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Great hike! work out a bit of a sweat to reach the refreshing lake! awesome for a swim. Beautiful view as well.

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!

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!

- GEAR MUST HAVES:
- 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.

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

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...

hiking
16 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.

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.

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.

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!

hiking
25 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,

Yesterday , it was a good hike . there was no snow and the scenery view so fantastic . You. an see the lions mountain. You can relax and step is not too hard . Quite easy to climb up and down . There was a quite challenging big rock but not hard .

walking
1 month ago

Beautiful little place, you can follow the trails up and have a little picnic too! Be careful of high tides if you cross over because the water will rise and it’ll be difficult to get back to shore, especially with little ones

More people than a mall at Christmas

easy to get to, not too crowded, mamy trails to choose from

Beautiful walk in the woods. Enjoyed the sound of rushing water and the birds singing and flying all over the place. The signage is not clear, pay attention to your map . Thumbs down just because of signage, otherwise it is a beautiful place with quite well maintained trails.

The hike was basically a 15 min walk, so if you are expecting to hike for a good hour or two, this is not the one for you.The view is very pretty though.

hiking
1 month ago

The view at the top is breathtaking. A full 360degree panoramic view, with The Lions up close is a can’t miss opportunity. Please bring BUG SPRAY! I couldn’t enjoy the view to the fullest as the amount flies was overwhelming. Hiking up in July comes with muddy and snowy conditions as well so something to keep in mind. If you see « christmas gully » on your map, this portion is not easy! Trail is not clear, lots of snow, and the lack of markers makes it difficult not to be lost. The view made it all worth it.

on Mount Strachan

1 month ago

A nice hike. Hard to find trail markers in some areas.

Beautiful views BUT too early in the year. I did it last week (last week of June) and there is still too much snow. Up until the Lions is okay, but after that steep snow gullies and snow bridges need proper snow hiking gear (ice pick, crampons, etc).
Also, this is not really a loop...you can leave a car at Porteau Cove and then come back to start the hike from Cypress Mountain, it's 28km one way and hard, not moderate.

just hiked nearly 9 kilometers on this Trail it was fantastic you can go to Vancouver Island on the west coast to Tofino and ucluelet but this is right up there with those trails that you'll find there

walking
1 month ago

Very nice park, enjoyed looking in tide pools.
Also did a geocache in the park!

Very beautiful trail this time of the year, we saw huckleberries and raspberries along the trail.

DONT MISS THE COHO LOOP NEAR THE HATCHERY and besides from that, a great trail did it all the way down to park royal and public transport available from fonteyn and elson street line 236 to the city. it was Saturday and no crowds everyone is on the suspension bridge haha

walking
1 month ago

Take a beautiful afternoon/ evening and bring a picnic and enjoy the view.

we were going to do the suspension bridge but decided not to after seeing the price. we joined the trail on the way back. nice lookout points and you can get down to the river in some areas.

Really nice hike for novices. Challenging! The first 1/2 hour is a bit grueling and uphill, but after that its fairly well varied. On a clear day, you can see Garibaldi from the peak, as well as an awesome view of the lions and Cypress ski area. Mid June, there was still a considerable amount of snow and sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. Cabin lake looks like it would be a great spot to take a dip but it was still ice-covered. Maybe in August!

Beautiful! But actually there are no dogs allowed on the Yew Lake Loop. The loop is VERY short (took us under 40 minutes for sure). We went mid June and there were patches of snow. So I think Mid June is the best time to start going on this hike.

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