Escape Vancouver’s hustling and bustling atmosphere and hike under a canopy of trees to exceptional ocean, city or valley views. You may be under the impression that Vancouver isn’t super close to thick, lush wilderness, but cell phone service drops just 2 kilometres outside of the Greater Vancouver area. If that’s not an indicator of the outdoor adventure that sits around this city, we don’t know what is.
You can find several incredible spots to lace up your boots. Just head to North Shore, Squamish, or travel a little further for a montage of epic views awaiting in Whistler. So, to inspire your next hiking adventure, we’ve collected a list of the best hikes around Vancouver.
Read on to discover your next adventurous wilderness escape!
St. Mark’s Summit Hike
Climb to unreal views of Vancouver Island, Howe Sound and the Tantalus Range on the 11km St. Mark’s Summit Hike, situated only 45 minutes from Vancouver in Cypress Park on the North Shore. This fantastic hike falls under the incredible-reward-for-little-work list. You’ll find yourself breathing hard at some points, but the path never forces too much intense exertion (except for the steep incline just before the pinnacle).
Wedgemount Lake Hike
Looking for a challenging, long hike embroidered with supernatural vistas? The intense 15.6km Wedgemount Lake Hike in Whistler is basically an outdoor Stairmaster. You climb 1,350m in 8km. Crazy? Yes. Worth it? Yes! The trail takes you to an enchanting bright blue lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks; the contrast of colours is phenomenal. Wedgemount Lake Hike may be 1 hour and 45 minutes from Vancouver, but the otherworldly views on this hike deserve to be admired.
Dog Mountain Hike
Short, sweet, easy and awesome views. These five words sum up the 4.9km Dog Mountain Hike, located 50 minutes from Vancouver in Mount Seymour Provincial Park on the North Shore, to a tee. At the top, hikers get a chance to marvel at a collection of views, including the Strait of Georgia, Mount Baker, Fraser Valley, Stanley Park and the Lower Mainland. Talk about a worthwhile excursion!
Stawamus Chief Hike
Expect never-ending entertainment on the 6.3km Stawamus Chief Hike in Squamish. It snakes to three different peaks, has you using chains on a brief scramble, and takes you to captivating views of Mount Garibaldi and the Tantalus Range. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can pass the first peak, where it can be quite busy, and the views aren’t as great as the other two.
Howe Sound Crest Trail Hike
Experienced hikers will fall in love with this route – and falling in love often involves screaming, pain, fun and beautiful experiences. The 30.1km Howe Sound Crest Trail Hike, just one hour from Vancouver, is no different. On average, this hike takes 12 to 14 hours, and while it can be completed in a day, you can always set up your tent at one of the many backcountry campgrounds: Brunswick Lake, Plateau above Enchantment Lake, Deeks Lake, or Magnesia Meadows.
These aren’t the only epic Lower Mainland hikes; read a more detailed list of the best hikes around Vancouver for more in-depth insight into family-friendly, challenging and day excursions.