Cultus Lake - Fraser Valley, BC
Cultus Lake is a community and popular tourist destination in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains‘ Fraser Country. The Lake, for which the community takes its name, is the source of the Sweltzer River. The lake itself is warm, and the area has become a popular recreation area with ample opportunities for fishing, water skiing, wind surfing, and hiking. One of the crowning characteristics of the Cultus Lake community is the Cultus Lake Provincial Park. The park houses a large, warm freshwater lake, and scenic forest-clad mountains. Visitors to the park will find four campgrounds, a large day-use area for activities. The area also contains several high class golf clubs suitable to players of all ages and skill-levels as well as a waterpark.
The community of Cultus Lake is located 11 km (6.8 mi) south of the Chilliwack River, 25 minutes from the Trans Canada Highway 1, 11 km (7 mi) south of Chilliwack and approximately 80 km (50 mi) southeast of Vancouver.
Long before its recreational use by Chilliwack’s European settlers, Cultus Lake served for centuries as a popular spot for spirit quests by the local Sto:lo First Nation. So popular in fact, that by the 18th century, the lake’s spiritual powers had diminished such that the Chinook word Cultus, meaning worthless, was ascribed to it.
Further along the Columbia Valley Highway is picturesque Columbia Valley, where some of the first families settled around 1890. Also the site of mixed farming, Columbia Valley’s true origins are in logging. Most of today’s roads through the Columbia Valley are built on top of old logging roads.
When Cultus Lake became a provincial park in the 1950s, the road developed into the present-day Columbia Valley Highway. Today the park attracts over one million visitors a year.