Hiking doesn’t need to be hard or time consuming. At least, not when you know about these beautiful short hikes (Vancouver). We’ve included easy day hikes in and around Vancouver as well as some walking trails in Vancouver you’ll want to explore. All are absolutely gorgeous.
CONTENTS – In this article you will discover 5 easy Vancouver hikes you won’t want to miss, including:
- Best Day Hikes Near Vancouver
- Final Thoughts on Short Hikes, Vancouver
Try These Easy Vancouver Day Hikes
Day trips are an excellent way to explore the beauty of nature around you. You’ll enjoy the fresh air, exercise, and a change of scenery. The Vancouver area offers many hiking opportunities for different skill levels, as well as all-year-round hiking.
Here are five short hikes around Vancouver that are spectacular and easy to get to. Start with one that suits your skill level, and with any luck, you can try them all.
1. Goldie Lake & Flower Lake Loop
One of the best places to hike in Vancouver that gets overshadowed by other popular hikes nearby is Goldie Lake & Flower Lake Loop. It’s a beautiful hidden gem in the lower mainland, which is why it’s a top choice for the best day hike around Vancouver.
The Goldie Lake and Flower Lake Loop is a dog-friendly, 2 mi. hike that takes you to two beautiful, turquoise lakes. It’s an easy hike with nice views in North Vancouver.
The trail follows an old, decommissioned road turned into a wide and flat hiking route for the summer months.
Stay on this trail as it winds through massive caribou and red cedar trees, traveling high above Skwawkwawk Creek. Then, you’ll descend to Goldie Lake and follow the eastern shoreline of Flower Lake. Several more trails come together at Flower Lake, which is a multi-tiered lake with concrete steps leading you to different levels of water.
This hike is great for families because it’s mostly flat but still leads you to these stunning crystal clear blue lakes surrounded by mountains. It also allows dogs so bring your four-legged friend along!
2. Vancouver’s Stanley Park
Vancouver’s Stanley Park, located on the north shore of English Bay, is one of the top hiking destinations in British Columbia.
This 2,000-acre urban park stretches from downtown Vancouver to the tip of Point Grey. You’ll enjoy a variety of natural and man-made sights and activities along the way.
The park boasts an array of forest types, from coastal rainforest to western red cedar and species like Douglas fir, western hemlock, and bigleaf maple. Bird watchers will delight in over 200 species that can be spotted throughout the park’s trails, ranging from gentle walks to technical scrambles.
One of the most popular attractions in Stanley Park is Vancouver Aquarium. A visit here allows you to explore a wide range of exhibits for tourists and locals alike. You can get up close with several marine species, including beluga whales and orcas; and observe creatures from around the world, like Great Barrier Reef corals and African wildlife. You might also opt to take a guided tour about topics like dedgu rescue (a small animal similar to a hamster, but bigger) and sustainable fishing practices.
Other natural areas within Stanley Park showcase more of nature’s beauty in all its glory. The park has over 12 mi. of trails offering various degrees of difficulty through forests and beaches.
But you can keep it to a short hike if you prefer. To ensure you stay on track on the right path you may want to use GPS.
3. Lynn Canyon Park
Lynn Canyon Park is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible locations for hiking in North Vancouver. Just a quick drive from downtown Vancouver (or via public transportation), it features steep hills and breathtaking views of the North Shore Mountains.
You’ll find many hiking trails in Lynn Canyon Park with varying ease and difficulty. They range from short strolls to strenuous climbs up steep slopes. Some are even a combination of both, where hikers can admire the views along flat tracks and across bridges before starting their climb up mountain trails.
Also, cliff-side trails offer incredible views and risk of injury should hikers mistakenly slip down the sides of the trails or off ledges. So be careful!
Depending on which trail you pick, the length varies from a half hour walk to all-day hikes of several hours. Here are some shorter hikes you might consider:
- Lower Falls Trail: A gentle trail with many places to stop along the way and admire the scenery, especially after heavy rain.
- Butterfly Trail: An easy loop trail that passes by an impressive array of wildflowers.
- Lynn Loop: A challenging trail that gets its name because it loops back to the entrance. It’s an excellent option for experienced hikers who want to get some serious elevation gain without having to spend too much time on the trail.
4. Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain is about a thirty-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. It is part of a National Park called The Grouse Mountain Skyride. A gondola runs from the base to an observation deck. You’ll find several hiking trails with some being short.
The best hikes around Grouse Mountain include:
The Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – Rice Lake Loop
- This hike is fairly flat and just less than 2 mi. long. The best part is you’ll discover a few opportunities to dip your feet in the water along the way. To get there, take Tyee Road to Lynn Valley Road, then turn right onto Peters Road. You can park at Rice Lake parking lot for a small fee. You can also park at Lynn Valley Mall and walk .2 mi. on Peters Road to the trailhead.
The Quarry Rock Hike
- Start at the Baden Powell Trailhead in Deep Cove and head left on the Baden Powell Trail for about 1 mi. until you reach Quarry Rock. This is a great hike to do with kids as it’s just under 2 mi. round trip, and there are plenty of opportunities to play, explore, and see wildlife along the way.
- An approximately 2.9-mile hike that gains about 2,800 feet in elevation that takes about two hours to complete (one way). This popular trail for visitors is challenging and beautiful, but not so difficult that people cannot do it. The trail goes through a forest with small waterfalls and up steep mountainsides before you reach the summit after almost three hours of hiking. You can see the city of Vancouver below you and the ocean if you continue to hike beyond the summit.
- A 10-mile round trip hike that takes between 8 and 12 hours to complete (one way), depending on whether you are taking breaks along the way to enjoy the spectacular views. This hike is slightly more difficult than Grouse Grind, but not much. You gain 6,400 feet of elevation throughout the trip, but it is all very gradual, and each section is easy.
The Baden Powell Trail
- This 18-mile trail traverses across the entire region and connects several smaller trails along the way. The entire trail takes about two days to complete and has several camping spots along the way, so it’s perfect for the hardy backpacker who loves being out in nature overnight! If you want to keep it short, select from one of the smaller trails on the route.
5. Hollyburn Mountain
If you’re looking for the perfect day hike, Hollyburn Mountain is one of the best options around. This trail is a quick hike to the top and great for all experience levels. With stunning views, it’s also one of the most photographed spots in West Vancouver.
The trailhead is located at Cypress Mountain Resort. If you don’t have a season pass, you will need to pay for parking. You can access Hollyburn Mountain by hiking or biking along the road up to the base or taking a gondola ride.
Hollyburn Mountain has several trails that vary significantly in difficulty. The easiest and shortest route is Pike Trail, best suited for families with young children. The trail begins as a wide, flat gravel path. It climbs steadily as it winds through thick trees until you reach a ridge overlooking Howe Sound to the west and Indian Arm to the east.
Phone apps can help provide you maps and tracking devices if you want to trace your way and in case you get lost.
And if you’re hungry or parched while hiking in winter, simply head back to the resort’s hut serving food and drinks to the skiers. (Unfortunately, it’s not open in the summertime.)
Final Thoughts on Short Hikes, Vancouver BC
Any one of these beautiful day hikes in Vancover is going to leave you feeling content and satisfied with your experience. Each offers different aspects to appreciate, from the views to the difficulty level–one of them is perfect for you! Whichever one you choose, you can be sure it’s just one of the most beautiful day hikes around Vancouver.
Keep reading to find out what snacks and lunch to bring on your day hike.
Author Bio: Res Marty is an expert advisor in camping and hiking. From his cabin-crew days until now, he’d been on uncountable hiking sprees. He loves to share his experience with the world through his blog.
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