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Jones Lake Chilliwack BC Camping / Wahleach Lake

Jones Lake near Chilliwack BC is one of the best places for free Chilliwack camping and one of the prettiest lakes in BC up there with Johnson Lake, Lillooet Lake, and others.

The lake is a reservoir and is used to provide hydroelectric power in BC by BC Hydro. They’ve opened up a couple of free campsites near the lake, and then there’s also some dispersed camping by the lake the further up the forestry road you go.

One of the best things about Jones Lake, or Wahleach Lake to give it its proper name, is obviously the view. It’s this that makes it one of the best lakes near Chilliwack.

Not only is the lake crystal clear but it’s surrounded by mountains. It’s a true beauty and arguably even better if it’s a little rainy and misty because of the way the clouds hug the mountains. If you’re looking for a short road trip from Vancouver, this is a great place to go.

If you enjoy camping by a lake surrounded by mountains (and who wouldn’t?) then be sure to add Jones Lake to your summer list of things to do in BC.

Jones Lake camping BC

Jones Lake Camping

Camping at Jones Lake isn’t all lakeside. Some spots are a short walk away from the lake while others are a bit closer. There are picnic areas available on the grass by the lake where you can enjoy meals lakeside or just see the lake as a day visitor.

If you have a good all-wheel drive or 4×4 vehicle then you can continue up the forestry road along the southwest of the lake and find a pull-out.

These pullouts offer more of a lakeside experience than the BC hydro spots. However, there are no facilities in this area and PLEASE take all your trash with you.

Unfortunately, this lake is becoming more and more damaged by people leaving all their trash there and it’s not good for the wildlife either.

You can have fires at the BC Hydro sites at Jones Lake Reservoir as long as you keep to the provided fire pits. Firewood is available for a small fee (cash only) from the park warden. They usually come around in the evenings and you can purchase it from their golf buggies then.

Always check the current provincial fire restrictions. In summer it’s common that there’s a fire ban due to the wildfire risk. You don’t want to be the person responsible for a fire.

jones lake campground

Jones Lake Campground (BC Hydro)

The campground at Jones Lake is rustic and secluded set in some stunning natural scenery. That doesn’t mean it’s empty though, it’s actually a very busy spot.

This Jones Lake main campsite operates on a first-come, first-served basis and is free of charge.

To secure a spot, especially during the summer when it tends to fill up quickly, arriving early in the morning is advised, on a Thursday or Friday. If rain is in the forecast, you might be able to arrive a bit later.

If the western campground is full, the eastern campground is a good alternative to consider, as are the dispersed camping spots.

For safety, several bear-proof garbage and recycling bins are found throughout the campground, as bears are native to this area.

Because the campground is remote, maintenance is infrequent and bins may fill up, it’s best to take your trash back home with you.

The campground features two outhouses, or pit toilets, which are basic – there are no sinks with running water – but generally not too bad. Each campsite has picnic tables.

jones lake camping bc

How to get to Jones Lake BC

Jones Lake is between Chilliwack and Hope in BC.

From Chilliwack, follow Hwy 1 east for and exit at Junction 153 / Jones Lake Forestry Road.

The Jones Lake forest service road is pretty steep and you’ll need a good AWD or 4WD to climb up the road. The road is steep in sections and often covered in potholes.

At the very least you’ll need high clearance and not care about your car.

The road branches off into two paths with the western campsites to the right and the others to the left. If you want to find a spot that’s not in the managed campground and offers more of a lakeside experience, go left.

Where is Jones Lake located?

Jones Lake is about one hour east of Chilliwack in British Columbia, Canada.

To reach the lake, you’ll need to use a 9km logging road that begins at Highway 1. The lake area offers two campsites, the East Campground, and the West Campground, along with a designated day-use area.

Managed as a reservoir by BC Hydro, Jones Lake is nestled at an elevation of nearly 640 meters and is surrounded by lush, dense forest with a recreation area for paddleboarding, swimming, and camping.

Other things to know about Jones Lake BC

  • LEAVE NO TRACE. There is a lot of wildlife in the surrounding area including bears. Never leave food out unattended and take everything back home with you.
  • BC Hydro states the campsites are alcohol-free. This doesn’t appear to be adhered to and I’m not sure how strict the park warden is. If you’re drinking at your campsite there shouldn’t be an issue, but don’t walk around other sites drinking.
  • Pets must be kept on a leash within the BC Hydro owned area.
  • There’s no cell service at Jones Lake Hope BC
  • The campsite gets especially busy on weekends and it’s you may not find somewhere to camp in either the managed campgrounds or along the forestry service road if you’re there late on a sunny Friday or Saturday night.
  • The lake is also used as a bit of a party destination and the dispersed camping along the forestry road can be loud.
jones lake bc

FAQs about Jones Lake camping BC

How deep is Jones Lake?

Jones Lake (Wahleach Lake) in British Columbia has a maximum depth of approximately 175 feet (53 meters).

Is there drinking water at Jones Lake?

No. There is no potable water available at Jones Lake. You must bring your own.

Do you need to book Jones Lake camping?

Campsites at Jones Lake are first come first served. Camping at Jones Lake is free and there is a 14-overnight visit limit per season.

Is Jones Lake Open?

The BC Hydro managed sites are open from May 1 – October 31 (snow levels permitting). The lake is quite high up and snowfall means the road is inaccessible by car during winter.

Can you fish in Jones Lake?

It is possible to go fishing in Jones Lake. The lake offers rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee. Non-Indigenous fishers in BC need a license to legally catch fish.

Final thoughts on Jones Lake Campground / Wahleach Lake Camping

The Jones Lake campsite is one of the best places to go camping in the Fraser Valley BC. While it’s not possible to make a Jones Lake camping reservation, and the Jones Lake road can be pretty gnarly and inaccessible in a 2WD, if you do make it to this lake, you’re in for a treat.

The lake is surrounded by incredible views, much like those you’ll find at Lillooet Lake or even Kentucky Alleyne Lake in the interior. Though the water is refreshingly cool, a swim in here. ona warm summer day is perfect!

If you’re looking for more places to camp in BC like this Jones Lake Chilliwack camping area, check out my guides to camping in Whistler, or these my Vancouver travel guides, or Gulf Island travel guides

Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by Hannah

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