Hiking IconVancouver is surrounded by seemingly endless hiking trails and mountains to explore.  Massive parks line up one after another.  Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain and the enormous Garibaldi Provincial Park all contribute to Vancouver being an incredible hiking paradise. The variety and convenience of Vancouver hiking trails is astounding!

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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St Mark's Summit is a relatively easy way to get hiking deep into Vancouver's amazing mountains.  Starting this hike in Cypress Park means you drive most of the elevation.  Even though you still have another somewhat challenging 460 metres in 5.5 kilometres to hike, the beautiful forest and frequent Howe Sound views make it seem quick and easy.  Lighthouse Park is gorgeous park with over 10 kilometres of trails through deep forest and along the shore.  Just a short drive from downtown Vancouver this park is great to visit all year-round.  Another great place to hike just a short drive from downtown Vancouver is the Deep Cove Lookout Trail.  The trail crosses numerous creek bridges to get to the impressive lookout with views of Deep Cove and Indian Arm far below.  Indian Arm is a 20 kilometre fjord that cuts deep into the mainland. The slopes on either side are heavily forested and steep and therefore have seen little human development as compared to the heavily populated regions nearby.  The hike is fairly relaxing at just over 2 kilometres(1.3 miles) from the trailhead to the lookout. There is free parking off Panorama Drive and the trailhead is marked with a Baden Powell Trail sign. The first kilometre sees most of the 160 metre(525 foot) elevation gain and from then on it is a relaxing walk in the woods the the beautiful lookout. Dogs are welcome on the trail and there are washrooms at the parking lot. Deep Cove is a very pretty coastal town full of nice shops and restaurants as well as a nice pier and marina to wander around in.  The Lions dominate the skyline in North Vancouver and are easily visible in much of Vancouver. Though hard to believe, the West Lion can be climbed.  You don't have to, however, as the plateau before this difficult summit has amazing views.  In fact, most finish their hike to The Lions at the wonderful plateau close to the West Lion and looking across to the East Lion.  Grouse Mountain is another great area to hike in Vancouver.  If you are more into relaxing, you can take the Grouse Mountain Skyride up to all the action.  Along with a great network of hiking trails on Grouse, it is also home to two grizzly bears!  You can get quite close to them as they lounge in the sun in a special fenced off area on the mountain.  Lighthouse Park is an extraordinarily little know piece of paradise, so close to to Vancouver as to see its tall buildings, yet immersed into a dramatically beautiful coastal rainforest.  A wonderful network of trails winds throughout massive Douglas-fir trees and Western Red Cedars as well as golden Arbutus trees stretching toward the ocean.

Beautiful Lighthouse Park in Vancouver

St Mark's Summit Tent View

St Mark's Summit Tent View

St Mark's Summit View of The Lions

The Lions from St Mark's Summit

The Lions West Lion Summit Cairn

The West Lion Summit Cairn

St Mark's Summit in Vancouver

St Mark's Trail Rating 9It takes well under two hours for the average hiker to reach St Mark's Summit and the views are fantastic.  Not only because of the incredible vantage point over Howe Sound, but the abruptness of St Mark's Summit.  The cliffs below you are frighteningly vertical, making the views fantastically majestic.  Also the sheer drop off makes Howe Sound and the speck sized boats seem so surreal.  The third and possibly the best feature of the St Mark's Summit hike is the intricately huge and varied terrain on the summit.  You stand and marvel at one viewpoint, then moments later your friend appears at an extraordinarily improbable, and worryingly dangerous rock outcrop a few dozen metres away.  This hilarious game of hide and seek, seemingly can go on forever.  As one leads to another, then another.  Over and over, the St Mark's Summit reveals one breathtaking vantage point after another, until you are exhausted more with the views than the hike that got you there.  When you estimate your hiking time for St Mark's Summit, be sure to include an hour at least at the top. 

St Mark's Summit View of Howe Sound

Beautiful St Mark's Summit

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The Lions West Lion Summit

The Lions Hike RatingIt is beautiful enough, tough, and very rewarding to get to this plateau. To get to The Lions West Lion summit is considerably more challenging and comparatively more rewarding. The view from the top of the West Lion is spectacular.  Howe Sound stretches out into the blue distance.  A tough but wonderful hike in easy conditions.  In wet, cold, or snowy weather, a summit attempt is very treacherous. Not only is cold, snowy, icy or wet weather a consideration due to the slippery footing and hand holds, but also cloudy and foggy weather.  Fog can reduce visibility enough to make finding your way, and more importantly, finding your return route, difficult to find.  Losing your way from the top of the West Lion has proven fatal in the past. The first half of The Lions Binkert Trail is very easy as you follow a disused, though beautifully overgrown logging road gently uphill.  After the first 30 minutes of hiking you come to a Y junction, take the path on the right and continue as the path eventually narrows and beautiful views of Howe Sound become visible.

The West Lion Summit View

The West Lion Summit View

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Beautiful Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park Trail RatingLighthouse Park is a beautiful Vancouver park, nestled inside a wonderful example of British Columbia's coastal rainforest.  The trees are huge, the forest thick and the ocean views are amazing.  Rain or shine, this park is a must see on any drive between Vancouver and Whistler.  Marine Drive is another aspect that makes this a beautiful detour.  This part of Vancouver is a great representation of Vancouver.  Deep forest, beautiful ocean and rugged coastline. The first lighthouse was built at Point Atkinson in 1874.  The land around it that was to become Lighthouse Park was set aside to provide a dark backdrop for the new lighthouse.  The lighthouse you now see was built in 1912.  During World War II, search lights and gun emplacements were installed at Point Atkinson to watch over Burrard Inlet.  Some buildings from that ere remain along with interesting photos depicting the area during that time.

Lighthouse Park Sunset

Beautiful Lighthouse Park Sunset

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Grouse Mountain in Vancouver

Vancouver Hiking Trails RatingEveryone knows the Grouse Grind as the fantastically popular 2.9k, workout in Vancouver.  What is less known is that it is the gateway, or rather back door to some amazing hiking on Grouse Mountain and beyond in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.  Dam Mountain, Goat MountainCrown Mountain, Norvan Falls, Coliseum Mountain, Lynn Peak and quite a lot more lay across the horizon from the top of the Grind.  Whether you start at the base of the Grind or at the top of the SkyRide, the beautifully addictive Grouse Grind is, for many, just the beginning of the trail to so much more. Lynn Headwaters Regional Park begins several kilometres away at the Lynn Valley trailhead and beautiful trails follow Lynn Creek for 7k to Norvan Falls.  The trail then turns into Hanes Valley, connecting to Crown MountainGoat Mountain, Dam Mountain and finally leading to Grouse Mountain. The trail from the Lynn Headwaters trailhead to Grouse is about 20k as it carves a giant arc through the valley.  Most visitors to Grouse Mountain take the Skyride, an effortless alternative to the Grouse Grind.  Another amazing aspect of Grouse Mountain is that it is home to two rescued Grizzly Bears.  They wander around a fenced off area of the park, allowing you to get quite close!

Grouse Mountain Grizzly Bear

Wonderful Grouse Mountain Sunset

Amazing Grouse Mountain Sunset

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Hollyburn Mountain in Cypress Park

Vancouver Hiking Trails RatingHollyburn Mountain, in Cypress Provincial Park, is an amazing place to snowshoe or go hiking. The Hollyburn Mountain trailhead is an astonishingly close, 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. The 30 minute drive is quite something as well. From the always beautiful crossing of the beautiful Lions Gate Bridge, to the incredible views of Vancouver from the approach drive to Cypress Mountain and the Hollyburn Mountain trailhead. You would almost expect that there would be various fees for parking, trail use, etc. But the Hollyburn Mountain snowshoeing and hiking trail is completely free, and also quite convenient. You will likely be able to park withing a few metres of the hiking/snowshoeing trailhead and if you don't happen to own snowshoes, you can rent them at the trailhead for a very reasonable price.  As if it couldn't get better, it does... the trail is so well marked that it can easily be done after dark, as many do.  What a perfect escape from the city. Hollyburn Mountain is a perfect escape to a towering mountain paradise far above Vancouver below.  The city lights are amazing.  From the lights of the Lions Gate Bridge, to the beautifully bright tankers, to the wondrously glowing Vancouver towers.

Hollyburn Mountain is Accessible Year-Round!

Hollyburn Mountain Hike in Vancouver

More Best Vancouver Hiking - Hollyburn Mountain

Best Vancouver Hiking Trails


Whistler's Best Hiking Trails!

Ring Lake is a fantastically serene and wonderfully remote lake similar to Cirque Lake, but considerably farther to hike to reach it. The 10 kilometre(6.2 mile) hike takes you through a rarely hiked forest, ...
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Brandywine Meadows is a nice, relatively short hike to a massive flower filled valley high up in Callaghan Valley. Located 40 minutes south of Whistler, this tough and sometimes muddy trail gains a huge 550 ...
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Helm Creek is a cute, meandering creek that winds its way from beyond Black Tusk, down the valley to the wonderful campground that takes its name. From the Helm Creek campground, Helm Creek descends further ...
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Callaghan Lake Park is a relatively untouched wilderness of rugged mountainous terrain. The valley walls were formed by relatively recent glaciation. Evidence of this can be seen in the considerable glacial ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite high.  ...
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Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
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Vancouver Hiking Trails

Vancouver is surrounded by seemingly endless hiking trails and mountains to explore.  Massive parks line up one after another.  Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Park and the enormous Garibaldi Park all contribute to Vancouver ...
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Clayoquot Hiking Trails

Clayoquot Sound has a staggering array of hiking trails within it.  Between Tofino and Ucluelet, Pacific Rim Park has several wilderness and beach trails, each one radically different from the last.  The islands in the area are often Provincial parks on their own with ...
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Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria has a seemingly endless number of amazing hiking trails.  Most take you to wild and beautiful Pacific Ocean views and others take you to tranquil lakes in beautiful BC Coastal Rainforest wilderness.  Regional Parks and Provincial Parks are everywhere you turn in ...
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The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
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