Vancouver is a wild place in and of itself, but if you look around you, you can see that it is encircled by a vast mountain wilderness. With some of the most challenging hikes being less than a 90-minute drive away, it is likely to be among the best staging cities for outdoor adventure.
Enjoy our list of the top places for hiking in Vancouver, if you’ve been daydreaming of sub-alpine meadows and snow-capped peaks, flowing rivers carving through valleys, or that stunning turquoise lake waiting to welcome your tired feet.
Top Spots for Hiking in Vancouver
On Canada’s west coast, in British Columbia, Vancouver is a great area to go trekking. Hikers have the opportunity to take in breathtaking vistas and up-close encounters with wildlife thanks to the region’s numerous forests, mountains, and routes for hiking in Vancouver.
Make sure to also include hiking on your Vancouver agenda whether you are there for 48 hours or longer (particularly if you go in the summer!).
Even if you are taking a more leisurely hike, be sure to wear appropriate hiking attire and equipment (durable shoes or hiking sandals) for hiking in Vancouver.
1. Rice Lake Hike, North Vancouver
One of the best hiking in Vancouver that includes beautiful and simple treks is at Rice Lake. It is only three kilometers round-trip and only has a small amount of elevation increase. It takes around an hour.
The walk will lead you to a tranquil lake that is situated on the outskirts of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Around the lake, the trail is level, and you’ll additionally pass through some serene forests. Also, you can fish here and see wildlife like herons.
Also, surrounding the lake, there are benches where you may pause and take in the scene while hiking in Vancouver. For those seeking a more challenging workout, the path around Rice Lake makes for an excellent running course.
All seasons can be used to reach the lake’s perimeter trail. It is around 40 minutes away from Vancouver and is accessible by public transportation or by car, however, sadly pets are not permitted on the trail.
2. Hiking in Vancouver at Anmore, Sendero Diez Vistas
Besides the lovely Buntzen Lake lies the Sendero Diez Vistas walk. This hiking in Vancouver is a little more challenging, but it is worthwhile. It is a 15-kilometer round-trip intermediate hike that takes six to seven hours to accomplish. There is a 460 m height gain.
The Diez Vistas route, which translates as “10 views” in Spanish, offers numerous breathtaking panoramic views! Sasamat Lake and distant views of Vancouver and Burnaby are a few of these.
Also, the trip passes through lovely forests where wildlife is likely to be seen. You’ll finally return to Buntzen Lake after the stroll, where you may unwind on the beach & cool off in the water.
The Sendero Diez Vistas hike and Buntzen Lake are both one hour’s drive from Vancouver. Public transportation is another option for getting there. You are also welcome to bring your dog along for the hike.
3. West Vancouver’s Mount Strachan
In west Vancouver, Mount Strachan is near Cypress Mountain. The Cypress Ski Resort is comprised of three mountains, one of which is this one. The intermediate Strachan Mountain walk has a 550-meter elevation gain and the hike is 10.5 kilometers round way and will take about five and a half hours.
The hiking in Vancouver is lovely, but it also has some rough terrain and steep, strenuous climbs. Yet along the route, you’ll be treated to some breathtaking vistas of the Howe Sound, Garibaldi Provincial Park, as well as the surrounding mountain ranges; certainly one of the best hiking in Vancouver to experience.
Moreover, keep an eye out for the T-33 Jet wreckage from the Royal Canadian Navy. Even now, parts of the plane are still visible at the crash site.
The ideal hiking season is from July to October and the hike’s beginning is 45 minutes away by car from Vancouver, but there is no access to public transportation. Dogs can travel with you if they are on a leash.
4. Hiking in Vancouver at Trail of Dog Mountain
One of the best walks for hiking in Vancouver is the Dog Mountain path. One of the most well-liked hikes within Mount Seymour Provincial Park is this one. Its popularity is partly because it is a simple climb appropriate for hikers of all abilities.
If you like to trek with your dog, Dog Mountain is a great option! The roundtrip distance of this hike is five kilometres, with only a slight ascent.
You’ll pass lakes and other natural features on this beautiful journey, and you’ll also get spectacular views of metro Vancouver. Despite the trail’s simplicity, watch out for slick tree roots. If it has rained, the entire trail may also turn slick and muddy.
The best time to use this trail is between June & October, as snow, rain, & slush are likely to make it impassable the rest of the year; but, if it snows enough here in the winter, you can go snowshoeing. If you’re driving, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the hike’s beginning from Vancouver.
You may also attempt hiking the Mount Seymour peak trek while you’re nearby.
5. Bird Bluffs
Eagle Bluffs is a reasonably easy trek in West Vancouver’s Cypress Provincial Park and one of the best hiking in Vancouver. This hiking in Vancouver requires some intermediate-level climbing due to some steep terrain.
The hike will last around four hours in total, cover eight kilometres roundtrip, and climb 350 meters in height. Use the trailhead from Cypress Mountain’s downhill ski slope to reach Eagle Bluffs. The hike starts with a challenging ascent up the ski slopes of Cypress Mountain.
Then you will arrive at Cabin Lake. You can unwind a little bit and perhaps go swimming in the lake here.
From the lake to Eagle Bluffs’ top, the hike thereafter becomes more straightforward. Views of Vancouver, Lighthouse Park, & Horseshoe Bay are available from the peak. Those who want to watch birds will also love this hike. As you ascend, you will be able to see a variety of species.
6. Hiking in Vancouver at Crown Mountain Trekking
Part of the North Shore Mountains, Crown Mountain is situated in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and is visible from many locations in the Vancouver area. Avoid attempting this hike unless you are accustomed to harder hikes because it is fairly challenging.
It’s one of the best Vancouver trails to try, though, if you’re seeking a more difficult exercise. The round-trip duration of the hiking trail is between five to seven hours, and it is a little under 10 kilometers long.
The gain in height at Crown Mountain is 385 meters. You have two ways to reach Crown Peak. You can begin at Grouse Mountain or the entrance to Lynn Headwaters Park and use the gondola at Grouse to reach the peak.
The Grouse Grind is another route that will take you to the summit. It is only advised to do this in combination with the Crown Mountain trip if you are a very seasoned and active hiker, though, due to the difficulty of the climb.
The trailhead is located behind the Grouse bear enclosure; before you begin your climb, say hello to the bears that live there, Coola and Grinder.
Wildflowers abound throughout the hiking trail, and you’ll enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surroundings that include a distant view of Vancouver and the Capilano Watershed.
This hike is best attempted between July and October. During most of the year, the trail is heavily covered with snow. The trek may be reached from Vancouver in 30 to 40 minutes by car and can be reached by public transportation (to Grouse Mountain).
7. Lake Whyte
Another short hike in Vancouver West is the Whyte Lake route. A maximum of two hours is needed for the five-kilometer stroll and 160 meters of elevation are gained, which is not much. This beautiful trail travels alongside Nelson Creek through Western Cedar & Douglas Fir tree woodlands.
With 100-year-old trees and moss-covered bridges, the trail offers an old-world woodland vibe. All year long, dogs are welcome on this trail as long as they are on leashes. Whyte Lake Trail is only a 30-minute taxi ride from downtown Vancouver, despite the difficulty of using public transportation to get there.
8. Hiking in Vancouver at Mount Saint Mark
The Howe Sound Crest Trail includes the walk to Saint Mark’s Peak. This moderate hike lasts for roughly five hours. Follow along the Howe Sound Crest Trail sign to Cypress Mountain, where the hike begins close to the main ski lodge.
This is a beautiful hike with breathtaking vistas and plenty of wildlife to observe along the way, including many different kinds of birds and wildflowers.
The months of July through October are ideal for taking this hike and it’s a 45-minute drive from Vancouver, but there is no public transportation available.
9. Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park
Pacific Spirit Regional Park has some of the best and most well-liked trails for hiking in Vancouver The park is situated on Point Grey and has a total area of around 750 hectares.
There are straightforward hiking paths nearby with little elevation gain. There are lesser routes if you want to hike more quickly; the main trail is three hours long and ten kilometers long.
No matter which route you choose to take, you’ll come across a lot of beautiful woodlands full of wildlife and maple and cedar trees. In addition, you can ride a bike or a horse in the park. At the west end of the park, Wreck Beach is close by if you want to extend your visit.
The park is open all year, though the winter months can make the trails rather muddy. It takes between ten and twenty minutes to drive here from Downtown Vancouver, and you may also take public transportation. Pacific Spirit National Park is dog-friendly.
10. Hiking in Vancouver at Kennedy Falls and Big Cedar Trails
You’ll benefit from fewer tourists here because this challenging wilderness climb is one of the top hiking in Vancouver although it’s not particularly well-known. The five-hour hike is intermediate in difficulty.
It is ten kilometers long and hardly gains 150 meters in elevation at most. The terrain has a few sharp edges, and you can encounter muddy or slippery spots.
The big cedar tree is one of the trail’s most notable features. Almost 600 years old, this cedar tree is quite huge. Due to erosion at the tree’s roots, make careful to admire the tree from a distance. To reach Kennedy Falls, a waterfall where water cascades onto Kennedy Lake and Lynn Creek, continue on the walk.
11. Area of Conservation in Maplewood Flats
Mudflats, salt marshes, and highland habitats make up this 126-hectare conversation area. This short, easy hike has little elevation gain. It travels 2.5 kilometers in as little as 30 to 60 minutes.
The conservation area is administered by the British Columbia Wild Bird Trust and falls under the top list of the best hiking in Vancouver. Since the Maplewood Flats are home to more than 200 kinds of birds, it makes for a fantastic place to go bird-watching.
Other species that you might observe in this area are deer and river otters.
Another suggestion for wildlife photographers is this trek. If you want to see the Burrard Inlet and the surrounding area from a gorgeous vantage point.
The best hikes in Vancouver are Baden Powell Trail, Mark’s Summit, Sky Highway, Quarry rock hike, Dog mountain trail, Lynn Canyon Park, and Burnaby mountain trail.
Vancouver has a trek for everyone, whether you choose a leisurely and easy hike, a moderately difficult track, or an experienced hiker seeking something more strenuous.
Yet, there are a few things to take in mind when hiking in Vancouver and the first thing is to always check the forecast before leaving. Vancouver is subject to sudden rainstorms even in the summer.
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