Vancouver Lake Regional Park
Public Health removes algae advisories from Vancouver Lake - Sept. 5, 2018
Clark County Public Health is lifting all advisories for Vancouver Lake. Cyanobacteria blooms are no longer present at any areas of the lake that are easily accessible to the public.
Public Health has been monitoring algae blooms at the lake since July, when blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, formed at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and the flushing channel near the swim beach. Public Health issued an advisory for the lake after the blooms were detected, and park staff posted caution signs.
On Thursday, Public Health upgraded the advisory to a warning after test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet. While blooms were also present at the swim beach and flushing channel, those areas did not have elevated toxin levels.
Public Health staff visited the lake Tuesday and today. Blooms are no longer present at any of the locations. As a result, Public Health is lifting all advisories for Vancouver Lake, and park staff is removing warning signs.
Public Health has concluded its routine monitoring of local swim beaches for the season. While Public Health will no longer routinely sample the water, staff will respond to reported health concerns. To report algae blooms or fecal contamination that may warrant a public health response, visit the public beaches webpage.
This 190-acre regional park stretches for 2.5 miles along the west shore of Vancouver Lake. With 35 developed acres, visitors can enjoy picnicking, windsurfing and sand volleyball.
Vancouver Lake is great for beginning windsurfing, kayaking and canoeing and hosts many rowing competitions during the year.
Learn more about Vancouver Lake Rowing Club, a non-profit youth, collegiate and masters rowing club.
The park also serves as a haven for wildlife and migratory waterfowl. Visitors to the park can also enjoy views of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams on clear days.
Aside from guide dogs and service dogs, no domestic animals are allowed on the beach or surrounding turf area of Vancouver Lake Regional Park between April 1 and Oct. 31.
- 2 picnic shelters
- 24 barbecue grills
- 65 picnic tables
- 2 sand volleyball courts - nets are typically up May 15 to September 15
- 5 pieces of playground equipment
- 5 drinking fountains
- 3 restrooms
- 1.06 miles of asphalt path
- 0.7 miles of gravel/dirt path
- 147 parking spaces, plus 18 disabled parking stalls
For some fantastic aerial views of the park,
watch this video, published by Ray Beresh in July 2016.
And this video, published by Alex Ouellette in March 2015.
7 am to dusk
Clark County Parks charges parking fees year-round at Vancouver Lake Regional Park. Daily parking fees are:
- $2 for motorcycles
- $3 for cars
- $6 for cars with trailers
- $8 for buses or motor homes
These are parking fees, not entrance fees. There is no charge for people who walk or bicycle into Vancouver Lake Regional Park.
Daily parking fees will be collected at fee booths, typically from May 1 through Sept. 30 and during busy off-season events. Fee booth attendants will accept cash, debit cards, Visa and MasterCard. (No checks, Discover or American Express cards).
When fee booths are not staffed, park users will need to use self-pay stations. Only cash is accepted at self-pay stations.
Under Clark County Code, parking a vehicle without paying the required daily fee or displaying a valid parking pass could result in a $40 fine.
Frequent park users can save money by purchasing annual parking passes, which are valid at the four regional parks charging parking fees: Frenchman’s Bar Regional Park, Lewisville Regional Park, Salmon Creek Regional Park/Klineline Pond and Vancouver Lake Regional Park.
For 2018, annual parking passes cost $30. Go to the parking fees webpage for information on how to purchase annual parking passes.
A 2.5-mile, 12-foot wide paved trail connects Vancouver Lake Regional Park with Frenchman's Bar Regional Park.
Vancouver Lake Regional Park has two picnic shelters that can seat 216 and 144 people and can be reserved for $150 a day. Each shelter can be divided in half, with a half shelter renting for $75 a day.
Picnic shelters at Vancouver Lake Regional Park can be reserved from Memorial Day weekend through September 30. The start date for shelter reservations is later than at other regional parks because the ground at Vancouver Lake Regional Park tends to remain rather soggy until the end of May.
There are a number of uncovered picnic areas that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Other portions of the park may be available for weddings and other events on a case-by-case basis with an approved special use reservation. Air-inflated “bounce houses” are allowed with approved special use permits, but dunk tanks are not.
Swimming is allowed at Vancouver Lake Regional Park, but there are no lifeguards on duty. Park users swim at their own risk. Parents are urged to be vigilant watching children near the water.
Vancouver Lake periodically has been closed because of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms. Blue-green algae produces toxins that can be harmful to people and deadly for small pets that drink the water, During blue-green algae blooms, the the lake can be closed to swimming, wading, windsurfing and other uses.
Video: Solving the algae problem (15 minutes)
Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership
The Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership was formed in 2004 by Clark County, Port of Vancouver, City of Vancouver and Fruit Valley Neighborhood Association. The goal of the partnership is to bring together agencies and citizens to explore issues affecting Vancouver Lake, a regional recreational and environmental resource. Partnership-supported discussions and studies are aimed at understanding Vancouver Lake’s complex eco-system and factors regarding blue-green algae blooms in the lake.
Fall at Vancouver Lake Regional Park
Click on these thumbnail images to see larger photos, taken by volunteer Breanne Diles, of the park in all of its autumn splendor.