Cassy Midkiff is originally from the Okanagan but has been a Vancouverite since 2011. She has a BA from SFU in Communications and Creative Writing. Cassy is obsessed with language and loves to go on outdoor and urban adventures. You can follow her on Instagram at @cassymidkiff.
We’ve had quite the winter this year in Vancouver, but with the worst of the weather now behind us (hopefully) Vancouverites can look forward to longer days and sunny trail runs through our coastal mountains.
Here is a list to get you started on your season, whether you’re just starting out or re-joining the trail running circuit.
By veering off from Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, you can make your way on to this relatively easy 5 km round trip trail will take you to the viewpoint at Prospect Point. This trail does steadily climb upwards from the lagoon, offering a light challenge in the 2 – 3 km journey towards the gorgeous views overlooking the ocean and North Shore.
This 5 km trail is a great starting trail for beginner runners looking to expand into the wilderness. This well marked trail fittingly follows a loop around Lynn Creek in the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. The Lynn Loop provides beautiful North Shore mountain forest scenery along your nicely groomed path, and is a great way to get into or back in to the trail running season.
Open all year round for trail running enthusiasts, this 15 km trail begins near Park Royal Mall, taking you past Capilano Suspension Bridge and ends with breathtaking views atop the Cleveland Dam. Following along the Capilano River, you can start this trail from Ambleside Beach by travelling east towards Park Royal Mall, continuing along the backside of the mall. After a short distance, you will see a sign for the Capilano Pacific Trail on your left, which will take you up to Keith Road, where you will hang a right and shortly hit a dirt and gravel road heading under the Trans-Canada Highway that will lead you the rest of the way.
A 15km trail with 460 m in elevation gain, this aptly named trail will provide some breathtaking viewpoints. The trail begins from the North end of the Buntzen Lake parking lot, by following the Buntzen Lake Trail south over a floating bridge which will lead you to the Diez Vistas signage. While scaling this trail, runners can expect views of Sasamat Lake, downtown Vancouver, Indian Arm, and various Mount Seymour peaks to name a few.
A beautiful waterfall waiting for you at the peak can provide quite the motivation to traverse this 14 km round trip trail. This route starts where the Lynn Loop does and after around 4 km, you’ll continue your path along the Headwaters Trail to make your way to the falls where you can soak in the scenery before heading back on your run.
A great, less tourist crowded alternative to the Grouse Grind, this trail is 3 km one way and begins and ends where the Grind does. This trail is also a great route if you would like a more rugged alternative to taking the gondola back down the mountain after completing the Grind. Just after you enter the Grouse Grind there is a fork in the trail that can take you to the right, towards the Baden Powell Trail. A few minutes in to this trail you will see signage to the left directing you towards the BCMC trail, leading you up the steep climb.
This extremely steep and challenging trail is 16 km with 1320 m of elevation gain and will leave runners on their hands and knees crawling over large boulders. This day long, but gorgeous challenge is not for the light of heart and does take planning and preparation as it begins at the Lynn Creek crossing in Lynn Headwaters and ends at the summit of Grouse Mountain.
Before you get running make sure to check out the North Shore Search and Rescue’s top ten essentials to bring on the trails with you to make sure you’re always prepared for any situation.