girl walking across the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge in North Vancouver

11 Amazing & Easy Local Hikes in Vancouver, BC

You might think of Vancouver and recognize the city, but did you know there are AMAZING & EASY hikes in Vancouver? Some of the best views, trails, and adventures can be found less than 30-minutes away from Downtown Vancouver. If you’re like me and need to escape from the city to the outdoors, I’ve created this list for you!

I’ve created this list to introduce you to our TOP 11 easy hikes located DIRECTLY in Vancouver. You do not have to drive or travel very far for these hikes which makes it easy for trip-planning to Vancouver! The list we’ve created here includes local favourites and a few of our top recommendations. I’ve made this list with beginners and experienced hikers in mind, so if you’re up for an adventure there is definitely something here for you!

When we moved to Vancouver 6 months ago I wish we had recommendations like these. We’ve hiked all of these trails in an attempt to find our favourites so that we can recommend them to you. It’s absolutely worth it to get outside and explore these local Vancouver trails and if this sounds like the perfect way to spend your time in Vancouver, keep reading for more!

How to Prepare for your Day-Hike

girl and dog standing at quarry rock overlooking deep cove vancouver

You’re going to want to prepare for your hikes in Vancouver, whether it’s a short day-hike or a long trek that takes you all day. Not only is it important to take care of yourself while hiking but it’s very important to take care of the trails and respect nature. People in Vancouver are proud of their trails and love to explore them, and it would be a shame to ruin these trails for the locals. It should also be said that local hiking enthusiasts will notice if you’re hiking unprepared.

Not sure what to pack for a day hike? Check out my day-hike packing list. All of the gear I reference here can be found on our guide. I truly think that it’s important to be prepared while you’re hiking and the initial investment will last you for years. Plus, it makes hiking so much more enjoyable with proper gear!

Hiking in Vancouver & What to Expect

Before you hit the trails, I’m here to offer some advice on hiking in Vancouver and what you can expect. We were amazed by the scenery in Vancouver and the quality of these trails so I want to make sure everybody can experience the same awe that we did! These tips will help you enjoy your hike to the fullest and respect the local community.

When hiking in Vancouver, you can expect that some of the trails might have been recently rained on. As a result, the forests will be lush and green, but the forest floor will be muddy. All of the trails listed here you should expect to be walking on gravel or dirt at the least and some sections might be covered in rocks and roots. It’s very easy to slip on rocks and roots, so it’s important to be wearing proper hiking shoes/boots and to watch your step!

The trails in Vancouver are well-maintained, every single one on this list are dog-friendly and the hikes listed here do not have crazy elevation. You should be prepared to arrive to the trailhead early to secure parking and to beat the crowds. We had a wakeup call here in Vancouver where we realized that almost EVERYBODY loves to get outside and we are not the only people hiking these trails. Expect trails to be busy during the day and on weekends. Most of the trails are paid-parking and have bathrooms at the trailheads.

Best Time to Visit Vancouver

Vancouver is an enjoyable destination all-year round, but there’s something special about Summer in Vancouver. When the sun is shining over this city you’ll find that almost everybody likes to spend their time outside being active. There’s plenty to do in Vancouver in the summer and the temperatures are BEAUTIFUL.

We have also really enjoyed Winter in Vancouver because of the fair temperatures. It rarely goes below freezing temperatures here and it’s also rare to get snow. The mountains, however, get hit with a ton of beautiful snowfall and are perfect for skiing/snowboard enthusiasts. Some of the trails on this list are best enjoyed in the winter!

Finally, I’d like to give a courtesy shoutout to Vancouver in the Spring. While the trails are often muddy with snow melting, this also means that the trees are blooming, fresh and hydrated. The amount of greenery we’ve seen in Vancouver during the Spring is incredible and makes up for the muddy trails. It’s also a bonus that the waterfalls will be SO much more powerful in the Spring!

Top 10 Easy & Local Vancouver Hikes

girl walking across the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge in North Vancouver

When we first moved to Vancouver, I wish that we had a list like this one! We made this list to kick off our favourite hiking series with the best local trails located directly in Vancouver. It was nice to ease back into hiking and get in shape when we moved here with hikes and trails like these. All of these trails are located in the Vancouver area and you will not have to drive further than 30-45 minutes to get to these trailheads!

The list below will be listed in order of difficulty and I’ll be starting with what I think are the easier hikes to gradually lead up to the harder trails. This is going to be similar to the order that we started hiking in and how we got to know the best hikes in Vancouver. I truly believe the views on these hikes are all worth adding to your Vancouver hiking list. Keep reading for our list of 10 Amazing & Easy Hikes in Vancouver!

Lynn Canyon

Starting this list with one of our favourite hikes in North Vancouver. It features a suspension bridge, waterfalls, and natural pools. Lynn Canyon Loop is an easy route at a well-known park that takes you for a walk through the forest. The entire loop is 2.6KM and should take you about 30-45 minutes to complete.

Lynn Canyon Loop is often used by locals as a daily walk or run and you’ll more than likely run into people (and off-leash dogs) on this trail. Parking is available at the trailhead for a fee and there are washrooms available too. The three major attractions are the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, Twin Falls, and the 30 Foot Pool. This loop will take you to all 3!

I highly recommend this part to anybody visiting Vancouver for the first-time, as well as anybody who lives in Vancouver. We take our dog to Lynn Canyon Park at least once a week and she loves it! This is a family friendly trail and I would consider Lynn Canyon Loop the easiest trail on this list, although some might have a tough time with the stairs. Read more on AllTrails.

Lighthouse Park

Hiking in Lighthouse Park is a super enjoyable way to spend an afternoon in Vancouver. The views are perfect for sunset, and the trails are well-maintained and easy to navigate while still being wild with nature. There are multiple trails that we like to hike at Lighthouse Park and the entire 5.8KM loop brings you to all of them. It should take you about 2 hours to complete and it’s a very family friendly route!

The Shore Pine trail will bring you to a beautiful ocean-side view of the Lighthouse and I definitely recommend this spot. There’s plenty of space on the rock surface for people to sit and enjoy the views, and we saw a lot of ocean wildlife here. There are multiple other spots on this trail to sit and enjoy the view and I recommend checking out them all.

While this is a popular park, there are so many trails and routes that you won’t see very many people on your hike. The forest is super beautiful and we love hiking next to the water for most of these trails. There is a large parking lot with room for everybody and washrooms at the trailhead. Full information on these trails at AllTrails.

Quarry Rock

The hike to Quarry Rock is super enjoyable and rewards you with fantastic views of Deep Cove. This is a 4.2KM out-and-back trail that should take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. You’ll start your hike at the Baden Powell Trailhead in Deep Cove (though there are multiple other sections of the Baden Powell Trail that lead here, this is the easiest way) and you’ll take a nice walk through Cove Forest.

This is a heavily trafficked trail with nice boardwalks and staircases to make it more easy & accessible. The forest is very scenic itself, but the view at the end of this trail brings you to a large, open, rock section with plenty of room for everybody. Pro tip: this hike is best enjoyed at sunset and makes for a perfect place to catch a Vancouver sunset.

As of March 2022, this trail is currently closed with a fence around the main trailhead. People are bypassing this barrier and hiking to the trail anyway, but there are reports of park rangers asking people to leave. Taking alternate routes will avoid this, but use this trail at your own risk. Check out AllTrails for more information & updates.

Dog Mountain

A classic Mount Seymour hike, Dog Mountain is well-known for the easy trail and epic views. This is a 5.6KM out-and-back trail that should take you about 1 hour and 35 minutes to complete. We love this trail because it’s dog-friendly, barely any elevation and mostly flat with some rolling hills. It’s well-maintained and family friendly. It’s important to note that this trail and more on our list are closed at certain points of the Spring/Summer for snow melting, make sure to check out AllTrails.

I love to recommend Dog Mountain because of the view. The hike is relatively easy with bridges and lots of roots. You’ll arrive at the viewpoint to an exposed summit of Dog Mountain with a large rock section overlooking the city of Vancouver. On the other side of the view, you’ll be facing the beautiful mountain range. We might be biased, but the mountain range view is our favourite. This hike is awesome at sunset!

Bowen Lookout

This was the first hike that we did when we moved to Vancouver, and it made us fall in love with Cypress Mountain! Bowen Lookout is a 4.2KM out-and-back trail that offers you amazing views of Howe Sound and is situated almost directly above Bowen Island. It should take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete this trail, and I recommend you check this one out for an epic sunset!

This is the easiest version of the St Marks Summit trail and while the views are similar, they’re definitely not the same. Dogs are allowed on-leash at this trail and it’s landing in the middle of my difficulty list because of some steep switchbacks. This is still a short enough trail that it’s pretty easy for the average person, though. If you’re hiking in the Winter/Spring make sure to bring your micro spikes! Check out the up-to-date reviews on AllTrails.

Norvan Falls

This hike makes it on our top 10 list because it’s a longer distance without much elevation, and a beautiful waterfall at the end! The reward for hiking this 14KM out-and-back trail is well worth it and it’ll take you about 3 hours and 40 minutes to complete. We’ve hiked this trail in the Winter and the Spring, and I bet it’s even more fun to complete in the summer (you can swim directly under the waterfall)!

The distance is the hardest thing about this trail, and that’s why I think it’s worth adding to your Vancouver hiking list. The trail is relatively flat except for one section of elevation and the scenery is constantly changing to keep you interested. The waterfall itself is beautiful and it’s a great spot to relax and have some lunch before hiking your way back to the trailhead. AllTrails will provide you with trail updates.

Kennedy Falls

The trail to Kennedy Falls is similar to Norvan Falls and I’ve ranked it as more difficult because of the quality of the 9.8KM trail itself. Norvan Falls is much better kept and maintained than Kennedy Falls but I would still recommend both. The waterfall itself is smaller than Norvan Falls but seems to be more powerful! It will take you about 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete this out-and-back trail.

This is a very fun trail and you’ll be impressed with the waterfall view at the end. It’s a great adventure and you’ll enjoy walking through the lush forest and rugged trail. See the reviews for this trail on AllTrails.

First Peak/Pump Peak

This past winter, we were determined to hike up to the top of Pump Peak on Mount Seymour Trail. This was an absolute leg-burner in the snow and unfortunately we did not make it to Pump Peak. We did make it up to First Peak which is one of the best views on the trail! The trail I’m going to recommend is the 7KM Pump Peak out-and-back hike and it will take a total of 3 hours to complete. AllTrails has the route to both lookouts.

This trail has some huge inclines but it’s not an impossible climb. There are great views along the entire trail and you’ll find yourself looking back at the view of Vancouver from above. At the peak, you’re rewarded with 360 views and a large rock surface to hangout and enjoy. This is one of the best views in the Mount Seymour area and I highly recommend it, even in the winter.

Hollyburn Peak

We really enjoyed this hike in the winter and it was a challenge, but extremely fun! This 7KM loop trail starts at a different parking lot/trailhead on Cypress Mountain than usual. It will take you about 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete this trail and I should warn you about a couple of steep climbs on this trail. The first 30-minutes will be a pretty intense climb followed by a good portion of flat grounds, finished off with a really big incline to the top!

The views on the way up Hollyburn Peak are incredible and some of the best views of Vancouver I’ve seen. From the top of Hollyburn Peak, you’ll be looking directly out towards the Gulf Islands and the Lions. These are pretty much 360 views no matter where you stand at the top of the hike and I seriously recommend this one in the Winter! There’s a couple of AllTrails routes for the Winter Route and Summer Route.

Tunnel Bluffs

This is one of our FAVOURITES. The trailhead and parking lot to Tunnel Bluffs is about 30-45 minutes from Vancouver on the Sea-to-Sky highway but it’s so close to the city that I need to include it on this list! If you’re lucky and score a (paid) parking spot, you’re in for a super enjoyable 11KM out-and-back trail. The first 2KM of this trail are a grind but it makes the rewarding view at the top SO much better.

One of the best things about this hike and the reason why I recommend it so often is because it’s snow free very early on in the year. Not only that, but for the dreamy views over Howe Sound. The top of the hike features a large rock section with a few fire pits and lots of room for tents. You definitely need to add this one to your Vancouver hiking plans! AllTrails will let you know current conditions.

DISCLAIMER! This hike is not exactly easy and should not be considered a beginner hike. It can take you up to 3+ hours to complete this trail, and the first 2KM are extremely steep and hard. I want to include this warning for potential hikers, please read additional trail reviews and see if this is a good hike for you.

St. Marks Summit

St Marks Summit is another one of our FAVOURITE hikes in Vancouver and it shows off some of the best views overlooking Howe Sound. This trail begins at Cypress Mountain at the same trailhead as Bowen Lookout. It’s a 10.5KM out-and-back trail that’s going to take you about 4 hours to complete. This is definitely on the medium-hard difficulty scale but still do-able and SO WORTH IT. Check on AllTrails to make sure it’s open.

Luckily we scored this hike on a hot summer day last year and can’t wait to crush it again. The cliffs at the top of St. Marks Summit are huge and it makes an incredible sunset hike. The views speak for themselves and it’s another one of my top hike recommendations in Vancouver.

DISCLAIMER! This is not an easy hike but I’ve included it because it’s a great recommendation for hiking in Vancouver. It is long with plenty of elevation, and you should read trail reviews before you head out to see if this is a good trail for you. Check out our full guide to St Marks Summit for more information on the trail, parking, and camping here.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re new to Vancouver, you’re just visiting the city or you’ve lived here for a while, I’ve included multiple options for easy & amazing hikes in Vancouver for everybody! You do not have to travel very far to find some incredible trails with great views and I hope that our list has inspired some of you to get outside this season. I’d be happy to hear if you’ve learned something new or added these to your hiking list!

As always, I want to remind you to respect the local community and take care of these trails so that everyone can enjoy them. We want these trails to be available and beautiful for everybody that comes to visit and we can all do our part by leaving no trace. This includes packing out your garbage, cleaning up after your dog, and staying on the designated trail to not disturb the wildlife or habitat.

Please feel free to leave me a comment if you’ve found a new hiking trail from our list, or if you’ve hiked some of these trails already! I would love to hear from you, and I can’t wait to share more of our epic hiking adventures with you.

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