Hail to the Chief!  Hiking in Squamish

Discover-the-Outdoors-Squamish-Chief6

700m Massive Granite Cliffs Photo: Rob Weiss

The Stawamus Chief is an iconic landmark.  It dominates the Squamish skyline and attracts tourists, hikers and climbers from around the world.  This magnificent granite wall beckons all to approach and climb her.  Outdoor enthusiasts regularly flock to the area to test their fitness levels and savour the magnificent views from each of the three peaks.  On a clear day, the summit offers panoramic glimpses of Howe Sound, the Squamish town site and adjacent coastal mountains.

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Hail to the Chief!  Hiking in Squamish

Got Mud? Hiking the Big Cedar Trail to Kennedy Falls, North Vancouver

Kennedy Falls Flickr Colin Knowles

Kennedy Falls Photo: Flickr, Colin Knowles

Mount Fromme, a mecca for local mountain bikers is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the North Shore, but don’t be fooled by the men and women riding the trails.  Day hikers are also welcome in the area and the Big Cedar trail to Kennedy Falls is a must see.  Who can resist a 600+ year old red cedar, cascading waterfalls, boulders, deadfall and creek crossings?  I know I can’t!

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Got Mud? Hiking the Big Cedar Trail to Kennedy Falls, North Vancouver

Great Vancouver Hikes: Eagle Bluffs on Cypress Mountain

Photo credit: Su-Laine | Flickr

Photo credit: Su-Laine | Flickr

With the Coast Mountains in our backyard, there’s no shortage of incredible hikes in Vancouver.  The challenge for casual hikers is finding trails that reward with great views, sparkling lakes and streams and uncrowded spaces – all within a few hours time.

The Eagle Bluffs trail on Cypress Mountain meets all of those criteria . . . and more.  The three-four hour hike follows well marked trails, offers some of the most stunning views in Vancouver and even passes by a pristine mountaintop lake for a quick, refreshing dip.  Just be ready for a bit of a workout. Continue reading:
Great Vancouver Hikes: Eagle Bluffs on Cypress Mountain

Top 5 Easy Summer Hikes in Vancouver

Photo credit: Raul P | Flickr

Photo credit: Raul P | Flickr

Summer is here and the North Shore mountains are calling.

One of the privileges of living in Vancouver is that mother nature is right on your doorstep.  Old growth forests, rivers and waterfalls, and stunning mountaintop vistas are all within easy reach from downtown.

Of course, not everyone is up for an wild trek into the B.C. backcountry.  For armchair adventurers out there – who like a little nature but want to be home in time for dinner – these five hikes should fit the bill.  They all take less than three hours (roundtrip), follow well marked trails and – most importantly – reward with great views and natural features.

Lighthouse Park TrailsThis seaside park in West Vancouver includes one of the last sections of old growth forest in the Lower Mainland.  A network of easy trails winds from the parking lot to the rocky coastline, converging on a nearly century-old lighthouse.  Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the great views of downtown Vancouver across the Burrard Inlet. Details

Cypress Falls Trail: Overlooked even by seasoned Vancouver hikers, this short trail starts in the posh Caufield neighbourhood of West Vancouver.  Almost immediately, you’re greeted by an impressive set of waterfalls surrounded by Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar.  Hike a bit farther and there’s an even larger waterfall plunging into a deep canyon.  Terrain is a bit steep and might not be suitable for young children.  Details Continue reading:
Top 5 Easy Summer Hikes in Vancouver

Urban Hiking in Vancouver: Black Mountain

Bowen Lookout Cypress Mountain

Everyone knows that Vancouver is surrounded by stunning, snow-capped mountains.  What many people don’t realize is how close the city truly is to those rugged peaks.

Within a 30-minute drive from downtown, you can access fantastic trails running through pristine alpine terrain.  I call it urban hiking – since you can be back in the city in time for dinner.  During the summer, one of my hands-down favourite hikes – offering big rewards with a minimum of time and effort – is the quick ascent of Black Mountain, one of the peaks of Cypress Mountain.

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Urban Hiking in Vancouver: Black Mountain