There is no shortage of easy hikes in Vancouver and the surrounding area — you just need to know where to look. Discover some great trails within an hour of the city.
Vancouver is Western Canada’s most populous city and is located a mere 3.5 hours from Seattle. The city features beaches, forests, and mountains, making it the ideal vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re just getting into hiking, you may be looking for some trails that aren’t very challenging, but still offer scenic viewpoints. We’ve compiled a list of easy hikes in Vancouver so you can find one that suits your needs. As an extra bonus, we’ve included 3 of the best hikes in Vancouver for people looking for a bit more of a challenge. Strap on your boots and hit the trails!
1. Easy Hikes in Vancouver: Lynn Loop
Lynn Loop is an easy hike just outside of Vancouver, located in Lynn Canyon Park. Due to the fact that it’s reachable by public transit, it’s a popular hike, so you’ll want to start early. You’ll enjoy a 2-hour loop trail with gentle elevation gains that takes you over a suspension bridge and through beautiful cedar and hemlock trees. This hike also gives you great views of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
2. Quarry Rock Hike
Known for being one of the most popular easy hikes in Vancouver, the Quarry Rock trail from Deep Cove is located just half an hour outside the city. It’s a 3.8km out-and-back trail with gentle elevation gains and stunning views of the Indian Arm inlet from the Quarry Rock lookout point. Due to its popularity, we recommend going midweek during the day to avoid crowds and help alleviate overtourism.
3. Stanley Park & Seawall
Stanley Park is a central 45-hectare park that is loved by tourists and locals alike. Along the outside of the park is The Seawall, which is popular among walkers, cyclists, and rollerbladers. To really feel like you’ve escaped the city, make use of the extensive 27km trail system within the park. You can make your hike as long or as short as you want, so you can enjoy an easy hike in Vancouver without leaving the city.
4. Easy Hikes in Vancouver: Buntzen Lake Trail
This easy Vancouver area hike is located 1 hour outside the city near Port Moody. It’s a 10km loop trail that takes you through forested areas while giving glimpses of the gorgeous lake. Pack a picnic so you can enjoy it on the beach at the end of your hike. There is plenty of hiking in the area, so you can choose to extend if you want a hike with a bit more substance.
5. Velodrome Trail
Located in Burnaby, which is about 30 minutes outside the city, the Velodrome Trail is worth the trip. It’s a 3km out-and-back with approximately 240m of elevation gain. Don’t let the 500 stairs scare you away — you can enjoy views of the Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet and spot some Japanese totem poles. Try going at sunset for an extra special experience.
6. Easy Hikes in Vancouver: Jug Island Trail
Located across the inlet from the Quarry Rock hike, the Jug Island hike is a 5.5km out-and-back trail with just 100m of elevation gain. The name of the trail might be misleading, as you only gain views of Jug Island (there is no access to the island itself). The hike is located just outside Belcarra Regional Park and will take about 1 hour to reach from the city.
7. Sasamat Lake
Another great option for those looking to combine an easy hike with a beach day, the Sasamat Lake trail is a 3.2km loop located approximately 1 hour outside the city near Port Moody. It’s a popular swimming spot for Vancouverites in the summer months, so be warned it can get quite busy. Due to its gentle elevation gains, this hike can be done year-round in all types of weather.
8. Easy Hikes in Vancouver: Norvan Falls
For those looking for an easy day hike in Vancouver, look no further than the Norvan Falls trail. This 14km out-and-back hike has 200m of elevation gain and will take you a good 5 hours to complete. It’s located just 40 minutes outside the city, and you can reach it via public transit. The first part follows the same path as the Lynn Loop, so you may wish to combine the two hikes for a full-day adventure.
9. Pacific Spirit Regional Park Loop
Located on the west side of the city, Pacific Spirit Regional Park is made up of 750 hectares of forest. The most common loop trail is approximately 10km and will take about 3 hours to complete. It’s easily reachable via public transit and is a popular spot among the locals. Enjoy the trails no matter what the weather and escape from the city.
10. Lighthouse Park Loop
This 6km loop trail is an easy hike in Vancouver that can be enjoyed year-round. It features some of the largest Douglas Fir trees in the area and boasts stunning views of the water. On a clear day, you can see from the Lion’s Gate Bridge to the University of British Columbia and even Vancouver Island. It will take approximately 40 minutes to reach the trailhead from the city and is also accessible via public transit.
11. Easy Hikes in Vancouver: Dog Mountain
Dog Mountain is an easy hike from Mount Seymour and provides views over the city on a clear day. Due to its location, this trail is only open between June and October. It’s a relatively easy 5km out-and-back loop — just watch your step on the slippery tree roots that are heavily featured on this trail. Bring a picnic to enjoy once you’ve reached the top and take in the views you’ve earned.
12. Bert Flinn Park Loop Trail
Port Moody boasts a number of scenic trails in Bert Flinn Park, located just 40 minutes from the city of Vancouver. The good news is these trails are also accessible via public transit. This trail is 2.6km in length and has next to no elevation gain, making it suitable for even the most inexperienced hikers.
13. Easy Hikes in Vancouver: Thunderbird Ridge
Another trail that is accessible using public transit, the Thunderbird Ridge trail is a 6km out-and-back hike that features 190m of elevation gain. It takes you along Grouse Mountain and gives you views of Crown Mountain, Kennedy Lake, and the city on a clear day. It will take approximately 30 minutes to reach from Vancouver.
14. Easy Hikes in Vancouver: Cypress Falls Hike
The Cypress Falls hike is one of the best hikes in Vancouver to try during the winter. It takes you through a dense forest of cedar and douglas fir trees to two waterfalls. This hike is a 3km out-and-back trail that features 130m of elevation gain. You can reach it by public transit, and it’s only about 30 minutes outside the city.
3 of the Best Hikes in Vancouver for Seasoned Hikers
Not all of the hikes near Vancouver are easy, but there are definitely some you shouldn’t miss out on if you can muster up the strength. For hikers that want a bit more of a challenge, here are some of the best hikes in Vancouver and the surrounding area that you can’t miss out on:
- Grouse Grind: By far one of the most popular hikes in the city, this hike is not easy but you will feel a sense of accomplishment once you finish. It’s a 2.9km one-way climb with 853m of elevation gain. For those who want an easy option, you can opt to take the cable car back down at the end.
- Stawamus Chief: Located 1 hour outside Vancouver, this trail is not for the faint of heart. It’s an 11km out-and-back climb with 600m of elevation gain. There are three peaks that can be reached in one day, but make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks.
- St. Mark’s Summit: This hike can be reached from the city in just 45 minutes and is one of the best summer hikes in Vancouver. It’s an 11km out-and-back trail with 460m of elevation gain that offers incredible views of Howe Sound.
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