Summer time in Vancouver makes you feel like now is the time to start exploring the amazing mountains and different landscapes that surround the city, and escape the bustle of everyday life. But in Canada hiking can be done at almost any time of the year as the seasons only transform Canada's natural beauty from beautiful to breathtaking. Check out this list of some of the hikes that you can discover outside of Vanoucer's city.
1. Dog Mountain
The Dog Mountain Bluffs is a quick and easy hike, taking only 2 hours to complete and only a 25 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. This is a hike that is lovely in summer but also an easy hike in the snow when winter starts setting in. In the summer, the Dog Mountain bluffs and other ridgelines higher up in Mount Seymour Provincial Park are an excellent place to watch meteor showers and observe the northern lights.
2. Stawamus Chief
The Stawamus Chief or the "The Chief" is one of the largest free standing granite outcroppings in the world. There are three domed summits you can hike to, all accessed by a trail that starts on the side of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park near Shannon Falls. The lowest dome takes about 3 hours and the highest dome takes 5 hours. The Chief is also a world famous rock climbing destination with many professional climbers camping out at the park during the summer months.
3. St. Mark’s Summit
St Mark's summit is an intermediate hike that starts by the Cypress Mountain Day Lodge and follows along the Howe Sound Crest Trail and takes about 5 hours round trip to complete. There are many other mountains along the full trail which takes 1-2 days to hike the full 32km, but St. Mark's Summit is the easiest hike and other peaks can be difficult to reach until mid-to-late summer when the snow has melted.
4. Mount Cheam
Mount Cheam is the highest peak in the Fraser Valley but it also one of the easiest climb because of the logging roads that brings you within an hour hike of the summit. This is one of the hikes that is best in the summer months as the road does get snowed in for most of the year.
5. Mount Baker Recreation Area
More of a trip from Vancouver, but a 2 hour drive and a border crossing at Sumas will take you to the Mount Baker Recreational Area with amazing high alpine hiking right from the parking lot. With stunning mountain scenery and many excellent hikes on offer during summer makes it the perfect get away from the city buzz. With more challenging hikes you can attempt to trek Mount Shuksan or make the ascent of the 10,781 Foot Volcano Mount Baker. In the winter months, Mount Baker turns into a white wonderland for winter trekking and some of the best powder at the Ski Resort.
6. Garibaldi Lake
(As Seen above)
This 3 hour hike up to Garibaldi Lake appears like you doubling back on yourself until you reach the beautiful glacial lake. Definitely manageable in a day but would recommend staying a few days at the beautiful campground along the southern shore. If you stay at the camp ground there is also other hikes to the Panorama Ridge, the Battleship Islands, Black Tusk, Cheakamus Lake and the amazing wildflowers in the Black Tusk Meadows during the spring and summer months.
7. Diez Vistas
If you are craving a slightly longer and more challenging hike the Diez Vistas trail is a good 4-6 hour hike along the ridgelines above Indian Arm and Bunsen Lake in Belcarra Regional Park. On the way back down, it is worth stopping at either Buntzen Lake or taking a quick drive to the warmer Lake of Sasamat for a swim.
8. Crown Mountain
Crown Mountain is one of the most distinctive peaks you will see from downtown Vancouver and though you may have to take the Grouse Mountain Skyride to access the trailhead its a great alternative to hiking the crowded Grouse Grind. The trail starts just beyond the Grizzly Bear refuge on Grouse Mountain and takes about 5 hours round trip. Also recommend is Goat Mountain, which is the peak just to the right of Crown Mountain, which is a easier hike and should only take 4 hours round trip.
9. Mount Seymour
This trail out from the Mount Seymour Ski Resort parking lot follows the ski runs and once you have climbed the three dome-like mountaintops of the trail, the last summit is Mount Seymour. From here you will find incredible views of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland as you make your way back down the mountain. There is another option to do this hike in winter where you can ski, slide or snowboard back down.
10. The Binkert Lions
One of the most natural landmarks of the Lower Mainland is the the two distinctive twin peaks of The Binkert Lions which the Lions Gate Bridge is named after. The best way to reach these peaks is to either hike along the Binkert Trail or from the Howe Sound Crest Trail for an 8 hour hike. Overall this is probably the hardest hike on the list and you can only just hike to the Summit of the West Lion but it is recommended to have rock climbing equipment and ropes as it can be a dangerous scramble to reach the very top.