5 awesome, must-do hikes for Vancouver nature lovers
The gorgeous Quarry Rock lookout point along the North Shore's Baden Powell trail. (Katelyn Verstraten/CTV News).
From rainforests to waterfalls, lakes to panoramic mountain views, there is no shortage of amazing hikes in B.C.’s Lower Mainland – the only challenge is narrowing down your options. To make the selection process easier, here are five awesome hikes that all Vancouver nature lovers should try – rain or shine.
• Petgill Lake: This rugged hike is the lesser known sibling of the iconic Stawamus Chief in Squamish. The 11.5 km roundtrip trail is located just off the Sea-to-Sky Highway near Murrin Provincial Park, and features stunning views of both Petgill Lake and Howe Sound. Tip: The start of the trail can be challenging to find – look for an old wooden sign on the left side of the highway.
Difficulty: Vancouver Trails ranks Petgill Lake as an intermediate excursion with a 650 metre elevation gain.
• Baden Powell Trail (Lynn Canyon to Deep Cove): This 12 km, one-way hike is my personal favourite trail in the Lower Mainland. Whether you start by crossing the suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon or near Quarry Rock lookout in Deep Cove, this well-marked and predominantly forest trail is sure to please. Tip: The hike starts and ends in different places, making it ideal candidate for those who use public transit.
Difficulty: Vancouver Trails ranks this as an intermediate hike with a 420 metre elevation gain.
• Baden Powell Trail (Lynn Canyon to Grouse Mountain): This 10 km, one-way hike starts in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and ends at the base of Grouse Mountain. The majority of the trail is in the forest, crossing creeks and sticking along the side of the mountain. Tip: This hike is supposed to end at the base of Grouse Mountain – but a friend and I once inadvertently ended up at the top (a wrong turn that ultimately made the hike better, if not more arduous). Avoid this by paying close attention to the signs towards the end of the hike, when the Baden-Powell Trail merges with an old road near the Skyline Trail.
Difficulty: Vancouver Trails ranks this hike as intermediate with a 200 metre elevation gain.
• Norvan Falls: The best way to describe North Vancouver’s Norvan Falls trail is peaceful – and flat. Beginning and ending at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, the 14 km trek’s halfway point is a waterfall that hikers will hear before they see. The trail has an interesting history as well: logged in the 1900’s, old carts, tools, and other remnants still dot the path. Tip: The hike can be done any time of the year, but be careful in the winter when things can get icy.
Difficulty: Vancouver Trails ranks this hike as intermediate with a minimal elevation gain.
• Lynn Peak: As the name implies, this nine km roundtrip hike is steep – but the stunning mountain views more than make up for the sweaty ascent. The hike starts in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, and winds its way through the woods to viewpoints overlooking the Georgia Straight, as well as Grouse and Seymour Mountains. Tip: Pack a picnic for an excuse to loiter at the top – and prepare to see chipmunks.
Difficulty: Vancouver Trails ranks this hike as intermediate with a 720 metre elevation gain.