Whether you’re a Vancouverite with a chronic itch to explore the mountains every weekend or are just visiting the city for a few days, your most authentic experience needs to involve exploring the local Vancouver hiking trails and tackling one of the incredible day hikes near the city. There are an endless number Vancouver hikes, and if you have a morning or the entire day, there’s a hike for you! Here is a list of 11 amazing day adventures that lead to rewarding summits or lookout hikes near Vancouver BC.

Before you set-off on your hike:

  • Make sure to pack all your day-hiking essentials
  • Be prepared to follow the Leave No Trace Principles while you're exploring
  • Confirm the estimated hiking times and be sure that you are starting early enough!
  • Check the current trail conditions by reading updates on Vancouver Trials or other hiking forums.
  • Let someone know where you’re going!

#11 – Dog Mountain

Looking Hikes near Vancouver - Dog Mountain Hike

 

One of the shorter & easier summits in North Vancouver, the hike up Dog Mountain is a great summer hike for beginners or provides a fun adventure to kick-start the snowshoe season!

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 5 km
  • Total hiking time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: 2/5

#10 - Stawamus Chief Hike

Hikes near Vancouver - The Chief

The Stawamus Chief is a multi-peak hike that becomes visible as a “Pride Rock”-like monolith as you approach Squamish from the Sea to Sky Highway. It varies in hiking time and difficulty depending on whether you want to complete the first, the second or all three peaks. Tackle all 3 peaks if you have the full day and all your hiking essentials!

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 11 km (all 3 peaks)
  • Total hiking time: 2.5 hours first or second peak | 6 hours all 3 peaks
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Our Tips:
  • Take a few minutes to check out Shannon Falls from the parking lot before you head up the trail!
  • Some sections are quite technical and include a combination of ladders and chains, which can be slippery after rainfall!
  • On the descend from the third peak, there is an alternative route that allows you to skip the second peak, but it is a little underdeveloped and highly technical so be careful!

#9 - St. Marks Summit Hike

Hikes near Vancouver - St. Mark's Summit

Local and accessible, St. Mark’s Summit is a great Vancouver hike that sets off from the downhill skiing area of Cypress Mountain in North Vancouver. This hike has many great picnic spots at the top so even on a busy day, it isn’t too difficult to set-up shop and enjoy an awesome view of Howe Sound.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 11 km (Bowen Lookout is 2km from trailhead)
  • Total hiking time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Our Tips:
    • A Bowen Lookout trail detour is a short distance into the hike and the view is definitely worth the 750m diversion!
    • This hike can get extremely muddy if it has rained the days prior – be prepared to get dirty!

#8 - Sea to Summit Hike

Hikes near Vancouver - Sea to Summit

A great option when you love a good hike with a rewarding view but dread the hike down. This hike near Vancouver is steep and technical in some areas, but provides some amazing viewpoints of Howe Sound where you can stop for a snack break! The best part: since there is a gondola up the mountain, the summit has clean washroom facilities, a restaurant and a huge patio at the top so you can cheers your epic finish with a beer!

  • ONE WAY hiking distance: 7.5 km
  • Total hiking time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: 4/5
  • Our Tips:
    • Be aware of the last Gondola down before starting up the trail!
    • Bring your wallet – beer and food are available for purchase at the top and the gondola ride down costs $15

#7 – Quercus Viewpoint (via Murrin Loop)

Hikes near Vancouver - Quercus Viewpoint

With a variety of routes that take you to the lookout, this is a short (but steep!) hike with rewarding views of Howe Sound and the bending Sea to Sky Highway in the foreground. The trail includes some rope assists in the steep sections and a few sections of open rock.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 2 km
  • Total hiking time: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Our Tips:
    • Browning Lake can be a popular spot for picnics and fishing during the summer months. The parking spaces are limited so be sure to arrive early!
    • The mosquitos can be feisty – pack your bug spray!

#6 – Eagle Bluffs

Hikes near Vancouver - Eagle Bluffs

From the clear, rocky bluffs at the top, hikers are rewarded with unobstructed views of Howe Sound, Bowen Island, Downtown Vancouver and even Washington’s Mount Baker on a clear day. This is a popular local hike, and may attract some crowds, but the open, spacious area at the top makes it all worthwhile.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 8 km
  • Total hiking time: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Our Tips:
    • There are a few different routes to get to Eagle Bluffs, but the most accessible, well-marked route starts at the Cypress Mountain ski area
    • This trail is also a tough but rewarding snowshoe hike!

#5 – Sendero Diez Vistas

Hikes near Vancouver - Diez Vistas

Located in Port Moody, BC this one will require access to a car from Vancouver. The views from the top of the hike will give you a different perspective than any of the North Shore Mountain hikes, as it looks over the Indian Arm.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 15 km
  • Total hiking time: 6.5 hours
  • Difficulty: 4/5
  • Our Tips:
    • Arrive early! Buntzen Lake is a popular family picnic spot so the parking lots can fill up quickly. There are overflow parking lots available.
    • If you’re hiking in the summer, there’s an incredible chance to take a dip into the water at Buntzen Lake North Beach

#4 - Tunnel Bluffs Hike

Hikes near Vancouver - Tunnel Bluffs

Less popular than some of the other local Vancouver hikes, Tunnel Bluffs is one of the best hikes near Vancouver. It starts from the Sea to Sky highway and provides similar scenic views to St. Mark’s Summit. The start of the hike is a steep climb, but it eventually levels to a logging road and the trail opens up to awesome views of Howe Sound, Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 8 km
  • Total hiking time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Our Tips:
    • The parking lot is a small view point along the Sea to Sky highway that can be found on Google Maps as “Tunnel Point”. If you are coming from Vancouver, keep an eye out for the lookout on the left after passing Brunswick Beach. You cannot turn left directly into the parking lot, but there is a U-turn opportunity just 4km past the lookout. The parking lot is very small and once it is full, there are no other options for parking nearby so be sure to get there early!
    • The trail head is not very clearly marked – cross the highway carefully, walk into the trees directly across from the parking lot and there will be a small opening with a plastic map posted.

#3 - Mount Seymour Hike

Hikes near Vancouver - Mount Seymour

A great local Vancouver hike that is easily accessible from the downhill skiing area of Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. While the hike is long, it isn’t extremely technical and can be done at any pace. The trail has a few places to stop for breaks and covers 3 peaks: Pump Peak, Tim Jones Peak and Mount Seymour Summit. On a clear day, the peak provides a fantastic view of Vancouver, Grouse Mountain and the epic Coastal Mountain Range. If the skies are clear, you can even make out Mount Baker in the distance.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 9 km
  • Total hiking time: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Our Tips:
    • The trail is relatively well-marked, but there are quite a few side trails so be sure to keep an eye out for trail markers and rocks marked with orange paint.

#2 - Hollyburn Mountain Hike

Hikes near Vancouver - Hollyburn Mountain

A great local Vancouver hike accessible from the Cypress Mountain ski area in North Vancouver, only a 25 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. This hike leads to one of the most scenic summits on the North Shore, providing amazing views of The Lions, Mount Baker and Burrard Inlet.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 7 km
  • Total hiking time: 3.5 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/5
  • Our Tips:
    • This trail is VERY technical! There are a lot of exposed roots and rocky terrain throughout the trail so be sure to wear sturdy, grippy boots!
    • The hike starts at a different Baden Powell Trail head to St. Mark’s Summit. Find the Hollyburn Mountain trail head behind the “Drop-off/bus zone” to the right directly after entering the official Cypress Mountain gates

#1 - Panorama Ridge Hike | Garibaldi Lake

Hikes near Vancouver - Panorama Ridge

Without a doubt one of the most difficult day hikes near Vancouver, but by far the most rewarding with the most epic views. This hike is for people who are prepared and experienced. You should have some endurance and shouldn’t be too afraid of heights. Be aware that the last ascend to the top is steep and a little scary as you scramble over loose rocks, but when you make it to the top of Panorama Ridge, you are rewarded with an unobscured view of Garibaldi Lake and Black Tusk.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 18 km Garibaldi Lake | 30 km Panorama Ridge
  • Total hiking time: 5 hours Garibaldi Lake | 11 hours Panorama Ridge
  • Difficulty: 4/5 Garbaldi Lake | 5/5 Panorama Ridge
  • Our Tips:
    • If you’re pressed for time or don’t have the full endurance, you can simply hike to the Garibaldi Lake-side and enjoy the stunning views from there – this takes half the time
    • If you complete this hike earlier in the summer (around June) you might be able to skip the descend down the steep, loose rock section from the ridge and instead slide down the snow on your butt!

Take your pick and get out there and explore these epic peaks near Vancouver BC!

Wherever you choose to explore, don't forget to be prepared with all your emergency hiking essentials, tell somewhere where you're going and respect all current travel restrictions. While you're out, do your part to leave no trace and keep earth wild. #packitinpackitout