Vancouver’s brief, glorious autumn is the perfect time to explore the city’s natural charms. Long days, mild temperatures and clear skies make ideal conditions for a walk in a park, along the rugged coastline or into the mountains.
These five, easy hikes are all within a 45-minute radius of downtown. They can be completed in three hours or less and reward with breathtaking views and access to wild scenery.
- Beaver Lake Trail: Start your adventure in downtown’s 1,000-acre Stanley Park. The short, scenic Beaver Lake trail winds from the central Rose Garden into hemlock and fir forest before emerging at Beaver Lake. Full of ducks, herons, turtles and – of course – beavers, the lily-pad covered lake makes a perfect spot for a picnic. Round-trip time: 1 hour. Details
- Lighthouse Park Trails: Cross the Lions Gate bridge into nearby West Vancouver to get to this park, home to one of the last swathes of old-growth forest in the region. Short trails lead through groves of towering firs, hemlocks and cedars, before converging on a nearly century-old lighthouse on a rocky stretch of coast. Round-trip time: 1.5 hours. Details
- Black Mountain Trail: Nearby Cypress Mountain, which hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, is home to this short, rewarding hike. It ascends steeply from the downhill ski area parking lot, paralleling runs on Black Mountain. Enjoy great views of nearby Howe Sound as you climb to the summit and sparkling Cabin Lake. Round-trip time: 2.5 hours. Details
- Dog Mountain Trail: Venturing further afield into North Vancouver, you reach 4,800-foot Mount Seymour. While adventurers can opt to tackle the summit, casual hikers will favor the easy Dog Mountain route. The flat trail, which starts at the ski area parking lot, traverses pristine alpine forest before emerging at a scenic overlook with incredible views of the city. Round-trip time: 2.5 hours. Details
- Deep Cove Lookout: Situated a 45-minute drive from downtown, Deep Cove is an idyllic coastal community set on Indian Arm, a glacial fjord. This trail ascends through forest to a rocky overlook with great views of the water. Round-trip time: 2 hours. Details