We are doing our best to stay on top of all local trail closures and re-openings below. If you’d like some suggestions on where you currently CAN hike, please see our latest post here: Where to Hike during COVID-19 around Vancouver.
With British Columbians being asked to isolate as much as possible in the face of COVID-19, there have been conflicting messages about getting outdoors.
On the one hand, there is a viewpoint that no one should go outside unless absolutely necessary. To get food, for example. Whistler Search and Rescue recently made an appeal to ban all backcountry recreation.
On the other hand, getting outside in nature can be an important release valve to de-stress and can play an important role in our physical and mental wellbeing.
Some doctors have encouraged people to get into nature during this time, and with many businesses being shut down, it seems that more people may be flocking onto the trails. Michael Coyle, Search and Rescue Manager at Coquitlam SAR, had a thoughtful post about this on Reddit.
As the closures and the lockdown goes on, we will need something for people to do for their physical and mental well being. We cannot stay at home.Michael Coyle
Hiking will be a very valuable safety valve.
We’ll echo Michael’s sentiment, that getting into nature is an inherently good thing. But if you are going to go hiking right now, dial back the risk, as Michael says. We want to be doubly-sure we are not putting Search and Rescue teams in a situation where they need to do any more callouts than are necessary. They have to make tough decisions about the risk they want to subject themselves to, in order to save others.
That’s a tough position to put these incredible volunteers in.
Reduce your risks to near zero please. This is not the time for those challenging objectives. If you must climb, ski or ride, do so at well below your maximim please. The last thing we need is an unnecessary incident that exposes the team to each other, and stresses any medical resources associated.
In April, BC Search and Rescue put out the recommendation, that yes, you can still enjoy the outdoors – for now. But those people wanting to venture outside during the pandemic should maintain social distance, plan their hikes and take safety measures.
If you’re new to hiking, please be aware it has many risks, and it’s easier than you might think to get lost or injured on the trails. Even trails that are close to residential areas can quickly lead deep into the backcountry. Please read our hiking safety guidelines and be fully prepared for any outing.
At this time, whether you choose to get outside onto the trails is your personal choice. However, for those choosing to go on the trails, for your safety and the safety of others, please practice strict social distancing. This is the best way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
This means, go hiking with people that you live with. On the trails, stay at least two meters away from everyone else at all times. If hikes have things like ladders and ropes, avoid those hikes, as germs may live on those surfaces. And of course, continue to wash your hands frequently.
There are also many current closures in place, and more springing up all the time. So research your location before heading out. You may also want to choose hikes that aren’t typically busy. In our hiking trail database, you can use the search filter to search for hikes in your desired city, and select ‘moderate’ or ‘low’ for the ‘Trail Traffic’ filter.
Turn your wrap into a makeshift mask (instructions in video below). Right now, $3 from each sale of our multiwraps go to the Canada Helps COVID-19 Community Care Fund! So far, we raised over $800! ($1,600 with matched funds from Gore Mutual)! Thanks to everyone who bought a buff!
Order a buff here (They are back in stock!).
Current Park and Trail Closures around Vancouver
Last update: 19:26pm, May 31, 2020
Here are the current COVID-19 related park and trail closures that we are aware of. If you become aware of other closures (or re-openings), please email us at info [at] outdoorvancouver [dot] ca or comment at the bottom of this page. We will be updating this page as new trail closures are announced, or as trails reopen.
On May 14, BC Parks reopened many front- and back-country trails, beaches, picnic areas, washroom facilities and boat launches for day-use.
Locally, Golden Ears, Murrin Park, Alice Lake, Cultus Lake, Brandywine Falls, Pinecone-Burke, and Chilliwack Lake re-opened on May 14 for day-use only. Please note, there are restrictions in place to allow for physical distancing. For example, Golden Ears is restricting the number of cars that can enter the park daily. So just because these places are open, doesn’t mean you’ll be successful getting in over the long weekend. Check the specific park page on the BC Parks website for full details about each park.
Starting June 1 the following parks also reopened, with restrictions:
- Juan de Fuca
- the Kettle River Recreation Area
- Liard River Hot Springs
- Porteau Cove
- Mount Seymour
- Shannon Falls
- Nairn Falls
- Incl. other BC Parks…
- Visitor centres, nature houses and concession buildings may be opened on a case-by case basis.
- In some instances, facilities such as playgrounds, hot springs, halls, and picnic shelters will remain closed.
On June 1, BC Parks will re-opened most provincial campgrounds and back-country camping.
- To ensure physical distancing, you may notice some changes in campgrounds, including additional spacing between campsites and limitations on the number of guests in campgrounds.
- Some communal facilities such as shower buildings will open with enhanced cleaning protocols, while campgrounds that require visitors to use shared cooking facilities and backcountry cabins will remain closed.
However, some parks near Metro Vancouver will remain closed for now. This includes:
Local parks still closed until further notice include:
- Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park
- Callaghan Lake Provincial Park
- Duffey Lake Provincial Park
- Garibaldi Provincial Park
- Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
- Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park (Othello Tunnels)
Stawamus Chief Provincial Park is open, however the Chief Trail remains closed
Stanley Park – Closed to vehicle traffic.
- Quarry Rock– The trail is currently closed
- Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge – The bridge is currently closed
- Lynn Canyon parking lot
- Grouse Mountain – Closed. The gondola is not operational at this time, though you can hike up and down the BCMC Trail.
- Mount Fromme – Parking lot is closed.
- Panorama Park – Closed
- Deep Cove Park – Closed
- Cates Park – Closed
- Kilmer Park – Closed
Road closures and on-street parking restrictions
Effective April 10, no parking and/or temporary resident-only parking on these streets near popular parks and trails:
- Braemar/Dempsey area
- Mountain Highway/Coleman Street area
- Anne MacDonald Way/Old Buck area
- Cates Park/Dollarton
- Hyannis/Berkley area
These roads are restricted to local traffic only:
- Deep Cove Road
- Mt Seymour Road
- Panorama Drive at Gallant Avenue
- Indian River Drive at Inlet Crescent
Furthermore, Metro Vancouver has closed parking and vehicle access to Lynn Headwaters and the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve as of April 10. Those parks are still accessible to pedestrians.
Other restrictions in effect
Onstreet parking is restricted in these locations used for accessing mountain trails:
- Berkley Avenue, Hyannis Drive, Riverside Drive, Mountain Highway
- Riverside Drive North
- Mountain Highway, south of Coleman
- Woodlands, Indian River Drive – closed to public
- Dempsey Rd and Braemar Rd
See the latest from DNV here.
- The Chief Trail is closed.
- Sea To Sky Gondola – Phased reopening began May 22, starting with pass-holders and it is now operational. The Sea to Summit Trail remains closed.
- Brohm Lake – Day-use area is closed
- The Sea to Sky region is asking visitors to stay away during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Chilliwack & Mission
The following parks and facilities are closed until further notice:
- Cascade Falls Regional Park
- East Sector Lands
- Elk Mountain Trail
- Thompson Regional Park
- Village of Harrison Hot Springs Boat Launch
- All public washrooms in FVRD parks
- The Off-Leash Dog Park and Bike Parkat Island 22
- All FVRD community playgrounds
BC Hydro Recreation Sites
Buntzen Lake (Diez Vistas, and other trails in the Buntzen Lake Recreation Area) are now OPEN daily from 8am – 7pm. “The Buntzen Lake Trails and washrooms reopened on May 21 but the lake, beaches, dock, picnic areas and dog park remain closed.” One-way hiking trails will also be enforced.
Hayward Lake, Seton Lake and other BC Hydro Facilities remain closed. Read more on BC Hydro’s site.
Metro Vancouver Regional Parks
“The majority of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks are currently open.
We recognize that spending time in nature is an effective way to reduce stress and support physical and mental wellbeing and our goal is to continue to provide the Regional Parks service that is such an important part of so many peoples’ daily health routines.
However, all park facilities such as playgrounds, docks, rental facilities and picnic shelters are closed, and all programs and special events have been postponed. Several parking lots have also been closed.”
- Boundary Bay – Fully closed
- Brae Island Regional Park – Fully closed
- Barnston Island Regional Park – Fully closed
- Deas Island – Fully closed
- Delta Heritage Airpark – Parking lot closed
- Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – Parking and access road closed
- Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve – Parking and access road closed
See the latest from Metro Vancouver here.
BC Recreation Sites and Trails
RSTBC is temporarily closing recreation facilities and suspending services at many recreation sites and trails across BC. This includes some popular places like Cat Lake.
See here for a full list of closures.
Parks Canada has “temporarily suspend[ed] all visitor services in all national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across the country until further notice.”
All ski resorts, including Blackcomb Whistler, are closed across British Columbia for the season.
We hope that everyone is staying safe during these difficult days. For more information about the current best practices as they relate to COVID-19, please see the BC Centre for Disease Control website.