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How to Hike the Beautiful Hunter Trail in Mission

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If you are looking for a hidden gem with stunning views and happy to venture out of the Vancouver area, you could explore Mission for the day and hike the Hunter Trail.

The Hunter Trail in Mission, British Columbia is actually an active forest service road that has become a popular hike amongst locals. The end viewpoint is overlooking Stave Lake and loads of mountains.

It is much less crowded than other popular hiking trails near Vancouver and also has a lot less roots which is a nice little bonus.

couple standing at lookout overlooking lake and mountains

The hike is 8km / 5 miles with an elevation gain of 230m / 755 ft. On average it will take around 3 hours.

We have hiked the Hunter trail a couple of times now and feel that it is a great hike to do on a day when you don’t feel like doing a hectically hard hike but still want to feel like you are out in the backcountry surrounded by mountains.

Girl watching the sunset on the Hunter Trail

This hiking guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Hunter Trail in Mission including:

  • How to get to the Hunter Trail and where to park
  • What wildlife is in the area
  • Information on whether you need a permit
  • How long the Hunter Trail takes and its level of difficulty
  • Dogs on the Hunter Trail
  • Camping at the viewpoint
  • Best time of the year to do the Hunter Trail
  • The trail description
  • Where to stay nearby

How to Hike the Hunter Trail, Mission

📃 Hike Stats

Distance: 8km / 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 230m / 755 ft
Time: 3 hours

Dogs allowed: Yes
Toilets: None

📍 Where is Hunter Trail Located

The Hunter Trail is a forest service road location in Mission British Columbia which is just over an hour’s drive East from Vancouver.

There is no way to reach the Hunter Trail via public transport. If you are visiting Vancouver, you can rent a car here.

Where to Park and Finding the Trailhead

The trailhead and small gravel parking lot is located on Sabo Street. You will need to drive all of the way to the end of the road until you reach a yellow gate which is the entrance to the forest road.

Parking lot for the Hunter Trail

The parking lot is extremely small and can only fit about 10 vehicles. You do not need a 4×4 vehicle to reach the parking lot.

Parking Lot coordinates: 49.248262, -122.302728

Gate to the Hunter Trail Forest Service Road

The trailhead is right next to the parking lot just past the locked gate. For anyone thinking of driving up the forest road, this is not possible due to the locked gate.

Click here to open the map in Google Maps!

🚗 Vehicles being towed

There is a sign at the parking lot stating that any vehicles left in the parking lot after dusk will be towed. This makes doing the Hunter Trail as a sunset hike kind of tricky.

We were able to work around this by parking much further down the road in another little pullout. We had to drive back past all of the no parking signs to find a good spot. If you do this, just make sure there are no signs nearby saying no parking.

Drone shot of the Hunter Trail viewpoint

❗ What to Know Before you Go

  • Be back at your car before dusk to avoid being towed.
  • Download offline maps to help you follow the correct trail. There are a few forks along the Hunter Trail which make it a little hard to follow.
  • Bring your bear spray with you.
  • Be respectful of the residential houses located next to the parking lot and the trail.

🎫 Do I need a Hiking Pass or Permit?

There are no hiking passes or permits currently required to hike the Hunter Trail.

🚻 Facilities

There are no facilities at the trailhead or on the trail.

🐻 Wildlife in the Area

The most common wildlife in Mission are black bears, deer, coyotes, cougars and raccoons.

Couple sitting at campsite overlooking view

🥾 How Hard is the Hunter Trail

The Hunter Trail could be rated as an easy – moderate hike. You will be mostly hiking uphill but it is not too steep and there are no technical aspects to the trail as it is 100% up a wide gravel forest service road.

The hardest part of the Hunter Trail is the constant uphill which isn’t super steep the entire way and the distance if you are used to hiking much shorter trails than 8km return. The steepest parts of the trail are at the beginning and near the end, closer to the viewpoint.

This is a great hike for all hiking levels including kids as the trail is very easy to walk on compared with some of the other trails in BC.

Couple standing on the Hunter Trail

🕐 Hunter Trail Hiking Time

The Hunter Trail takes about 3 hours on average to complete however, you could probably do it in 2 if you hike fast and don’t stop at the viewpoint for too long.

🐶 Can Dogs do the Hunter Trail

The Hunter Trail is a great hike to take your dogs on and it is a very popular trail for locals to walk their dogs.

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📆 When is the Best Time of the Year to do the Hike

You can hike the Hunter Trail all-year-round as the road to the trailhead is ploughed due to it being a residential road.

Couple hiking the Hunter Trail Mission

Try to do the Hunter Trail on at least a semi clear day so that you can see the view of the mountains. The first time we did this hike, we went on a cloudy day but still had pretty good views which was lucky.

🏕 Can You Camp on the Hunter Trail in Mission

Whether or not you are allowed to camp at the Hunter Trail viewpoint is something that I have been trying to figure out since we moved to Vancouver.

There is no information online about camping on the Hunter Trail and there are no signs along the trail saying no camping, so one can only assume it is allowed.

Tent camping on the Hunter Trail

The parking situation does make it a little tricky but you can just park further away from the trailhead to avoid the risk of being towed.

We have no camped on the Hunter Trail but we did set up our tent for a fun little sunset photoshoot one time. There is a little man-made fire ring at the viewpoint that you could used outside of forest fire season.

🌲 Leave No Trace

Before heading out onto Beautiful BC’s hiking trails, please remind yourself of the Leave No Trace Principles. Take everything back out that you take in, take only photos and respect the wildlife and other people. You can read more on the 7 LNT principles here.

🥾 The Hunter Trail Description

The Hunter Trail starts just passed the yellow gate. Once you are hiking ready, walk past the gate and start up the forest road. The trail begins with a moderate climb which will last around 15-20 minutes before becoming a little flatter.

You will pass a few intersections where you will need to continue on the main trail. I recommend downloading some offline maps to ensure you don’t take a wrong turn. There were a couple of times where we questioned which way was right.

When you are closer to the viewpoint, the trail will get steeper again and when you are almost there, you will need to take a left off the trail towards the view of Stave Lake. Once again, make sure you check your maps here so you know when it is coming up.

🚶‍♀️ Add on a Short Waterfall Hike to your Day

If you have already gone to the effort of driving all of the way to Mission, why not add on a super short waterfall hike to your day.

Cascade Falls and Suspension Bridge in Mission

Cascade Falls is also located in Mission and is a 35-40 minute drive from the Hunter Trail, followed by a short 15 minute walk to the falls. Cascade Falls is a gorgeous waterfall which you can view from a cool suspension bridge!

🛌 Where to Stay Nearby

If you want to stay near the Hunter Trail, you could stay in either Mission or Abbotsford.

🎒 Packing List

💭 Our Thoughts

When we don’t feel like doing a technical rooty and muddy hike (as most trails tend to be in BC), but we still want to hike up to a viewpoint, we often choose the Hunter Trail.

Yes, it is a bit of a drive from Vancouver, but it feels great to properly get out of the city and hike up to the incredible views that you get overlooking Stave Lake.

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