Mount Strachan in Cypress Provincial Park
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. is a short but beautiful hike that can be done in just a couple hours from the trailhead at Cypress Mountain Resort. It's a nice taste of the Howe Sound Crest Trail that extends to the horizon from here.
For Strachan you can start near the main lodge walk directly up the gravel road and start along the Yew Lake trail. This immediately gets you into deep forest as you ascend toward the Howe Sound Crest Trail. There are excellent signs at all the trail junctions. The Howe Sound Crest Trail comes to a fork at about 2.5 kilometres from the trailhead near Cypress Mountain Lodge. Taking the trail to the right takes you to Mount Strachan in about 15 minutes.
Past the Mount Strachan North Peak and Mount Strachan South Peak you can continue by following the Mount Strachan Trail which in turn connects to the Baden Powell Trail returning you to where you began near the Cypress Mountain Lodge. Roundtrip, this circle route is 6 kilometres and should take about 2 hours.
Mount Strachan is part of the 29k Howe Sound Crest Trail as it lays at the one end of this span at the Cypress trailhead. Among the hiker friendly mountains (from Cypress north) on the Howe Sound Crest Trail are: St Mark`s Summit, Unnecessary Mountain, The Lions, Mount Harvey, Mount Hanover, Brunswick Mountain and finally Deeks Peak.
Trailhead Directions to Mount Strachan
The Mt Strachan 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 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 this road all the way to the end and park at the Cypress Mountain Resort Ski area. Right next to the main, huge Cypress Creek Daylodge, you will see three ski lifts. The one on the left of the three is called the Lions Express. In between the Lions Express lift and the daylodge you will see the well marked trailhead for the Howe Sound Crest Trail. Instead of following trails, the easiest way to get to the summit of Strachan is to walk up the ski runs (as no trails take you directly to Strachan). Hike up past the Lions Express to its left and continue up, bearing left until you reach the summit.
More Hikes Near Mount Strachan
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. 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. 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.