Snow is thawing on the mountains, cherry blossoms are in bloom and the milder weather is starting the fire in your belly to get outside and be active again.
Luckily, you will find a number of spring hikes on Vancouver’s North Shore that will let you get your fix of stunning views and a great workout. Here are some of our suggestions for hikes that are free from snow* to try this spring.
The Capilano Pacific Trail follows the Capilano River from the ocean at Ambleside Beach up to the beautiful Cleveland Dam. During the four hour hike (two hours there and back) you will pass through beaches, rocky canyons, and our famous rainforests. Although never venturing that far from civilization, you will absolutely feel away from it all and immersed in nature. To find the head of the trail, walk from Ambleside Beach to Park Royal, at the back of the mall you’ll find the end of the pavement and the start of the gravel trail that will set you off on your walk beside the Capilano River.
Lighthouse Park actually makes for a fantastic hike throughout the year due to its location on the shores of West Vancouver. The dog-friendly park has multiple trails running through stunning old-growth fir forests that reach up to 200ft into the sky. The forests lead you to the rocky shorelines with views of the Salish Sea. A number of the trails are relatively easy making it great for families with young children or those looking to take it easy. You’ll, of course, find the impressive Point Atkinson Lighthouse in the park too.
For those wanting to get some mountain action, the Dog Mountain Trail on Mount Seymour is a great option. The 2-hour hike is slightly more challenging than the others on the list due to the slippery and rocky trail, but the elevation is minimal and the views from the top of North Vancouver, Stanley Park, Lionsgate Bridge, and Downtown Vancouver make it well worth it! Access to the trail is signposted from the Mount Seymour parking lot.
The Bowen Lookout is located on Cypress Mountain and is easily accessed from the parking lot. The hike is a relatively short distance of 4km but those looking for more of a challenge can extend their hike to reach St Mark’s Summit. The route is at a higher elevation and it is likely you will see snow on the trails earlier on in the year. Always check trail conditions before your trip. The signposted trail will finish at the namesake lookout point where you will see views of, you guessed it!, Bowen Island and the rest of Howe Sound.
Whytecliff Park has a series of hiking trails as well as family picnic areas and a rocky beach. Whytecliff Park is known for its amazing marine wildlife as well as its scuba-diving opportunities, but if you are looking to hike today we recommend you park in the higher overflow parking lot to access the trails more easily. Whytecliff offers easy but scenic hikes for those of you who want to get outside but without getting too out of breath! The park is easily reached by public transport from Downtown Vancouver for those of you who have a good idea to leave the car at home for the day!
Always remember to check current conditions prior to embarking on a hike. Always be AdventureSmart and create a trip plan, tell somewhere where you are going, and be prepared.