10 Beautiful Day Hikes Near Vancouver

10 Beautiful Day Hikes Near Vancouver

I’m a huge fan of Canada as a whole but I really do have a soft spot for the West coast city of Vancouver. It’s a unique mix of shiny skyscrapers, funky food joints and is both cosmopolitan and historical. And let’s not forget the craft beer revolution and incredible day hikes nearby.

One of the best things about Vancouver for me is that it has the best of both worlds: a diverse city and crazy beautiful nature. It doesn’t take much to enjoy the great outdoors and there aren’t many other places in the world where you can surf, hike and ski, all in the same day! 

Whether you’re visiting or moving there, you’ll fit right in with the Vancouverites if you lace up your hiking shoes and hit the trails. Luckily Vancouver is perfectly placed for exploring some of the most incredible day hikes easily. Here are 10 day hikes near Vancouver to start you off.


Grouse Mountain

Length: 2.9km
Duration: 1-2 hours
Elevation gain: 853m
Difficulty: Challenging
Distance from Vancouver: 12.1kmday hikes Vancouver

Known as Mother Nature’s stair master, the ‘Grouse Grind’ is a 2.9km hike up the face of the Vancouver mountain. It’s a tough one, with 2,830 steps and an elevation gain of around 2,800ft. Your buns will be burning after, but you can relax with a ride down in the gondola at the end. If you’re feeling even more adventurous/crazy you can even join the people who run it as part of the Grouse Grind Mountain Run every year.

Deep Cove

Length: 3.8km round trip
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Elevation gain: 100m
Difficulty: Easy
Distance from Vancouver: 17.8km day hikes Vancouver

Just a short drive from downtown, North Vancouver’s Deep Cove is home to a perfect short day hike near Vancouver. Follow the Baden Powell Trailhead for a 3.8km hike up through the forest to the large granite rock, known as Quarry Rock, for views down the Indian Arm fjord. Undo your hard work with a trip to Honey Doughnuts & Goodies in the town after.

Cypress Mountain

Length: 8km round trip
Duration: 3-4 hours
Elevation gain: 350m
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance from Vancouver:28kmday hikes Vancouver

For more intermediate day hikes from Vancouver, head to the city’s Cypress Mountain. Eagle Bluffs is an 8km hike, which starts from the bottom of the ski field and winds up through the mountain to views of West Vancouver. The trail passes several lakes, secluded cabins, and ski runs, and you may even make a friend or two with the local whiskey jacks. 

St Mark’s Summit

Length: 11km round trip
Duration: 4-5 hours
Elevation gain: 460m
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance from Vancouver:27.2kmday hikes Vancouver

Another hike on Cypress Mountain, this one stretches for 11km on the Howe Sound Crest Trail. Through forest, meadows and across bridges, you’ll reach St Mark’s Summit for views down over the islands and Howe Sound. 

Dog Mountain

Length: 5km round trip
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Elevation gain: 34m
Difficulty: Easy
Distance from Vancouver:28.8kmday hikes Vancouver

Just under an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, the Dog Mountain hike on Mount Seymour is a short 5km walk. It’s an easy trail, but you’ll need to be careful with your footing in some parts. Yet again, great views of downtown Vancouver from the top. 

Stawamus Chief

Length: 11km round trip
Duration: 4-6 hours
Elevation gain: 600m
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance from Vancouver: 64km
day hikes Vancouver
Affectionately known by locals as ‘The Chief’, this large granite rock in Squamish is apparently the second largest granite monolith in the world. It’s a 45-minute drive from Vancouver, and the drive along the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway is worth it alone. The 7km hike itself is fairly difficult in parts, with some scrambling needed in some sections, but it makes it so much more fun! There are three peaks to hit, so you can either head straight to the first and on to the others. For more of a challenge, go straight to the third peak first. Each peak gives you uninterrupted views of Squamish and Howe Sound below as well as north up towards Whistler. Reward yourself after with a craft beer and lush pizza at the Howe Sound Brewery.

Garibaldi Lake

Length: 18km round trip
Duration: 5 hours
Elevation gain: 820m
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance from Vancouver: 102km

day hikes Vancouver

Photo: www.rowansims.com

Moving further up the Sea to Sky Highway, Garibaldi Lake is in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The 18km hike can be done throughout the year, but bear in mind the trail will be covered in thick snow until it starts to melt in early May, so best to leave it till then. It’s a long, winding trail up to the lake, which is glacier-fed. Insta lovers get your camera ready for photos of a perfect turquoise alpine lake, for which Canada is so well known.

Whistler Mountain

Length: 9.5km round trip
Duration: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 300m
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance from Vancouver: 122km
day hikes Vancouver
Whistler isn’t just known for its skiing and partying. Come summertime, the snow has melted and hiking trails galore are waiting to be explored. The High Note Trail is one of the best day hikes near Vancouver and is accessible from a ride on Peak Chair ski lift. Beginning at the top of Whistler Mountain, the 9.5km one-way hike is fairly easy. There are a few steep sections but they’re worth it for the views of another glacier-fed lake, Cheakamus Lake. 

Blackcomb Mountain

Length: 6.1km one way
Duration: 3.5 hours
Elevation gain: 1,150m
Difficulty: Difficult
Distance from Vancouver: 122km
day hikes Vancouver
Sitting across the valley from its sister, Blackcomb Mountain also has some great hiking trails on it. One of the newest ones, finished in 2017, is the Ascent Trail. Split into three sections – Little Burn, Big Burn, and Heart Burn – it’s one for you fitness fanatics. It’s all uphill and takes you from the base of Blackcomb Mountain in Upper Village to the top in 6.1km and 3,937ft elevation gain.

Joffre Lakes

Length: 10km round trip
Duration: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 370m
Difficulty: Intermediate
Distance from Vancouver: 186km

day hikes Vancouver

Another of the well-known day hikes near Vancouver is Joffre Lakes. The hike takes you to not one, but three incredible naturally turquoise lakes. The hike to the glacier-fed lakes is also one of the easiest day hikes near Vancouver. Winning! It’s a 10km round-trip, with a slightly steep start and a lot of stairs, but after the first lake, it’s a pretty easy walk to the next two. 

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