Hollyburn Mountain in Cypress Provincial Park
Hollyburn Peak (aka Hollyburn Mountain), in Cypress Provincial Park, is an amazing hiking (or snowshoeing trail). The Hollyburn trailhead is an astonishingly close, 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. The 30 minutes is quite something as well. From the always beautiful crossing of the Lions Gate Bridge, to the incredible views of Vancouver from the approach drive to Cypress Mountain and the Hollyburn Peak trailhead.
You would almost expect that there would be various fees for parking, trail use, etc. But the Hollyburn Mountain trail is completely free. No charge for parking or trail use. Also, dogs are welcome and you will likely be able to park within a few metres of the trailhead.
As if it couldn't get better, it does... the trail is so well marked that it can easily be done after dark, as many do. What a perfect escape from the city. A perfect mountain escape to a towering mountain paradise far above the big city below. The city lights are amazing. From the lights of the Lions Gate Bridge, to the beautifully bright tankers, to the wondrously glowing Vancouver towers.
This hike has it all. Great views, easy hike, convenient times to use, and of course free. Hiking or snowshoeing Hollyburn Mountain is yet another spectacular piece of the whole amazing.
Hollyburn Mountain is easily done in a half day trip from Vancouver as it is quite close and quite a short hike/snowshoe, at only 7k roundtrip. Go early for the amazing sunrise, or late in the day for the unbelievable sunset.
The Hollyburn Mountain trail is very well marked with light reflecting, neon orange, 6 foot tall marker poles, only a few metres apart most of the way. Though the trail is a fairly constant uphill it is a relatively short trail. Most make it to the summit of Hollyburn in an hour from the trailhead.
Coming down is quite a bit faster and you will see people using crazy carpets on the trail in the winter. In the summer with no snow, your downward pace will be quite fast as compared to uphill. If you plan to hike or snowshoe Hollyburn Mountain after dark, make sure you have a light and a backup light. The trail marker poles only reflect light, so you could easily lose the trail without lights after dark.
The amazing views from the summit of Hollyburn Mountain include, the Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, West Vancouver, Howe Sound and Georgia Straight, the Lions, and quite a lot else. Hollyburn Mountain is one of the highest around and the view is a panoramic 360. The drive to and from Hollyburn Mountain is amazing.
If you are not too excited about hiking or snowshoeing, the drive alone is well worth it. There are a couple amazing places to stop on the drive up. Both have a beautiful parking area perched on the edge of the mountain along the road. Picnic tables and nice information boards to go with the amazing views.
Trailhead Directions in Cypress Mountain Resort
The Hollyburn Mountain trailhead is very easy to find. It is found at the cross country skiing area of Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver. From downtown Vancouver follow the signs across the Lions Gate Bridge as if you were going to Whistler. From Highway #1/Sea to Sky Highway #99, 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. As you near the resort you will see a huge sign on your right directing you to the "Cross-Country Skiing Area". Turn right here and drive for about 100 metres and you will see parking, and on the left side you will see big wooden map kiosk and the hiking/snowshoeing trail head up to the left, running parallel to the huge power lines. There is lots of free parking, washrooms and a snack store as well as snowshoe rentals here.
More Hikes Near Hollyburn Mountain
The Cypress Mountain Resort trailhead 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. 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. is at the far north end of the beautiful Howe Sound Crest Trail which runs from Cypress Resort 29k away. The trailhead near Porteau Cove is the access point for both . It is a steadily uphill hike as you gain 1615 metres in just 8k.