Unnecessary Mountain - Vancouver Hiking Trails
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, 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 often are, to the Grouse Grind. Harder, better views and no people, is the usual description.
Unnecessary Mountain is comprised of three summits, all three are reachable without technical skill. The summit furthest north is where the original trail to the Lions is located. The Howe Sound Crest Trail now goes around the east side of Unnecessary Mountain.
Directions to the Unnecessary Mountain Trailhead
The trailhead to Unnecessary Mountain is in the cute little town of Lions Bay. From downtown Vancouver the drive takes 35 minutes with light traffic and can take an an hour with busy traffic. From Vancouver head north on Highway 99 towards Lions Bay and take the Oceanview Road exit (2nd Lions Bay exit you will see). Follow Oceanview Road until it ends at a gate near a water tower. There is a small parking area here. Walk past the gate up the old road that curves to the left. Look for the trail on your right, that is the Unnecessary Mountain trail that rises steeply.
More Hikes Near Unnecessary 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. 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.
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. Brunswick Mountain is the highest peak in the North Shore mountains. Located in the beautiful Cypress Provincial Park, Brunswick Mountain is among several other prominent summits on the amazing Howe Sound Crest Trail. You can reach Brunswick 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. This trailhead is also used to reach The Lions, Mount Harvey and Mount Hanover. 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. There is quite an interesting hut at Lost Lake. Small and very rustic, yet every inch of it has been loved and abused. 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. This trailhead is also used to reach The Lions, Mount Harvey and Brunswick Mountain.