unique hikes in bc

Looking for hikes in BC that are a little outside the box? Here are 9 cool trails that are a little quirky and definitely unique – some even make our list of best hikes in BC!

Before choosing to explore any of these areas, please ensure you are following all the current COVID-19 travel restrictions. For current BC guidelines, visit the Government of BC website.

#9 – Tower Beach, Vancouver

tower beach vancouver

Abandoned WWII Gun Towers

The Tower Beach trail in Vancouver takes you to two abandoned WWII gun towers that are covered in some impressive graffiti murals! A good way to access the trail is to follow the signs to the “Outdoor Exhibits” behind the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) on the UBC campus, where you’ll find a peaceful Aboriginal art display of huts, totem poles and a “Reflecting Pool” pond. From there, Trail #3 or #4 take you down a long flight of stairs to Tower Beach & Wreck Beach. When you get to the beach, veer right to follow the Foreshore Trail to the Point Grey Battery Ruins. This beach is the most westerly point of Vancouver so there are some incredible unobstructed views of Vancouver Island and West Vancouver along the way. FYI: Wreck Beach is “clothing optional” - you have been warned!

  • One-way distance: 5 km
  • Total hiking time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: 1/5

#8 - Lighthouse Park, Vancouver

lighthouse park vancouver

A National Historic Site of Canada

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver provides a simple hiking escape close to Vancouver. With plenty of hiking trails to choose from (all from beginner to moderate), the entire park takes you among giant 1,000 year old Douglas firs and red cedars. Beacon Lane and Valley of the Giants are the two most popular trails in the park. Beacon Lane is a straight, easy trail that takes you directly to the lookout point where you can observe the Lighthouse that was used in WWII as surveillance and protection of the coast. Nearby, there are cabins and bunkhouses that were used by the lighthouse guards. Lighthouse Park is a National Historic Site of Canada.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 3.5 km
  • Total hiking time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: 1/5

#7 – Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni

hole in the wall port alberni

A Hidden Oasis

Although manmade, this hole in the wall – once a shortcut for the city’s water pipeline – now resembles a natural window within a big stone wall. Coupled with a  pretty waterfall where the creek flows to a clear pool below, this short and easy trail to a beautiful oasis is worth checking out if you’re on Vancouver Island.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 1.3 km
  • Total hiking time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: 1/5

#6 - Teapot Hill, Chilliwack

teapot hill chilliwack

A Hunt for Teapots

One of the quirkiest hikes in BC, the Teapot Hill trail in Chilliwack is a great day-hike if you have a chance to venture a little further from Vancouver. The trail is lined with hidden teapots and teacups, which makes for an entertaining scavenger hunt! The Teapot Hill hike is also home to some incredibly lush and mossy plant life. The top of the trail leads to an obstructed viewpoint of Cultus Lake, but this hike most definitely isn’t about the views. The view points at the picnic areas beside the lake provide views that are as nice as any!

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

#5 – Othello Tunnels, Hope

othello tunnels hope

Walk Through Old Train Tunnels

The Othello Tunnels trail is an easy, family-friendly walk in Hope that takes you through 5 abandoned Canadian Pacific Railway train tunnels - some so dark that you can literally only see the light at the end of the tunnel! This easy, flat trail is definitely one of the most unique hiking trails in BC. As you follow the trail, you'll walk through the Coquihalla Canyon, with walkways and openings to the emerald green river and beautiful waterfalls. This hike is a short 1 hour round trip and is very accessible hikers of all abilities!

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 3.5 km
  • Total hiking time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: 1/5

#4 – Function Junction, Whistler

whistler train wreck

A Colourful Train Wreck

The Whistler train wreck hike is located at Function Junction, the first intersection as you enter Whistler. This location is a popular attraction in the area because it is a graveyard to mangled boxcars from a 1956 train derailment. From the trailhead, a beautiful locomotive-themed suspension bridge is roughly 1 km down the trail. Just on the other side of the bridge, the box carts are sprinkled throughout the area, each one colourfully painted with graffiti art. The area is also a very popular mountain biking route so be careful when exploring the area!

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 2 km
  • Total hiking time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: 1/5

#3 Seton Lake Lookout, Lillooet

seton lake

A Road that’s a Little Loopy

An incredible reward for a relatively low effort hike! The top if this trail leads to an incredible view of the sky-blue Seton Lake with an even more incredible birds-eye view of a U-shaped bend in the Sea to Sky Highway.

The trailhead isn’t very obvious – search for “Seton Lake View” on Google Maps. This pinpoints a small rest area where you can park. Be careful when crossing the highway to the trail head directly across the road from the parking area.

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 1 km
  • Total hiking time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: 1/5

#2 - Mount Erskine, Salt Spring Island

mount erskine hike

A Trail of Fairy Doors

One of the most popular hikes on Salt Spring Island, the Mount Erskine hike includes a fun scavenger hunt for cute little fairy doors. It’s a steep climb to the top of the mountain, but the incredible views of Vancouver Island and the fun treasure hunt along the way make the trek worthwhile.

Although getting to Salt Spring Island requires an adventure outside of Vancouver, the island makes for a nice weekend getaway from city life. With a chilled-out artisan vibe, it’s all about supporting the locals! Don’t forget to check out the delicious eats at Salt Spring Island Cheese Company and the unique tasting room hut at Salt Spring Island Ales!

  • Round-trip hiking distance: 5 km
  • Total hiking time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: 3/5

#1 - A Giant Driftwood Mastodon

bowen island mastodon

A Hidden Piece of Art

The Mastodon Project is an incredible 9 ft tall sculpture by Bowen-based artist Guthrie Gloag, who hiked backpacks full of driftwood from the shore up to a secret location, in order to build this amazing piece of art that he hoped people would stumble upon in the forest. Since the mastodon is a symbol of extinction, he wanted this piece to be a message of conservation.

In order to preserve the magic of finding it in the wild, the artist has asked that the exact location not be shared publicly and it’s incredible to see that people have respected his wishes. This is one question that Google doesn't know the answer to, and that gives us a strange sense of peace. The hunt definitely made finding the mastodon that much more magical. Read more about Guthrie Gloag’s Mastodon Project here: http://guthriegloag.com/mastodon-project

  • Round-trip hiking distance: It's a secret! Our tip? Ask a friendly local 😊
  • Total hiking time: It depends on how good your tip is!
  • Difficulty: 3/5

As always, wherever you choose to explore, don't forget to 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