Hit the trails: 14 of the best intermediate hikes near Vancouver

Jun 13 2024, 4:00 pm

A hiker’s paradise awaits just outside the city, with plenty of lush trails to explore in all corners of the region, from the North Shore and Howe Sound to the Fraser Valley and the Tri-Cities.

We’ve recapped the best easy hikes in and around the city, but if you’re looking to up the ante a bit, we recommend tackling these 14 intermediate hikes near Vancouver.

While most of these will take up the majority of your afternoon, the views at the end will make it all worthwhile. So pack a lunch, lace up those hiking boots, and jumpstart your hiking season.

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.

North Shore

Brothers Creek Loop

 

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What: This scenic loop follows the peaceful sounds of Brothers Creek and travels through a beautiful forest filled with towering Western Red Cedars.

How long: 4 hours or 7 km

Where: The trailhead is located at the top of Millstream Road, West Vancouver

Get there: A 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Eagle Bluffs

What: The most popular route to access Eagle Bluffs is to travel from the downhill ski area of Cypress Mountain. Hikers will pass by some spectacular scenery along the way, including Cabin Lake and Black Mountain.

How long: 4 hours or 8 km

Where: Starts at the parking lot of the downhill ski area of Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

Get there: A 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Hollyburn Mountain

What: Discover some of the best views the region has to offer at the peak of Hollyburn Mountain, where hikers will be rewarded with unsurpassed views of Vancouver, Burrard Inlet, and the Lions just off in the distance.

How long: 3.5 hours or 7 km

Where: Begins at the cross-country skiing area of Cypress Mountain Resort, West Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Mount Fromme

 

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What: Take the trail less travelled at this spot located just east of Grouse Mountain. It follows the St. Georges and Peer Gynt trails before passing by the old Grouse Mountain Highway as it nears the top.

How long: 5 hours or 10 km

Where: Discover the trailhead at 4299 St. Georges Avenue, North Vancouver

Get there: A 25-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

St. Mark’s Summit

 

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What: This popular hike is part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail that spans over 30 km, travelling from Cypress to a point nestled along the picturesque Sea-to-Sky Highway near Porteau Cove. On a clear day, hikers will be blown away by the incredible views of Howe Sound from this vantage point.

How long: 5 hours or 11 km

Where: Starts from the Cypress Mountain parking lot, West Vancouver

Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Baden Powell

 

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What: Check out the eastern section of this trail, which travels from the quaint area of Deep Cove to the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. The route offers must-see views of Indian Arm, the Seymour River and Lynn Creek.

How long: 5 hours or 12 km

Where: The trailhead is located along Panorama Drive on the left and just past the park area, North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Mount Strachan

What: This trail has some challenging terrain, but it is well worth the hike once you get to the top. It offers breathtaking views of Howe Sound and the backcountry mountains, which can be seen as far north as Garibaldi Provincial Park.

How long: 5.5 hours or 10.5 km

Where: The hike to Mount Strachan starts off from the Cypress Mountain downhill ski area in West Vancouver

Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Howe Sound

Mount Crumpit

 

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What: Discover this gem just north of the Stawamus Chief hike in Squamish. It offers spectacular viewpoints of the region from every angle.

How long: 3.5 hours or 6 km

Where: Follow Westway Avenue until it turns into Cherry Drive. Then, a wooden sign will indicate the start of the trail, Squamish

Get there: An hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver

Fraser Valley

Abby Grind

 

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What: This trail is known as being an easier version of the Grouse Grind, although it still offers a great workout. The steep hike gains about 320 meters in 2 km. At the end, hikers can enjoy sweeping views looking southwest across Abbotsford.

How long: 1.5 hours or 4 km

Where: Find the trailhead near the Abbotsford Fish & Game Club in a gravel parking lot in Abbotsford

Get there: Just over an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver

Elk Mountain

 

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What: This hike leads to one of the most incredible views of the Fraser Valley the region has to offer. It’s a steady incline to the top, but hikers can breathe in that fresh mountain air and enjoy views of Chilliwack and Cultus Lake.

How long: 4 hours or 7 km

Where: Follow Elk View Road for about 8 km until you reach a gravel road that leads to a clearing where the trailhead is located, Chilliwack

Get there: About an hour and 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Vedder Ridge Trail

 

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What: The Vedder Ridge Trail has many uphill and downhill sections throughout the hike until you get to a short but steep section near the end. It offers beautiful views of Cultus Lake and the surrounding area.

How long: 3.5 hours or 9 km

Where: To reach the trailhead, travel along the Vedder Mountain Forest Service Road until you see the sign for Vedder Ridge, Chilliwack

Get there: About an hour and 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

Lindeman Lake

 

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What: A much less busy spot compared to the nearby Cultus Lake. The main hike in this area takes you to the serene Lindeman Lake and Greendrop Lake.

How long: 2 hours or 3.4 km

Where: Take Chilliwack Lake Road until the pavement turns to gravel, and you’ll see a sign for the Lindeman Lake trailhead, Chilliwack

Get there: Just over a two-hour drive from downtown Vancouver

Tri-Cities

Sendero Diez Vistas

 

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What: This trail received its name because it offers up to 10 different viewpoints of the Indian Arm and Buntzen Lake area throughout the hike.

How long: 6.5 hours or 15 km

Where: It starts from the north end of the main parking lot in the Buntzen Lake area near Port Moody

Get there: About an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver

Coquitlam Crunch

 

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What: Similar to the Abby Grind, this trail is a scaled-down version of the Grouse Grind. The steep urban trail is an awesome alternative to the Grouse Grind, and it still offers an intense workout session.

How long: 1.5 hours or 4.5 km

Where: Travel along Lansdowne Drive until you reach a clearing that leads onto a gravel road and into a large parking lot, Coquitlam

Get there: About a 40-minute drive from downtown Vancouver

This piece was originally published in 2021 and has been updated
Meagan GillMeagan Gill

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