Hiking and nature walking is one of the easiest and most picturesque ways of experiencing the wonders of Vancouver’s natural beauty. From rushing waterfalls, lush rainforests and dramatic views of the mountains and city, there are plenty of hiking trails only a short distance from downtown Vancouver that explorers can discover at their own pace. Hikers wanting a guided experience can book a tour through companies like Yervana, an outdoor adventure platform offering guided hikes led by locals who are skilled in navigating the local trails, and passionate about sharing their love for the great outdoors. Here are five of the best hiking trails near Vancouver you can add to your list.
QUARRY ROCK, DEEP COVE, NORTH VANCOUVER
Located in North Vancouver’s district of Deep Cove, this scenic hike is also part of the easternmost section of the Baden Powell Trail. The terrain is densely wooded areas of native Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees, with the freshest coastal mountain air guiding you up to the panoramic view point of the Indian Arm and mountain range around Belcarra.
Length: 3.8km roundtrip | Duration: 1.5 hours | Elevation Gain: 100m | Difficulty: Easy
The North Shore Lynn Loop is based in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver. The area offers many hiking trails from short trails to full day hikes, with Lynn Loop being one of the prized trails. It is a short trail that takes you up through the dense forested areas before looping back along the rushing waters of Lynn Creek. Be sure to visit the Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge when you’re in the park. The bridge was built as a private venture in 1912 and stands 50 meters high above the bottom of the canyon
Length: 5.1km roundtrip | Duration: 1.5 hours | Elevation Gain: 160m | Difficulty: Easy
Nicknamed ‘Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,’ this trail is carved up the side of Grouse Mountain via 2,830 stairs. Open seasonally, this is a hike renowned for its challenge in requiring physical strength and endurance. This challenging vertical climb offers an extra rewarding summit viewpoint with panoramic views overlooking North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver. Hikers can take in the views from Altitudes Bistro, which offers a selection of share dishes to pair with a frosty pint of craft beer or a glass of local BC wine. While hiking up is free, you’ll need to purchase a gondola download ticket for $15.00 (per person) from the Alpine Guest Services desk.
Length: 2.9km | Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours | Elevation Gain: 853m | Difficulty: Difficult
Lighthouse Park is one of Vancouver’s most scenic parks, with views of the Pacific Ocean and the city as a backdrop. There are a variety of trails, but the easiest view point is a short 10 minute walk from the parking lot via the wide trail. You’ll find a picnic area with tables, and to the right, a path that leads to a rocky outcrop that provides views of the lighthouse just over the tree line.
Length: up to 6 km | Duration: 2 hours | Elevation Gain: minimal | Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
DOG MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Dog Mountain Trail begins at Seymour Mountain on the north shore. This easy hike offers panoramic views of Vancouver, beginning at the parking lot of Seymour Mountain, following the BC Parks sign. While the trail is a shorter 5 km round trip with minimal elevation gain, the trail can be slippery with the exposed tree roots; therefore it does require careful steps along many of the sections. As you near the Peak of Dog Mountain, and make your way out of the forested areas, you’ll begin to see views of North Vancouver, and the downtown area in the distance. Pack a lunch and take in the spectacular views before heading back down the trail.
Length: 5km roundtrip | Duration: 2 hours | Elevation Gain: minimal | Difficulty: Easy/Moderate