Explore the most popular trails in Bowen Island Ecological Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
2 months ago

This was an awesome short trail run. The uphill climb was pretty vertical, but the downhill was a decent grade and fairly soft underfoot. Overall the trail was easy to follow. Anytime I needed a hint on direction there was always an orange trail marker in sight. The only confusing spots were when the trail was changed and the detours didn’t seem complete (orange tags on the old trail, and lack of some logs blocking the old path), but a little map checking and it was easy to figure out.

nice view but steep

Loved this trail! Saw so much wildlife and greenery. Very easy trail with beautiful views.

the hike was great !! great views ! just pre prepared..even with 2 diff maps we almost got off track and ran into fellow lost hikers . doable just can be tricky!

Great trail very pretty view however it was quiet hard to understand the markings to get back to our car we ended up getting lost and walking on the side of a highway for 30 min

6 months ago

Extremely confusing. Nice views at the top but there are better views in the city with less struggle. Climb was steep at times but closer to moderate difficulty overall.

Great wee trail. Easily doable for a half-day trip from Van. Worth checking out Bowen island after the hike. Would rate it moderate

Trail had some narrow and steep parts and lots of uphill but the view at the top was worth it. Would highly recommend

Good workout and great views. Trail can be a little confusing at times but the gps worked well and most of it was well marked. The track that is featured here was closer to 14km, not the 9.8 listed in the description.

Beautiful sunsets! Ocean view hike.

Beautiful trail and definitely challenging at times but not as difficult as it's made it to be. Would recommend a map since it's not always clearly labeled.

Great hike with beautiful views , took us about 3.5 hours

Was easy hike, loved the woodpeckers!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Easy walk around the lake with a couple of short uphill sections. Good if you are with young or old family members. Views of the lake are nice but nothing very special. I'd choose the Mt Gardner hike if you only have one day on Bowen and want a challenge with a good reward.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Tough terrain at times. Great views!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mid January 2018 trail is good shape no snow very enjoyable

Monday, January 15, 2018

Little bit of everything

Sunday, January 14, 2018

This trail has a few spots of rough terrain, super easy to walk, clear trail markers all around the lake. Lake is gorgeous and many places to get the perfect pictures.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

this was my very first mountain ... it was tough in parts but so worth the view. loved it.

Friday, July 07, 2017

gorgeous hike.. went up skid trail.. on the way back lost the loop trail but came back down the gravel road which was fine. we biked from the ferry and locked bikes at the trailhead. don't miss taking the trails from ferry to kilarney lake also.. very nice !

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Moderate to difficult hike but a stunning view from the summit and the lookout point close to the summit.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Great views! There are several different trails to take up and I believe I took a couple on the way (not the best marked). It is a fairly challenging hike that rotates from very steep inclines to flat ground. At the top there are 2 views, one of Stanley park and Vancouver and the other of a beautiful bay. Bring snacks for a picnic there are great spots to set up

Monday, May 22, 2017

nice hike with perfect view to Vancouver city

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What a gorgeous, peaceful hike! Green mossy forests, ponds, creeks, and a great view of Killarney lake.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Took the lumberjack trail by accident, no regrets!

Monday, June 06, 2016

Easy hike, easily accessible from ferry stop.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Good trek

on Killarney Lake

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Very good... Nice easy trail

Monday, June 01, 2015

Victoria Day was a perfect day to do this hike. The map (& the descriptor that came with it) at the link below made life sooooooooooo easy! I opted for the less traveled N Gardner trail as described in the link and didn't meet the crowds until after I'd eaten lunch at the top of the north summit. There's a good mix of elevation & a nice push to the Sunshine Coast view point & north summit.

The trail is, for most part, VERY well marked if you have an idea of what you're looking for/which route you're going to take. However, unlike most other trails the red-orange diamonds you find on so many of our trails (thanks a million to the people who do this BTW) were tiny - not a complaint, just a heads up you might want to pay attention, which isn't a terrible thing when you're exploring - so it was nice to have this as a back up. Periodically there are also what look like painted bottoms of coffee tins and really nice large wooden signs with names & directional arrows carved into them.

Be mindful there are quite a few trails on here. That said I don't think you could truly get lost here. Just don't take the turn off for Bowen Bay unless you want to add, I believe, an extra 10km as pointed out in another comment.

My route was exactly as described in the link... and I also didn't bother with the South Summit... there's no view and well an extra few ft really wasn't worth the extra effort. Note there are two helipads - visit them both as they are on opposite sides so afford gorgeous views of different coastlines.

Take plenty of water - I saw no opportunities on my way and I drank the 4L I took plus more when I got back to Snug Cove.

It took me 2hr 58 min to do 10.71 miles. The elevation courtesy of my Garmin was slightly higher than that stated on the Vancouver Trails website. It actually took me longer to get home than to do the hike due to a 2hr wait for the ferry.... Certainly not the worst thing in the world. :)


Thank you Mike Hanafin!

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