The best Vancouver hikes combine exercise with gorgeous scenery and the great outdoors.
1. Stanley Park Seawall
When it comes to Vancouver hikes, the Stanley Park Seawall is definitely the most famous. Stretching 8.8km (5.5 miles), the Seawall loops around Stanley Park, running along the park's northern, western and southern coastlines. Fully-paved, the Seawall is an ideal pathway for hikers of all skill levels, and its route--with views of the city, northern mountains, and Lion's Gate Bridge--is undeniably beautiful.
2. Grouse Grind
One of the Top 10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver as well as one of the best Vancouver hikes, hiking the Grouse Grind--the 2.9km trail up the face of Grouse Mountain--is like running in the annual Vancouver Sun Run: It's practically a rite of passage for Vancouverites and one of the outdoor activities that epitomizes Vancouver athleticism. Hiking up is free, but after enjoying the top's spectacular view, you may want to pay five dollars for the gondola ride down.
3. Lynn Canyon Park
A favourite among locals for Vancouver hikes, Lynn Canyon Park has its own, free suspension bridge, waterfalls, and an idyllic swimming hole--all connected by hiking trails. There are also longer trails that pass through Lynn Canyon, including the Baden Powell Trail, which crosses the entire North Shore mountain range.
4. Vanier Park to Spanish Banks
If you're looking for easy Vancouver hikes--hikes you can do with a stroller or dog--one of my favourites is the hike along Vancouver's western coastline. Start at Vanier Park (home of the Museum of Vancouver) and walk along the water to Kits Beach, Jericho and Locarno beaches, and keep walking to Spanish Banks beach. There are paved walkways all along the shore, making this an easy hike for kids, too.
5. Top 3 Easy Vancouver Hikes
For more easy Vancouver hikes in truly gorgeous settings, check out the hiking trails at these Greater Vancouver destinations:
- Pacific Spirit Regional Park - multiple forested walking, cycling and horseback riding trails near UBC
- Burnaby Lake - Easy 11km trail around the lake
- Deer Lake - Easy 5.7km trail around the lake and surrounding park
6. Top 3 Intermediate & Difficult Vancouver Hikes
For those who want a more challenging hike, there are plenty of Vancouver hikes to choose from. Along with the Grouse Grind (see above), these hikes are a great way to get vigorous exercise and stay in shape!