Explore the most popular trails near West Vancouver with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.





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West Vancouver, British Columbia Map

The tails are marked, but poorly orientation wise. Many trails leading in multiple directions so be prepared to get turned around once or twice. Pay attention to the maps. I essentially spent two hours just marking out my own route - so get creative!

Did the trick for being local and easy to access. Was not overly scenic but was still a few nice hours in the outdoors.

Read Clare M's review, I screenshot it to use as a guide.

I did the loop and started on the east side (not marked well) I got lost a few times and had to backtrack. It was worth it to see the waterfall from both sides though.

Once I reached the West side it was much easier.

I probably took longer than most people with getting lost and taking my time.

Stick to the West side

I did this hike August 4th-5th, 2018 with my friend. We’re both in our 20’s, no significant pre-existing injuries and both physically active. It’s one of the most beautiful hikes with breathtaking views of the tops of the North Shore Mountains, but the most technically difficult, physically demanding hike I have ever done. (And I am avid hiker, have done the West Coast Trail, Tour du Mont Blanc, and most major hikes in the Vancouver and Whistler areas)

Advice and Safety Tips:
- Recommended (by us and everyone we met) as a 2 night, 3 day hike (Contrary to trail info and reviews that it can be a SINGLE overnight...Heck NO! Not if you want to be able to walk the next day!)
- Magnificent (but gruelling) first day ~9-11 hours
- VERY steep and technical ascents and descents *careful of your footing when wearing a heavy pack!*
- Would be extremely dangerous pre, post, or during a storm (DO NOT CONTINUE)
- On your first day, there is no water until you reach Magnesia Meadows (recommended to camp earlier) after you ascend and partially descend:
1. St. Mark’s Summit (1371m)
2. Unnecessary Mtn (South&North Peaks)(1548m)
3. The Lions Ridge (~1520m)
4. Thomas Peak (1430m)
5. Enchantment Pass (~1380m)
6. James Peak (1466m)
*We camped in the meadow after James Peak*
7. David Peak (1496m)
8. Harvey Pass (~1460m)
- PACK SNOW WHEN YOU SEE IT (treat snowmelt water with Aquatabs)
- James Peak signage is easy to miss (and many people did) *just before the top, look for markers to exit down to the LEFT to save yourself time and effort*
- As a single overnight, option to take Mount Brunswick Trail down to Lions Bay (as we did) 1480m down to 220m over 3-4hrs. Tough on the knees!

- North Shore Trail Map (SAVED US!)
- Bear Spray (hikers saw a black bear near our trail)
- Satellite Phone (would be VERY easy to slip and get injured and be in a dangerous spot fast)
- Hiking poles (NECESSARY for the knees on downhills)
- Hiking boots (especially to protect toes and ankles with weight of a camping pack)
- 5L of water (replenish at EVERY opportunity! Many groups had to hike 2-3 more hours in order to get water, when they were physically DONE)
- Bug spray/bug shirt/bug hat (very buggy in the shade)
- Trip plan! (Especially wherever you park your car: appropriate lot or leave a note!)
- 10 Essentials & proper food, clothing, etc

*In some areas the flagging is inconsistent and you have to keep your eyes peeled for the next marker (mostly after the Lions and on James Peak), for the most part the trail is obvious.
*I have e-mailed BC Parks to address the flagging issues.

Great workout rewarded by beautiful views!
TIPS: follow Howe Sound EAST trail, which includes a steady incline that levels out throughout the trail.
Took us about 2.5 hours round trip with a lunch break at the top.
PS- currently there is a bit of smoke throughout the sea to sky, you'll notice it faintly

Pretty views of the ocean - others may say incredible, but I favour mountain top views. :) Was a straight forward hike and while it had me sweating, I would say it was easier then I thought it would be. We were on the trail by 7:40am to avoid crowds in the long weekend Monday. We had to match our pace for our group of 5 so while it took us 1 hour 45 min up, this was at a moderate pace and included multiple breaks. Coming down the traffic was steady, but not packed. I read previous reviews that had me dreading the crowds and bugs, but it wasn’t bad, definitely space between groups, though I’m sure the mid day crowds had a hard time vying for a view as the lookout area is small. Also, bring bug spray in case, but we only noticed the bugs in the parking lot.

terrible and poorly marked.... there are better trails in the area

The best point is at the start... after that... there isn't anything worth seeing

crazy view. cabin lake is awsome

Easy and beautiful hike!! Took us 1.5hrs up and 1 hr down. Only a little elevation in the beginning and it’s pretty flat for a bit. Elevation gets more steep as you go further along. Luckily did this hike around 7am and only a few people were on the trail/top. On the way down there were at least 30+ people going up so start early if you want to avoid the crowds!

quite steep and difficult on the way up, but the lake at the end is so worth it!!! bring a bathing suit and towel, and enjoy! also, right off this trail is the yew lake Lookout, and that's quite breathtaking. would highly recommend this hike if you're up for a hit of a challenge.

the payoff was awesome. The first part of the hike is very sun exposed so be prepared with sunscreen and a hat if you aren't good with that. The hike itself has some fun vertical, although not particularly difficult. once you are at the top, you will have one of the best views of the Lions ever and nice views of snowless Cypress Mountain ski resort. Make.your lunch at the top and soak it all in...nice...

11 days ago

Amazing views. Lots of bugs in certain places, so take some spray. Lots of berries along the way so we snacked all the way down. The first portion from the 2 bridges up Christmas gully at the base is very steep, lots of jagged rocks to climb, but once your up, enjoy the view, and the route down is pretty tame; compared to the start. Be prepared with proper footwear and lots of water. Coming down the trail is not well marked, so we relied on the gps to make sure we stick to the trail.

Good hike, watch out for the markers on way down as several false trails.
Good workout, next time the lions.
Highly recommend.
Only passed 6 people at most.

Nothing to see on a cloudy day. Just a very steep and crowded hike to a small and crowded (though pretty) lake. Also there is very loud construction happening nearby which you can hear throughout the hike.

16 days ago

The trail starts with a pretty steep path. 80% of the elevation gain is right from the beginning it lasts for the first 1.9km. It would become a pleasant trek with fairly rock and mud along the way. Beautiful small lakes and a huge lake for swimming with a couple of small cliffs to jump from. Stunning view from the top over the horseshoe bay and Vancouver. Definitely bring bug spray with you, or you'll get eaten alive.

Great Hike... We went on a Monday and it wasn’t crowded..

We went here a few months ago and there was some snow on the ground, which made it a bit more adventurous with the slip and sliding around. Even with the snow, I thoroughly enjoyed the hike for its lush environment, the lake you’ll see on the way, and the gorgeous view at the top! On a clear day, it truly is spectacular - you’ll see Vancouver, UBC, the islands, and so much more! Of note, the upfront work during the initial incline is challenging, but go at your own pace and you’ll enjoy it a lot more. Take in the view when you take a break and enjoy that well deserved sip of water. Happy hiking!

A relatively relaxed trail that winds up through lower hollyburn into cypress over the course of 4 hours. The entrance is a bit hard to find and ended up walking up a mountain bike track instead. Regardless, there are enough trails to find your way back. Got little bit confused when passing onto private property but encountered no issues. Solid hike for a hot day with plenty of lakes and shaded for most of the way. One warning; Millstream trail is technically closed due to a landslide but there is a makeshift trail over the washed out area.

Completed Jul 28-29 with a short distance of manageable snow on one sketchy slope after the Lions. Challenging and absolutely beautiful. Must do but please be prepared for a hard hike.

FYI This hike is inaccurately described - the entire HSCT is 29km and continues over Unnecessary, over the Lions, over the saddle of Mount Harvey, around Brunswick, and descends past several beautiful lakes spitting you out in Porteau Cove. The elevation change is 3400m or 14500ft. Only the beginning section to St Mark’s is busy. This gps map cuts out the most isolated and challenging part of the hike so please be prepared and do your research on other hiking sites. Best done as an overnighter, camping in Magnesia Meadows after Mt Harvey, which will be your first source of water. (Or if you could push through to Brunswick, that would be gorgeous too.) Most first-timers who are recreational hikers complete the first day in a gruelling 11-12 hours - repeatedly cresting mountains (hence the name of the hike?). The second day is more relaxed, mostly downhill and with lots of water sources. Even with deet, we were eaten alive. A bug net would help if you don’t the mental fortitude to do battle with thousands of black flies and mozzies.

Amazing views of the lions and horseshoe bay. Best views for a local hike and conveniently located near the city.
Hike was busy and view point had minimal areas to stop and soak it in.

First part very steep but doable even for beginners. The rest of the trail is moderate and very scenic. Different terrain throughout. Lakes ponds forests and meadows. Very beautiful. One of my favourite hikes in Vancouver to date

Fun hike with a refreshing dip to cool off.

Easy “hike” with many viewpoints...almost too easy for all the amazing lookouts you are rewarded with!

19 days ago

That’s was fun! It’s correctly rated as moderate. And it’s well marked. A great few hours!

19 days ago

This is an incredible hike, but also incredibly taxing. From the parking, lot, there are 5 peaks to ascend, which means you need to do 4 peaks on your way back. Pack LOTS of water, as we ended up actually trekking 22 km. The path up the Lion is quite difficult. Worth the views, but only doing this beast once.

21 days ago

Probably my favourite park around Vancouver. Here you get to enjoy both the majestic west coast forest in its original state and beautiful ocean vistas. Highly recommended,

Great hike with the exception of the crowds and loud music. I desire being with nature and though I love to see people of all ages out there, why not enjoy the moment?

21 days ago

great hike , we had a picnic at top a mile short of the lions gate
views we magnificent
try it you will like it

21 days ago

Did this on the evening of Tuesday, July 24. Almost had the trail to myself, no one at the viewpoint when I got up there. Bugs weren't nearly as bad I thought they were going to be, brought bug spray and didn't use it. Took 1.25 hours to ascend and 45 minutes to descend. Great maintenance on the majority of the trail, very dry could definitely be done in runners.

It was amazing but very hard. really work to keep your pack weight low as the effort from the lions to the meadows shouldn't be underestimated. bring lots of water and tablets to clean the water. Dry almost the full first day unless you scoop snow or drink pretty dirty tarn water. Took 12hr with 50lb pack (way to heavy for this type of climb but hiking with my daughter so by body weight balancing this was my share) to the meadows. Second day is easy but all downhill with lots of water sources. Unbelievable views almost the whole way but hot and buggy. I can't stress enough bring tons of water and good hiking shoes. It is some serious scrambles in places more than a "trail" Snow wasn't too bad on July 20 2018.

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