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Vancouver Trails Guide August 2016

Callaghan Lake Aerial Video - Vancouver TrailsStanley Park Aerial VideoWedgemount Lake Aerial Video - Vancouver Trails

August Hiking Guide - Vancouver Hiking Trails


St Mark's Summit - Moderate to Challenging Vancouver Hiking TrailsAugust hiking in Vancouver, British Columbia definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and still be hot.  Even in the high elevations and on glaciers the temperatures are often a beautifully hot 20c plus.  In and around Vancouver you have plenty of fantastic, summertime hiking options.  From the easier hikes like Lighthouse Park and Dog Mountain.  To more strenuous hikes like Hollyburn Mountain, Black Mountain, St Mark's Summit and The Lions.  The Lions in August will be snow free which allows for the difficult ascent of the West Lion, which is borderline Lighthouse Park in August - Vancouver Trailssuicidal during the snowy months of winter and spring when hand and footholds are wet and slippery.  Lighthouse Park is an extraordinarily little known piece of paradise, so close to to Vancouver as to see its tall buildings, yet immersed into a dramatically beautiful coastal rainforest.  A wonderful network of hiking trails winds throughout massive Douglas-fir trees and Western Red Cedars as well as golden Arbutus trees stretching Deep Cove Lookout - Easy Vancouver Hiking Trailstoward the ocean.   At the far end of the Baden Powell Trail, in the cute town of Deep Cove is home to the fantastic Deep Cove Lookout trail.  Also known as Quarry Rock and the Grey Rock Trail, the Deep Cove Lookout Trail is amazing.  The wonderful trail crosses numerous creek bridges to get to the impressive lookout with views of Deep Cove and Indian Arm far below.   Mount Fromme is the Mount Fromme - Moderate Vancouver Hiking Trailsthickly forested Mountain next to Grouse Mountain.  If looking from the direction of downtown Vancouver, Fromme is just to the right.  It is infrequently hiked, at least partly due to the high number of amazing hikes surrounding it.  Fromme gets a bit lost in mix.  Recent years have brought an amazing array of mountain biking trails on the mountain and you are far more likely to encounter mountain bikers than hikers on the mountain.  Mystery Lake is an easy, well marked trail that leads to a cute mountain lake, excellent for swimming.  It is just 1.5k to the lake and like the rest of Seymour Mystery Lake - Easy Vancouver Hiking TrailsPark dogs are welcome.  The trailhead is easy to find once you have reached the main parking lot to Mount Seymour Resort.  To get to the main parking lot simply drive until you come to the end of the road and the end of the final parking lot (you will see ski lifts).  Rice Lake is a relaxing walk Rice Lake - Easy Vancouver Hiking Trailsaround a cute lake in Lynn Valley.  It is a family friendly hike although dogs are not welcome.  Rice Lake is near the trailhead to Lynn Headwaters Park and there is a 1k connecting trail from there to the Rice Lake Trail.  Pacific Spirit Park surrounds the University of British Columbia on the shores of Georgia Straight.  The park has a beautiful array of trails, 73 kilometres in total, that run along beaches, some old growth forest and even a bog.  The network of trails interconnects so often that you can do small 15 Pacific Spirit Park - Easy Vancouver Hiking Trailsminute sections if that is all you are after.  Pacific Spirit Park is one of Vancouver's most popular parks and located in the wonderful and expensive neighbourhood, Point Grey.  You can wander the park for hours if you want as there are an endless number of trails heading in all directions.  Stanley Park in downtown Vancouver is a beautiful and astoundingly huge network of hiking/walking/biking trails.  An estimated 8 million hikers, walkers, rollerbladers and cyclists visit the park yearly.  The Coliseum Mountain - Vancouver Hiking Trailswonderful spider web of trails throughout the park add up to a staggering 200 kilometres, which explains how the park generally feels serene and relatively quiet most days despite its phenomenal popularity.  Stanley Park can be walked or biked in any number of routes and lengths.  Certainly one of the popular, and most straight forward routes is by a large, 10k circle, paved trail that runs around the perimeter.  Coliseum Mountain is one of several beautiful hikes in the Lynn Valley's beautiful Lynn Headwaters RegionalChallenging Vancouver Hiking Trails - Crown Mountain Park.  It's not terribly difficult, but it is very long.  12 kilometres from the trailhead to the summit.  Although the first 7 kilometres are along the very easy Headwaters Trail with little elevation gain.  The final 5 kilometres is at times challenging, but manageable by most as there is only a few short sections of scrambling terrain, but certainly not technical.  The route is well marked along Grouse Grind in Vancouverthe way with flagging tape, so the main safety concern is the distance of the trail.  24k roundtrip will take most hikers 8+ hours, so be prepared with lots of food and start early.  Crown Mountain, visible from downtown Vancouver, towers behind Grouse Mountain.  It was appropriately named due to its crown shape over 150 years ago by an English captain charting the area.  This very challenging hike offers some phenomenal views from its summit, deep in the North Shore Mountains.  There are three main ways to reach the amazing Crown Mountain.  As it is located near Grouse Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial ParkMountain, the most direct way to reach it is via Grouse Mountain.  You can either hike the Grouse Grind for free or take the SkyRide for $25 (return).  There are numerous glaciers that are readily accessible via Whistler area hiking trails.  The Wedgemount Lake trail leads to the beautiful Wedgemount Lake which is fed by the massive glacier of the same name.  The glacier is easily hiked to and very safe to clamour over its lower Brandywine Meadows Hiking Trailreaches.  This glacier disappears into the sun as it stretches up the the magnificent Wedge Mountain and no fewer than 12 named glaciers beyond.  This is a wondrous hiking paradise with branching hikes that stretch away from the hut like a giant spiders arms.  The hikes from Wedgemount Lake range from easy to difficult to extremely dangerous.  And you will likely see a good mix of day hikers at one end to the ice axe, rope and harness types at the other.  All dispersing into this fantastically huge expanse of mountains, glaciers and perfect lakes.  Garibaldi Park is incredible inBlack Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park August.  From Elfin Lakes in the Diamond Head region here in Squamish.  To the spider web of trails in the middle leading to Garibaldi Lake, Taylor Meadows, Black Tusk, Helm Creek, Mount Garibaldi, Cheakamus Lake and many more all the way up to Wedgemount Lake in Whistler.  If you start on the trail to Garibaldi Lake on a beautiful day in August, you may find quite a few cars at the trailhead, and a fair number of people on the trail.  Cheakamus Lake in Garibaldi Provincial ParkWhen you reach the fork in the trail between Taylor Meadows Campsite and Garibaldi Lake Campsite, you may see, "campsites full".  This leads you to believe that this place is overrun with hikers, but that's only partly true.  The reason is that this incredibly vast wilderness, with many hiking trails and countless alpine routes, is only accessed by a few trailheads, which is a great thing.  This ensures that the vast, though very accessible wilderness beyond the popular, named hiking trails remain impossibly quiet.  A look at a map of Garibaldi Park and you can see this pretty clearly.  There will be concentrations of people at Elfin Lakes, Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk, and Taylor Meadows and some way over at Skookumchuck Hot SpringsWedgemount Lake, but everything in between will be empty.  Even on a seemingly chaotic August weekend.  For a unforgettable hiking experience just over an hours drive from Vancouver, Cirque Lake is a great choice.  The trailhead is only reachable by canoe and the hike looks impossibly steep from far off.  But it's not terribly difficult, and fairly short.  So if you have a canoe it's amazing, especially in August.  For and good idea where to hike in Squamish, just 45 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, take a look at the top 5 best places to hike in Squamish here.. Or for easier and shorter hikes take a look here, at the best easy hikes in Whistler... Remember though that in Garibaldi Park, which most of the best Squamish hikes are located, dogs are not allowed.  So if you have a dog, take a look here at the best dog friendly hikes in here.. and the best easy and short dog friendly hikes here.. If your interested in quick and beautiful, short hikes up in Squamish take a look at the easy hikes to waterfalls in Squamish here.. If you just want to relax in a natural hot spring, there are four to choose from, though a bit of a drive from Squamish.  If you have not been to or heard of Skookumchuck Hot Springs or Sloquet Hot Springs, take a look, they make for an amazing day trip or an even better two or three day trip.  Take a look at the the best hiking trails in Vancouver here..

Whistler Trails Guide and Map

St Mark's Summit Hiking the Howe Sound Crest Trail

St Mark's Summit - Vancouver Trails Guide August


St Mark's Summit Hiker View of Howe SoundSt 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 challenging 460 metres in 5.5k to hike, the beautiful forest and frequent Howe Sound views make it seem quick and easy.

It takes well under two hours for the average hiker 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.  Also the sheer drop off makes Howe Sound and the speck sized boats seem so surreal.

The third and possibly the best feature of the St Mark's Summit hike is the intricately huge and varied terrain on the summit.  You stand and marvel at one viewpoint, then moments later your friend appears at an extraordinarily improbable, and worryingly dangerous rock outcrop a few dozen metres away.  This hilarious game of hide and seek, seemingly can go on forever.  As one St Mark's Summit View of Howe Soundleads to another, then another.  Over and over, the St Mark's Summit reveals one breathtaking vantage point after another, until you are exhausted more with the views than the hike that got you there.

When you estimate your hiking time for St Mark's Summit, be sure to include an hour at least at the top.  And before you begin your hike back to Cypress, take a moment to glance back at the distant Lions.  This incredible trail continues to them and beyond, you've just done 5.5k of the 29k, phenomenal Howe Sound Crest Trail.

St Mark's Summit 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 (in order 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.

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video - Vancouver TrailsWedgemount Glacier Aerial Video - Vancouver TrailsWedgemount Lake Aerial Video - Vancouver Trails

Whistler Trails Guide and Map

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