Best Trails Close to Vancouver
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The weather is finally getting better in BC, so it’s time to hit the trails. If you’re a city person like me, who doesn’t own a car, it’s harder to get out to the great hiking spots. Thankfully, many trails are close to the city, and a few are accessible by transit. Here is what I consider to be the best trails close to Vancouver.
Transit Accessible Trails Close to Vancouver
The Grouse Grind is one of the most iconic trails close to Vancouver, accessible by transit from the city. The view from the top is incredible, but the entire hike is like doing stairs which isn’t for everyone.
But, the Grouse Grind isn’t the only hike you can hike in Grouse Mountain park. Also, consider;
- BCMC Trail - 2 hours
- Baden Powell Trail: Grouse Mountain to Lynn Valley - 4.5 hours
- Flint and Feather Trail - 3.5 hours
- Mount Fromme from Grouse - 3.5 hours
Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge
If you’ve been in Vancouver very long, you’ve probably heard of the Capilano Suspension bridge. While it is pretty cool, it’s also relatively expensive and touristy. Consider Lynn Valley instead; there are multiple walking trails and a smaller suspension bridge that’s free.
Lynn Canyon is about an hour from the city by bus and has several great trails that are beautiful and slightly shorter than on Grouse, which is excellent for beginners.
- Lynn Canyon Loop - including the suspension bridge, twin falls, and the 30ft pool - only an hour or so depending on how long you stop to enjoy the sites
- Sea to Sky Loop - 2 hours
- Rice Lake and Lynn Canyon Loop - 1.5 hours
Trails Close to Vancouver but Need a Car
There are so many amazing trails close to Vancouver. If you have a car, many more amazing trails are accessible to you. If you don’t have a car, or a friend with a car, consider signing up for ride share; it’s a great way to get out and explore all the fantastic things BC has to offer.
Dog Mountain Trail
Dog Mountain is a dog-friendly trail in North Vancouver that’s a beautiful and popular place to hike. It’s a moderate hike of approximately an hour and a half.
Even though it’s only about 40 minutes from the city, you need a car to get there.
Eagle Ridge Bluffs via Black Mountain Trail
This is a gorgeous four-hour hike in Cypress Provincial Park in West Vancouver. It’s only moderately challenging and has amazing views that are definitely worth it.
Like Dog Moutain, even though it’s only about 45 minutes to an hour from the city, you need a car to get there.
Garibaldi Lake Trail
With turquoise-coloured water nestled between alpine mountains and a spectacular glacier as the backdrop, Garibaldi Lake is one of the most scenic destinations in British Columbia. It’s great for hiking and camping.
I would call this an intermediate trail - it’s an 18km round trip and takes an average of 6 hours.
Located near Squamish, this trail is a 1.5-hour drive from the city and requires a car.
Stawamus Chief Trail
Another beautiful location with incredible views close to Squamish is Stawamus Chief. The hike typically only takes around 3 hours (6km for Peak one and two); however, it’s somewhat challenging. It has steep stairs like the Grouse Grind and ladders and chains to get to the highest elevation. It’s worth it for the view, though.
Located near Squamish, this trail is about an hour’s drive from the city and requires a car.
Know Before You Go
If you’re not a regular hiker, make sure you check the weather before you go and wear appropriate clothing and shoes (particularly during the spring and fall). The trails can be slippery after it’s rained (which it always does in the city). Also, not all the snow has necessarily melted during the spring, so make sure you do your research.
If you don’t feel safe because of snow or it’s too slippery, it’s okay to turn back and try for another day.
Also, if you’re a dog owner, check to see if the trail is dog-friendly before you go; unfortunately, many of these trails aren’t.
There are so many beautiful places to visit in BC, and many of the trails are close to Vancouver. If you spend a lot of time in the city, try to get away for a few hours; experiencing nature can help you get your mind off the day-to-day stressors, relax, and challenge your body.