offering glimmering views of the ocean bordered by snow-capped mountains in the distance. The swimming area is marked and features a dock to venture out to. You have to pay to park here but trust us — the view from this beach itself is worth it.

Lost Lake

Lost Lake (Pierre Leclerc/Shutterstock)

Lost Lake is surrounded by large trees and unbeatable mountain views. This serene swimming spot is tucked right into the heart of Whistler. A short drive north of the village, this lake has multiple swimming docks and an expansive grassy park area, concessions, and sandy beach for lounging and playing a round of Spikeball when you’re not in the water.

On your drive up to Whistler, make sure your eligible RBC card is linked to receive all the benefits on the gas you’ll be burning. When you fill up at Petro-Canada with a linked card, you’ll earn valuable points that can be redeemed on everyday needs like snacks and sunscreen for your next weekend adventure. Bonus: even your RBC debit card (as well as your credit card) can be linked easily in just a couple of clicks.

Osoyoos Lake

Osoyoos Lake, a top swimming spot in BC on the West Coast


In Canada’s desert lies Osoyoos Lake, the warmest, freshwater lake in Canada, averaging 24 degrees in July and August. Aside from its notably high temperatures that make this lake ideal for swimming, floating, and paddle sports, Osoyoos Lake is surrounded by desert mountains, vineyards, and orchards — mid-beach-day glass of vino, anyone?

It’s a one-of-a-kind swimming experience to be had here, with numerous convenient public parks and beaches along its shores.

Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake, a top West Coast swimming spot north of Edmonton

Horseshoe Lake (Tatsuo Nakamura/Shutterstock)

Located just off of the Icefields Parkway, Horsehoe Lake is an easy stop on your road trip to Jasper National Park this summer. It’s shaped like a horseshoe (duh) and is known for its cliff jumping spots, but if you’re less of an adventure seeker, then we recommend lounging on a floaty in its notoriously nice, blue swimming waters.

Sandy Beach Park

Sandy Beach Park in Calgary is a top spot to swim and float on the West Coast

Sandy Beach Park (Awesome Carrie/Shutterstock)

Sandy Beach Park rests along the Elbow River in Calgary and is the ideal summer day activity while in the city with shallow, crystal clear water that is great for small children. Don’t forget to pack a picnic, as there are lots of picnic tables available, and some comfortable shoes for walking the beautiful trails nearby.

Long Lake Provincial Park

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Both of the beaches at Long Lake (one for those staying at the campground, and one for day use) are notably chill swimming beaches, with shallow waters and marked swimming areas. At only an hour’s drive from north Edmonton, this swimming hole is the perfect quick getaway for those nearby.

When you’re ready to cool off at any of these top-tier swimming spots, make sure to get the most out of your mileage with your linked RBC card and instantly save three cents per litre of gas at Petro-Canada. And for a limited time, new clients receive $25 worth of free gas (25,000 Petro-Points) when you link a new eligible RBC card within 30 days of approval.

Get linked today at rbc.com/petro-canada.

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