The North Shore Mountains are comprised of six mountains and two suburban communities laid out along the north shore of Burrard Inlet. This is the beginning of the majestic Coast Mountain Range, which extends north along BC's coast and right through Alaska. An established hiking destination, it's extremely wild and rugged despite being less than half an hour from downtown Vancouver. Healthy populations of bear, coyote and cougar live here, so exercise caution on all trails. Deer, squirrels and a variety of bird species also call the area home.
Mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers and beaches - this region boasts them in breathtaking abundance and beauty. The spectacular setting provides the venue for a vast array of outdoor adventures - Cycle, hike, camp, kayak, sail, golf, ski and snowboard. Don't miss the West Coast Special: ski in the morning, sail in the afternoon!
Always a favoured destination for sophisticated travellers, the climate in Vancouver is mild and temperate, but the region's mountains are equally renowned for their epic snowfalls. So much so, the region has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Venues for the Games will stretch from the cosmopolitan streets of Metro Vancouver to Whistler Village, a world-class ski resort. Awarding the Games is an honour that recognizes not just the physical capacity of the region to host them, but the international status of the city and its sophisticated amenities. Fine dining, sophisticated shopping, museums, galleries, parks and entertainment options abound - waiting to delight visitors of all ages and interests.
Popular Areas on Vancouver, Coast & Mountains:
The main hiking areas are Cypress Provincial Park, Seymour Provincial Park and Grouse Mountain. These areas feature dense forests, alpine lakes and meadows, stunning summit views, and moderate to difficult trails. Cypress also features an easy, wheelchair-accessible loop trail.
Hiking & Biking:
The 42-km (25-mi) Baden-Powell Trail is the main route in the large system of North Shore Mountain trails. It extends all the way from Horseshoe Bay (west) to Deep Cove (east). Because it is not intended as one long hike, but rather as several shorter ones, it can be accessed from several points.
Baden Powell Trail: The North Shore's signature trail.
Beginning from the trail's most westerly point, hikers ascend about 1,140 m (3,740 ft) to the top of Black Mountain in Cypress Provincial Park. From there, the Baden-Powell gradually descends toward the charming village of Deep Cove. Savour breathtaking views of Vancouver as you traverse through densely forested trails past trickling streams and rocky bluffs.
For an abridged version of this journey, hike the trail from Deep Cove to the high bluff overlooking Indian Arm.
The 3,000-ha (7,413-ac) park is thick with western redcedars and yellow cedars, while wildlife such as coyotes, deer, black bears and squirrels plus a wide variety of birds call it home. Sparkling mountain lakes are found below the park's peaks of 1,454-m (4,770-m) Mount Strachan, 1,217-m (3993-ft) Black Mountain and 1,325-m (4,347-ft) Hollyburn Mountain. Cypress offers stunning vistas of Vancouver.
Cypress Provincial Park: One of the Lower Mainland's renowned hiking destinations.
Signature trails include:
Yew Lake Trail (Easy): This short, wheelchair-accessible trail loops through meadows past several small lakes. Length: 2 km (1.2 mi). Time required: 1 hour.
Eagle Bluff Trail (Intermediate): This route leads hikers up Black Mountain, through forest and past small lakes before reaching a rocky bluff and opening to breathtaking views of Howe Sound. Try a picnic lunch here. Length: 11 km (6.8 mi) round-trip. Time required: 5 hours.
Howe Sound Crest Trail (Advanced): This rugged, strenuous route leads experienced (and well-equipped) hikers from the ski-area parking lot to the shoulder of the 1,654-m (5,427-ft) Lions, two formidable peaks that are fundamental to Vancouver's skyline. The route continues past Deeks Lake before descending to Highway 99. Length: 29 km one-way. Time required: Overnight.
Cypress Provincial Park is located in the North Shore Mountains, a 40-minute drive from Vancouver. The ski-area parking lot is accessible by a road that winds its way up to a 900- m (2,953-ft) elevation.
Just a 25-minute drive from downtown, Grouse Mountain presides majestically over North Vancouver. The Grouse Grind, a trek up the face of the mountain, is such a popular hike in Vancouver that it's even been trademarked. Locals often refer to the 2.9 km (1.8 mi) slog up 853 m (2,800 ft) as "Mother Nature's Stairmaster."
Grouse Mountain: Panoramic views of Vancouver and beyond.
Something of a cult classic among fitness buffs, the trek is more aerobic than scenic until you get to the top. The prize for huffing and puffing your way up is a glorious, panoramic view of downtown Vancouver, Washington's Mt. Baker, the Pacific Ocean and -off in the distance - Vancouver Island.
If your energy level hasn't completely crashed, consider an easy stroll along the trails starting in and around the mountaintop.
Grouse Mountain is located 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver.
Lynn Canyon Park 250-ha (164-ac) is a municipal park located at the foot of the North Shore Mountains. It features pockets of second-growth coastal rainforest; sheer canyons; creeks; natural pools; a suspension bridge and a cafe. Vegetation includes Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar and 40 types of moss. Visit the Lynn Creek Ecology Centre, near the parking lot, for more information about flora and fauna in the park.
Lynn Canyon Park: Trail system that boasts a suspension bridge and ecology centre.
The first thing most people do when they enter the park is cross the Lynn Creek suspension bridge adjacent to the parking lot. The bridge hangs 50 m (164 ft) above the creek and sways and springs underfoot. Once across, you can walk upstream 10 minutes to 30 Foot Pool or downstream to Twin Falls, a 15-minute walk. You can also link to trail networks in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. The reserve features a short loop around Rice Lake and Fisherman's Trail, which runs alongside the Seymour River. The regional park has trails that extend deep into the mountains.
Many trails have steep stairways, roots and rocks, so exercise caution in slippery conditions.
Lynn Canyon Park is located in North Vancouver, 35 minutes from downtown Vancouver.
Mount Seymour Provincial Park has been a popular hiking destination since the 1920s. Trails in the 3,508-ha (1,420-ac) park lead hikers through awe-inspiring old-growth and second-growth firs, cedar and hemlock; past meadows and small lakes; as well as by towering rock faces en route to panoramic views of Vancouver , the Fraser Valley, Indian Arm and the Coast Mountains. Look for wildlife along any of the trails such as coyotes, deer, black bears and cougars as well as a wide variety of birds.
Mount Seymour Provincial Park: A wonderful selection of trails for hikers of all abilities.
Signature Trails include:
Mount Seymour Trail (Advanced): This popular trail passes through sub-alpine meadows before a steep ascent to the 1,449-m (4,754-ft) summit of Mount Seymour, where hikers are rewarded with incredible vistas. Length: 8-km (5-mi) round-trip. Time required: 5 hours. Elevation change: 450 m (1,476 ft).
Dog Mountain Trail (Intermediate): This hike, an excellent choice for families, winds through towering cedars and firs, past ferns and blueberry bushes before reaching the bluffs with their open view of Vancouver. Length: 6 km (3.7 mi). Time required: 3 hours.
Mount Seymour Provincial Park is located in the North Shore Mountains, a 40-minute drive from Vancouver . The park is accessed by a paved, winding road that ends at the downhill ski area parking lot at an elevation of 1,020 m (3,346 ft).
Renowned for easy access to the white slopes of winter, this region offers day or night skiing within minutes of downtown Vancouver - Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour. Great skiing on runs that boast breathtaking views of city and sea.
Three hours east of Vancouver, in the midst of a protected wilderness, Manning Park is known for immaculately groomed runs, outstanding glade skiing, and resort quality accommodations.
Two scenic hours north of Vancouver is the resort that is consistently ranked with the best - Whistler Blackcomb.
Cypress Mountain is the Official Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding Venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We provide skiers, riders and sliders with the most vertical drop, most terrain, most lifts and best snow conditions on Vancouver's North Shore Mountains.
Cypress Mountain |
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Just 15 minutes from downtown, Grouse Mountain's Super Skyride whisks you to the best in local skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and ice skating. In summer, enjoy a mountaintop of hiking trails, a grizzly bear habitat, live shows and four restaurants.
Grouse Mountain Ski Resorts - North Vancouver|
6400 Nancy Greene Way
North Vancouver, British Columbia
Heli-skiing in this region is centered in the Coast Mountains around the Whistler and Pemberton valleys, 2-2.5 hours north of Vancouver. The location is ideal: heli-ski clients descend untracked backcountry peaks by day and enjoy Whistler Blackcomb's legendary apres-ski by night.
Choose from a variety of packages which include:
Single- to multi-day adventures.
Group sizes ranging from 4 to 10 skiers and riders per guide.
Shuttle bus pick-up from Whistler Village to either the Whistler or Pemberton heliports.
Day runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The skiing and boarding terrain varies from wide-open glaciers to gladed tree runs. The average descent is 600 vertical m (2,000 vertical ft), but can vary from 400 m (1,400 ft) to 1,500 m (5,000 ft). The average annual snowfall in these mountains ranges from 9-12 m (30-40 ft). The season runs from late December through April, with February and March generally considered the prime heli-skiing season.
Just a 2-hour drive north, Whistler is the closest heli-skiing area to Vancouver. This legendary resort is the site of many of the alpine and Nordic venues for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Operators in this area offer the ultimate in convenience. Skiers are picked up in Whistler Village, where most hotels and lodges are located, then transferred to the Whistler Heliport, just 5 minutes away. Each day, guides select the most optimal terrain and conditions in the 80 km by 50 km (50 mi by 30 mi) heli-skiing area surrounding the Whistler Valley.
Operators in Pemberton provide heli-access to a range of mountains that straddle the divide between the coast and the Chilcotin plateau. The snowfall here is abundant and dry, resembling conditions in BC's interior mountains. Skiers can lodge either in Pemberton or Whistler: operators offer a 30-minute shuttle bus from Whistler Village to Pemberton.
Gardens & City Parks:
Vancouver, Coast and Mountains features a number of lush parks and tranquil gardens. You'll find one of the region's most spectacular ones east of Vancouver, near the city of Chilliwack. Minter Gardens is renowned worldwide for eleven themed gardens and its setting at the foot of towering Cheam Peak.
Back in Vancouver, a stroll through any of the city's spectacular parks will refresh your appreciation for nature. These include the crown jewel, Stanley Park, as well as the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park, the reflective Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden and the green sanctuary that is VanDusen Botanical Garden.
Stanley Park is the crown jewel of Vancouver's parks. Crowds of international tourists and locals alike can be found enjoying a brisk jog or leisurely stroll all year round.
As one of North America's largest urban parks, Stanley Park offers tourists and locals much in the way of seeing and doing. Stroll the gardens. Visit marine life at the Vancouver Aquarium. Play a game of tennis. Let the kids let loose at the water park or ride the much-loved miniature train. Marvel at the totem pole collection at Brockton Point - it's considered the province's most-visited site.
Or just spend an incredible day walking, cycling or rollerblading the paved 10-km (6.2-mi) Seawall marveling at the magnificent mountain, ocean, forest and city views.
Other park amenities include picnic areas, a pitch-and-putt, children's petting zoo and Malkin Bowl, an outdoor theatre.
If panoramic views partnered with colourful floral displays appeal to you, head to Queen Elizabeth Park. This manicured 52-ha (130-ac) urban oasis is the city's highest point south of downtown.
In addition to formal gardens of glorious colour, Queen Elizabeth Park is home to the country's first civic arboretum. Here you can examine a collection of nearly all trees native to Canada in addition to some international specimens. As well, the Bloedel Floral Conservatory celebrates the natural world through its tropical birds, plants, rainforest and fish.
There is also ample opportunity for an introspective moment in the tranquil rock gardens, ponds and waterfalls of the Quarry Garden.
Park amenities include a pitch-and-putt, myriad walking paths and tennis courts. Pack a lunch to enjoy on the picnic grounds.
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a tranquil Ming Dynasty-style garden - the first authentic classical Chinese garden to have been built outside of China.
Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
It is highly acclaimed for the formality of its mazes of walls within walls and courtyard meeting courtyard, which reflect the ancient traditions of China.
Once a golf course, VanDusen Botanical Garden is now a green sanctuary in the heart of the city. The garden contains over 7,500 different kinds of plants from six continents and hosts over 65 varieties of birds.
VanDusen Botanical Garden
During VanDusen's Festival of Lights in December, nearly a million lights dazzle in the evenings throughout the garden.
Harrison Hot Springs (population: 1,573) is located in the Fraser Valley at the south end of 60-km (37-mi) long Harrison Lake, a two-hour drive east from Vancouver. There area has long been a draw to tourists thanks to its magnificent Coast Mountain scenery; Harrison Lake, the largest lake in southwestern BC; and of course, Harrison's namesake, the celebrated hot springs. These mineral-rich springs, revered long ago by the Coast Salish First Nation as a "healing place," were discovered by prospectors during the mid-1800s Gold Rush.
Harrison offers far more amenities, activities and attractions than its population size warrants. The many outdoor-recreation activities include everything from gentle walks and rugged hikes to golf, fishing, windsurfing and boating.
Harrison's beach becomes The Enchanted World of Sand - North America's largest, public, sand-sculpture exhibit. Each year 3,000 tons (2,720 tonnes) of sand on Harrison's beach is transformed into an exhibit that depicts legendary characters from fairytales, myths and legends, including this region's very own Sasquatch.
Join us for a Vancouver Harbour Tour past Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge, the spectacular city skyline and more. Ranked by Where Magazine as having one of the "Best Views" in Vancouver, our Dinner and Luncheon cruises are unforgettable.
Harbour Cruises & Events - Vancouver
# 1 North Foot Of Denman St
Vancouver, British Columbia