Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Summer has officially struck, forcing freezing temperatures, Christmas ornaments, and hot chocolate to officially retreat back to the winter months. Shorts have replaced sweatpants, the sun has begun to make more common appearances and the omnipresent spirit of ‘School’ is packing up its bags. As we have currently resorted back to a more sedentary lifestyle, what better way to embrace the warmer weather than to appraise the best hikes that Vancouver has to offer. Being outdoors and taking advantage of the weather is a perfect activity to partake in with friends, family, or just with your dog. Embracing the outdoors also grants the opportunity to catch up with friends while abiding by Dr. Henry’s protocols and guidelines. This summer, replace absent-mindedly dreaming of palm trees and temperatures over 20 degrees with exploring gargantuan mountains and 300ft cedars right in your backyard!
Saint Marks Summit, Cypress Mountain:
You are not a true Vancouverite until you have hiked St. Marks Summit. This hike truly satisfies the title of ‘the most stunning hike in Vancouver.’ While the trip up may seem strenuous at first and will irrefutably lead to immense levels of soreness, the stunning view that awaits you at the summit is worth the climb. After a mere 2 hours of hiking, you are greeted with picturesque mountains, and the deep blue ocean all emboldened in one panorama of Howe Sound. St. Marks is not only an Instagram-worthy view point, but it is located on our very own Cypress Mountain. Disclaimer: This hike is the epitome of the word ‘Terrific’ as it entails both an exquisite view but also may inflict terror if you experience fear of heights!
Time: 4 – 5 hours
Dog Friendly: Would not recommend.
Hollyburn Mountain, Cypress Mountain:
Instead of observing lions in the savannah this summer, take a look at the BC Lions instead! A true gem of the North Shore, this trail is popular with locals and tourists alike. Due to travel restrictions on citizens outside of the country, you may just get the trail to yourself! This trail is less strenuous and is really well marked, making it less difficult (although not completely impossible) to get lost and a perfect hike for any time of day. The trailhead is located in the Cypress Nordic Skiing Area, only a 20 minute drive from Vancouver! The peak offers a completely unforgettable view of Vancouver, and Burrard Inlet and is definitely worth the trip.
Distance: 7.5 km
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes
Rabbit Lane Trails, West Vancouver:
Do you need a viable excuse to procrastinate? Want to find out where the local Collingwood bears hang out? Or want to relive the infamous Terry Fox run? Try Rabbit Lane! Whether for 20 minutes or for 2 hours, The Rabbit Lane trails can be tailored to your liking. The plentiful number of trails that fracture into different routes allows for you to adjust the length and level of difficulty. Better yet, this easily accessible hike is located right on Collingwood’s doorstep! It is a perfect way to clear your head and be immersed in nature not too far from home.
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Time: 20 minutes +
Dog Friendly: Yes
Norvan Falls, Lynn Valley
Although this underrated hike does not involve observing The Lions or a 360° Panorama of the North Shore, Norvan Falls is no less spectacular. The trail follows a light blue river all the way to a breathtaking waterfall. You are accompanied by lush green cedars which create a perfect, natural umbrella from the overwhelming heat of the summer sun. Don’t let the 14km round trip scare you; the entire hike is flat and will not leave you sore. It is perfect for those who want to spend the day outdoors with minimal effort and sweat. Don’t forget to check out the End of the Line General Store after and treat yourself to a refreshing iced coffee!
Time: 4 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes
These hikes are just a taste of the abundance of great hikes that Vancouver has to offer. Hiking will not only keep you physically fit, but is also proven to have significant mental health advantages and can relieve stress. It provides a COVID-19 safe way to interact with others while improving your wellbeing. For more information and other hiking ideas, feel free to check out the book, ‘Family Walks and Hikes on Greater Vancouver’s North Shore,’ written by a Vancouver local and hiking expert, Harry Crerar.