For anyone who loves the great outdoors, Canada is a veritable woodland paradise, with the area in and around Vancouver in British Columbia offering some of the best hiking experiences anywhere in the country.
Whether you’re a recent transplant finally settling down after months of touring Vancouver houses for sale or a lifelong BC native looking for some new stomping grounds to shake up a tired old routine, below you’ll find some of the area’s most unforgettably scenic and utterly enjoyable hiking spots.
A less intense hike for those who prefer beautiful views and relaxing leisure time over pushing themselves to their physical limit, Lighthouse Park offers an excellent beginner’s trail located just a quick half-hour ride from downtown Vancouver. With an average two-hour completion time, this six-kilometer hike offers little in the way of elevation, but a whole lot in the way of beachside picnic spots and a stunning view of the Lions Gate Bridge as well as the titular harbor lighthouse.
The Grouse Grind
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the appropriately named Grouse Grind is an ideal trek for hikers looking to get their blood pumping and pores sweating. Located near the Grouse Mountain ski resort, this seemingly short three-kilometer hike makes up for its short distance with an intimidating 800-meter elevation gain, earning it the nickname “nature’s Stairmaster.” On the plus side, hikers can enjoy a luxurious but inexpensive gondola ride back down to planet Earth once they’ve finished exploring the upper reaches of the stratosphere.
St. Mark’s Summit
Eight hundred meters of Grouse Mountain punishment not quite enough for you? Okay, masochist, how about a hike up St. Mark’s Summit instead? Fair warning, though, you’ll need more than a single afternoon to finish this one. You might want to bring some camp gear with you before you set out on this whopping 30-kilometer hike with a punishing elevation gain of 1,830 meters. As a reward, upon reaching the trail’s highest points, hikers can expect to witness rare and delicate summertime snowfall.
After that exhausting expedition, you might be in the market for something a bit more laidback. If that’s the case, Stanley Park’s outdoor offerings are just what the doctor ordered. Covering 405 hectares of Canadian forest with 27 kilometers of winding, leisurely trails, Stanley Park is a perfect choice for hiking, biking, jogging, rollerblading, or even just a casual stroll with a loved one. Especially recommended is the eight-kilometer shoreline loop following the historic Stanley Park Seawall.