Hikes around Vancouver – Instructions
Each of the Vancouver hikes has a difficulty rating; either easy, moderate or difficult. Difficult hikes offer big climbs with lots of elevation gain and technical terrain, some requiring a full day’s effort. Generally, difficult hikes should not be undertaken by children or novice hikers. These are rated as ‘hikes’ and not ‘walks’ so even something rated as easy may have a few sections of challenging terrain.
Each hike has a link to a Google Map with driving directions from Vancouver. Many of these hikes are easily accessible via public transit as well.
Hike types. Most of the hikes are out-and-back hikes (you return on the same path as you took to the summit). Some hikes are a loop (you start and finish at the same location but with minimal re-tracing of your steps). And few others, like the Howe Sound Crest Trail, are point-to-point hikes (meaning your hike ends at a different location than where you started). For the out-and-back hikes, the distances offered for each hike are measured from the trailhead, to the summit, and then back to the trailhead. Distances, even when provided to a fraction of a kilometer, are only rough estimates.
The listed elevation gain is the simple math of the difference in the starting elevation and the summit, in meters. It is not a cumulative calculation of the total elevation gained during the hike. This means, in most cases, you may actually climb more than the listed elevation gain.
The completion times of the hikes are estimates and will, naturally, vary per individual, ability and weather conditions. Once you have done a few hikes from these guides, you can use them as a guideline to estimate your personal time to complete a hike. The times offered, however, are meant to be generous. Individuals with a lot of hiking experience and good fitness should be able to finish the hikes more quickly than the estimated times provided.
Each hike has a corresponding season when the trail is most likely to be in good condition. However, as the snowmelt can vary each year, these too, are estimates. It is best to confirm the current trail conditions before heading out.
The OV Rating is our subjective rating of how much we liked each of the hikes based on four factors: The variety of the terrain, the views, how crowded the trail is, and an overall ‘fun’ factor. This is score is debatable, so if you disagree with a rating please leave your own star rating at the bottom of each guide.
Each hike will indicate if dogs are allowed. If dogs are allowed, it does not necessarily mean that the trail is ‘dog-friendly’. Even though dogs might be allowed, it may be a bad idea to bring them on certain hikes (due to difficult sections, boulder fields, etc). This is up to each dog owner to research and determine in advance.
Each guide has a downloadable PDF version, so you can load the description onto your phone and take it with you – keeping in mind that it would be ridiculous to rely solely on a text description loaded onto your phone for navigation, and that the PDF would only be a supplement to carrying the 10 essentials.
While every care has been taken, there may be inaccuracies in these guides. It is your responsibility to hike within your limit and take all necessary safety precautions. Hiking is inherently dangerous. Do not underestimate how quickly you can get into remote and wild terrain. Please read the disclaimer for this site.
If at any point while reading these guides you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can easily be reached on Twitter (@outdoorvan) or on email (karl [at] outdoorvancouver [dot] ca). These guides are constantly being revised. If there’s anything you think that can be done to improve them, please let me know!
Most of the hikes are currently for the North Shore and Sea to Sky area, but I’m working to expand this list of hiking guides over time. This is a growing database so check back often and subscribe to the free monthly newsletter to be notified of new trails.
Vancouver Hiking Trail Guides
(If viewing on a mobile device, tap the “+” for more details)
|Trail Name||Nearest City||Distance||Time Needed||Elevation Gain||Difficulty||Best Time||OV Rating|
|Admiralty Point||Belcarra||6 km||2.5 Hours||50 m||Easy||Year-round||70.0%|
|Al's Habrich Ridge||Squamish||7 km||4 - 5 Hours||350 m||Moderate||July to October||83.0%|
|Black Mountain (Eagle Bluffs)||West Vancouver||9 km||4 Hours||320 m||Moderate||June to October||82.5%|
|Black Tusk, The||Whistler||28 km||9 - 11 Hours||1,750 m||Difficult||July to October||91.3%|
|Brandywine Falls||Whistler||1 km||1 Hour||Minimal||Easy||Year-round||67.5%|
|Bridal Veil Falls||Chilliwack||0.8 km||0.5 Hours||80 m||Easy||Year-round||69.0%|
|Brunswick Mountain||Lions Bay||14.5 km||7 Hours||1,550 m||Difficult||June to October||88.8%|
|Cascade Falls||Mission||0.75 km||0.5 Hours||40 m||Easy||Year-round||76.0%|
|Chief (Stawamus), The||Squamish||3 km - 4 km||3 - 6 Hours||500 m - 630 m||Moderate||March to November||72.5%|
|Cliff Falls (Kanaka Creek)||Maple Ridge||4 km||1.5 Hours||Minimal||Easy||Year-round||76%|
|Coliseum Mountain||North Shore||23.5 km||8 - 10 Hours||1245 m||Difficult||August to September||86.3%|
|Crooked Falls||Squamish||6 km||3 Hours||430 m||Moderate||Year-round||88.0%|
|Crown Mountain||North Shore||10 km||7 Hours||376 m||Difficult||July to September||82.5%|
|Crystal Falls||Coquitlam||6.5 km||2 Hours||75 m||Easy||Year-round||74.0%|
|Cypress Falls||North Shore||3 km||1.5 Hours||300 m||Easy||Year-round||72.5%|
|Dam Mountain||North Shore||5 km||2 Hours||264 m||Moderate||July to September||67.5%|
|Diez Vistas||Anmore||15 km||6 - 7 Hours||440 m||Difficult||Early spring to late fall||77.5%|
|Dog Mountain||North Shore||5 km||2 Hours||34 m||Moderate||May to October||69.0%|
|Dog Mountain (Winter)||North Shore||4.5 km||2 Hours||34 m||Easy||November to April||71.3%|
|Elfin Lakes||Squamish||22 km||6 Hours||600 m||Moderate||July to October||80.0%|
|Elfin Lakes (Winter)||Squamish||22 km||7 - 10 Hours||700 m||Difficult||November to July||75.0%|
|Garibaldi Lake||Whistler||18 km||7 Hours||810 m||Moderate||July to October||80.0%|
|Goat Mountain (& Ridge)||North Shore||11 km||5 - 7 Hours||275 m||Moderate||July to October||78.8%|
|Gold Creek Falls||Maple Ridge||5.6 km||2 Hours||80 m||Easy||Year-round||70.0%|
|Goldstream Trestle (& Niagara Falls)||Langford||3.5 km||2 Hours||90 m||Moderate||Year-round||76.3%|
|Hanes Valley||North Shore||18 km||7+ Hours||1,130 m||Difficult||July to September||82.5%|
|High Knoll||Coquitlam||6.5 km||2.5 Hours||140 m||Easy||Year Round||77.5%|
|Hollyburn Mountain (Winter)||North Shore||7.5 km||3 - 4 Hours||440 m||Moderate||November to May||73.8%|
|Howe Sound Crest Trail||North Shore||29 km||1 - 2 Days||1,830 m||Difficult||August to September||91.3%|
|Joffre Lakes||Pemberton||10 km||4 - 5 Hours||400 m||Moderate||June to September||78.8%|
|Jug Island Beach||Belcarra||5.5 km||2 Hours||85 m||Moderate||Year Round||72.5%|
|Kennedy Falls||North Shore||10 km||4 - 5 Hours||250 m||Moderate||Year Round||81.3%|
|Lighthouse Park||North Shore||3.3 km||2 Hours||Minimal||Easy||Year Round||77.5%|
|Lindeman Lake||Chilliwack||3.5 km||2 Hours||200 m||Moderate||May to October||80.0%|
|Lynn Lake||North Shore||22 km||8+ Hours||600 m||Difficult||June to October||72.5%|
|Lynn Peak||North Shore||8.8 km||4.5 Hours||731 m||Moderate||June to October||67.5%|
|Maplewood Flats||North Shore||3.5 km||1.5 Hours||Minimal||Easy||Year-round||69.0%|
|Mount Bishop||North Shore||30+ km||10+ Hours||1,270 m||Difficult||July to September||83.8%|
|Mount Elsay||North Shore||15 km||8 - 9 Hours||420 m||Difficult||July to October||86.3%|
|Mount Fromme||North Shore||11 km||5 Hours||850 m||Moderate||June to October||71.3%|
|Mount Gardner||Bowen Island||10 km||4 - 5 Hours||570 m||Moderate||Year Round||79.0%|
|Mount Seymour Trail||North Shore||9 km||5 Hours||450 m||Moderate||July to October||80.0%|
|Mount Strachan||North Shore||10.5 km||4 - 5 Hours||525 m||Moderate||July to October||88.0%|
|Murrun Park Loop||Squamish||2.4 km||1.5 Hours||160 m||Moderate||Year Round||80.0%|
|Mystery Lake||North Shore||3 km||1.5 Hours||140 m||Easy||July to October||78.0%|
|Nairn Falls||Pemberton||3 km||1.5 Hours||Minimal||Easy||Year Round||78.0%|
|Norvan Falls||North Shore||14 km||5 Hours||195 m||Moderate||Year Round||72.5%|
|Opal Cone||Squamish||35 km||10+ Hours||750 m||Difficult||July to September||90.0%|
|Panorama Ridge||Whistler||30 km||10 - 12 Hours||1,563 m||Difficult||July to October||86.3%|
|Petgill Lake||Squamish||11 km||6 Hours||630 m||Moderate||March - October||81.0%|
|Quarry Rock||North Shore||4 km||2 Hours||110 m||Easy||Year Round||69.0%|
|Rice Lake||North Shore||3 km||1 Hour||None||Easy||Year Round||68.8%|
|Sawblade Falls||Coquitlam||9 km||3.5 Hours||225 m||Easy||Year Round||81.0%|
|Snowshoe Grouse Grind (Winter)||North Shore||5.1 km||1 Hour||215 m||Moderate||November to April||68.8%|
|St. Mark's Summit||North Shore||11 km||5 Hours||460 m||Moderate||July to October||83.8%|
|Sea to Summit Trail||Squamish||8.9 km||2 - 4 Hours||835 m||Moderate||April to October||73.8%|
|Skookumchuck Narrows Trail||Sunshine Coast||8 km||2 Hours||Minimal||Easy||Year Round||76.3%|
|South Needle||North Shore||16 km||8 Hours||963 m||Difficult||July to October||85.0%|
|Swan Falls Loop||Anmore||18 km||8 - 10 Hours||1,150 m||Difficult||July to October||86.3%|
|Tunnel Bluffs||Lions Bay||8.5 km||4 - 5 Hours||650 m||Moderate||April to November||81.0%|
|Twin Falls||North Shore||1.3 km||1 Hour||60 m||Easy||Year-round||75.0%|
|Upper Shannon Falls||Squamish||5 km||4 Hours||450 m||Moderate||March to December||71.3%|
|Watersprite Lake||Squamish||17 km||7 Hours||665 m||Moderate||June to September||89.0%|
|Yak Peak||Hope||5.5 km||6 - 7 Hours||829 m||Difficult||July to October||87.5%|
|Yeo Point||Salt Spring Island||9.6 km||4 Hours||Minimal||Easy||Year Round||81.0%|
|Trail Name||Nearest City||Distance||Time Needed||Elevation Gain||Difficulty||Best Time||OV Rating|
Want a complete beginner’s guide to hiking in Vancouver? Grab the Great Hikes of Vancouver eBook for details on everything you need to know and guides for the top-ten must do hikes around the city.