Here are the best hikes in Vancouver to do before winter arrives

Oct 22 2018, 9:49 pm

Whilst fall has been sticking around as long as possible, let’s face it — winter is well on its way. It is only a matter of time before we will be heading up to the slopes to snowboard, ski, or snowshoe, but there is still time to get in some hikes.

There are plenty of hikes that offer an easy stroll and a quiet escape from the city, or harder, gruelling hikes that lead you to spectacular viewpoints. There is really something for everyone.

Here we’ve rounded up some of our favourite hikes near Vancouver that are still accessible for the next few weeks before winter arrives.

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

Dog Mountain

 

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What: This hike is best done between the months of June to October, so you don’t have long to tackle this one. The view atop Dog Mountain is spectacular on a clear day, and you will pass by a beautiful lake and streams on your way to the top. This is a short, easy hike, but take care around slippery tree roots as they can be quite dangerous.

How long: 1.5 hours or 3 kms

Where: Mount Seymour, North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

Goldie Lake

 

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What: A perfect hike for families with young ones to explore, Goldie Lake is located atop Mount Seymour in a scenic forest setting. Before winter arrives and brings the rain and snow, take a leisurely walk through the forest which will lead you to this peaceful lake which is the perfect setting for a picnic lunch.

How long: 2 hours or 3 km

Where: Mount Seymour, North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

Mystery Lake

 

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What: Although most popular during the summer months as a spot for swimming and lazing around in the sun, Mystery Lake is a leisurely scenic walk if you are seeking a short adventure. It is a relatively easy walk due to its short distance, however you will need to take care around tree roots and loose rocks – particularly if it has been raining recently.

How long: 1.5 hours or 3 km

Where: Mount Seymour, North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

Eagle Bluffs

 

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What: Located on the rocky slopes above Eagle Harbour in West Vancouver, the Eagle Bluffs provide one of the best views of The Lions and Brunswick Mountain, as well as Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast.  Considered an intermediate level hike, it is truly worth it for the view on a clear day. Tackle this one before the winter sets in.

How long: 4 hours or 8 km

Where: Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

Get there: A 45-minute drive from Vancouver

Mount Strachan

 

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What: Mount Strachan is one of the three mountains that make up the Cypress Ski Resort area in West Vancouver, and on a clear day you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Howe Sound and backcountry mountains. You will also pass by the historical crash site of a Royal Canadian Navy T-33 Jet, where several pieces of the aircraft still are present today.

How long: 5.5 hours or 10.5 km

Where: Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

Get there: A 45-minute drive from Vancouver

St Mark’s Summit

 

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What: St Mark’s Summit has the reputation of being a local favourite due to its close proximity and accessibility from Downtown Vancouver. Part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail, this hike is considered intermediate-advanced level, so be prepared. It is worth it for the views you will get of the Howe Sound, the Tantalus Range, the Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island on a clear day.

How long: 5 hours or 11 km

Where: Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

Get there: A 45-minute drive from Vancouver

Hollyburn Mountain

 

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What: Hollyburn Mountain is the perfect hike if you want to escape from the city for half a day, offering great views of Vancouver, the Burrard Inlet, and The Lions from its peak. Do take note that the hike includes a steep incline, and you will need to keep watch for bears in the area — you will pass many bushes that are filled with berries that bears typically fill up on prior to hibernation season.

How long: 3.5 hours or 7 km

Where: Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

Get there: A 45-minute drive from Vancouver

Mount Cheam

 

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What: One of the most spectacular views in the Fraser Valley, this hike offers a panoramic view of Chilliwack, the Fraser River, Jones Lake, and Mount Baker. You will walk through a beautiful meadow, along a small creek, and a series of switchbacks. The unobstructed view from the peak of Mount Cheam is unbeatable.

How long: 4.5 hours or 9.5 km

Where: Chillwack

Get there: A one-hour drive from Vancouver – you will need a 4WD to make it to the trailhead.

Petgill Lake

 

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What: Try and find something more rewarding than a private, serene lake at the end of a long hike up a mountain and through the forest. Furthermore, just a 10 minute hike beyond Petgill lake is a 180 degree viewpoint that overlooks the Howe Sound, Mount Sedgwick, and the Tantalus Mountain Ranges.

How long: 6 hours or 11.5 km

Where: Murrin Lake Provincial Park on the Sea to Sky Highway

Get there: A 1-hour drive from Vancouver

Murrin Loop

 

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What: A short, but steep hike, the Quercus Viewpoint in Murrin Provincial Park will offer stunning views of the Howe Sound and nearby Browning Lake. Even though the distance is not far, it is considered an intermediate hike due to its steepness. The looped trail is best done in a counter-clockwise direction.

How long: 1.5 hours or 2 km

Where: Along the Sea to Sky Highway

Get there: A 1-hour drive from Vancouver

Panorama Ridge

 

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What: Quite possibly one of the most well-known viewpoints near Vancouver, this difficult hike offers a panoramic view of Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk, and the Helm Lake area. It is best completed over two days, camping overnight at either Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadows. This gruelling trek will lead you to one of the most iconic views in British Columbia on a clear day.

How long: 11 hours or 30 km

Where: Garibaldi Provincial Park

Get there: A 2-hour drive from Vancouver

Dam Mountain

 

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What: Located behind Grouse Mountain, Dam Mountain is a short hike into the backcountry, offering views of the surrounding mountains as well as Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet. Check this trail out before winter hits and the route becomes a snowshoeing trail – often referred to as the Snowshoe Grind.

How long: 2 hours or 5 km

Where: Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

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