No excuses: the best hikes for lazy people in Vancouver

Apr 11 2022, 4:15 pm

With winter finally behind us, we can come out of hibernation and start exploring our beautiful city.

There’s no better way to enjoy the refreshing spring weather than by wandering into the woods and breathing in some fresh mountain air.

So, here are 14 of the easiest hikes in Vancouver that even the laziest among us can master. 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

Iona Beach Regional Park/Vancouver Trails

What: This hike follows a long, narrow beach and a grassed area along with the mouth of the Fraser River, offering views of the Georgia Strait and 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

Foreshore Trail/Vancouver Trails

What: This trail through Pacific Spirit Regional Park passes through Vancouver’s famous nudist Wreck Beach. Along the way, you’ll enjoy scenic views and see an old WWII tower designed to warn Vancouver of an 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/Vancouver Trails

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)

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 – lookout 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 and 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.

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)


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.

Cypress Falls

Cypress Falls/Vancouver Trails

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 the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge –  they’re easy to get to and there’s a wooden bridge viewing platform, which can get 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 followed by bus 228.

Whytecliff Park

Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver (Taylor McColl/Shutterstock)

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 a chance to scuba dive.

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 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.

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 and 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, before strolling 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 and then bus 228.

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 a 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, or take the Seabus across to North Vancouver and then bus 228.

Trails we hope reopen soon

Unprecedented rainfall in November 2021 and COVID-19 have led to the closure of some once-popular trails. These ones are currently closed, but keep an eye out for reopening updates.

Closed: Capilano Pacific Trail

Capilano Pacific Trail/Vancouver Trails

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

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.

Closed: Quarry Rock

may 12

Vancouver Skyline (inacioluc/Shutterstock)

What: A beginner friendly walk through the forest to a gorgeous lookout spot atop Deep Cove.

How long: About an hour and a half roundtrip

Where: The trailhead is in Deep Cove along Panorama Drive

Get there: A half-hour drive from downtown, or take the 211 bus.


DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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