Hit The Trails This Summer With 16 Of The Best Hikes Near Vancouver

May 18, 2021 - 11 minutes read

Whether you’re beginner, intermediate or advanced, we’ve got you covered for the best hikes in Vancouver.

It’s no secret that the hiking in Vancouver is spectacular, and these trails are definitely no exception. From the Fraser Valley to the North Shore to Garibaldi, we’ve compiled some of the best and most beautiful hikes within a three-hour drive of central Vancouver so you can get outside this summer and explore your city.

While some of these hikes are short and sweet, others may take up the majority of your day so make sure you’re prepared for the trek and always let someone know where you’re going before you head out.

*Please note that some of these hike may be closed or require advanced booking due to COVID-19. 

Easy hikes near Vancouver:

Intermediate hikes near Vancouver:

Difficult hikes near Vancouver:

Easy Hikes

Relatively short and easy hikes that still offer great views and a good workout.

Lighthouse Park

1. Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver

A very easy trek to some breathtaking views of downtown Vancouver, this hike can easily be done in a couple hours and boasts a number of great viewpoints along the way. Grab a trail map at the head of the trail to plan your route before you head in.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 hours (up to 6km)
Where: The trailhead is located at the end of Beacon Lane in West Vancouver.

2. Quarry Rock, Deep Cove

A very popular hike on the North Shore, Quarry Rock is an easy hike with minimal elevation up to the beautiful scenic landscape of Deep Cove. This hike can get very busy so be sure to get out there and grab a parking spot early in the day (and, of course, stop for a snack at Honey Doughnuts before you head home).

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1.5 hours (3.8km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at the end of Panorama Drive in Deep Cove.

Dog Mountain

3. Dog Mountain, Mount Seymour

The Dog Mountain trail is very well travelled and can be done throughout the year with hiking boots or snowshoes and offers one of the best views of downtown Vancouver for the least amount of hiking; and, of course, it’s dog friendly!

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 hours (5km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at the top of Mount Seymour in North Vancouver.

Related: 8 Tips For Hiking In Vancouver

Intermediate Hikes

More challenging terrain to higher summits and higher heart rates.

Hollyburn Mountain

4. Hollyburn Mountain, Cypress Mountain

The 360 degree view at the peak of Hollyburn will simply blow you away on a clear day (but don’t forget your bug spray). With ample space to roam around and take photos at the top, the entire length of this hike is incredibly picturesque.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 3.5 hours (7km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at the cross-country skiing area of Cypress Mountain.

5. Eagle Bluffs, Cypress Mountain

Don’t let the initial uphill scare you off; while the first leg of this trail is a steep climb across large gravel, the rewarding view of the city and surrounding islands make the trudge entirely worth it. Don’t forget to stop at Cabin Lake along the way for a quick dip!

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 4 hours (8km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at the downhill ski area of Cypress Mountain.

6. Joffre Lakes, Mt. Currie

Joffre Lakes is one of the most beautiful hikes in BC and is also one of the easier regions to access, as compared with other alpine lakes in the area. The turquoise green water against the mountainous backsplash is a stunning sight to see, but be warned – this trail can get very busy on sunny weekends so get there early to avoid the crowds.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 4 hours (8km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at the Joffree Lakes parking lot in Mt. Currie.

St. Mark's Summit

7. St. Mark’s Summit, Cypress Mountain

If a gorgeous view of Howe Sound is what you’re after, you can’t find much better than that at the peak of St. Mark’s Summit. Though it’s a rocky trail that can get a bit muddy after a rain spell, this hike is well worth putting on your bucket list.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 5 hours (11km)
Where: The trailhead is located at the downhill ski area of Cypress Mountain.

8. Sendero Diez Vistas, Port Moody

Diez Vistas is perfectly named as the trail boasts 10 beautiful spots to view Buntzen Lake and the surrounding areas (though we’ve always struggled to find #3…). With a challenging but doable slope leading up to the cluster of viewpoints, Diez Vistas can be done as a full 15km loop or as an out-and-back after the first few vistas if you’re short on time.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 6-7 hours (15km loop)
Where: The trailhead is located at the Buntzen Lake parking lot in Port Moody.

Camping at Black Tusk - Garibaldi Lake

9. Garibaldi Lake, Whistler

After about 6km of hiking up a very well maintained path of switchbacks, you reach a junction to head left to Taylor Meadows or right to the beautiful turquoise lake you see above. Spend the day here and bring your bathing suit for a cold dip before you head back.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 5 hours (18km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at the Rubble Creek parking lot off Highway #1.

The Chief

10. Stawamus Chief, Squamish

A staple hike for Vancouverites, the Chief has become it’s own right-of-passage for hikers in the area. Choose your route up the mountain to check out one, two or all three peaks, and feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment as you look out over that beautiful blue water.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 6 hours (11km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located just past Shannon Falls off Highway #1.

11. Sea To Summit Trail, Squamish

Sure you could take the gondola to the top, but the beer at the summit lodge tastes so much better when you’ve chosen to hike this trail instead. Wave to the people in the tram as you scale the chained sections, and test out your fear of heights on the suspension bridge across the mountain.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 3.5 hours (7.5km one-way)
Where: The trailhead is located at the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish.

Challenging Hikes

Longer and tougher hikes to phenomenal views.

Goat Mountain

12. BCMC to Goat Mountain, Grouse Mountain

Make the Goat Mountain hike longer and more challenging by starting your trek with the BCMC; the less congested sister trail to the Grouse Grind. Continue your way to the top of Goat Mountain to find stunning views of Vancouver, the surrounding mountains and Mt. Baker in the far distance.

Difficulty: Challenging
Time: 6 hours (10km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located near the sky-ride at the base of Grouse Mountain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

13. The Binkert Lions, Lions Bay

The Lions are a scenic staple in Vancouver but a bit of a challenge to reach. Routing through three very distinct terrains, this 8 hour out-and-back hike is one of the tougher treks in the city but if you can make it to the top, the view won’t disappoint.

Difficulty: Difficult
Time: 8 hours (16km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at Sunset Drive in Lions Bay.

14. Brunswick Mountain, Lions Bay

The sister peak to the Lions, the trail to Brunswick Mountain includes some steep terrain and a few points of scrambling up loose scree. One of the tallest peaks on the North Shore, this mountain boasts a gorgeous view in all directions.

Difficulty: Difficult
Time: 8 hours (15km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at Sunset Drive in Lions Bay.

15. Elfin Lakes, Squamish-Lillooet

If you’re looking for a stunning hike up to a mountain lake with the option to camp overnight, look no further than Elfin Lakes. Just remember to bring your water purifier and your bear spray!

Difficulty: Difficult
Time: 6 hours (22km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located in the parking lot at the end of Mamquam Road in Squamish.

Black Tusk

16. Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge, Squamish-Lillooet

Depending on your hiking ability and eagerness to reach the stunning view above, you can hike Black Tusk in a day; however, it will be a very long day as the start-to-finish route measures 29kms. If you prefer to camp overnight, both Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake are incredible spots to set up your tent (but don’t forget your backcountry camping permit).

Difficulty: Difficult
Time: 11 hours (29km out-and-back)
Where: The trailhead is located at the Rubble Creek parking lot off Highway #1.

Related: How To Camp At Black Tusk And Panorama Ridge