My Favourite Hikes

If you know me at all, you know I love hiking and being in the forest. There’s something about being amongst the trees and deep in the forest that’s so calming for the mind and the soul.

I feel most at peace when I’m lost in thought, wandering through the woods.

Here’s a list of my all time favorites:



St. Mark Summit
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St. Marks is my favorite hike. It’s on the top of Cypress mountain with a breath taking view of Howe Sound at the top. It’s 11k from the Cypress Bowl parking lot and 460 meters of elevation gain. I’ve camped up at the top and woke up to the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever witnessed. Make sure you bring little seeds or nuts to share with the wildlife! There are tons of Whisky Jacks and Chipmunks.

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Elsay Lake

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Okay, so this was one of the most, if not THE most challenging hikes I’ve ever tackled. This hike is not for the faint of heart. It is 25km round trip but you should plan on staying at Elsay Lake for a night. The crazy ups and downs made this trek a real “knee shaker”. We had 30lbs on our backs which of course made it all the more challenging. There are some very sketchy rock faces you’ll need to climb over and parts that are so steep you can really only tackle a couple steps at a time. All of that said, it is one of the most rewarding hikes because of how BADASS you feel after.

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Kennedy Falls

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This hike is so much fun. It’s quite a challenging hike, 10k and it’s difficult to remain on the “trial”. You need to make sure you are closely following the yellow markers. About halfway to the waterfall you’ll come across the most stunning Old Red Cedar tree that is one of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen.

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Quarry Rock

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A quicky but a goodie. This hike is one of the OGs for me. It’s situated in Deep Cove and has unfortunately become quite the tourist spot. The only time it’s feasible to head up there is very early on weekday mornings. The view is worth the short hike, but the line of people that come on weekends and after 3:00pm on weekdays makes it too busy. Make sure you go grab a doughnut from Honey’s afterwards!

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Grouse Grind

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Most people you talk to will say they despise this hike. I love it.
My sister Kels and I get the couples pass as you can’t hike down the grind. It takes anywhere from 45 mins to just over an hour to complete the 2.9k, 853meter elevation hike. I think the reason I love this hike so much is that I know exactly what to expect. It’s more of a nice quick workout than a hike in my mind. Again, with this hike you never want to go on a weekend. It gets stupid busy! If you don’t have a Grouse Mountain pass, you’ll need to pay $10 to get back down on the tram.

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Varley Trail

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The Varley is a simple stunner. You can part up by the cute little cafe, End Of The Line, grab a coffee and enjoy this little stroll in the forest. It’s up in the depths of Lynn Valley and connects the Lynn Loop and Headwater trails together. This is the perfect hike to take kiddies on, as there is little to no incline and it’s just under 2k.  You pass by boardwalks, bridges, water holes and the bellowing river. It’s a great rainy day walk.

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Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

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This was once one of North Van’s best kept secrets, now I feel like everyone and their dog knows about it (literally, so many dogs). Many folks will come to Vancouver and spend way too much money on the Capilano Suspension Bridge – it may be quite a bit higher and longer, but the Lynn Canyon one is something special (and free!). In the Summer time, it’s a great place to bring a picnic and soak in the icy waters. If you’re a daredevil, there are many nooks and crannies where you can slide, jump and climb. Definitely a must see if you haven’t yet been.

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Norvan Falls

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Who doesn’t love a great waterfall? Located off in Lynn Valley, off the Varley Trail (see above) Norvan takes around 4-5 hours to complete the 14k, so be sure to give yourself lots of time to do the hike; don’t forget to allot some time to really enjoy the falls. This hike is quite flat, so it makes for a great trail running path. After the first 4km, the trail opens up into a clearing known as a debris chute. Walk to the left towards the river and take in the views and the rushing water continuously flowing over the rocks as Goat Mountain towers overhead. From this point, head up the rocky debris towards the sign post. Turn left and continue your hike by entering the forest along the Headwaters Trail.

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Whyte Lake

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Round trip, this hike is only 5k, but it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s located in a West Van, super close to Horseshoe Bay. You’ll follow the Nelson Creek uphill through the tall forest until to you reach the end, the best part, Whyte Lake. It’s a small, warm, peaceful lake, perfect for swimming in the Spring and Summer.  If you venture to the other side of the lake you’ll find a little rope swing in the woods that goes out above the lake.

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Mystery Lake

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This hike is the best in Summer. It’s situated really close to the parking lot up Seymour Mountain and is perfect for a cool hangout on a hot day. The first time I ever went up here I went skinny dipping in late September. Watch out for bugs if you’re heading there right after the snow starts to melt!

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Dog Mountain

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Dog Mountain is another one up Seymour. I’ve only ever done this hike in the snow with snowshoes on, but I hear it’s absolutely stunning in the Summer as well. It’s not too long, about 5k and there is minimal elevation gain. A nice easy hike with a hell of a view.

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Lynn Peak

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This is a steep peak (see what I did there?). I went up this hike for the first time with Nina and Rooney and poor Roo was far too tired near the middle. He had to take a break and lay down in the mud! Keep in mind that this hike is comparable to the Grind (a bit harder and longer) and there is no tram to get down! This 9k hike has an elevation gain of 720 meters. Bring a ton of water and snacks; during the Summer months the creeks go completely barren so bring extra if your furry pal is tagging along.

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The Chief

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I absolutely love everything about this hike. I love the challenging stairs that start the hike, I love how you’re climbing an actual huge rock and I adore the breathtaking view at the top. It’s not a dog-friendly hike as there are ladders and you’ll need to pull yourself up a chain but this is an absolute must-do.

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The Cowichan “Air Conditioner”

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This hike is a hidden gem. Every year my fam and I go camping at Gordon Bay on Lake Cowichan. One year, my Uncle decided to venture up past the old logging roads to see what he could find. Low and behold he found the “coolest” (literally and figuratively) spot! It’s where two caves collide creating a ton of pressure underneath, air is sent through and comes out freezing cold. I only get the chance to do this one once a year and it’s always a highlight of the trip.

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Lynn Loop

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This hike will forever remind me of my sisters. We used to hike this loop religiously every week… at least 4 times a week. It’s super simple, 4.5k, so beautiful and starts and ends at a river. Like it’s name suggests, its a full loop so you never walk the same part twice. There’s a small uphill part, but for the most part it’s pretty level.

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Old Buck

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Located on the bottom of Seymour mountain, this 330m elevation, 7k hike is one for the books. I’ve only ever done this hike with one of my closest pals, Kathryn and almost every time we have troubles finding our way. This trail is shared with mountain bikers so if you’re with a pup who doesn’t listen all that well, make sure to have him/her on a leash.

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Rainbow Mountain, Vinicunca, Peru

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This was one of the most breathtaking hikes (literally) that I’ve ever done. It was situated at 5,035m above sea level… the highest point I’ve ever been to.  The hike was 18k through the Vinicunca mountains. We trekked through mini villages and saw many an alpaca and wild dog. You’ll need to pay a tour group (I paid $30USD for the pick up, breakfast, lunch and a guided tour). When you get to the top, you have the option to hike to the peak or stay below. You’re going to be exhausted, but you MUST hike to the top. That is where you’ll see the unreal Rainbow Mountains. Worth every breath.

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Inka Trail, Matchu Picchu 

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88km, 2,800m, four days. One of the most amazing experiences of my life was hiking the original Inka Trail to Matchu Picchu. I have a few stories that I will share in my blog but the experience is beyond any words I could write. Kelsey, Stephen and I hiked it together and even though it was rainy season, we absolutely loved it. The moment that day 4 arrives and you hike over the Sun Gate into Matchu Picchu is a feeling of pure joy and ecstasy.

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