Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs
Black Mountain can be reached from two different trailheads. The trailhead from Cypress Resort and the original trail off Marine Drive halfway between Horseshoe Bay and Lighthouse Park. The trailhead south of Horseshoe Bay is a challenging 19 kilometre roundtrip hike but fantastically scenic. This route follows the Trans Canada Trail for about 20 minutes before branching off toward, then past Whyte Lake.
The Cypress Mountain Resort is the newer, shorter and easier way to access Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs. Located just a short and very nice, 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver, the Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs trail begins next to the Cypress Mountain Resort chairlifts. The well marked trail branches away from the chairlift to the left and quickly ascends into the deep and beautiful forest. Follow the clear signs to Eagle Bluffs. The route can be done in a circle route, so try to take the other route on the way back for variety. Black Mountain is a short side trail off this circle route. Allow yourself 3-4 hours for the 7.7k return trip to both Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs. The elevation gain is 350m in 4k. Expect to need snowshoes December to May. During these months use caution as snow may obscure the trail markers and combined with bad weather can very easily make you lose the trail.
The Cypress Mountain trailhead and parking for Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs is also the gateway to the amazing Howe Sound Crest Trail. This amazing trail in Cypress Provincial Park extends north from the Cypress Resort parking and ascends deep into the North Shore Mountains. Mount Strachan, St Mark's Summit, Unnecessary Mountain and The Lions are all accessible from this trailhead. Continuing north beyond The Lions, the Howe Sound Crest Trail leads to Mount Harvey, Mount Hanover, Brunswick Mountain and finally Deeks Peak. Hollyburn Mountain is another wonderful hiking trail near the Cypress Mountain, Black Mountain trailhead. Located at the Cypress Mountain cross country skiing area the trailhead to Hollyburn Mountain is marked with a large mapboard. Hollyburn is an easy, 7 kilometre roundtrip hike to fantastic views of Vancouver.
Black Mountain Trailhead at Cypress Mountain
The Eagle Bluffs and Black Mountain trailhead is very easy to find. It is found at Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver (free parking and free to use the trails). From downtown Vancouver follow the signs across the Lions Gate Bridge as if you were going to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway. From Sea to Sky Highway #99 (aka Highway #1), about 10 minutes from the Lions Gate Bridge take the #8 Exit to Cypress Provincial Park. There are clear signs on the highway for this exit so you can't miss it. Follow Cypress Bowl Rd almost to Cypress Mountain Resort.
Follow this road all the way to the end and park at the Cypress Mountain Resort Ski area. You will see a large wooden map board showing trails in the Cypress Mountain area. You will see on this board the trail leading to Eagle Bluff and Black Mountain. You will need to walk toward the nearby chairlift and follow the trail leading into the trees on the left side and clear trail markers and signs from there.
Cypress Mountain Trailhead to Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs
Black Mountain - Trans Canada(Lower) Trailhead
From Vancouver take Exit 2 for Eagleridge Drive, then left on Marine Drive. Just past the marina, turn left on Cranley Drive. Look for the sign for the Trans Canada Trail about 500 metres from Marine Drive. From here follow the Trans Canada Trail signs that take you under the Highway. Continue following the Trans Canada Trail for about 20 minutes until you come to a junction. The Trans Canada Trail goes right, however, follow the trail going left and take the bridge where you follow Whyte Creek. Soon you will see Whyte Lake on your right, at the next fork in the trail, bear right and this will lead to the well marked trail to Eagle Bluffs and then Black Mountain.
The Trans Canada Trailhead Leading to Eagle Bluffs and Black Mountain
More Hikes in Cypress Provincial Park
Hollyburn Mountain, in Cypress Provincial Park, is an amazing place to snowshoe or go hiking. The Hollyburn trailhead is an astonishingly close, 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. The 30 minute drive is quite something as well. From the always beautiful crossing of the beautiful Lions Gate Bridge, to the incredible views of Vancouver from the approach drive to and the Hollyburn Mountain trailhead. Mount Strachan is part of the trio of mountains, also Black Mountain and Hollyburn Mountain that form a bowl, or Cypress Bowl that give the resort its name. The Cypress part of the name comes from the Cypress or Yellow Cedar that fills the valley. Both Strachan and Hollyburn are easy hikes from the Cypress Resort parking lot. For Strachan you can start near the main lodge walk directly up the gravel road past the chairlift and bear left. The route is boring and uneventful as you are following ski runs, however the summit has amazing views. Strachan is part of the 29k Howe Sound Crest Trail as it lays at the one end of this span at the Cypress Trailhead. St Mark's Summit is a relatively easy way to get hiking deep into Vancouver's amazing mountains. Starting this hike at Cypress means you drive most of the elevation. Even though you still have another 460 metres in 5.5k to hike, the beautiful forest and frequent Howe Sound views make it seem quick and easy. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach St Mark's Summit and the views are fantastic. Not only because of the incredible vantage point over Howe Sound, but the abruptness of St Mark's Summit. The cliffs below you are frighteningly vertical, making the views fantastically majestic. Unnecessary Mountain gets its peculiar name from the fact it once was part of the route to reach The Lions whereas now the route avoids it. This now, unnecessary mountain, no longer needs to be climbed to reach The Lions. Unnecessary is part of the amazing Howe Sound Crest Trail in Cypress Provincial Park and is one of the many beautiful peaks to be climbed if desired on the 29k trail. Among the hiker friendly mountains (from Cypress north) on the Howe Sound Crest Trail are: Mount Strachan, St Mark`s Summit, Unnecessary Mountain, The Lions, Mount Harvey, Mount Hanover, Brunswick Mountain and finally Deeks Peak. As Unnecessary lays in the middle of the Howe Sound Crest Trail, it has its own trail from Lions Bay which makes it a manageable day-trip. The trail is well marked but very steep and overgrown. It is sometimes compared, as so many other North Shore trails, to the Grouse Grind. Harder, better views and no people, is the usual description.
The Lions dominate the skyline in North Vancouver, about one hour from downtown Vancouver. The two distinct, rocky peaks are visible from downtown Vancouver. The view from the top is spectacular. Howe Sound stretches out into the blue distance. A tough but wonderful hiking trail.The first half of the hike is very easy as you follow a disused, though beautifully overgrown logging road gently uphill. The trail after this road is very well marked with flagging tape, tree markers and paint indicators on the rock faces. There are two plateaus before the final, very difficult ascent to the summit of the West Lion. Both plateaus have incredible views and most make the second plateau their final destination. It is at the base of the West Lion. There are not really any suitable places to put up a tent, but if you had to choose, somewhere in the vicinity of these two plateaus would be the place to do it. Mount Harvey is one of the huge, visible and hikeable summits in the North Shore mountains. It is located on the Howe Sound Crest Trail in Cypress Provincial Park near The Lions. Reachable via the Howe Sound Crest Trail or by its own trailhead in Lions Bay. The same trailhead used for , Brunswick Mountain and . There are no trail use fees, parking fees or camping fees from this trailhead. The trail is challenging, though not out of technical skill but due to its steepness of the trail. You gain 1400 metres in just 6.5k. The final scramble to the summit can be dangerous in poor weather, but generally not too difficult. The trail to Mount Harvey is well worn, but poorly marked for the first half of the hike. Mount Hanover is another amazing and accessible peak in the North Shore mountains. Located in the beautiful Cypress Provincial Park, Mount Hanover is among several other prominent summits on the amazing Howe Sound Crest Trail. You can reach Mount Hanover from the Howe Sound Crest Trail if you begin your hike from the Cypress Mountain Resort, however reaching it from the trailhead in Lions Bay is much shorter. Brunswick Mountain is the highest peak in the North Shore mountains. Located in the beautiful , Brunswick Mountain is among several other prominent summits on the amazing Howe Sound Crest Trail. The trail is challenging as you gain considerable elevation in a short distance, 1550 metres in just 7.3k.