Photographs by Erin Kunkel

It's official: We boast the best when it comes to lake life. I mean, c'mon - with places like Tahoe and Chelan plunked in the landscape, our gold-medal status could never be in jeopardy! But those are the big kahunas. We think wallflower lakes like Christina Lake in B.C. -  8 hours due east of Vancouver - Washington's Crescent Lake, and Suttle Lake in Oregon, are the real reasons West is best.

Maybe it's because these off-the-beaten-path getaways speak to our preserve-and-explore ethos. Christina Lake, with half of its shoreline engulfed by Gladstone Provincial Park, a location far from major metropolitan hubs, and summer crowds that top out at 6,000, certainly fits the bill.

Or maybe it's just because the water is so dang perfect for summer lake-leaping.

Want more? Check out Sunset's top 10 lake adventures.

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