OK so you’ve done all the 17 easy winter hikes for lazy people in Vancouver – and you’re looking for more of a challenge? Have we got some hikes for you.
From snowy waterfalls in old-growth forest, to spectacular views from island mountains, you’re sure to find inspiration here to get your hike on.
So here are nine scenic hikes in and around Vancouver, all rated at least intermediate in difficulty, all open year-round. 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.
What: This hike will have you clambering over streams, tree roots and rubble as you make your way through groves of old-growth Cedar – but it’s all worth it when you get to the falls.
How long: 5 hours or 14 km
Where: Starts and ends at the parking lot of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.
Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown, or take the Seabus plus bus 228 instead.
What: A rugged hike into the backcountry, across roots, creeks and fallen trees, past an old-growth cedar, with several trees growing on it, and ending at a spectacular waterfall.
How long: 5 hours or 10 km
Where: Starts and ends at the top of Mountain Highway.
Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown, or take bus 210 instead.
What: This route hugs the North Shore’s steep mountain slopes, taking you through scenic forests and over several creeks – with quite a lot of stairs and uphill sections.
How long: 5 hours or 10 km
Where: Starts at a steep set of stairs between the main and overflow parking area in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and ends at the base of Grouse Mountain.
Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, or take the SeaBus plus bus 228 instead. Get home from Grouse on bus 236 plus the SeaBus.
What: This hike begins with a walk up to Quarry Rock, offering sweeping views of Deep Cove and Indian Arm, then continues onto lush forest, scenic canyons and waterfall views.
How long: 5 hours or 12 km
Where: Starts at the Baden Powell Trailhead on Panorama Drive in Deep Cove and ends at Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.
Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown, or take the SeaBus plus buses 229 then 212 instead. From Lynn Canyon, take bus 229 then the SeaBus.
What: This hike on Bowen Island takes you through a meadow to Killarney Lake and up a steep forested trail to spectacular viewpoints overlooking the Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver, and Burrard Inlet.
How long: 7 hours or 17 km
Where: Starts and ends at the ferry terminal at Snug Cove, Bowen Island
Get there: A 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay, then a 20-minute ferry to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.
What: This hike takes you through a moss-covered forest to a beach facing Jug Island, a tiny, gorgeous and inaccessible island just off the northern tip of Belcarra Regional Park. You’ll also be able to enjoy good views of Indian Arm and eagle and seal sightings.
How long: 2.5 hours or 5.5 km
Where: Starts and ends at the parking lot of Belcarra Regional Park – off Bedwell Bay Road, near Belcarra
Get there: A 1-hour drive from downtown Vancouver, or take the SkyTrain to Port Moody, then bus C26 to Belcarra.
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What: This steep trail is sometimes referred to as Burnaby’s [Grouse] Grind and requires hikers to walk up more than 500 wooden stairs. As a result, it gets an “intermediate” rating.
How long: An hour or 3 km
Where: Starts at the northeast corner of the Velodrome near the Barnet Road and finishes at the Japanese totem poles near Horizon Restaurant – Burnaby
Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, or take bus 160 direct to the Velodrome
What: This steep hike up Mount Thom in Chilliwack offers a scenic view of Cultus Lake and the Fraser Valley. Expect a steep hike which climbs steadily upwards, on both switchbacks and long stretches of trail wrapping around the mountain.
How long: 2.5 hours or 10 km
Where: Starts and ends at Sylvan Drive – Promontory neighbourhood, Chilliwack
Get there: A 1 hour 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver.
What: Swan Falls, near Buntzen Lake in Anmore, are reached by a steep, intermediate hike around the lake. Not only will you get a gorgeous view of the waterfall from below, you’ll also be able to reach the bluffs near the top of the falls too.
How long: 3.5 hours or 10 km
Where: Trail starts and ends at the dog off-leash area in the Buntzen Lake Recreation Area parking lot, off Sunnyside Road in Anmore, north of Port Moody.
Get there: A one-hour drive from downtown Vancouver.