the Vancouver, Whistler, Southwest British Columbia area
for Vancouver & Area. Trails
in this area.
and coastline meet and mingle creating fjord inlets up and down the west
coast, here the mighty Fraser and other rivers make their way through
green lush forests and
pleasant valleys as they head to the Pacific Ocean. Within minutes of
the hustle and bustle of the city and urban areas, you can be hiking the
mountain and wilderness trails. This southwestern corner of British Columbia,
called Vancouver, Coast and Mountains
has a number of provincial
parks and wilderness areas that are perfect spots for outdoor activities
including hiking. Although all the provincial parks have mountains, alpine
and rivers, each one is different offering excellent outdoor recreation
and facilities. Within their boundaries you will find everything from
climbing, fishing, swimming, to
nature hikes. When in this region take time out and visit Garibaldi,
and Mount Seymour,
just to name a few that offer excellent outdoor adventures. Whether looking
for a good day hike or an extended backpacking trek, this region of British
Columbia is able to meet your wants.
One of the most
popular hikes within a short distance of Vancouver,
is Mount Seymour on the North Shore. From Vancouver, take Highway # 1 across
the Second Narrows Bridge and take the Mount Seymour Parkway exit to Mount
Seymour Road. When you enter Mount Seymour Provincial
Park, the park office has brochures detailing the many hiking trails.
One of the many hikes is the one to the mountain's three peaks, and of course,
the third and highest peak offers the best views. This 9 km (5.5 mi.) return
trip takes approximately five hours. On your return trip watch for the cairns
and markers, its easy to get lost up here, and always be prepared for the
weather changes that can happen in the mountains. A much longer and major
42 km (26 mi.) hike is the Baden-Powell Centennial Trail.
Headwaters Regional Park:
Regional Park offers the experienced hiker wilderness day trips and there
are well developed trails for the novice hiker and family excursions. Within
the park is a western red cedar that is more than 600 years old and the
free suspension bridge across the creek is worth a visit. From Vancouver
take either the Lions Gate Bridge or the Second Narrows and follow Highway
# 1 (the Trans-Canada) to Lynn Valley Road that takes you to the park entrance,
where you will find trail brochures at the Information Board. The round
trip to Lynn Lake/Hanes Valley Fork which is about 15 km (11 mi.) should
take between six to seven hours.
Provincial Park offers a number of short day hikes. Or you can try the
Howe Sound Crest Trail, which is a 30 km (19 mi.) loop hike for strong day
hikers or backpackers. To reach Cypress Lookout, travel 8 km (5 mi.) north
of West Vancouver
on Highway # 1. The view from here is absolutely unsurpassed, as you look
over the Strait of Georgia, Vancouver
Island and Mount Baker with the city far below.
Other excellent hikes that are a short distance from down town Vancouver
include Historic Hollyburn on the North
Shore, Black Mountain, a rather strenuous hike with great views of Howe
Sound, the Binkert (Lions) Trail, and Lower Grouse Mountain Trails.
Tusk, in the Squamish
area, can be done as a long day hike from Rubble Creek, but is more enjoyable
from the campgrounds at Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake. From the campgrounds
to the top of Black Tusk and back is 11 km (6.8 mi.) and will take from
five to six hours. Once you reach the tusk, only equipped and experienced
persons should attempted to climb this narrow chimney and beware of falling
debris if climbers are ahead of you. To access the start of the trails that
lead to Taylor Meadows, Black Tusk, Garibaldi Lake and other trips is north
from Squamish on Highway
99. It's about a 37 km (23 mi.) drive to a right turn to the Black Tusk
Recreation Area, head to the parking lot at Rubble Creek. From here the
trail follows the creek upward to your destination.
knows about the great rock mass that watches over Highway 99, just south
the Stawamus Chief is over 700 metres (2261 feet) above sea level and
is the second largest granite monolith in the world. The Chief, which
measures approximately three square kilometres, has several summits separated
by several deep gullies. Steep cliffs separate the summits from the forest
floor in many places, especially the western faces. A number of other
unique features add considerable interest to this highly impressive geological
landform. This monolith alone provides some 280 climbing route, from novice
climbs to the hardest rock climb in Canada. For the hiker, there are three
different summits to climb, there's the main, the central and the south.
You will find the trailhead behind the Chief, at the viewpoint north of
three main summit areas:
Peak or the South Summit (610 m)
* Second Peak or the Centre Summit (655 m)
* Third Peak or the North Summit (702 m)
Sunshine Coast, is great hiking country and one of the treks you should
try is the 13 km (8 mi.) round trip to Mount Hallowell, where from the top
you can see the Jervis, Sechelt and Narrows Inlets, Georgia Strait and Pender
Harbour. Another interesting hike is Mount Steele, north of Sechelt.
After you leave
Whistler and make
your way into the Pemberton area, the hiking opportunities are almost endless.
There's Tenquille Lake, a very scenic trip that's off the Gold Bridge Road.
As you leave Pemberton on the Hurley Road (heading for Gold Bridge) watch
for the trailhead to this alpine lake, from here there are a number of hiking
chances. The Joffre Lakes hike takes you past three lovely lakes with a
glacier at trails end. To reach the trailhead, as you approach Pemberton,
take the Mount Currie Road, from here go right on the road to Duffey Lake
till you reach the BC Parks Joffre Lake Recreation Area. Here you will find
a large map with information about the trail. This round trip of 11 km (7
mi.) will take about six to seven hours of hiking and is well worth your
effort. Other hikes in the Pemberton region are Blowdown Creek, Place Creek
Trail and Lizzie Lake.
Once back down
in the Fraser Valley,
there are numerous hiking opportunities. On the north side of the Fraser
you will enjoy trails such as Diez Vistas Trail, the hike into Lindsay Lake,
Eagle Peak, Alouette Mountain and Golden Ears.
on Highway 1, heading
east of Vancouver
just past Abbotsford
is Sumas Mountain and the familiar BC Centennial Trail with access points
on both the western and eastern side. The round trip, from the west is 13.5
km (8.5 mi.) and should take about six to seven hours to hike, while the
round trip from the east is 16 km (10 mi.) and is approximately an 8 to
9 hour hike. From the peak of Sumas Mountain you have a great view of the
Once your reach
the Chilliwack River region, you'll find it difficult to make a decision
and what trail to hike first. Located in BC's Cascade Mountains is International
Ridge and Mount Amadis. After a four to five hour hike you will reach the
summit and see Mount Baker to the south, the Fraser River valley to the
is a 21 km (13 mi.) round hike, so either make it a long ten to eleven hour
day trip or an easy overnight hike. Part of your reward is Pierce Lake and
a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains.
cities of Chilliwack
and Hope, over shadowing
the Fraser Valley is Mount
Cheam. Reaching the trailhead to Cheam Peak, is difficult and confusing,
so get good directions. Once you reach the top, the view is unbelievable.
Other hikes you can take in this area is the Mount Ford hike, a trek of
13 km ( 8 mi.) to Williamson Lake that's surrounded by the Lucky Four Mountain
Group. A hike into Radium Lake takes you into high wilderness country, as
does the trip into Flora Lake.
Valley Recreation Area:
Park on the west side, is Skagit Valley Provincial Recreation Area.
Twenty-Six Mile Bridge is the trailhead for the hike to the Rhododendron
Flat on the Hope-Princeton
Highway. Continuing on to km 55 ( mile 35) is the trailhead for a 16
km (10 mi.) hike one-way to Galene Lakes, so be prepared for an over night
hike. Along the way there are excellent views to the mountains that are
east of Ross Lake and south into the Cascades. The alpine flowers here are
well worth the trip, so is the view of this remote lake.
Provincial Park is located
in the Cascade Mountains and is well known for its hiking. In all, there
are 276 km (166 mi.) of trails to choose from. Popular hikes include the
Skyline Trail which is a great over night hike, while the Heather Trail
is best hiked in July and August when all the wildflowers are in bloom.
Fall hikers will enjoy the Frost Mountain Loop, a 24 km (15 mi) hike that
takes a full day, with an excellent view of the North Cascades.
For a hike
into the past, the First Brigades Trail in the Fraser
Canyon is the one for you to take. This 13 km (8 mi.) round trip takes
you over part of the original trail, that was established by the Hudson's
Bay Company to move horses from Fort
Yale to Kamloops
and the Cariboo, in the year
1848. Heading north on Highway # 1, go by the Alexandra Bridge Provincial
Park, and the historic Alexandra Lodge, where the original trail started.
But now it begins some 300 metres (1000 feet) north of the lodge at a
small stream and soon joins the original trail from the lodge.