5 advanced hikes for experienced adventurers around Metro Vancouver

Jul 9 2019, 10:49 pm

Get ready for OK Times with the Okanagan Spring Summer Pack.


With a challenge often comes a big reward, and in the case of these very difficult hiking trails it’s an incredible view from the top of a mountain and feeling of accomplishment. 

B.C.’s coastal mountain hikes offer some of the most spectacular views in the country, and one of the great things about Vancouver is that even though we all love the convenience and buzz of the city, an escape into nature is never that far off.

A few necessities about heading off on these advanced hikes include always telling a reliable person where you are going, when to expect you back, and to leave them with a detailed trip itinerary. Make sure you know your route and plan accordingly.

See also

Have a look at the comprehensive hiking safety guide put together by the North Shore Rescue. 

To ensure your safety and well-being when visiting parks, Parks Canada advises to stay on marked trails, abide by trail closure signs, and hike with a friend for increased safety. To avoid hazards, it recommends keeping a safe distance back from slopes, bluffs and river edges.

Here are five great advanced hikes for advanced adventurers:

Dilly Dally Loop, Belcarra

Dilly Dally Loop hike

Dilly Dally Loop hike/ Instagram/dalelatin

Starting at the Buntzen Lake parking lot, the Dilly Dally Loop is a challenging hike for experienced hikers. The 12-kilometre trail loops you around Eagle Mountain, Tangled Summit, and the Dilly Dally Peak, then takes you back down its abrupt descent to the parking lot.

Make sure you pack safety necessities and enough water to last you approximately 12 hours. Prepare yourself for some spectacular mountain views. 

Crown Mountain, North Vancouver

Crown Mountain in North Vancouver

Crown Mountain in North Vancouver / Instagram/Tara_Barlow

Located behind the Grouse Grind, Crown Mountain is a difficult hike both there and back. Starting with an immediate steep descent, the trail then leads upwards to the peak. Hike the Grouse Grind, BCMC Trail, or Hanes Valley first before starting your trip up Crown Mountain. Otherwise, the route can also be accessed by taking the Grouse Mountain Skyride.

With its jaw-dropping views of the Capilano Watershed, the Lions, the city of Vancouver, and other backcountry mountains, this hike is one you’ll never forget! 

The Lions, West Vancouver

The Lions hike

The Lions hike / Instagram/inspiredlarissa

The Lions provide one of the best views of any hike around Vancouver. However, the hike to The Lions is also one of the more challenging, and not recommended for beginners.

The Lions are the twin peaks that are seen from downtown Vancouver. They are also known as the Twin Sisters, and they have inspired the naming of the Lions Gate Bridge, the town of Lions Bay, and the BC Lions football team. The view from the Lions is truly spectacular, offering a panoramic view of Howe Sound and the Capilano Watershed down to the city of Vancouver.

Expect to be hiking for 7-9 hours along 16km of trails, a majority of them very steep, rocky, and snowy (even in July). I highly recommend hiking boots and microspikes. There are two ways to start this hike, one route from Lions Bay, up the Lions-Binkert Trail, and it’s also possible to hike to The Lions starting from Cypress Mountain Resort (that route has less elevation gain, but longer total distance). Once at the top of the ridge, you are at an elevation of about 1,566 meters. The West Lion summit has an elevation of 1,646 meters and The East Lion has an elevation of 1,606 meters. You can follow the trail to the West Lion, but as cautioned, it is not recommended to scramble the summit. The views are amazing here, and you’re not missing anything by not reaching the summit. 

Panorama Ridge, Whistler

Panorama Ridge in Whistler

Panorama Ridge in Whistler / Instagram / tara.explores

Embrace incredible viewpoints overlooking Garibaldi Lake with Black Tusk in the distance. To do this hike in a day, you have to start early and keep a steady pass as the route is about 30km, although could be a bit shorter if you decide to return via Taylor Meadows and not go to Garibaldi Lake.

The only really steep section is the final scramble up the rocks to the top. Pack tons of water and snacks, as there are very few options for drinking water along the trail. 

Harrison Grind, Agassiz

Harrison Grind hike

Harrison Grind / Instagram / michelle.szpunar

Harrison Grind is often compared to the North Shore’s popular Grouse Grind. Offering a scenic view of Harrison Lake, this 7-kilometre hike takes approximately six hours to complete the round trip.

Treat yourself afterwards to a soak at Harrison Hot Springs.