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Health & Fitness, Life

17 easy winter hikes for lazy people in Vancouver

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DH Vancouver Staff Jan 18, 2017 1:42 am 8,949

Vancouver – it’s time to come out of hibernation. We know, your duvet is your best friend. But we live in a beautiful city – how can you resist?

And we can think of no better way to enjoy a refreshing (OK rainy) winter day, than wandering in the woods and breathing that fresh mountain air.

So here are 17 of the easiest hikes in and around Vancouver, that even the laziest among us can enjoy this winter. Happy hiking!

For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from North Shore Rescue and AdventureSmart.

In Vancouver

Iona Beach Regional Park

What: This hike follows a long, narrow beach and grass area along the mouth of the Fraser River, offering views of the Georgia Strait and a dramatic descent into hundreds of logs washed up along the shoreline.

How long: 1.5 hours or 6 km

Where: Starts and ends at the parking lot off Iona Island Causeway, Vancouver

Get there: A 35-minute drive from downtown Vancouver.

Foreshore Trail

What: This trail through Pacific Spirit Regional Park passes through Vancouver’s famously nudist Wreck Beach. Along the way, you’ll enjoy scenic views and see an old WWII tower designed to warn Vancouver of impending attack. Note that more than half of the trail follows the beach, which is rocky, slippery, and can be challenging during high tides.

How long: 3 hours or 5 km

Where: Starts and ends at the Acadia Beach parking lot on NW Marine Drive, just past Pacific Spirit Regional Park – UBC, Vancouver

Get there: A 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, or take bus 44.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park in the mist (Zhenwang Wang/Shutterstock)

Stanley Park in the mist (Zhenwang Wang/Shutterstock)

What: The quintessential Vancouver hike through a beautiful urban park. Stanley Park is full of many networks of trails for both cycling and hiking. Venture into the forest to find Beaver Lake, and watch out for over-friendly raccoons!

How long: 2 hours or 6.5 km

Where: Starts near the Rose Garden and loops back around – Stanley Park, Vancouver

Get there: A 10-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, or take bus 19.

Pacific Spirit Regional Park

What: Pacific Spirit Regional Park offers a huge network of easy trails in an oasis of green forest, trickling creeks and muddy bogs in Vancouver’s South Endowment Lands. Watch out for dog walkers on the trails as you flex your legs in the forest.

How long: 3 hours or 10 km

Where: Starts and ends at the park entrance on 16th Avenue next to Camosun Park, Vancouver

Get there: A 10-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, or take the Skytrain then one of several buses to reach the park entrance

North Shore

Maplewood Flats

Purple Martins at the Maplewood Flats (John Lowman/Wild Bird trust of BC)

Purple Martins at the Maplewood Flats (John Lowman/Wild Bird trust of BC)

What: The trail through Maplewood Flats Conservation Area offers picnic tables, scenic views, and rocky terrain. Managed by the Wild Bird Trust of BC, it is also a popular bird watching park – look out for the more than 200 species of birds spotted in the area annually.

How long: 45 minutes or 2.5 km

Where: Starts and ends in the Maplewood Flats parking lot off the Dollarton Highway in North Vancouver.

Get there: A 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver or take buses 209 then 212.

Whyte Lake

What: Whyte Lake Park is a small, peaceful lake in the hills above Horseshoe Bay, in the largest park in West Vancouver. The trail to the lake is surrounded by wetlands, creeks and old-growth forest and ends at a small lakeside dock. Watch out for snow on the boardwalks.

How long: 2 hours or 5 km

Where: Starts and ends at the metal gate in the gravel parking area just off Westport Road, off Woodgreen Drive, in West Vancouver.

Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver.

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver (JamesChen/Shutterstock)

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver (JamesChen/Shutterstock)

What: Lots of short, easy trails offering breathtaking ocean views, huge, old-growth Western Red Cedars and the picturesque picnic spot of Starboat Cove.

How long: Up to 2 hours or 6 km

Where: Starts and ends at Lighthouse Park parking lot – Beacon Lane, West Vancouver.

Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown, or take bus 250 all the way there instead.

Cypress Falls

Cypress Falls #cypressfalls #waterfall #snow #ice #icicles #hiking #winterfun #bc #explorebc #westvancouver

A photo posted by Neil Privett (@neilpriv) on 

What: This easy hike takes you along Cypress Creek, through forests of moss-covered, old-growth trees, past views of two gorgeous waterfalls as they pour into the canyon below.

How long: 1.5 hours or 3 km

Where: Trail starts and ends at Cypress Falls Park – Woodgreen Place, West Vancouver.

Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown, or take bus 253 Caufield all the way there instead.

Twin Falls

What: Twin Falls are on the Baden Powell Trail, near Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. They’re easy to get to and there’s a wooden bridge viewing platform, which gets pretty busy in the summer.

How long: 20 minutes or 1 km

Where: East of the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.

Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, or take the Seabus plus bus 228 instead.

Whytecliff Park

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver (Taylor McColl/Shutterstock)

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver (Taylor McColl/Shutterstock)

What: This park in West Vancouver boasts spectacular views of Howe Sound, a myriad of easy trails weaving through the forest, plus a beach, island area and chance to go scuba diving.

How long: 1.5 hours or 2 km

Where: Starts and ends at the top of the overflow parking lot off Marine Drive near Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver

Get there: A 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver.

Capilano Pacific Trail

What: This trail follows the Capilano River, taking you from pavement, rocky shores and beaches past steep cliffs and through thick rainforest to the imposing Cleveland Dam. Recommended all year round.

How long: 2 hours or 7.5 km

Where: Starts at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, finishes at the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver.

Get there: A 15-minute drive from downtown, or take bus 250 or 251 to a stop nearby instead.

Capilano Canyon

What: This trail offers beautiful views of Grouse Mountain and the Lions in the distance, as you walk through hemlock and fir trees, and clamber over tree roots surrounded by rainforest. You can also stop at an interpretive salmon hatchery on the way.

How long: 1 hour or 2.6 km

Where: Starts and ends at Cleveland Dam off Capilano Road, North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown, or take the Seabus across to North Vancouver then bus 236.

Lynn Loop

What: Enjoy a forest hike among Cedar and Hemlock trees, with views of Vancouver Island and some of the Gulf Islands, then stroll back along the gushing waters of Lynn Creek.

How long: 1.5 hours or 5.1 km

Where: Starts and ends in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver.

Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, or take the Seabus across to North Vancouver, then bus 228.

Quarry Rock

What: A classic North Shore hike, up wooden stairs, over tree roots and small creeks, among Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees, to a rocky outcrop and beautiful views of Deep Cove. Recommended all year round.

How long: 1.5 hours or 3.8 km

Where: Starts and ends at the Baden Powell Trailhead – Panorama Drive, Deep Cove.

Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown, or take the Seabus plus buses 239 then 212 instead.

Rice Lake

What: This is a calm, quiet lake, full of life and natural beauty, on the edge of the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver. There are several viewpoints and trails around the lake with benches to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area.

How long: 1 hour or 3 km

Where: Starts and ends at the  parking lot north of Capilano College, on Lillooet Road in North Vancouver

Get there: About 40 minutes’ drive from downtown Vancouver, or take the Seabus across to North Vancouver then bus 228

Bowen Island

Killarney Lake

What: This is a scenic hiking trail around Killarney Lake on Bowen Island. Along the way, you’ll meander through lush forest of hemlock, and past a marsh of eerie looking stumps of cedars, as well as enjoy lakeside views of the wintry waters.

How long: 2 hours or 9 km

Where: Starts and ends at the ferry terminal at Snug Cove, Bowen Island

Get there: A 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay, then a 20-minute ferry to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.

Dorman Point

🏔☀️

A photo posted by Susanna Killander♀ (@skillander) on


What: A pretty, steep, but quick hike on Bowen Island, offering beautiful views looking out over Howe Sound. This can easily be combined with the hike around Killarney Lake.

How long: 1 hour or 2.5 km

Where: Starts and ends at the ferry terminal at Snug Cove, Bowen Island

Get there: A 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay, then a 20-minute ferry to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.

See also

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DH Vancouver Staff
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