July 02, 2016

Hiking is the perfect way to get in a workout and your daily dose of fresh air. With summer in the air we have narrowed down Vancouver's 7 best hikes. These hikes are all within two hours of Vancouver, and can be completed within a day. Some are for beginner hikers, but we've also included some hikes with tougher terrain. Whether your a local or just visiting the city for a few short days, these hikes are worth doing!

1. Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake

Photo by:  www.outdoorvancouver.ca

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 5 hours
Distance: 18KM

The hike up to Garibaldi Lake is fairly challenging, but the end result is worth it. Once you have conquered the endless switchbacks, the turquoise water of Garibaldi lake is nothing short of spectacular. Follow the signs and you will be directed to Garibaldi lake, where there is a campsite if you have time to soak up the wilderness. This will give you the option to hike on towards Black Tusk & Panorama Ridge.

2. Grouse Grind

The Grouse Grind

Photo by:  planedev.com

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1-2 hours
Distance: 2.9KM

The Grouse Grind, AKA Mother nature's stairmaster is a challenging hike, and not for the faint of heart. Don't be fooled by the short distance, you will climb over 850M straight up and  2,830 stairs. This is a narrow and busy trail so you can only hike up. Tickets for the gondola down will run you $10 per person, but the view is what they call "a million dollar view." You can also grab a beer and a burger at the top, so quit your complaining and get hiking.

3. The Binkert Lions

The Binkert Lions

Photo by:  vancitytrails.com

Difficulty: Difficult
Time: 8 hours
Distance: 16KM

The Binkert Lions are two of the most recognizable peaks in Vancouver, and is also one of the more difficult hikes. The panoramic views of Howe Sound, downtown Vancouver, and the Capilano Watershed make this hike worth the sweat. The trail starts off slow, but the elevation and terrain quickly escalates, with the last section being the steepest. Follow the markers carefully. You will have to make a scramble to the top ridge. Use caution and only do so if you are physically able as this can be dangerous. Once you are at the peak take plenty of photos before making the hike back.

 

4. Quarry Rock

Quarry Rock

photo by: Vancitytrails.com

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1.5 hours
Distance: 3.8KM

If you are in the mood for a scenic and easy hike then this is the one for you. The trail will take you through the densely wooded forest of the North Shore on a well maintained trail, ending at the rocky outcropping that is Quarry Rock. This trail can get pretty busy, so we recommend hiking it early morning or right before work. The ease of access and scenic view is what gives Quarry Rock a spot on our list.

 

5. Stawamus Chief

The Stawamus Chief in Squamish

Photo by: www.straight.com 

Difficulty: Medium 
Time: 3-5 hours
Distance: 11KM

The Chief is a popular hike with views that will blow your socks off. Located just 1 hour from Vancouver the Chief is an easier version of the Grouse Grind. You will climb large wooden steps and a well worn path to the first peak. Stay left to get to the South (first) peak, a huge granite slab which will afford you views of Howe Sound and beyond. Once you reach the edge of the forest you will see a chain attached to the rock, you will have to pull yourself up to reach the summit. The additional 2 peaks can be completed in around 5 hours. Go early if you want to hit all 3 peaks. You don't want to be hiking down in the dark.

 

6. Lighthouse Park
Light House Park in West Vancouver

Photo by: 3 Days in Vancouver

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2 hours
Distance: Up to 6KM

Boasting some old growth Douglas Firs and water views, Lighthouse Park has something for every hiker. You can go for as short as 10 mins, or as long as 2 hours, as there are a variety of trails in the park. The trails are well maintained with maps and picnic tables for your enjoyment. 

 

7. Crown Mountain

Crown Mountain

Photo by:  richso.blogspot.com

Difficulty: Difficult
Time: 6 hours
Distance: 9.8KM

Another challenging hike which will reward your efforts with a spectacular view. Take the gondola up to the top of Grouse Mountain, as the trailhead begins just beyond the Grizzly refuge. Follow the signs to the Alpine Trail until you reach the zipline platform. The trail descends quickly with chains to assist you. You will eventually reach a boulder field which you will cross through, reaching a j unction at the bottom of Crown Pass and the Hanes Valley Trail. This is where the steep climb begins, taking you up to the mountain. On a clear day you can see the Vancouver Watershed, the Lions, Downtown Vancouver, and the backcountry coastal mountains. Ensure yourself plenty of time to return back to Grouse Mountain and check the last gondola run of the day. 

 

 

What are your favourite hikes in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments!


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