Lindeman Lake is a popular hiking destination for families in the lower mainland. Located about an hour east of Chiliwack, BC, this 3.5-km round-trip trail is short enough for shorter hikers while offering stunning scenery along the way. Pack a picnic lunch and plan to spend some time admiring Lindeman Lake when you arrive.
Hiking the Trail
We hiked Lindeman Lake this summer while camping at Chilliwack Lake Campground. In 2019, we hiked this trail while camping at Cultus Lake Campground. The Lindeman Lake trailhead is located about five minutes from Chilliwack Lake or about an hour from Cultus Lake. From either campground, it makes for a great adventure with a nice picnic area at the end.
There is plenty of parking for this trail; however, during the summer, expect the parking lot to fill up quickly. If you want parking here, you’ll want to arrive at the trailhead early. Many people begin parking along the road once the parking lot is full. There is also an outhouse located at the parking lot. I recommend stopping there before starting your hike to prevent emergencies later on.
The first twenty minutes of the trail are wide and flat. Hiking is easy, and the kids tend to run ahead in excitement. The trail soon begins to parallel a stream, which it will follow until reaching Lindeman Lake, the source of the stream. I always point that out to my kids and remind them that going UPSTREAM will take them to the lake and going DOWNSTREAM will take them out to the road. If you get lost, find the stream and the trail is nearby.
Once you’re on a roll along this flat easy trail, it dives into the rocks. The trail becomes single-file as it goes up and over and around and down and through giant boulders. My kids love this. In fact, this summer while we were hiking it, 5-year-old Pearl kept exclaiming, “This is the best trail ever!!!” I followed her and Joey, giving him an occasional hand, but the older three girls had charged way ahead.
The first time we hiked this trail, we were passed by a dad and two kids running back down the trail. The kids were leaping from boulder to boulder like little mountain goats as Dad tried to keep up. So our kids aren’t the only ones who like a little bit of a challenge on the hike. Of course, coming down this section is a bit easier than going up. My goal both times was to keep Joey hiking for this uphill section as long as possible.
About halfway to the lake, the trail crosses the stream with a bridge. This bridge is narrow, so we stopped to wait for people to come off the bridge before crossing. Underneath the bridge, you can see the large tree that used to be the bridge. The bridge is a great landmark for little people who might need a break; try to get them just past the bridge, where the trail widens out a bit.
After the bridge, the trail continues at an upward pace through the trees. It remains narrow in many places, but more flat as there is dirt and pine needles beneath your feet. This year, there were rope railings in place in several areas to help hikers stay on the trail. I’m constantly reminding my kids that if they go off the trail, they contribute to erosion and make it harder for the plants to grow; following the trail helps keep the area beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
Lunch at Lindeman Lake
As you approach Lindeman Lake, you can hear the stream leaping over the rocks to your right. The trail flattens out to veer left around the end of the lake. You’ll start to catch glimpses of the blue-green water through the trees ahead. There’s a rock slide down the mountain just across the lake from the trails, and piles of grey deadfall at the end of the lake. And then you’ll see the camping platforms and you’ve arrived!
There is an outhouse at Lindeman Lake. However, this summer when we were there, the outhouse was completely trashed. Joey needed to go pee, so we went up the steps, peered inside, and then went straight back down again. I didn’t even want to step inside long enough for him to stand at the toilet and pee, much less take any of the girls back there to sit down.
Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy Lindeman Lake. This picturesque lake is worth admiring and lingering beside. We waded on the bank during our first hike here. The water level was much lower on our second hike, making it harder to step into the water (or more of a commitment if you are going to wade). My teenager did take off her boots and venture carefully into the water beside the helicopter platform. Across the lake, another group was actually swimming. The water was, we were told, very cold.
My kids had fun climbing on the stumps around the campground or hiding in the huge hollow tree beside the lake. We ate our lunch (naan bread, pepperoni sticks, and Babybel cheese) and watched for fish jumping in the lake. If your family is up for a longer hike, the trail does continue past the campground and around the lake. I haven’t been there yet, but would like to try it someday!
Then we said goodbye to Lindeman Lake and headed back down the trail. Of course, heading back is often easier than heading there. We know the trail. I let the older kids run ahead again while I walked with Joey and Pearl. Joey was marching right along at a good place until he tripped and bumped his knee and wanted up again. He finished the hike in the Ergo, while I tried to convince Pearl that she didn’t have to pet every dog she met.
If you’re looking for more fun day hikes, check out my list of family-friendly hikes around greater Vancouver.
Have you hiked the Lindeman Lake Trail? What’s you’re favourite part?