Hiking is a great way to keep active, safely socialize with friends, and explore some of the beautiful areas in which we live. If you’re interested in exploring some of the North Shore mountains, read below for my favourite hikes, tips, and equipment.
If you are looking for a hike that is dog friendly and ends with a breathtaking waterfall then I recommend checking out Norvan Falls. This hike is rated for intermediate hikers and has a rough duration of 5 hours there and back so be sure to pack lunch and lots of water!
Dog Mountain is another great North Shore hike. During the colder months this snowy wonderland is filled with snowshoers, and people of all ages and hiking abilities. This easy hike can be done in two hours and offers some of the best views of the surrounding mountains, Howe sound and Vancouver City skyline. As the name suggests, this trail is a favourite for those wanting to give their furry friends an adventure.
Cypress mountain is home to some of the most picturesque hiking in Vancouver, my favourite hike on Cypress is Bowen Lookout. I love this one because it can be done year-round, with the addition of some winter gear. It can also be completed in an hour and a half making it the perfect way to start your morning, or end your day. If you're interested in doing this hike through the Winter months, be sure to visit the Black Mountain Lodge on Cypress mountain to register your hike and receive a free BAC tag that is required to hike on cypress.
If you are looking for an easy stroll through a mostly built path, my suggestion is visiting Twin Falls in Lynn Canyon. This walk is great to decompress after a long day or to catch up with friends during relaxing stroll. Please be aware that the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is currently closed, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t still access this beautiful walk. You can access Twin Falls from a trailhead that is located just below the Ecological Centre. Check out the map on trails here!
Hiking is a great way to get in touch with nature and relax, however it is extremely important to ensure that you have the proper equipment and information before taking off on your adventure. If you are hiking during colder months, always check to see what the conditions are in the area, including Avalanch conditions. This will also help you identify what type of equipment you will need on your hike.
Here are some things you should always carry on any Winter hike:
Ice cleats or spikes are a great investment if you plan on hiking during the icy weather, they pack small so they're a great idea to have in your backpack at all times.
Snowshoes are necessary for most Winter hikes on the North Shore.
A Headlamp is one of the most important things to pack on any hike, especially during the darker months where the sun goes down early.
Trail Maps are a great backup if you happen to lose sight of the trail you are following. This North Shore Trail Map is great as it includes every hike and trail on the North Shore.
Extra Layers are essential when hiking. The North Shore is notorious for the weather changing on a dime, so it's important to be prepared for all the elements!
Water and food are a no-brainer but ensuring you pack enough is crucial in the case of an emergency. Pack foods such as granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and canned tuna, especially on more challenging hikes. It’s also very important to ensure you have enough water to last if necessary.
Lastly, it is so important to tell friends or family members where you're planning on hiking to and what time they should expect you to be done or to hear from you. Always make sure someone is aware of your plans in the case of an emergency. I hope you enjoy the beautiful North Shore mountains as much as I do!