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Moody & Mystical Rainy Day Hikes Around Vancouver

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How to Find the Best Vancouver Hikes to do in the Rain

If you are like us, when you think about Vancouver, you think of outdoor adventures. Vancouver is known for having some absolutely gorgeous hikes, however, like when you visit anywhere in the world, you cannot guarantee that the weather is going to be perfect, especially if you are visiting “Rainy Vancouver” in any other season except for Summer. This is why I would highly recommend having some rainy day hikes to choose from in case the weather doesn’t cooperate for you while you are in Vancouver.

You will notice that on a rainy day in Vancouver, all of the outdoorsy people are still out hiking. The rain definitely doesn’t scare them away!

This guide lists the best hikes to do in Vancouver in the rain and provide details of where to find each of the trailheads, the distance and elevation of each hike and what to wear when hiking in the rain.

couple standing at Kennedy Falls in North Vancouver

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What to Wear on a Rainy Day Hike

To get the most enjoyment out of your hike, I recommend trying to stay as dry as possible. This will mean having all of the waterproofs!

  • Waterproof Hiking Boots – Both of our hiking boots are waterproof which is great because we can wear them on any hike, rain or shine. My favourites are the Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry Boots.
  • Raincoat
  • Rain Pants – We only use our rain pants if it is really bucketing down. Otherwise, our raincoats are fine to keep us dry enough.
  • Gaiters
  • Merino socks and an extra pair for if they get wet. Smartwool socks are a great choice!
  • Puffer Jacket – depending on the temperature you may choose to leave this behind. My favourite is this RAB Jacket.
  • Fleece – My favourite hiking fleece is the Patagonia Better Sweater.

Don’t forget to also pack

As well as waterproof clothing and gear, don’t forget to bring safety items such as bear spray, a first aid kit, headlamp, bug spray and a GPS device if you have one.

🥾 For a full guide containing all of the things we take hiking, check out our hiking gear guide!

What we Look for in a Rainy Day Hike

When it is raining, we make sure not to choose a hike that is going to lead us to an amazing viewpoint because it’s likely that we probably won’t have much of a view in the rain.

Instead, we look for trails that don’t need the sun to look beautiful.

Hazards to Look Out for When Hiking in the Rain

When it rains, there are more hazards that may appear along the hiking trails. Some of these include:

  • Slippery surfaces – the amount of times I have slipped on a wet root is ridiculous. Take extra care when putting each foot down when hiking in the rain or after it has rained.
  • Hypothermia – This is one of the major reasons you need to make sure you are well prepared with your wet weather clothing and gear, especially if you are hiking somewhere that gets really cold like Vancouver. Also, make sure you have enough food and water.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast and don’t hike during a storm

The Best Rainy Day Hikes in Vancouver

Lynn Canyon Loop

Distance: 2.6km 1.6miles
Time: 45 mins – 1 hour
Elevation: 108m / 354 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes at the trailhead

Lynn Canyon Hiking Trail

The Lynn Canyon Loop is a one of the best hikes to do on a rainy day in Vancouver because it is so close to the city and the forest that you hike through is absolutely gorgeous. The rain will not make the trail any less beautiful, in fact, personally I think Lynn Canyon is more beautiful on a moody, rainy day. You also get to hike to not only one viewpoint, but 3!

The Lynn Canyon Loop starts at the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (viewpoint 1). Then you continue hiking to 30 Foot Pool (viewpoint 2) and Twin Falls (viewpoint 3). 30 Foot Pool is a popular spot in Summer to cool off or popular in Winter for a cold plunge!

Norvan Falls

Distance: 14km / 8.7 miles
Time: 3.5-5 hours
Elevation: 195m / 640 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, just past the parking lot.

Norvan Falls is a fairly flat but long 14km / 8.7 miles hike located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver that takes you to a stunning waterfall. This trail is great for the whole family, but it is quite long so be prepared for sore feet at the end.

Waterfall hikes are the best in the rain, but you do need to embrace the mud. We didn’t find the Norvan Falls trail too muddy when we went during Winter, but that might have been because the mud was covered in ice. Norvan Falls also has its own suspension bridge near the falls which is pretty cool!

Kennedy Falls

Distance: 10km / 6.2 miles
Time: 4-5 hours
Elevation: 150m / 492 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at the trailhead

Kennedy Falls is located on the other side of the river to Norvan Falls in North Vancouver and is a little more technically challenging. The trail is 10km / 6.2 miles long with an elevation gain of 150m / 492 ft. The trail is unmaintained for about 70% of the hike so involves a bit of scrambling over roots, boulders and tree trunks. It is also an extremely muddy trail in the rain, so don’t wear your favourite white sneakers!

I like to think of Kennedy Falls as the more adventurous version of Norvan Falls. Look out for the Big Cedar Tree along the trail. You can’t miss it. It is absolutely huge and very impressive!

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Couple standing on Capilano Suspension Bridge
Dave and Kerry on the Capilano Suspension bridge in the rain

Although not exactly a “hike,” the trails around Capilano Suspension Bridge Park are great on a rainy day. There are less people around, which is amazing because this place is almost ALWAYS packed. If you go during the Winter, the whole park will be lit up with fairy lights that you can see a lot better on a dark, moody day.

🎟 You can purchase your Capilano Entry Ticket here

Gold Creek Falls

Distance: 5.6km / 3.5 miles
Time: 2 hours
Elevation: 80 metres / 262 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes in the carpark

Gold Creek Falls

Gold Creek Falls is located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, a bit over an hours drive from Vancouver. The trail to Gold Creek Falls will take you along a flat walking trail running parallel to Gold Creek. You can stop at certain points and take an offshoot path down to the creek and go for a swim or chill out next to the water.

Please be mindful that once you get closer to the falls, swimming is no longer an option because the current can get extremely dangerous.

If you have time after your hike to Gold Creek Falls, you could check out the Spirea Trail which is also included in this list.

The Spirea Nature Trail

Distance: 0.8km / 0.5 miles
Time: 15-20 minutes
Elevation: Nil
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes

girl and man standing in a green forest

The Spirea Nature Trail is our absolute favourite forest to take photos in! It’s so mossy and green that it looks like it is straight out of a sci-fi movie! Located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, it is slightly over an hours drive to get to from Vancouver. The trail itself, is very short and flat and takes you around a loop in the forest. It is popular amongst local dog walkers and also popular for film shooting and photography. You can see why, it’s absolutely gorgeous!

Sawblade Falls

Distance: 7.2km / 4.5 miles
Time: 2-2.5 hours
Elevation: 266m / 872 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: None

Sawblade Falls is located in Coquitlam and around around a 1 hour drive from Vancouver. The trail takes you to a gorgeous waterfall in the forest. If you decide to go in Winter, make sure you bring micro spikes because there is often a lot of snow.

📌 Note: The Sawblade Falls trail is not too far from a shooting range and so you will likely hear the loud noises of the guns while you hike.

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park is located in West Vancouver by the water. If you want to see the lighthouse, the walk is from the parking lot is only around 10 minutes or otherwise you can choose one of the park’s many other trails.

You could also join a hiking tour of Lighthouse Park. This tour will get you out of the city with a small group and is approximately 4 hours long.

Buntzen Lake

Distance: 8km / 5 miles
Time: 4-5 hours
Elevation: 100m / 328 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes

Couple standing on wharf at Buntzen Lake
Buntzen Lake in the Winter

Buntzen Lake is great for picnics and paddle boarding in the Summer, but in the off seasons the lake is just as beautiful. There are a few different hikes at Buntzen Lake. The one with the best views is called Diez Vistas but I wouldn’t recommend doing this one on a rainy day because it will be slippery and you probably won’t see much. You can also hike around the lake which is what I would recommend doing on a rainy day because the lake is beautiful rain or shine.

Our Thoughts

We love that there are still hiking trail options for those rainy days in Vancouver. We find it a struggle to get out of our cozy apartment on rainy days but we never regret it. If we didn’t get out to hike occasionally on a rainy day, we probably would be indoors all of the time during Winter.

So take this as your sign to get outside and hike the next time it is a rainy day. 🌂

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