Pinecrest Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - British Columbia -

Pinecrest Lake is a mountain paradise found in the Pacific Range of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains. Located just off the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Pinecrest Lake is 78 miles north of Vancouver in Canada’s Mountain’s West Tourism Region. A 15-minute drive south of Whistler and the world-class ski slopes that hosted the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics brings you to the shores of Pinecrest Lake. Surrounded by the gated communities of Pinecrest Estates and Black Tusk Village, residents have exclusive access to the lake’s beautiful scenery, warm summer swimming and winter ice skating.

Originally home to Canada’s Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, the Pacific Range saw prospectors and trappers enter the territory with the construction of a passable trail in 1877. In 1914 Garibaldi Lodge was opened a few miles from Pinecrest Lake along the Cheakamus River. The rural site grew into the small community named Garibaldi. In 1980 the town met with disaster. Residents lost their home when a geologic report disclosed that the dam protecting them from Greater and Lesser Garibaldi Lakes was unstable. In December of the same year the Cheakamus River flooded, destroying about half the properties along the river banks. Residents moved to Pinecrest Lake and rebuilt their homes on 94 lots within 45 acres creating what is now Black Tusk Village.

In 1934 a settler named Ken Stockdale came to Pinecrest Lake to homestead 75 acres. He left in 1939 but returned in 1957 to build Pinecrest Fishing Camp. In 1969 Stockdale sold his fishing camp and homestead acreage to developer Jack Fenton shortly after the region’s first ski-lift was opened in 1966. In the following years this land was divided into 75 round lots creating Pinecrest Estates.

Black Tusk and Pinecrest Estates are separate single-family gated communities called strata developments, where lot owners also hold a proportionate interest in the development’s common assets and common property, including Pinecrest Lake. The communities are governed by a “strata council” made up of property owners. Both communities have their own water supply and receive fire protection from the Garibaldi Fire Department made up of volunteers from Black Tusk and Pinecrest Estates.

The isolation of Pinecrest Lake has created a spectacular and unspoiled mountain escape. With private beaches, tennis courts and Black Tusk Mountain trails outside your door, the majority of homeowners are happy to be permanent residents. Those who are able to purchase real estate property or reserve a vacation rentals along Pinecrest Lake have all the ingredients of a perfect vacation destination they can call home for a month or a lifetime. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are listed among the activities on Pinecrest Lake.

Fishing is not permitted on Pinecrest Lake or on nearby lakes. Retta Lake sits next to Pinecrest Lake and serves as the water supply for Pinecrest Estates. Immediately across the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Daisy Lake is a hydro reservoir impounded on the Cheakamus River. Fishing on a catch-and-release basis is returning to the Cheakamus River after a devastating chemical spill killed thousands of salmon in 2005.

Not just skiing, but excellent fishing can be found in Whistler. Alta Lake offers anglers 247-acres of water known for its quality cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. The shoreline is steeply sloped, so several access points have been built for boaters and fishermen. Fairhurst fishing dock is located on the west side of Alta Lake. Blueberry Park, located at the northeast end of Alta Lake, also provides docks. Boats may be launched from Lakeside Park or a public ramp about 200 yards north of the park. At 536 acres, Lost Lake is Whistler’s largest park. Located north of Alta Lake, the park’s amenities include picnic and cook-out areas, concessions, restrooms and a variety of swimming areas from a family beach, to Canine Cove where dogs may swim without a leash, to an unmarked “clothing optional” dock.

Along the Cheakamus River near Pinecrest Lake you will find Brandywine Provincial Park at the northern end of Daisy Lake. With 370 acres of spectacular scenery, this park is all about the views. Photographers will enjoy capturing images of 230-foot Brandywine Falls, Daisy Lake and Black Tusk Mountain. Numerous viewpoints can be found along hiking and mountain biking trails. Bring your prepared lunch with you. Campfires are not permitted at the day-use picnic area, and potable water is not provided.

Garibaldi Provincial Park lies only two miles east of Pinecrest Lake. With 481,000 acres of undeveloped mountain wilderness, high Alpine meadows and breathtaking peak of 8,786-foot Garibaldi Mountain, this park provides a true backcountry experience. Outside of park roadways and parking lots, the park is closed to all motorized vehicles. Campgrounds, cabins and shelters are provided.

The snow-capped mountains are a reminder that winter sports are the major attraction to Pinecrest Lake. Considered the largest ski area on the continent, Whistler’s ski resort advertises “7,000 acres of ski and snowboard terrain, with over 200 marked trails, 12 massive Alpine bowls, 3 glaciers and 33 lifts.” With a world-class ski resort as your neighbor, mountain wilderness at your back door, and private Pinecrest Lake at your front door, you have found vacation rentals and real estate properties far beyond the ordinary. Consider the possibilities, then choose to reside within the majestic mountains surrounding Pinecrest Lake where the exceptional awaits at every turn.

Things to do at Pinecrest Lake BC

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Provincial Park

Fish species found at Pinecrest Lake BC

  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout

Pinecrest Lake BC Photo Gallery

    Pinecrest Lake BC Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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