Top Hiking Trails in Metro Vancouver
One of the benefits of living in the Lower Mainland is the accessibility to many unique day hikes in the area. Whether you live in West Vancouver, Maple Ridge, or Tsawwassen, any one of the top hiking trails in Metro Vancouver is only a few hours away from you.
With the help of Vancouver Trails, we’ve selected our top picks for scenic hikes that are great for beginners looking to get into more serious hikes.
North Shore: Hollyburn Mountain
Just 45 minutes from Vancouver by car, Hollyburn Mountain is the perfect half-day hike to explore the great outdoors. There are stunning views all the way to the peak, where you can see Vancouver, Burrard Inlet, and the Lions.
This entire hike is 7 kilometres, and gains 450 metres of elevation as you climb. Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash!
Ridge Meadows: UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest
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The UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest is most accessible to those who live in Maple Ridge, or nearby in Pitt Meadows, Mission, or Port Coquitlam.
Maintained by the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, it is virtually open all year – from February to November. There are many options for trails to hike here, so it’s recommended to pick up a map at the office building by the gate to the park.
Unfortunately, the park is not dog-friendly.
Fraser Valley: Abby Grind
While not as steep as the Grouse Grind, the Fraser Valley’s Abby Grind stands its ground.
This hike gains 320 metres of elevation up 2 kilometres and makes for a 1.5-hour 4-kilometre roundtrip. But once you get to the top, you’re rewarded with amazing views of the Fraser Valley.
The halfway point of the Abby Grind is in one of the steepest sections of the route, so it is recommended to continue up the steep section until the trail levels off, where there is more room to breathe.
Howe Sound: Sea To Summit Trail
This steep hike starts at the bottom of the Sea to Sky Gondola and ends at the Summit Lodge at the top. It is well-marked with Sea To Summit signs, so keep following those signs on the trees to stay on the path.
The Sea to Sky Summit is 7.5 kilometres just one way, but don’t worry – there’s a gondola to take you back down at the end. Be sure you have money or a pass for the gondola.
Tri-Cities: Swan Falls
Following the east side of Buntzen Lake, this hike is north of Port Moody and about an hour away from Vancouver by car. Watch out – the trail gets rugged and difficult in sections, so be sure you’re wearing the proper trail shoes for this kind of hike.
This hike takes 3.5 hours and is a 10-kilometre round trip. While Buntzen Lake and most of the trails that circle the lake are dog-friendly, this path is not.
Trail Runners vs. Trail Hikers
Not sure what kind of shoes you should get for your outdoor adventures? See the differences between trail runners and trail hikers: