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11 Beautiful and Easy Hikes Near Vancouver

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Easy Day Hikes Near Vancouver

Vancouver is the best when it comes to hiking! There are loads of trails in Vancouver for all various hiking difficulties. There are lots of easy trails in Vancouver that are are just as beautiful as some of the harder trails.

Dave and I have spent weekend after weekend trying out hikes in and around Vancouver so that we now have a list of our backpacking trips near Vancouver, a list of our favourite easy hikes and also a list of the best waterfalls in and near Vancouver, some of which include a fun hike to reach the waterfall.

This guide will list some of the best short and/or easy hikes in Vancouver with a map showing locations of all the hiking trailheads so that you can easily find your way there.

couple standing on Dog Mountain at sunset which is easy hikes near vancouver

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Things to Know Before Hiking in Vancouver

  1. Be prepared for lots of mud and roots. – You are hiking in British Columbia, and with that comes a trail full of mud and roots. As you are probably already aware, Vancouver gets a lot of rain, so the hiking trails do tend to get pretty muddy, especially during Spring. Take your time, especially if you aren’t used to this sort of hiking. The worst thing you can do is slip and injure yourself.
  2. Micro Spikes – If you are hiking when it is Winter or still snowy or icy, consider bringing along some micro spikes. Ours are from Black Diamond and Kahtoola.
  3. Tell someone where you are going – Always let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back whenever you decide to go out on a hike.
  4. Bring Mosquito Repellent – The mozzies here are no joke!
  5. Wear the correct clothing and don’t forget to layer! – You will probably get quite hot while hiking, but once you are chilling out at the viewpoint, you will cool right down and may wish you brought some warm layers.
  6. Sunset or Sunrise Hiking – If you are like us and love to photograph golden hour at the viewpoint, don’t forget to bring along a headlamp. You can check out our headlamps here.

Leave No Trace

Whenever you are enjoying the the beautiful nature that our world has to offer, remember to leave no trace (LNT)! Respect the beautiful places that make British Columbia beautiful and take out everything that you take in, take only photos and respect the wildlife and other people. You can read more on the 7 LNT principles here.

Hiking Gear – What to Wear

This is a list of what Dave and I wear hiking which also includes links in case you want to purchase any of the same gear as us.

Click here to open the map in Google Maps!

Vancouver Easy Hikes Bucketlist

1. Murrin Loop Trail – Sea to Sky Highway

Distance: 1.8km loop 
Time: 1.5hrs 
Elevation: 160 metres 
From Vancouver: 45mins 
Dog Friendly: Yes on leash, however prohibited from the main beach and picnic area 
Toilets: Yes at the carpark

Couple sitting at viewpoint overlooking Howe Sound along Murrin Loop Trail

Murrin Loop Trail to Quercus Viewpoint is one of the easiest hikes and most beautiful hikes we have done near Vancouver and is a perfect spot for a sunset picnic.

It is extremely short, only 1.8km return with a little bit of a scramble but not enough to scare us away from going back again and again! The incredible viewpoint looks over Howe Sound with mountains lining each side and the hike is just South of Squamish.

You can find everything you need to know in our Murrin Loop Trail Hiking Guide.

2. Dog Mountain – Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Distance: 5km 
Time: 2.5hrs 
Elevation: 150 metres 
From Vancouver: 40mins 
Dog Friendly: Yes 
Toilets: Yes There are toilets located near the end of the parking lot by the North Shore Search and Rescue office.

This absolute stunner and family friendly Dog Mountain Hike in Mount Seymour Provincial Park is an easy hike in Vancouver and one of the most popular hiking trails in North Vancouver.

The short trail takes you through the forest and past First Lake. The summit offers views to downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and the Fraser Valley and is well worth the hike!

The trail is 5km return and takes approximately 2.5hrs to complete. We often love hiking to the Dog Mountain Viewpoint to have hot chocolate and watch the sunset after work. You can find everything you need to know in our Dog Mountain Hiking Guide.

Dog Mountain is also a great hike to do in Winter in Vancouver as it is so easy and short.

3. Bowen Lookout – Cypress Provincial Park

Distance: 4km 
Time: 1.5hrs 
Elevation: 110 metres 
From Vancouver: 30mins 
Dog Friendly: Yes 
Toilets: Yes, at the Cypress Mountain Resort

couple sitting at Bowen Lookout

The Bowen Lookout hike is a 4km out and back trail located in Cypress Provincial Park in Vancouver. This is another easy trail in Vancouver which can also be done in Winter. The view at the end is pretty awesome for such a short hike!

The walk takes you through the trees and ends at a viewpoint overlooking Howe Sound.  At the viewpoint, watch out for curious squirrels and birds looking to steal your food!

We have a hiking guide on Bowen Lookout which includes information on where to park, how to get a backcountry permit and a description of the trail.

4. Quarry Rock – Deep Cove

Distance: 3.8km 
Time: 1.5hrs 
Elevation: 100 metres 
From Vancouver: 30mins 
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes Deep Cove beach area

couple standing together at sunset on Quarry Rock Lookout

Quarry Rock Lookout is a short and easy hike in Deep Cove, North Vancouver that leads you to a stunning views overlooking Deep Cove, Belcarra, and Indian Arm. You might even see swimmers or paddleboarders in the water below. 

The hike is 3.8km return and will take you about 1.5hrs. There are multiple places you can start this short but beautiful hike from depending on how far you feel like hiking. Check out our Quarry Rock Lookout Hiking Guide for all the details!

5. Spirea Nature Trail – Golden Ears Provincial Park

Distance: 0.8km 
Time: 20mins
Elevation: Nil
From Vancouver: 1hr 10mins
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes

The Spirea Trail in Golden Ears is a really magical trail through the forest. This is one of the easiest and shortest hikes in Vancouver and you might be wondering if it is even worth doing this as a hike.

Although there is there is no epic viewpoint overlooking the water or the mountains like many of the other hikes in Vancouver.

Both Dave and I can tell you that the Spirea Trail is worth a visit. It is the sort of place that you can imagine a fairy popping out from under a mushroom so if you have kids they will have a fun time looking for fairies! The forest is always so so green and beautiful and even though the hike is extremely short and easy, we never get bored.

We recommend doing the Spirea Nature Trail in combination with another activity in Golden Ears Provincial Park such as paddle boarding or camping.

6. Gold Creek Falls – Golden Ears Provincial Park

Distance: 5.5km 
Time: 2hrs
Elevation: 80 metres
From Vancouver: 1.5hrs
Toilets: Yes
Dogs allowed: Yes

Gold Creek Falls is located in the beautiful Golden Ears Provincial Park and has both an upper and lower falls that you can hike to. Gold Creek Falls is an easy trail as it is so flat! You should allow for around 2hrs to complete this hike.

You will need to park in the Gold Creek Carpark to get to the trailhead which is the Lower Falls Trail. First you will reach the lower falls, shortly followed by the upper falls.

Beware of the water here as it looks so inviting and beautiful but people have died being swept over the falls. You will see a sign warning you not to go in the water.

7. Nairn Falls – Whistler

Distance: 3km   
Time: 1.5hrs
Elevation: 108 metres 
From Vancouver: 2hrs  
Dogs allowed: Yes 
Toilets: Yes, in the parking lot

Nairn Falls is one of the best waterfalls near Vancouver! To reach Nairn Falls, it is a 3km return hike to the lookout point where you will find the waterfall running through two cliff faces with a blue river flowing below it. You can also camp next to the trailhead at Nairn Falls in the designated campsite area.

Nairn Falls is one of the easiest trails near Vancouver however it is a little bit further from Vancouver than the rest of the trails on this list. From Vancouver it will take you around 2hrs by car to arrive at the parking lot.

8. Cascade Falls – Mission

Distance: 0.75km
Time: 25mins
Elevation: 50 metres
From Vancouver: 1hr 20mins
Toilets: Yes, in the carpark
Dogs allowed: Yes 

Girl standing on suspension bridge at cascade falls

Cascade Falls is like something out of a fairy-tale and one of our favourite waterfalls near Vancouver. The waterfall itself you can admire from a suspension bridge, which overlooks it.

To reach the bridge and the waterfall you will need to walk along a really short trail which should take you around 15 minutes from the carpark.

The drive is around 1hr 20 mins to Cascade Falls which is located in Mission, British Columbia. If you want to plan a day trip to Cascade Falls in Mission, check out our blog post on Visiting Cascade Falls.

9. Lynn Canyon Loop – North Vancouver

Distance: 2.6km   
Time: 45 mins – 1 hr
Elevation: 108m 
From Vancouver: 30 mins
Dogs allowed: Yes 
Toilets: Yes, in the parking lot

Girl standing on the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

The Lynn Canyon Loop is located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver. It is a 2.6km loop hike that takes you through the forest and includes the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, Twin Falls, and the 30 Foot Pool.

You have probably heard of the popular Capilano Suspension Bridge. Unlike Capilano, the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is free and less popular and crowded.

There are some stairs which make the hike slightly more difficult but otherwise this is another easy trail in Vancouver to add to your list! The Lynn Loop is a popular walk for dog walkers and runners and is great for some after work exercise.

10. Norvan Falls – North Vancouver

Distance: 14km 
Time: 5hrs 
Elevation: 195metres 
From Vancouver: 35mins 
Dog Friendly: Yes 
Toilets: Yes just past the parking lot

couple standing on log in front of Norvan Falls in North Vancouver

The Norvan Falls Hike is an easy but long hike located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver. We have included this hike as number 10 in this list as it is more of an intermediate hike due to the length. It is however, a great hike to do if you are trying to push yourself from easy to intermediate.

The trail is quite flat for most of the way and the beginning of the hike takes you along a wide forest trail. After a while the trail becomes narrower with more roots to watch your footing on but it still well maintained.

Norvan Falls is a hikes that can be done all year round including Winter. If you do the hike in Winter, make sure the ground isn’t icy and slippery and if it is bring along some micro spikes to hike in.

11. Mamquam Falls

Distance: 1.5km 
Time: 30 minutes
Elevation: 65m
From Vancouver: 1 hour 
Dog Friendly: Yes 
Toilets: Yes – when you first turn off the highway in the parking lot on your right. None located at the trailhead

photo of Mamquam Falls in Squamish

Mamquam Falls is a super easy hike to a beautiful waterfall in Squamish. The trail takes you through a gorgeous, mossy forest that could be out of a fantasy movie to a waterfall with water that turns bright blue in Spring and Summer, from glacier run off.

Our Thoughts

Vancouver has loads of hiking trails and we go hiking almost every single weekend! We love that there are easy hikes in Vancouver and also harder more technical hikes to choose from. We will continue to add to this list as we find more easy but beautiful hikes near Vancouver.

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