Jun 2011 20

Where to Go for a Hike around Vancouver

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Lynn Headwater Park by Walter Lim Lynn Headwater Park by Walter Lim

It’s only natural for a person to need to get out of the city — even when it’s a city as beautiful as Vancouver. Fortunately, the Vancouver region offers many day or half-day trips in the beautiful nature around the city, easily reachable by car, ferry, or even by air. Take your family, your friends, or just go on your own and enjoy all the greenery.

Lynn Headwater Regional Park

Lynn Headwater Regional Park by James Wheeler
Lynn Headwater Regional Park
by James Wheeler

Situated in North Vancouver, across the Lions Gate Bridge, this over four and a half hectare mountain park offers a variety of terrains and places to see. The waters of Lynn Creek are just the beginning. You can enjoy beautiful mountain slopes, breathtaking debris chutes, and cascades. If you don’t feel like hiking too much, you can enjoy the view from the picnic area or climb milder creek side trails. The Lynn Loop and Headwater trails are more suitable for slightly advanced hikers. It might be dangerous to venture past North Falls unless you’re experienced and well equipped. It’s advisable to sign in at the Hikers Registration Board in case of any trouble on advanced trails — it’s a good idea to make sure somebody knows your whereabouts. Check your route at the official trail map.

To get there, take Highway 1 to exit 19, then follow Lynn Valley Road past the Mountain Highway intersection, past the turn off for the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and Ecology Centre, and continue to the end of Lynn Valley Road (approximately 4 kilometres).

The Grouse Grind

Grouse Mountain Skyride by Zen Skillicorn
Grouse Mountain Skyride
by Zen Skillicorn

Another jewel of Vancouver’s nature areas is Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. The famous Grouse Grind hike is 2.9 km long and elevated by 800m straight up the Grouse Mountain. The trail is not suitable for people with high blood pressure and breathing problems since it’s quite demanding in terms of physical fitness. The spectacular view at the top is just the reward you’d expect for such a difficult trail! There’s an option to take the Sky-Tram back down for $5 and enjoy the view of Vancouver.

Goldstream Provincial Park

Goldstream Provincial Park by Evan Leeson
Goldstream Provincial Park
by Evan Leeson

In the heart of a temperate rain forest, offering a view of 600-year-old Douglas fir, western red cedar, and the arbutus tree, lays the 388-hectare large Goldstream Provincial Park. Its close proximity to Victoria offers a very nice opportunity to visit both the park and the city. In October and December, the stream is packed with Chum salmon returning. There’s also the lovely Freeman King Visitor’s centre, overlooking the Goldstream estuary.

The park is located on southern Vancouver Island, 16 km north-west of Victoria, on the Highway 1. Take the Sooke Lake Road from Highway 1 if you want to enter the camp grounds. If you wish to go straight to the day-use area, the entrance is placed close to the Highway 1 and Finlayson Arm Road junction.

Pender Island

Pender Island by Sam Pender Island by Sam

Pender island actually consists of two islands, despite commonly being referred to in the singular. Situated on the Southern Pender at Mortimer Spit lays one of the most welcoming sand beaches, just perfect for a day trip — perfect for relaxation. This is just the place for people who want to hike but not exercise.

To get to the island, you can take a ferry. Service is fairly frequent from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Seair service is also available from YVR’s south terminal and from downtown Vanvouver.

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