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15 Easy Day Hikes in Vancouver, BC

15 Easy Day Hikes in Vancouver, BC

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If you ask anyone in Vancouver, British Columbia, what their hobbies are, they will most likely say hiking. And for good reason! There are SO many amazing places to hike in Vancouver!

Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada, so it has the Pacific Ocean on one side and mountains on the other. In between are a whole lot of forests, lakes, rivers, and other awesome hiking destinations! In fact, hiking is one of the best things to do in Vancouver!

Everything hike on this list are day-hike options and accessible within a 1.5-hour drive from downtown Vancouver. They vary in distance and difficulty, so there’s really something for everyone!

Here are 15 of our favorite easy day hikes in Vancouver!

Hiking in Vancouver FAQs

A lady hikes through the forest in Vancouver, BC
Just imagine surrounding yourself with such beauty!

15 Easy Hikes in Vancouver

1. Lynn Loop in Lynn Canyon

Lynn canyon, Vancouver
Lynn canyon, Vancouver. If you want to see the bridge like this get there early!
  • Distance: Varies depending on the trail and route you take
  • Elevation gain: 100 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

A lot of people visit the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge on their visit to Vancouver (you should too –check out #7!), but not as many people know about Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge! This one is free and, better yet, accessible by a gorgeous hike through the forest.

This one-way loop hike will take about 1.5 hours and is fairly easy. Due to its low elevation, you can enjoy it year-round.

You will start at the parking lot of the Regional Park, and start walking past the yellow gate towards Lynn Creek. You’ll walk over the suspension bridge, so make sure to snap some pics and enjoy the water rushing under your feet. The trail starts with a steep section at the beginning for about 10 minutes but will level out after that.

Enjoy the rest of the loop, walking through the cedar and hemlock trees and enjoying views out over Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

This trail can be accessed via public transport and arriving early is recommended to avoid the crowds.

2. Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove

Quarry Rock, Vancouver
The stunning views of Quarry Rock!
  • Distance: 3.8km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 100 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 1.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

This hike is one of the most popular in Vancouver, making parking a challenge! For that reason, I recommend trying to go during the week and avoid the middle of the day.  

Starting from the cute little town in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, this out-and-back hike will take about 1.5 hours to complete. It starts off with a bit of an incline and then levels out to a few moderate ups and downs throughout.

This hike is mostly through the forest and has stairs, boardwalks, and bridges to help you navigate over the streams and rocky sections. It is quiet and beautiful along the trail, with lots of forest views along the way. You’ll end up at the lookout point – Quarry Rock – which overlooks the Indian Arm inlet. The views are stunning so get your camera ready!

When you’re ready to head back, turn around and retrace your steps back to the quaint town of Deep Cove. The best part of this hike? The post-hike treats at Honey Doughnuts, who are infamous in this area – you won’t be disappointed!

3. The Grouse Grind

Views on the Grouse Grind, Vancouver
Yep, the hard work is totally worth it!
  • Distance: 2.9km one way
  • Elevation gain: 853 meters
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time needed: 1.5-2 hours
  • Type of trail: Hike up, gondola down!
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

Those who have completed the Grouse Grind wear it as a badge of honor, and for good reason. It’s one of the more difficult hikes in Vancouver on this list, but totally worth it. Grouse Mountain is a local ski and snowboard mountain in North Vancouver, so this hike is only seasonally open from June-September when there isn’t snow covering the trail!

The trail begins just next to the Grouse Mountain Gondola parking lot. Head up past the gate, over a small bridge, and you will immediately begin your ascent. This hike is impossible to get lost on, as there are signposts all along the way showing you where to go and marking the distance.

Most of the hike is pretty steep and you will walk up wooden steps the majority of the way. It really is a grind – you will cover 850 meters of elevation in under 3 km. Bring your water and take breaks if needed!

Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy the absolutely stunning views from the top of Grouse Mountain, called the “Peak of Vancouver.” Here you can overlook the city, ocean, and surrounding mountains. Luckily, there’s also a café and bar at the top, so grab a drink and relax a bit. The only way down from here is the gondola, so enjoy the ride back to the parking lot. Note there is a $20 CAD cost to take the gondola down.

I included this as an easy hike in Vancouver because you can opt to use the gondola one way to make the trail easier. Or just skip hiking altogether and ride the gondola both ways. Once at the top you can enjoy the sunset and view – a very romantic activity and perfect for a couple on a honeymoon in Vancouver.

4. Gold Creek Falls at Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Park

Views on the Gold Creek Falls at Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Park
I love the stunning rivers with mountain backdrops!
  • Distance: 5.5km round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

Golden Ears Park is in Maple Ridge, still technically in the Greater Vancouver Region, but a little further out. This one is perfect for a day trip that includes a hike and then you can spend the rest of the day at Alouette Lake, an absolutely gorgeous (but freezing!) lake set right in the park.

The Gold Creek Falls hike is pretty easy, with minimal elevation gain. You can start right from the parking lot and head towards the trail. The views are typical for this area as a west coast rainforest – dense trees and moss-blanketed forest floor.

After 15 minutes of hiking, you’ll see Gold Creek on your left as well as views of the mountains all around. You’ll likely hear the falls before seeing them! Once at the Gold Creek Falls, enjoy the sound of rushing water before continuing on to complete the loop.

Once your hike is done, head to Alouette Lake beach, take out a blanket and have a relaxing picnic lunch and afternoon at the beach.

5. Stawamus Chief

A lady walks up the Stawamus Chief track in Vancouver, BC
For its difficulty, this hike is very rewarding!
  • Distance: 11km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 600 meters
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 6 hours
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

Affectionately known as “The Chief,” this is another iconic hike in Vancouver. The Chief is an hour’s drive north from Vancouver in the city of Squamish, and the drive takes you along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway – an epic road trip from Vancouver to Whistler along one very scenic highway!

From the trailhead off of the Sea to Sky highway, you’ll start the hike on a wide trail. It quickly turns into a steep section of stairs. This is the most challenging section, so push through and take rests if needed.

You’ll then continue up the trail, through a trail junction with the Sea to Summit Trail, and continue towards one of the three peaks of The Chief. They are marked and depending on your fitness level, you can do one or all three.

There is a section of ladders to climb to actually get up to the viewpoint, so be ready for a bit of technical hiking. Once at the top, you will enjoy sweeping views of the region! It is a total “we did it!” kind of moment, so soak it all in.

To make the trail easy only hike up the first summit and back down. Climbing the other peaks requires more time and is much harder. This trail is also considered one of the best things to do in Whistler!

6. Stanley Park and Seawall

A lady walks through Stanley Park in Vancouver
  • Distance: 6.5km round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 10 minutes

Stanley Park is a world-renowned 45-hectare park in Vancouver, beloved by locals and tourists alike. Along the outside of the park is the seawall, a flat, paved path giving you beautiful views of the surrounding ocean and Vancouver harbor.

If you want a bit more of a hike or trail walk, you can utilize the trails throughout the park itself. I recommend that you start off near the Rose Garden, where you can park. Walk along Pipeline Road and then follow signs for the South Creek Trail. You’ll love this trail, full of massive cedar and hemlock trees.

You’ll hit Beaver Lake, say hello to the ducks, and then carry on to the Rawlings Trail, heading west towards Third Beach. This is a popular beach in the summertime, with a large sandy area and gorgeous views. Keep walking along the seawall for a bit, and then head back into the park by the Lost Lagoon, eventually ending back where you started.

There are tons of different routes besides this one, so don’t be afraid to just go and get a little lost! Or, stick to the seawall for something easy. The seawall is also very popular for biking and rollerblading if you’re into that!

Related read: While in Vancouver consider joining a food tour. I love these tours as you get to see the sites and eat along the way!

7. Capilano Suspension Bridge Walk

Views of the treetop walk at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC
The bridge is only part of the attraction. the treetop walk is so stunning!
  • Distance: 2.6km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 100 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 1 hour, plus longer to hang out in the park
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

Capilano Suspension Bridge is a very popular tourist destination and costs $54.95 CAD to enter the park. It’s a bit on the pricey side but is a truly iconic destination, and I guarantee you’ll want to snap some Instagram pics along the 140-meter-long suspension bridge!

You’ll walk over the suspension bridge right away after entering the gates. It’s an experience like no other! Walk over the bridge and take in the scenery and river rushing under you.

Once on the other side, you can follow the trail and boardwalk paths through the trees. There is also a tree-walk experience, where you can walk over suspension bridges between trees high up in the area.

Note that this is a tourist attraction, and so it can get busy. The benefit, though, is that it is highly accessible and easy for everyone. It is the best of the best in terms of west coast scenery – big trees, rushing rivers, and mountain views. For this reason, many include it in their Vancouver itinerary.

You can stop by the gift shop or café on your way out – enjoy!

To save time, you can book your Capilano Suspension Bridge tickets in advance here.

8. Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls, Canada
Brandywine Falls, Canada was a highlight of my trip to Whistler!
  • Distance: 1km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 56 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 0.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

This is the perfect stop if you are driving up the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish or Whistler. It’s a short hike, just 30 minutes, but will take you to a stunning waterfall.

The trail starts from the parking lot, where you will then cross a wooden bridge. Head right across the train tracks and continue on until you reach the platform overlooking the waterfall. The falls itself drops 70 meters and is surrounded by dramatic cliffs.

Once you’re finished, turn around and head back the way you came to the parking lot.

9. Velodrome Trail on Burnaby Mountain

Velodrome Trail on Burnaby Mountain
Beautiful days in Vancouver are best spent on the Velodrome Trail!
  • Distance: 3km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 240 meters
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 1 hour, plus some time at the top to explore or get a drink
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

This trail is located in Burnaby and is often called Burnaby’s Grind, a nod to #3 on this list, and takes you up to the top of Burnaby Mountain, also home to Simon Fraser University.

The Velodrome Trail trailhead starts at Burnaby Velodrome, a sports complex along Barnet Highway. You can park here and start the trail from the gravel parking lot. The trail goes up the north side of Burnaby Mountain and will take you up more than 500 stairs before connecting with the Pandora trail.

The trail is marked and easy to follow and will lead you up to a park with Japanese totem poles. It’s worth a stop here to take a look at the totem poles as well as the views out over the Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet.

From here you can either turn around and head back down the way you came, or you can push on a bit further up to the campus of Simon Fraser University. There are lots of coffee and food options here if you need to grab some refreshments before heading back down.

10. Buntzen Lake

Buntzen Lake, Vancouver BC
After rain the picnic area can flood a little!
  • Distance: 10km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 110 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 3.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1hour

Buntzen Lake is a beautiful lake set near the city of Port Moody, about an hour’s drive east of Vancouver. There is a lot of hiking in this area, with Buntzen Lake being one of my favorites.

You can start the trail right from the beach, accessible through the large parking lots inside of the park. Head to your left and walk along the beach to come to the trailhead. The signs will direct you clockwise around the lake. You’ll come to a floating bridge, and then just continue in a clockwise loop around the lake.

This trail is relatively easy, with some ups and downs, but not overly strenuous. It’s a beautiful forested area to walk through, with glimpses of the serene lake along the way.

Once you’re back at the beach, stay here for a picnic. Or, you could also head back into town and hit up Brewer’s Row in Port Moody, a street with 4 craft breweries on one street – super popular with the locals, and a great post-hike activity!

11. High Knoll

Views from High Knoll Trail, Vancouver
You don’t need to climb that high to get breathtaking views!
  • Distance: 10km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 180 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

This is probably one of the lesser-known hikes in the region, primarily because it’s a little further outside of Vancouver, in the community of Port Coquitlam. It’s set in Minnekhada Park, which has tons of walking and biking trails. The benefit of this trail being lesser known is that it isn’t as busy as some of the other popular hikes on this list!

You can park in the Quarry Road parking lot in Minnekhada Park and start the trail right from there. You’ll start off on a gravel path at the beginning, before moving into the more typical rock and root-covered trail. Keep an eye on the signs and follow the trail for the High Knoll.

This trail is fairly flat until the very end, which has a significant steep section at the end. It’s totally worth it though because you’ll end up at a viewpoint with sweeping views of the Minnekhada Park flatlands and the Fraser River. Once done, head back down the way you came.

12. Sasamat Lake

Sasamat Lake, Vancouver, BC
Sasamat Lake is so beautiful!
  • Distance: 3.2km round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 1 hour
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

Sasamat lake is the perfect option if you are looking to combine a hike with a relaxing day at the beach! Sasamat Lake (also called White Pine Beach) is located in the community of Belcarra near Port Moody, just an hour’s drive away from Vancouver.

Once you park at the beach, head down to the lake, where the trailhead starts. It’s very easy to follow this trail, as it is an obvious and clearly marked trail that goes directly around the lake. The trail is mostly narrow with roots and rocks to look out for. It is through a beautiful forested area, with glimpses of the lake along the way.

Sasamat is a popular beach during the summer months – the water is warm and excellent for swimming, and the beach is equipped with picnic tables, restrooms, and a concession stand. So, once you are done the hike, stay for a while and go for a swim!

13. Norvan Falls

  • Distance: 14km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 195 meters
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 40 minutes

Norvan is the perfect hike to experience a day immersed in a west coast rainforest, full of dense forest, streams, and moss-covered ground. Because of its low elevation, it is suitable year-round. It is rated as intermediate primary because of the length, as there is not a lot of elevation gain and it is a fairly easy hike to complete.

You will park at the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and start the hike by walking across Lynn Creek Bridge. Continue to the left and walk along a wide gravel road until you reach a junction, at which point the trail narrows and you’ll start walking right through the trees.

Follow the signs along the way and keep your ears open for the sound of the rushing water, letting you know you’re close to Norvan Falls! Once you get there, stop and have a snack and enjoy the sights and sounds of this powerful waterfall. Once done, head back the way you came!

14. St. Mark’s Summit

Sunset views from St. Mark’s Summit, Vancouver
golden hour is the best time to go!
  • Distance: 11km round trip
  • Elevation gain: 460 meters
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 45 minutes

St. Mark’s is one of those hikes that makes you work for the view, but it is so worth it! There is a bit of elevation gain to this one, making it suitable only during the dry months of the year from summer to fall.

This hike is part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail, which is a 30km hike. St. Mark’s is one section of the route that starts from Cypress Mountain, which is another local ski hill in North Vancouver.

You will begin the hike in the Cypress Mountain parking lot for downhill skiing and head towards the Howe Sound Crest Trail sign near the chairlift. Follow this until you reach a gravel road, turn left, and continue on to the trail. You will see markers along the way.

As you’re hiking, look out for the Lions – an iconic mountain range in the area – in addition to the Howe Sound, Tantalus mountain range, and on a very clear day, Vancouver Island. There are lots of viewpoints along the way, with the most amazing one right at the top. You will be blown away by the scenery, so make sure to take a picture to remember it!

15. Fort-to-Fort Trail

The beautiful Fraser River on the Fort to Fort Trail, Vancouver
The Fraser River!
  • Distance: 8km round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2.5 hours, plus longer to stop for a coffee or shop in Fort Langley
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

The Fort-to-Fort trail is located across the Fraser River in the town of Langley. It connects the Fort Langley National Historical Museum in Fort Langley with the original Fort near Derby Reach Park. The fort was built back in the 1800s when the area was used as a trading post along the river during the times of fur trading and gold exploration!

You can start the trail in either Fort Langley or Derby Reach Park. The trail itself is a well-marked and mostly gravel pathway. Sections of it are directly next to the river, while others take you through some trees or meadow areas. It is very picturesque along the way, easy to walk, and generally cool with the breeze off of the river. It is accessible year-round and is also a popular biking path!

Once you’re done with your hike, make sure to spend some time in Fort Langley. This is a very quaint little historical town – movies are frequently filmed here! – and is full of cafes, antique shops, and local artisans to check out!

Related Read: For another exciting area in Vancouver to explore, head to Granville Island. There are plenty of fun things to do on Granville Island that you’ll love!

Where to Stay in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver city skyline
Vancouver City skyline

Vancouver is one of the most popular cities in Canada. The fact is that in the summer and winter the city books up in advance very fast! Booking your hotel or hostel well in advance is the only way to secure the best place to stay for you!

Some great hotels and hostels in Vancouver that we love are:

The Cambie Hostel Gastown – This budget hostel is an overall good budget choice. The location is in the heart of Gastown and close to lots of bars and restaurants and attached to the hostel is a very lively bar too. Rooms are clean but the bathrooms are a little cramped. It’s perfect for backpackers on a budget and is considerably cheaper than others offering comparable quality.

Times Square Suites – For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park you can’t go past the Times Square Hotel. It’s very hard to fault this hotel and the location is perfect. It is a good mix between being affordable as well as a very nice hotel.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver – For those wanting the perfect location halfway between Stanley Park and Gastown, the Hyatt Regency is a perfect choice. As you can imagine, it’s a luxury stay in a large hotel chain that is highly reviewed!

Click here to browse all hotels in Vancouver!

Renting a Car in British Columbia

Winter road in British Columbia, Canada
Get out and explore in a rental car. The views from the road are just as amazing as the destination!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between cities and even just getting out to the best attractions within them requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada is relatively cheap especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $70 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Rental It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Rental all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and using crown land and campsites you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Canada Travel Essentials

Bailey stands on a mountain in essential gear for the Canadian Rockies
A windproof jacket and Buff will save you in the mountains!

Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.

Crampons: In winter crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect ice conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $29 and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!

Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part though? It comes in pink!

Bear bells: These are a must and for the price, you shouldn’t hike without them. The bear bells I use are only $12 and they come with a silencer (a must) so you can easily travel with them.

Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.

Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.

Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.

Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in hand so many times especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $27 and they serve my basic needs without any issues!

Before you go…

daniel and bailey selfie in Vancouver, BC
Thanks for reading and we hope this blog has helped plan your time in Vancouver, BC!

This is really just a selection of the amazing hikes in the region. But they are our favorites and definitely worth a visit! Hope you enjoy getting outside and active on your next trip to Vancouver, British Columbia!

Thanks so much for reading! if you loved this blog be sure to check out some of our other Canada blogs or these articles below!

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Things to do in Banff National Park

Things to do in Kelowna, BC

Things to do in Invermere, BC

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