Vancouver in the Summer: 9 Hikes for a Summer You’ll Never Forget
Most Vancouverites spend all year long waiting patiently for four precious months of glorious, glorious summer. From June to September the city is bursting with sunshine, the rain subsides, (mostly!), and the days are long. Summer is when Vancouver truly shines. It also happens to be the best time of year to take advantage of the warmer weather and head up to the mountains, into the forest, to the lake or by the sea and explore the many trails that are near the city. Here are nine of our favourite summertime hikes that help to make Vancouver one of the most sought after destinations for outdoor adventures. So what are you waiting for…don’t waste any more time, lace up those hiking shoes and hit the trails!
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9 Hikes for a Summer You'll Never Forget
1. St. Mark's Summit
St. Mark’s Summit on Cypress mountain is arguably our favourite hike with the most impressive view in the greater Vancouver area. This 4 hour round trip hike takes you up through the forest on a moderately difficult to challenging trail, and rewards you with unparalleled views over Howe Sound. Tips: there are often bugs (mosquitos and little black flies) so bring natural bug spray, sunscreen, snacks for the top, and don’t forget a camera. If you head up to catch the sunset, make sure you’re prepared with proper safety lighting for your descent. This hike is best after the snow fully melts, usually sometime after late June.
2. Lindeman Lake
In our opinion, it’s not a proper summer without a visit to Lindeman Lake in Chilliwack. It’s the perfect combination of an enjoyable walk in the woods and a moderate hike to get your heart pumping. The best part? You end your hike at a lake with the most beautiful, vibrant green hue. And while it might be a little too cold for most people to jump in, trust us…it’s worth it for the view! Helpful hint: if you’re up for hiking with your camping gear, you can camp right by the lake!
3. Eagle Bluffs
One of the greatest things about Vancouver is how beautiful the city is with its amazing skyline…so what could be better than a hike in nature that rewards with views of the city?! Eagle Bluffs does just that. This moderate hike is approximately 2 hours to the top. Bring some food and drinks and enjoy a picnic overlooking the city.
4. Elk Mountain
The Chilliwack area offers many beautiful hikes, and Elk Mountain is just one of them. With an 800m climb and a 7km round trip it’s considered to be more of a challenging hike, but the sweeping views over the Chilliwack area, Cultus Lake, Chilliwack River and the Fraser Valley will be so worth it. Certain times of year, alpine flowers line the trails, (our favourite!) so make sure to spend some time at the top enjoying the 360 degree views.
5. Stawamus Chief
The Chief is one of the more popular hikes in the region, but for good reason. Not for the faint of heart, the climb up this massive granite dome is a w-o-r-k-o-u-t, and we’d consider it challenging. So put on your exercise gear, lace up your shoes, and prepare to go up, up, up a trail that is mostly stairs. You’ll even get to scramble up some cliffs using a chain as a rope! There are three peaks to the Chief, and you can head up one (or all!) depending on how far you want to go. Have we convinced you yet?! Don’t worry, the view over the waters of Howe Sound is insane, you’ll be so happy you made the trek!
6. Garibaldi Lake
An absolute BC classic. After climbing up 900 metres of elevation, there is nothing more rewarding than diving into this picturesque, glacier fed lake. It’s one of our favourite BC lakes, and for good reason…it’s absolutely stunning with its bright, vibrant blue hue. Do whatever you can, take a sick day at work, (we won’t tell!) and pay Garibaldi a visit before the summer is over. Keep in mind: in order to get elevated views of the lake you will need to hike up to Panorama Ridge, which does add a couple hours of hiking.
7. Black Tusk
Difficult, challenging, long…just a few of the words to describe the hike from the beginning of the trail up Black Tusk. If you’re not a hardcore, super-fit, mega hiker, we would suggest camping for a night down at Garibaldi Lake and then ascending up to Black Tusk after a good night’s rest. But don’t let that deter you, the views are beyond epic and will leave you breathless. That, or the hike will!
8. Norvan Fall
Take a beautiful meander through the dense, green forest that is Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, and end up at a spectacular waterfall and (cold!) swimming hole. Keep in mind, the amount of water may vary depending on how dry the season is. While it is a longer hike with a 14km round trip, it has almost no elevation gain making it perfect for an enjoyable afternoon in the woods!
9. Tunnel Bluffs
Okay, so you may be wondering why we keep recommending hikes with views of Howe Sound. They must all be the same, right? Wrong. Tunnel Bluffs offers a whole different perspective of this classic west coast panorama, and you’d be silly to miss this one. The trail is a steep incline as you hike directly up from the Sea to Sky highway, but the reward is out of this world once you reach the top.