Jones Lake Reservoir: Mountains, Water and The Open Sky
By: Brice Ferre
A few months ago, I got my hand on a brand new inflatable paddle board.
I had never played with a stand-up paddle board before, but got into it really quickly.
So when it came to finding a nice place to play with it, I decided to check out Jones Lake. If you’re gonna paddle around, might as well do it surrounded by glaciers, right?
Located 2 hours east of Vancouver, BC, 42km east of Chilliwack, Jones Lake offers incredible views of the glaciers around, with minimal effort.
Jones Lake Reservoir is approximately 25 km southwest of the town of Hope, British Columbia. Directly off of BC Highway #1 at the community of Laidlaw. To reach the lake, you will have to drive 9 km (5.6 mi.) on a steep and pretty beat up gravel road. The Jones Lake Forest Service Road is car accessible, but it is strongly advised to drive up in an SUV or 4x4.
It is possible to get there in a regular sedan, but you will have to take it very easy.
As the road is still active during the week, extra caution must be taken if you want to drive to the lake from Monday to Friday. Before reaching the lake you will be able to choose between 2 campsites. Jones Lake Main (31 spots) and Jones Lake West (18 spots).
Once you get up the road, you will have the option to either grab a camping spot and set up your tent, or just park in the day area and enjoy picnic tables and easy access to the water.
Be careful though, you can actually drive to the water with your vehicle, but if you do so, chances are you will get stuck in quick sand or mud and will have to get towed. We spent a weekend there and saw a lot of people with big fancy trucks get stuck for hours until one of the locals who has a house on the lake was kind enough to tow them out of there. The poor man has to do that at least 10 times a week, as he told us, because people think the laws of gravity and mud don't apply to their brand new Dodge Ram, and assume that spinning the wheels as fast as they can in quick sand is gonna solve the issue.
So be careful. Park on road next to the lake and walk to the water.
Once you reach the water, get on your board and embrace the immensity of the place. Chances are you will feel incredibly small while paddling amongst these massive glaciers.
Camping overnight will allow you to look at the stars around a campfire, surrounded by water and mountains.
Pure heaven. I strongly recommend it.