10 Vancouver Hikes with Epic Views

Hiking the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, BC

Hiking the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. Photo Credit Tourism Squamish

Tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains, Vancouver is spoiled for spectacular scenery. Take a hike to enjoy some of the best views. You can choose from city views, ocean views or mountain views. And the trails range from easy to challenging.

Safety First

Just because these trails are close to the city doesn’t mean you aren’t going to the wilderness. Many of the hikes on this list are very snowy and dangerous in spring and winter or can have other hazards the rest of the year. North Shore Rescue recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. And leave a trip plan with a friend so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.

 

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park is nestled on the shores of Burrard Inlet in West Vancouver. There are lots of trails in the park so you can make your hike as short or long as you wish. For the best views of downtown Vancouver, head to East Beach. Hike out to Juniper Point for views of Howe Sound and Bowen Island. Plan your route with the help of the Lighthouse Park map.

Trail Stats: Easy / 1.5-10 km loop / minimal elevation gain / 1-4 hours

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, BC

Lighthouse Park at dusk. Photo credit: Lisa Nixon on the Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

 

Dog Mountain

This Mount Seymour area hike heads to a spectacular viewpoint on a rocky bluff. Along the way, you’ll pass by a small alpine lake. The trail is fairly flat but there are a couple of short hills to challenge you. Wear hiking boots for the rocks, roots, and mud. Bring a copy of the Mount Seymour Provincial Park map to orient yourself.

Trail Stats: Easy / 5 km round trip / minimal elevation gain / 2 hours

Dog Mountain in North Vancouver, BC

The view from Dog Mountain in Mount Seymour Provincial Park. Photo Credit:Ruth Hartnup on Flickr. Used under CC BY 2.0.

 

Bowen Lookout

The hike to Bowen Lookout starts out in the flat wetlands near the Cypress Mountain ski lodge. But the second half of the trail heads steeply uphill to the viewpoint. Have a snack and soak up the views of Bowen Island and Howe Sound. It’s also a great place to catch the sunset… just make sure you have a flashlight for the walk down! The Cypress Provincial Park map will help keep you on track.

Trail Stats: Easy / 4 km round trip / 100m elevation gain / 1.5 hours

Sunset at Bowen Lookout in Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver, BC

Bowen Lookout at sunset. Photo credit: HappiestOutdoors.ca

 

Eagle Bluff

From Eagle Bluff, you’ll have a panoramic view of Vancouver and the eastern suburbs. On a clear day, you can even see the peaks of Vancouver Island. The trail starts near the Cypress Mountain ski lodge. It climbs steeply up to a plateau near the summit of Black Mountain. You’ll descend past some little lakes and then emerge on the granite of Eagle Bluff. Bring the Cypress Provincial Park Map to stay on the right trail.

Trail Stats: Moderate / 8 km round trip / 350 m elevation gain / 4 hours

The view from the top of the Eagle Bluff hike in West Vancouver

Looking down on Vancouver from Eagle Bluff. Photo credit: Jamil Rhajiak on the Inside Vancouver Flickr pool

 

St. Mark’s Summit

St. Mark’s Summit is just a bump on the long ridgeline stretching above Howe Sound. But what a view! The granite outcroppings and sheer cliffs seem to dangle right over the ocean. (Be careful near the edge.) The trail starts near Cypress Mountain ski lodge and climbs steadily through the forest before reaching the top. Bring the Cypress Provincial Park Map.

Trail Stats: Moderate / 11 km round trip / 460 m elevation gain / 5 hours

The view from St. Mark's Summit near Vancouver, BC

Howe Sound from St. Mark’s Summit. Photo Credit: Kyle Pearce on Flickr. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

Mount Seymour

Did you know Mount Seymour actually has three summits? They all have great views of Vancouver to the south and the Coast Mountain range to the north. The trail is rugged with some steep climbs near the end so wear good hiking boots. The Mount Seymour Provincial Park map shows the route.

Trail Stats: Moderate / 9 km round trip / 450 m elevation gain / 5 hours

Hiking on Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, BC

Hiking Mount Seymour. Photo credit: HappiestOutdoors.ca

 

Stawamus Chief

The steeeep trail to Stawamus Chief in Squamish will definitely challenge you. There are tons of stairs, some ladders and some chains to climb up. Once you get to the top, you can creep over to the edge and peer straight down the sheer rock face. You can climb all three peaks or just head to the first one. Plan your route with the Stawamus Provincial Park map.

Trail Stats: Challenging  / 11 km round trip / 600 m elevation gain / 6 hours

The view from the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, BC

The view of the Sea to Sky Highway from the Stawamus Chief. Photo credit: Explore Squamish

 

Diez Vistas

In Spanish, the name of this trail is “ten views”. This loop hike starts at Buntzen Lake and climbs up a ridge separating the lake from Indian Arm. Once on the ridge, you’ll pass by a series of viewpoints down to the water and Vancouver in the distance. The loop finishes by descending back to Buntzen Lake, then travelling along the lakeshore. The Buntzen Lake map shows the way.

Trail Stats: Challenging / 15 km loop / 480 m elevation gain / 7 hours

View from the Diez Vistas trail near Vancouver, BC

The first viewpoint on the Diez Vistas trail. Photo credit: HappiestOutdoors.ca

 

Elk Mountain

Head out to Chilliwack to for a spectacular hike. The trail climbs steadily up to the top of Elk Mountain. The long summit ridge is covered in wildflowers in early summer. Look west for views of the Fraser Valley and south at the gorgeous peaks of Washington’s North Cascades National Park. Get more info about the trail on Chilliwack’s website.

Trail Stats: Challenging / 7 km round trip / 800 m elevation gain / 4 hours

Elk Mountain in Chilliwack, BC

The view of the Fraser Valley from Elk Mountain. Photo Credit: Chilliwack.com

 

Garibaldi Lake

The Garibaldi Lake trail is a British Columbia classic. The trail starts in the forest between Squamish and Whistler. It ascends steadily for several kilometers before flattening out at two small lakes. But continue onwards to the main destination: beautiful Garibaldi Lake. It’s a huge alpine lake ringed with snow-capped mountains. Use the Garibaldi Provincial Park map to plan your route.

Trail Stats: Challenging / 18 km round trip / 820 m elevation gain / 7 hours

Garibaldi Lake in Squamish, BC

The beautiful glacial waters of Garibaldi Lake.

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