Mystery Lake in Mount Seymour Park
Mystery Lake is an easy, well marked trail that leads to a cute mountain lake that is perfect for relaxing, swimming or having a picnic. It is just 1.5k to the lake and like the rest of Seymour Park dogs are welcome. The trailhead is easy to find once you have reached the main parking lot to Mount Seymour Resort. Just look for the signs for Mystery Lake on the frequent trail signs. Click on the map to the right to go to the beautiful, full size, printable map from the BC Parks site for Mount Seymour Provincial Park.Though bringing a map is not necessary as the signs in the park are well laid out, a map with you might be useful if planning multiple hikes.
The trail starts off by ascending up the ski slopes of Seymour for a few hundred metres. This section is fairly steep, though not terribly difficult. This trail takes you under the Mystery Chairlift and into the trees, away from the ski runs. The trail then winds through the forest and out to another ski run where you get your first great view of Vancouver far below. If you arrive to Mystery Lake on a nice day with no wind or rain you will be amazed at the reflection off the lake. It is wonderfully sheltered by cliffs and trees, making the water mirror-like on most days.
If you brought kids with you, they will be in paradise. Shallow, ever changing shoreline with crystal clear water and tadpoles lurking in the water just out of reach. There is a fantastic, rocky island that you have to hop from rock to rock to get to. This little island always seems to escape the shade that falls on most other parts of the lake. If you brought a picnic or are looking to just relax, this is the spot to aim for first.
You will notice two trails branch off from near this island. One continues further up to another fork in the trail. Left goes to Mystery Peak and right takes you to Goldie Lake via a somewhat challenging trail that seems to get little use. The other trail that branches off from near the little island takes you back to the Mystery Lake trail via another ski run. This also connects to the Mount Seymour trail that you can either take to Mount Seymour or back to your car at the trailhead. Mystery Lake is about as idyllic as possible for a small mountain lake.
Sheltered from the wind the water is always mirror-like, reflecting the forest perfectly. The lake is surrounded by rock outcrops, cliffs and trails ensuring that you can find a quiet corner to relax. The trail, though steep, is just a short 1.5 kilometres from the parking lot at Seymour. The challenging trail that runs past Mystery Lake then descends to Goldie Lake then back to the Seymour parking lot is well worth doing though the trail is hard to follow when the daylight fades in the evening.
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).
Looking towards the end of this long parking lot you will see a large, round wooden map board (indicated on the map below by the red marker). Walk along the trees (directly up on the map below). From here on there are frequent tree markers and signs directing you.
From Highway #1 (Trans-Canada Highway) take Exit #22 Mount Seymour Parkway. Turn right onto Mount Seymour Parkway almost immediately and follow it 4.4 km before turning left onto Mount Seymour Road. Follow Mount Seymour Road as it winds it's way up the mountain. Drive to the end of the large parking lot at the end of the road. Start at the Mount Seymour Trail kiosk, to the left of the Mystery Peak chairlift. Parking is free and there are no trail fees in Mount Seymour Provincial Park.
More Hikes Near Mystery Lake
Dog Mountain is fairly popular, so even in the depths of winter you will find the trail in the snow well packed down and easily followed. It is also a favourite evening hike to catch the sun setting over Vancouver. If you are new to , you will learn that anytime of the year, catching the sun setting over Vancouver from Dog Mountain is a cherished habit for many locals. Dog Mountain is a fantastic hike for many reasons, but unexpectedly, partly because of the drive to the trailhead. The trailhead is located at the far end of the main parking lot to Mount Seymour Ski Resort. The beautifully winding and always scenic drive takes you from the astonishing rainforest that engulfs North Vancouver abruptly into the heights of Seymour Resort, Dog Mountain, and Suicide Bluffs beyond. The Goldie Lake trail in Mount Seymour Provincial Park is a cute, self-guided interpretive trail that runs around this small mountain lake. Although it is only 4 kilometres(roundtrip) for the normal loop trail, there are some side-trail variations that can lengthen and vary the route to almost 6k. Flower Lake is one of these trails and well worth the look. The busy Mount Seymour trail in Seymour Provincial Park is a locals favourite. It is challenging and an excellent workout at 4k from the trailhead to the summit. The views are phenomenal. On a clear day you can see as far as Vancouver Island as well as amazing views of Vancouver, the lower mainland and the Gulf Islands. Located in the beautiful Mount Seymour Provincial Park there are several hikes in the area. There are a few easy lake trails like Mystery Lake and Goldie Lake. At the far end of the , in the cute town of Deep Cove is home to the fantastic . 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. Indian Arm is a 20k fjord that cuts deep into the mainland. The slopes on either side are heavily forested and steep and therefore have seen little human development as compared to the heavily populated regions nearby. The hike is fairly relaxing. There is free parking off Panorama Drive and the trailhead is marked with a Baden Powell Trail sign. Everyone knows the Grouse Grind as the fantastically popular 2.9k, workout in Vancouver. What is less known is that it is the gateway, or rather back door to some amazing hiking in the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Dam Mountain, Goat Mountain, , Norvan Falls, , and quite a lot more lay across the horizon from the top of the Grind. Whether you start at the base of the Grind or at the top of the SkyRide, the beautifully addictive Grouse Grind is, for many, just the beginning of the trail to so much more. begins several kilometres away at the Lynn Valley trailhead and beautiful trails follow Lynn Creek for 7k to Norvan Falls. Lynn Peak is a beautifully forested hiking trail is a local favourite running route comparable to the Grouse Grind. In 4.5k the trail rises 730 metres and hardly ever in a straight line. There are a few good viewpoints on the hike to Lynn Peak. It is convenient hiking trail, close to downtown Vancouver as it is only about a 30 minute drive away into the magnificent rainforest of North Van. Mount Fromme is the thickly 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. Lynn Canyon Park is its own rainforest world deep in the forest of North Van. Part of the temperate rainforest that stretches from Alaska to Northern California. Lynn Canyon is filled with second growth, though still impressive, Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedars. The suspension bridge is much smaller than the popular and expensive Capilano Suspension Bridge, though still impressive.. and free. Stanley Park in 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 wonderful 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. Any visit to Vancouver should include a wander around Stanley Park. Everything about it is beautiful. The seawall, the huge trees, the ocean views, small beaches, the gardens. The Vancouver Aquarium is a great sight to see as well as the various landmarks scattered throughout the park. The pitch and putt golf course, the seaside swimming pool, the Theatre Under the Stars, the Nine O'Clock Gun, Siwash Rock and of course the Hollow Tree. Finally, seeing the Lions Gate Bridge from below as you pass under via the seawall is quite a sight. 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 minute 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. Burnaby Lake Regional Park has a series of trails that add up to 9k if done in a circular route around the lake. There are in fact 19k of trails in the park. The various trails include the 2.6k Cottonwood Trail, the 1.8k. Brunette Headwaters Trail, the .8k Avalon Trail which connects the Burnaby Equestrian Centre with the Southshore Trail. The 3.4k Southshore Trail, and the smaller trails, Conifer Loop, Spruce Trail Loop and the Pavillion Trail.