Hikes around Vancouver – Instructions

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Click on any of the Vancouver hiking trails below (or the map above) for a detailed description of the hike including pictures, time needed, difficulty, directions, elevation gain, and more. You can also sort the table by any of the columns you wish. So if you are looking for a hike in a certain city, for example, you can sort by the location column.

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.

list of hikes in Vancouver

The sunrise in Garibaldi Provincial Park – A great hiking destination near Vancouver

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.

Happy hiking!


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%
Elk Mountain Chilliwack 8 km 4 Hours 770 m Moderate June to October 83.0%
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%
Ladner Creek Trestle Hope 2 km 1 Hour 80 m Moderate May to October 81.0%
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%
Mount Thurston Chilliwack 15 km 7 - 8 Hours 986 m Moderate June to October 81.0%
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.