Let’s be real, embarking on an adventure is easily one of the best ways to spend a day off in Vancouver. It doesn’t cost you a thing, you get to take in postcard-worthy views en route, and when you reach the top, plus you return home feeling downright accomplished.
Before you pack your sunscreen, bear spray (you can never be too cautious), water, and hiking fuel, take a look at the top five hikes that you can do in and around Vancouver.
Time: Six hours or 11 kilometres
Location: Drive one hour from downtown Vancouver, the hike starts and ends at the Shannon Falls parking lot, off the Sea To Sky Highway.
If you want to do a hike that feels more like an outdoor adventure course then the Chief is 100% worth your time. It’s the second biggest granite monolith in the world and the views at the top make every bit of the hike up ladders, chains, ropes, and boulders, worthwhile. Don’t forget to wear adequate hiking shoes!
Cheat note: If you don’t want to hike but still take in the epic vistas, you can take the easy option and ride the Sea To Sky Gondola.
Time: Five hours or 18 kilometres
Location: A one-hour and 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, the hike starts at the Rubble Creek parking lot south of Whistler.
This uphill hike will take you through alpine meadows and lush forest with several Instagram-worthy viewpoints along the way. Once you reach your trail destination you’ll find the breathtaking turquoise lake and melting glacier. There’s a hut where you can have lunch inside or outside admiring the incredible landscape. It’s recommended to do this hike in July.
Time: Four hours or nine kilometres
Location: Drive 40 minutes from Vancouver, take Highway #1 to the Lynn Canyon Exit and follow Lynn Valley Road northbound to reach the start of the trail in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.
Swap the bustle of the city for the challenging (and rewarding) Lynn Peak trail. It’s a North Vancouver hiking gem as it’s typically a lot less crowded than the nearby Grouse Grind. The trail will take you through a beautiful rainforest before leading you to the top where you’ll see views as far as the U.S, as well as Vancouver and Mount Seymour. Bring a packed lunch with you and have the ultimate dining experience with a view for days.
Time: Four hours or eight kilometres
Location: Drive 45 minutes from Vancouver along Highway #1 and head westbound to Exit #8 to Cypress Provincial Park. Access the trail from the Cypress Mountain Ski downhill ski area.
When you get to the base of the downhill skill area, follow the trail to Black Mountain to reach Eagle Bluffs. You’ll pass near Yew Lake which is a good point to reference on your map. After a series of uphill switchbacks, you’ll reach Cabin Lake where you can head to the Yew Lake viewpoint to check out stellar views of the Lions, Brunswick Mountain, as well as Bowen Island and the southern tip of the Sunshine Coast in the opposite direction. Continue on to Black Mountain and take a break for a scenic lunch you won’t forget.
Time: Six/seven hours or 15 kilometres
Location: Drive one hour from downtown Vancouver, or take the SkyTrain, and buses 169/160 and C26. Start at the Buntzen Lake parking lot in Port Moody.
Take in views of downtown Vancouver, Deep Cove, Indian Arm, as well as the many surrounding mountains during this challenging hike around Buntzen Lake in Port Moody. There are several lakeside beaches where you can go for a dip to cool off during or after your hike. Tip: Bring your camera because you’ll definitely want to take snaps along the way.
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