21 Fun Vancouver Hikes to Get You Outdoors

Often seen as a hiker’s paradise, there are so many hikes near Vancouver, it’s hard to know where to start. With the help of a local hiking enthusiast, we’ve put together a list of the top Vancouver hikes along with all the details to help you hit the trails.

Vancouver hikes | Lighthouse Park landscape

Written by Guest Author: Amanda Lawrence

Vancouver is full of lush forests and mountainous terrain begging to be explored. Many Vancouver hikes rival other cities in Canada, but with so many options, it can be tough to know where to start. So to help you decide, I’ve created this comprehensive list of the best hikes in Vancouver.

A huge metropolitan city surrounded by mountains in the north and the ocean to the west, Vancouver is seen as a hiker’s paradise, often visited for its scenic mountainous background and picturesque trails. 

Although there is plenty to do in the city, everyone likes to get out and hit the trail, discover waterfalls and mountain tops, and even spot some wildlife.

You don’t have to be active or outdoorsy to enjoy hiking in Vancouver; the city and surrounding area has trails suited for all skill levels and abilities. In this article, you will find some truly magical Vancouver hikes you can check out with friends or as a solo adventure!

1. Cypress Falls

Cypress Falls (Catherine Guadagnuolo)
Image by Catherine Guadagnuolo via Alltrails
  • Distance: 1.6 miles/2.7km, out and back
  • Elevation: 124m/ 406ft
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • View the trail notes

The Cypress falls hike is a beautiful lush green hike in North Vancouver. The trail is well trafficked, well maintained, and can get busy on the weekends. 

As you hike alongside Cypress creek and the towering green trees, you will come across not one but two beautiful waterfalls. When you reach the upper falls, try and spot the old rusty car that was pushed over the roadside many years ago… (Hint: There are actually two of them hidden in the woods.)

This is a transit-accessible and dog-friendly trail so bring your furry friends if you have them!

2. Pacific Spirit Park

Vancouver hikes | Pacific Spirit Park

There are over 15 trails to choose from in this 874-hectare park, but the Top, Nature, Salish,

and Sasimat trail combo will give you the best experience. The trails are dog-friendly, well maintained, and perfect for the elderly or families with young children. 

Visitors are amazed by the gigantic Cedar, Hemlock, and Douglas Fir trees that create a canopy high above the trail. It’s an excellent trail for a rainy day, as this canopy creates a little umbrella that keeps hikers (mostly) dry. 

This park is accessible by Vancouver transit, so feel free to leave the car at home!

3. Lighthouse Park

Vancouver hikes | LighthousePark

There are a few trails in Lighthouse Park, but the Point Atkinson and Shore Pine Point trails are the ones you need to see. As you walk through this beautiful ancient forest, you can catch glimpses of the rocky shoreline of the Burrard Inlet. 

At the end of the trail, you can sit and enjoy a view of the Point Atkinson Lighthouse, built in 1912. And if you visit on a good day, you might be able to see seals or orcas in the water! 

This trail is transit and dog friendly, well maintained with some rocky/rooted sections.

4. Jug Island Beach

Vancouver hikes | Jug island beach
  • Distance: 3.1miles/5.1km, out and back
  • Elevation: 221m/725ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

Jug Island beach is a popular hike for locals who like to walk their dogs or go trail running, especially on weekends. The terrain varies from trails, rocky sections, and stairs as you walk through the forest. You will encounter inclines and declines before finally descending to the beautiful beach and view of Jug Island. 

You can feel free to swim or kayak in this area as well. Dogs are welcome; you can often see them frolicking in the water. This trail is transit accessible, although it will require some walking.

5. Quarry Rock

Vancouver hikes | Quarry Rock
  • Distance: 3.9miles/6.4km, out and back
  • Elevation: 259m/849ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

Quarry Rock is a beautiful lookout trail near Deep Cove. It is a very popular and well-maintained trail and can get busy during weekends and holidays. 

Hike over rocky terrain, bridges, and stairs before heading to Quarry Rock to view Deep Cove from above. This trail is transit and dog friendly.

6. Buntzen Lake

Buntzen Lake (Guang Da Ll)
Image by Guang Da Ll via Alltrails

This loop trail that surrounds Buntzen lake is one of the more popular and well-trafficked trails in the area. It is dog-friendly, popular for bird watching and trail running, and easy to navigate. 

This hike features beautiful lake views and a small suspension bridge at the North end. Buntzne Lake is transit-friendly, although it will require a long walk to get to the trailhead.

7. Tunnel Bluffs

Vancouver hikes | Tunnel Bluffs
  • Distance: 6.7 miles/10.9km out and back
  • Elevation: 519m/1702ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

Tunnel Bluffs has sweeping views of Howe Sound, making it one of the best hikes in Vancouver! The trail starts steep and rocky before it plateaus through the dense forest. There are some wood bridges before a little scramble to the viewpoint. The hike to the view is well marked, and it is worth the strenuous hike!

8. Norvan Falls

Vancouver hikes | Norvan Falls
  • Distance: 8.5miles/13.8km out and back
  • Elevation: 345m/1131ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

The hike to Norvan Falls covers all kinds of hiking terrain, inclines, declines, rocky paths, and maintained trails. The trail is long and mostly flat, following Kennedy Creek but includes some steep switchback sections. 

Crossing the creek before getting to the falls is recommended, as the left side makes it easier to get close to the falls. Once you reach Norvan falls, you will be greeted with a beautiful cascade and a cool mist! 

This trail is great for adventurous kids and is dog friendly.

9. St. Marks Summit

St Marks Summit (Nick Nicholson)
Image by Nick Nicholson via Alltrails
  • Distance: 6.5miles/10.5km, out and back
  • Elevation: 587m/1925ft
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

St. Marks Summit is easily one of the most challenging trails on this list! The steep elevation gain throughout the hike will tire you out, but the view of Howe Sound from the top is unparalleled. 

The trail is generally easy to traverse with no scrambles or technical terrain and is dog friendly. Due to its popularity, it is best to start early. 

St. Marks Summit is actually the first part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail, a popular and challenging multi-day thru hike. If you are looking for a longer backpacking route accessible from Vancouver, this trail is highly recommended!

10. Howe Sound Crest Trail

Howe Sound Crest Trail
  • Distance: 18.1 miles (29 kilometers) point-to-point
  • Elevation gain: 8,250 feet (2,514 meters)
  • Difficulty rating: Challenging
  • View the trail notes

One of the only multi-day treks on this list, we thought it was a good idea to include the Howe Sound Crest Trail because it offers an immersive experience of the natural beauty of the region.

The trail spans rugged terrain, offering hikers a diverse range of experiences, from lush forests and alpine meadows to sweeping panoramic views of the majestic Howe Sound. Plus it’s just outside Vancouver!

11. Lynn Canyon Loop

Lynn Canyon Loop (Dave Graves)
Image by Dave Graves

Lynn Canyon is a family and dog-friendly hike in North Vancouver with relatively easy terrain

and many sights to see. Crossing the suspension bridge can be scary if you aren’t used to it, but the view of Twin Falls and the 30-foot pool on the other side is worth it.

12. Kennedy Falls

Kennedy Falls (Aaron Mou)
Image by Aaron Mou via Alltrails
  • Distance: 6 miles/9.8km, out and back
  • Elevation: 432m/1417ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

The hike to Kennedy falls is an adventure as the natural trails are not maintained by the park, although they are well trafficked and easy to find. 

There are a few more technical sections of the hike, and creeks must be crossed on foot. Along the way, you will find one of the largest remaining old-growth trees on the North Shore, affectionately nicknamed & Big Cedar. Don’t forget to cool off in the waterfall at the end!

13. Grouse Grind

Grouse Grind (Baljinder Benipal)
Image by Baljinder Benipal via Alltrails
  • Distance: 1.6 miles/2.6km; point to point
  • Elevation: 771m/2529ft
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • View the trail notes

The Grind is a tough Vancouver favorite and a staple workout hill for locals. Mother Nature’s Stairmaster takes you straight up the face of Grouse Mountain.

The trail is made up of rocks, roots, and wooden steps and is split into quarters, so you know just how far you’ve made it. Once you reach the top, you’ve earned bragging rights for completing The Grind and are rewarded with beautiful views.

Note: This hike is only one way. You will need to book a ride back down on the Grouse Mountain Resort Skyride before starting the hike.

14. Whyte Cliff Park

Whyte Cliff Park (Nathalie Bedard)
Image by Nathalie Bedard via Alltrails

Whytecliff trail is an easy hike that is perfect for hikers of all ages and skill levels. This well-maintained trail brings you around the whole park to see beautiful mountain views and beaches. 

This trail can be finished quickly, so it is easy to do multiple hikes in the park. Unfortunately, this hike is not dog friendly, and with limited parking, it does tend to fill up fast on the weekends. The good news is, this is one of the many Vancouver hikes that are accessible by public transit!

15. Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain (Jayson Postle)
Image by Jayson Postle via Alltrails
  • Distance: 3.1 miles/6.1km, out and back or loop
  • Elevation: 292m/958ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

This dog-friendly Vancouver trail is extremely popular with locals on the weekend, so it’s good to start early and beat the crowd. The trail is rocky in some sections but otherwise easily hiked. 

You can head out to the viewpoint at Dog Mountain and stop there to head back, or continue on to Suicide Bluffs and make it a loop hike. The bluffs open up at two peaks to give sweeping landscape views.

16. Hollyburn Peak

Vancouver hikes | Hollyburn
  • Distance: 5.4miles/ 8.7km, out and back
  • Elevation: 446m/1463ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

Hollyburn Peak is a beautiful and dog-friendly North Vancouver trail. The gradual incline over the course of the trail makes it easy to traverse. 

Some sections of the with wood bridges and roots can be slippery in wet weather. It would be helpful to have poles and proper hiking shoes for this reason. 

Along the trail, you are surrounded by lush forest and rewarded with a stunning mountain view at the top!

17. Bowen Lookout

Bowen Lookout (Youstina Daoud)
Image by Youstina Daoud via Alltrails
  • Distance: 1.4miles/2.3km, out and back
  • Elevation: 110m/360ft
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • View the trail notes

Bowen Lookout is an excellent alternative to St Mark’s summit if you don’t want to hike that far or don’t have much time. 

Starting from the Cypress Mountain Lodge, you climb up the steep ski hill and start the Howe Sound Crest Trail. After a few switchbacks, you should reach a flat section before being rewarded with a nice view of Howe Sound. 

The trail is well kept and not very rocky. It can also be a little confusing to know which signs to follow, so using the Alltrails map is a good idea to keep you on track!

18. Goat Mountain and Ridge Extension

Goat Mountain (Sunny Pao)
Image by Sunny Pao via Alltrails
  • Distance: 6.4miles/10.3km, out and back
  • Elevation: 654m/2145ft
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • View the trail notes

Unlike the neighboring Grouse Grind trail, this hike is dog-friendly and takes you straight up Grouse mountain over varied terrain. 

It’s recommended for hikers familiar with mountainous terrain as there are some scrambles and chains to reach the summit. There are a few inclines and declines before reaching the peak, but the 360-degree view from the top is worth it! 

Note: This trail is not well marked, so it’s advised to follow the Alltrails map.

19. Diez Vistas

Diez Vistas (Brenda Bui)
Image by Brenda Bui via Alltrails

Diez Vistas is usually done with Buntzen Lake as a loop but can be done on its own for a shorter hike! This hike will bring you up to Vista #1 (which is actually the 5th vista along the trail) and the trail’s highest peak on Sunrise Hill. 

The trail is quite steep and challenging as it goes on, with rooted and rocky sections being common. It’s recommended to bring sturdy shoes and gloves for the climb down. 

This trail is one of the less-trafficked, dog-friendly Vancouver trails.

20. Upper Gold Creek Falls

Vancouver hikes | Golden Ears

This dog-friendly trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park is perfect for a view of the vast canyon below and a cascading waterfall. 

The trail starts off wide, heading through the forest where you can catch glimpses of the mountains through the trees. It then narrows and heads up over some steep and rocky terrain. 

Showcasing a great mix of all kinds of terrain, this Vancouver trail can be popular amongst dog walkers in the summer. Due to crowding at Golden Ears, it’s best to arrive as early as possible.

21. Baden Powell Trail (Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove)

Baden Powell Trail (Aaron Rosenberger)
Image by Aaron Rosenberger via Alltrails

Completely immerse yourself in Vancouver’s nature as you backpack your way over this forested mountain trail. On average, this trail takes 16 hours to complete and involves rock screes and backcountry camping. 

While the entire trail is only for serious hikers, certain sections will have some day hikers as the Baden Powel trail connects many scenic trails and natural areas in the North Vancouver region. 

Ensure you have experience with backpacking and comfortable gear suited for your needs before attempting this strenuous hike. This round up of the best backpack brands for hiking is a great place to start.

What to pack for hiking in Vancouver

Ensure that you are prepared for anything nature throws at you while hiking in Vancouver, and pack these items before you hit the trails!

Be sure to grab our ultimate hiking packing list includes our must-have gear for any hiking trail!

Hiking Packing List | Go Wander Wild
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Vancouver hikes | Amanda Lawrence

About the author

Amanda is a travel blogger and freelance writer based in Vancouver. In her spare time she enjoys finding hidden gems and planning budget-friendly trips. She’s also a regular contributor at FidisTravel.

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We want to hear from you!

Have you done any of the Vancouver hikes on this list? What was your experience like? Which is the hike you’re most excited to add to your bucket list? Comment below and let us know!

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