Hiking has exploded as a popular activity in the last decade or so. While we think it is a great thing because it connects more people to love and respect and protect Mother Earth (that's what we're all about, after all!), we can certainly understand the frustration of those seeking solitude but now finding their once-quiet trails full of people. If you are someone who loves the quiet enjoyment of the great outdoors, this article is for you! Below is a list of five spectacular hikes near Vancouver, BC that you won’t find on a typical article listing “must-visit hikes” in British Columbia, Canada.
Mount Strachan (pronounced “strawn”) in one of the lesser-visited peaks in West Vancouver’s Cypress Provincial Park. Starting along the trail to the very popular hikes of Bowen Lookout and St. Mark's Summit, you continue past until you reach Christmas Gully. From here it’s a steep scramble up to the north and south peaks. Be careful as this trail is not well-marked so requires routefinding skills. Keep an eye out for flagging tape to help guide you. The trail is a 9 km loop with a cumulative elevation gain of 620 metres. Learn more here.
Another quiet hike on Vancouver’s North Shore is Goat Mountain accessed from the top of Grouse Mountain. You can either pay for the gondola ride up to begin or get a killer workout by first hiking one of the trails bringing you up the mountain such as the Grouse Grind or BCMC. From the chalet it is a 7.5 km out and back trail gaining 450 metres. Learn more here.
Near the famous Harrison Hot Springs, Statlu Lake is rarely visited perhaps because of the long forest road you need to navigate before accessing the trail. While a 4x4 would get you there faster, it’s accessible with any vehicle. It is a great shoulder season hike because of the low elevation, it remains snow-free for much of the year. The hike is an out-and-back 13 km trail that gains 350 metres. Read the full trail report here.
Whistler is the mecca of tourism for people visiting the Vancouver region. As such, many of the trails in the surrounding areas likes Panorama Ridge and Joffre Lakes are jam-packed full of people. Northwest of the famous Sea to Sky highway, however, you will find a much quieter park called Callaghan Provincial Park where the trailhead to Conflict and Ring Lakes is located. Typically classified as a 4x4-only access road, most vehicles can make it up in the summer months with some skillful driving in good conditions. The trail is 20 km return gaining 420 metres. Learn more here.
Many locals know of the Slesse Memorial Trail, but few venture beyond up to the propeller cairn on Slesse Mountain. Until 2019, the access road to the trailhead was extremely rough. Thanks to some volunteer work moving the trailhead to a more accessible spot, getting to it is much easier. A 4x4 with high clearance makes it much easier, but daring and skillful driving in dry conditions can get most vehicles up (perhaps with some dings and scratches). The trail is 14 km return gaining 1,000 metres. Learn more here.
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