Welcome back to yet another hiking related post. Vancouver and its surroundings still have some beautiful weeks ahead, I wanted to share my favorite hikes around Vancouver and some top tips pertaining to each hike. All of the hikes I mention below are suitable for all hiking levels, meaning you don’t need to be very fit or hike every week to be able to complete these hikes. It is however crucial that you follow all the guidelines to safe hiking and always let someone know when and where you will be hiking. For top tips on How to Safely Hike Alone – check out my past post here.
Lindeman Lake, Chilliwack
Lindeman Lake is located approximately 2.5 hours drive from Vancouver. Unless you don’t mind the drive, I strongly recommend completing this hike on your way back from a long weekend, once you are down highway 1. Why? Because the hike itself even though I would consider it being one of the more beautiful hikes in the area, is quite short. You might feel like you’ve been shortchanged by driving purely for the purpose of this hike.
Pro Tip: The parking at this trail head is continuously targeted by thieves, therefore do not leave anything in the car. Ideally, empty out all of your storage – the boot, the glovebox and leave them open to show that there is nothing left inside the car for the opportunist to take. Unfortunately, it is also known for having gas stolen straight from the gas tank.
Saint Mark’s Summit, West Vancouver
Located on the Cypress Mountain, Saint Mark’s Summit is one of the iconic Vancouver hikes. Why? Because it offers the amazing views (on a clear day!) of the Howe Sound. The hike itself is not hard, has challenging moments (in a good way) where it pushes your fitness levels, however still very doable. If you’re lucky you might see some of the resident chipmunks trying to get into your bag to grab a treat. Remember, never, ever feed the wildlife.
Pro Tip: Get up early and get there early. This is a very popular hike. Aside from crowds on the trail, there will be crowds lining up to get a photo, blocking the view and disturbing the peace.
Tunnel Bluffs, Lion’s Bay Village
Along the sea to sky highway in Lion’s Bay Village, you will find tunnel bluffs. Tunnel Bluffs are serving you even better view of the Howe Sound (on a clear day) than Saint Mark’s Summit. This hike does have an incline for the first 2-3km, after that the rest is a breeze. I’d call it the baby sister of Squamish Chief Hike which is much more tactical and challenging.
Pro Tip: On a weekend, you need to be at the trailhead for 7.30am latest. There is only 1 car park for this trail and it can accommodate maximum of roughly 10 cars (if even). As the trailhead is in the Lion’s Bay Village, all neighboring roads have parking permit restrictions and your car will be towed away.
Whyte Lake Trail, West Vancouver
Whyte Lake Trail in West Vancouver might be one of the lesser known hikes, nonetheless lovely and peaceful. Often on a weekend you will find someone sitting on one of the benches around the lake, eating breakfast, drinking coffee and reading a book. This is an ultimate self care vibes spot. The hike itself is quite short and often you will see groups running the trail rather than hiking. If you are only starting out, this is a great beginner hike; I’d probably go as far as saying its mostly a walk really. Be mindful though, as cougars like to walk around the trail and show themselves to the hikers. Unfortunately you cannot swim in the lake due to debris, which is a pity as it would have been an ideal spot for a dip. Another suggestion for a beginner friendly hike near Vancouver can be found here.
Pro Tip: The trailhead is right by Highway 99. You will see fenced off area by the highway, it is the “makeshift” car park for this trail. It can accommodate approximately 20 cars, therefore at the weekend I’d suggest you get there early to get a spot.
Jurassic Ridge, Sea to Sky Highway
Jurassic Ridge is another fun hike to do, which tests your skills. Parts of the trail require you to go up and down on ropes; jump through tree trunks and large tree roots. It also looks out onto Howe Sound, however this hike offers views of 180 Degrees and much further views than Tunnel Bluffs or Saint Marks Summit. The trailhead is located beside the Murrin Lake on Sea to Sky Highway, on the way to Squamish, just past Britannia Beach. This is a very popular lake in the summer to chill by, therefore you need to get there early to secure a parking spot.
Pro Tip: If you cannot get parking at the Murrin Lake, turn right coming out of the carpark (as if you were heading back to Vancouver) about 1km down the road, there will be a viewpoint stop with parking spaces. You can park there and walk back to the lake along the highway. There is a small trail along the highway, behind the banisters, however exercise the utmost caution while doing so.
In addition, this lake is awesome to take a dip in on a hot day, after your hike. Make sure you bring your swim gear.
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