Finally, after a long Winter, warm Summer weather is here! And, warm Summer weather means it’s the perfect time to hike in the Coastal Mountains near Vancouver, BC. One of the things that makes Vancouver such an awesome place to live or visit is the fact that numerous, beautiful hiking trails are just a short car trip away.
All of the hikes below are one or two hours away from Vancouver, so a day trip is definitely possible. And some, like Dog Mountain and Diez Vistas, can even be hiked in the Winter if you own a good set of snow shoes or skis. But, in my opinion, the absolute best time to take in the gorgeous scenery around Vancouver is now, and all of these hikes offer amazing views.
1. Diez Vistas Trail
The Sendero Diez Vistas Trail is a moderate to difficult 5 – 7 hour loop hike near the village of Anmore. The trail takes you around Buntzen Lake in Belcarra Regional Park. Since the trail takes you along the ridge line above the lake, breathtaking vistas can be seen all along the trail. If you get hot from your hike, you can take a dip in Buntzen Lake.
The trailhead is located at the south end of the lake. Walk left from the main beach to the boardwalk. The trail begins at the end of the boardwalk. The trail is open yearly from March through November.
If you want some inspiration for places to camp near Vancouver, check out our list of 6 prime camping spots!
2. Garibaldi Lake
Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park is a beautiful, glacier-fed, lake that sits at 4757 feet above sea level. The hike is rated moderate to difficult due to a gain in elevation of 2657 feet as you make your way along the trail. The hike is most popular in July and August when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
If you pack your camping gear, you can stay at one of the 50 camp sites at Garibaldi Lake. Doing this will give you an opportunity to also hike the nearby Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk trails. But you do need a reservation to camp at the lake. More information can be found here.
3. Mount Seymoure
This hike is a moderate to difficult 5.5 mile round-trip hike up the mountain that will take about 5 hours to complete. The trail climbs 1476 feet and you do have to climb over some rocks near the end. But, for your effort, you are rewarded with spectacular views of the area! If you take the hike in the Winter, you can sled, snowboard or ski back down.
The trail is about a 50 minute drive from Vancouver and is only open July – October. Check this website for more information.
4. Mount Cheam
Mount Cheam is an intermediate level hike that requires a four wheel drive vehicle to get to the trailhead. You have to climb over some logs to reach the trail and hike an elevation gain of 2300 feet, but the effort is worth the amazing views! You can even see Mt. Baker in Washington State, US from here!
It takes about three and a half hours to reach the trail from Vancouver and the trail is only open July – October. If you love flowers, you’ll want to hike the trail in August when the wildflowers are in bloom. Learn more about this hike here.
Need even more hiking? Here’s 5 spots to hike on South Vancouver Island that most people haven’t heard of.
5. The Binkert Lions
This is the most difficult hike on the list and requires some rock climbing skills to reach the summit. Even though it’s an 8 hour round trip hike, it’s only a one hour drive from Vancouver which makes a day hike still possible. This trail gets its name from after Paul Binkert of the British Columbia Mountaineering Club and the naturally formed rock formation, The Lions. You can only hike to the summit of the West Lion because the East Lion is a protected area.
You will need rock climbing gear to get to the West Lion Summit. Or, if you like risking your life, you can also reach the summit via a dangerous trail. You may want to take a break and soak up the scenery at a clearing just a short trek up the trail before hiking the uphill portion of the trail that climbs 4200 feet! Visit this website to learn more.