6 scenic hikes in Vancouver for visitors

These iconic hikes – all within driving distance from Vancouver – offer breathtaking views, opportunities for wildlife viewing and groomed trails, making them ideal for tourists looking to experience the very best of West Coast hiking. Lace up your hiking boots (or a sturdy pair of sneakers) and start exploring!

Grouse Mountain-The Peak Of Vancouver

6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9

Popular among fitness fanatics and tourists alike, the Grouse Grind is a popular hike extends up the face of Grouse Mountain for about three kilometers before reaching the summit café and tourist info center. You’ll climb 2,830 stairs to be rewarded by stunning views of the city and a scenic gondola ride back down. Be warned, the Grind is known (and perhaps feared) as “Mother Nature’s stair master” and requires coordination and cardiovascular endurance. The trail takes about 90 minutes on average, but don’t be surprised if you see locals race up in an effort to beat their best time.

Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Mamquam River Forest Service Rd, Squamish, BC V0N 1T0

If you’ve driven to Whistler, then you’ve likely gazed out the window at the The Chief, a spectacular mountain face that borders the Sea to Sky Highway. Daredevil climbers love scaling this 600-meter-high hunk of rock – but recreational hikers take a safer route, starting at Shannon Falls, and steadily ascending – meeting ladders and ropes along the way – toward the summit. Once at the top, enjoy picture-perfect views of Howe Sound and the City of Squamish.

Burnaby Mountain

800 Burnaby Mountain Pkwy, Burnaby, BC V5A 1G9

For beginners who still like a challenge, Burnaby Mountain offers a large network of trails that vary in difficulty and length, so day hikers can choose their own adventure and go at their own pace as they explore this scenic, forested mountain. Ample parking at Simon Fraser University and a short drive from the city make this one of Vancouver’s most accessible hiking areas.

Pacific Spirit Regional Park

5495 Chancellor Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1E4

If you don’t feel like venturing far – but still want to experience nature and work up a good sweat – head to the University of British Columbia’s Pacific Spirit Park, where tall cedar and fir trees provide protection from unpredictable weather. The park’s western trails lead to Spanish Banks, which means you can enjoy your lunch on the sand. Or, try venturing to the Comoson Bog or UBC Botanical Garden for an ecology lesson.

Lynn Peak

4900 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7K 2T5

Short, sweet, and sweaty, this out-and-back trail is located in the heart of North Vancouver’s beautiful and lush Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, and takes approximately one-and-a-half to two hours to complete. With much fewer stairs than the Grouse Grind – and more lookout points – Lynn Peak is a trail runner’s heaven.

Mount Seymour Resort

1700 Mt Seymour Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L3

Starting from the parking lot at Mount Seymour, Dog Mountain (as the name suggests) is a great trail for visitors with a four-legged friend in tow. The canine-friendly route is a five-kilometer out-and-back that reveals panoramic views of downtown Vancouver. Although there’s relatively minimal elevation gain here, the trail can get a bit technical with muddy tree roots and slippery rocky areas that will require careful footing. Dog Mountain also makes for a great snowshoe jaunt in the winter months, with snowshoe rentals available on-site and at a number of outdoor shops throughout the city.

Affordable, fun and a great workout, cycling is an ideal method for seeing the sights of Vancouver, where state-of-the-art bike paths and spectacular Seawall views abound. And for those who don’t own a bike – or who couldn’t fit one in their suitcase – these rental shops loan out two-wheelers that are well oiled, affordable and ready for your next adventure. [Photo credit: iStock.com/ Todor Tsvetkov]
Vancouver’s close proximity to lake and ocean – and its many public pools – make the city an ideal destination for trying out watersports with your little ones as they grow. So grab the sunscreen, pack the water shoes and swim trunks, and encourage your kids to learn valuable skills in and out of the water at some of Vancouver’s top aquatic camps this summer. [Photo credit: iStock.com/GOTO_TOKYO]
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