Vancouver, BC is a picturesque city nestled between the North Shore Mountains to the East and several bodies of water leading into the Pacific Ocean to the West. The city itself is the most dense city in Canada and also one of the most culturally diverse. It hosts a thriving art community and I was lucky enough to witness the International Buskers Festival on my last trip there.
Vancouver is also home to some of the most amazing hikes you’ll ever take! Below are 7:
Stawamus Chief is about an hour drive from Vancouver, but worth the trip! “The Chief” as the locals call it, is one of the largest granite outcroppings in the world, second only to the Rock of Gibralter. There are 3 hikes of varying lengths that will take you to one of the 3 domes of The Chief. The highest summit takes around 5 hours to reach while the lowest takes about 3 hours. Go to this website for more information about the hike.
Mount Baker Recreation Area
Mount Baker Recreation Area is a 2 hour drive across the border in Washington State, U.S. From Artist’s Point you have access to several trails all with stunning mountain scenery. For those hikers who love a challenge, try the Mt Shuksan trail.
The peak of Crown Mountain is one of the most visible from Vancouver. If you’re not up to the task of taking “Mother Nature’s Stairstepper,” The Grouse Grind to the trailhead, you can take the Grouse Mountain skyride instead. It’s about a 5 hour round-trip hike to the peak and back. At 30 minutes’ drive from Vancouver, it is one of the closest hikes, but also one of the most difficult. Click on this link for more information.
The Binkert Lions
This almost 10 mile, difficult hike is about an hour from Vancouver. The Binkert Lions are two very distinctive landmarks that are visible from pretty much all of the lower mainland. You should definitely plan on spending the entire day here, so bring plenty of food and water to keep you fueled up! The trail gains over 1200 feet on the way up, so this trail is not for the casual hiker. Click here for more information.
The Diez Vistas trail is a moderate hike that will take around 6 hours to complete. This trail takes you all the way around Buntzen Lake. Along the way you are treated with 10 awe-inspiring views that include Burrard Inlet, North Shore, the Indian Arm and even Vancouver Island. Visit this page to learn more.
Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park is surrounded by glaciers, snow-capped mountains, volcanic structures and alpine meadows. The hike to the lake is a long 11 miles, so take your camping gear and spend the night at one of 50 campsites around the lake. Camping also gives you plenty of leisure time to explore nearby Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk trails. Click on this link for information.