Hikes in East of Vancouver

Region in British Columbia, Canada

Hiking East of Vancouver is arguably one of the best ways to explore some of the hidden gems of British Columbia’s mountain ranges. Tucked away to the east, you’ll find stunning mountain scenery, a huge selection of hiking trails amongst national parks, pristine lakes and verdant forests to explore. Better yet? You’ll also find little to no crowds.

East of Vancouver encompasses the Coquitlam and Maple Ridge areas, which are often overshadowed by Garibaldi and Whistler. But just a quick drive or train ride from Vancouver will take you east of the city and into an outdoor playground. Home to Golden Ears, Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, Minnekhada Regional Park, Westwood Plateau, Belcarra Regional Park and more—there is no shortage of epic hikes East of Vancouver.

After a full day of hiking, weary travellers can kick up their feet in the city of Coquitlam where trendy bars, cozy restaurants and stylish boutiques are abound. Or if you’re not done exploring yet, set out to explore some of the local city parks in the area to get up close and personal to the unique flora and fauna that can be found East of Vancouver.

Ready to head for the hills (er, mountains!) East of Vancouver? We’ve rounded up the best 10 hikes in the region, so pack your bags and hit the trails in one of Canada’s fastest growing areas.

The 10 Greatest Hikes East of Vancouver

From easy, gentle trails to challenging, heart-pounding summits, East of Vancouver has it all when it comes to hiking. Regardless of which trail you choose, you’ll likely enjoy stunning mountain views and depending on the time of year, trails in full bloom, bursting with colourful wildflowers. For an epic day-hike or multi-day hike, check out the Golden Ears Summit hike, with arguably the best views in all of Vancouver. Or, if you’re in search of a child-friendly outing, the Crystal Falls hike has flat trail that lead to a magnificent waterfall that is sure to delight.

  • Crystal Falls: Crystal Falls hike is a terrific family outing. This easy and flat trail follows the Coquitlam River and ends at a small, magical waterfall.
  • Sendero Diez Vistas: The Sendero Diez Vistas hike is a popular loop. There are ten unique viewpoints (hence, ‘Diez Vistas’), which can be seen on the loop that navigates all the way around Buntzen Lake.
  • Gold Creek Falls: Gold Creek Falls hike an easy trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Follow this relatively flat path along Gold Creek, until you reach a beautiful waterfall.
  • Golden Ears: Golden Ears Summit hike is an extremely challenging day hike, where the peak is hard to summit. But those make it will be rewarded with some of the best views anywhere around Vancouver.
  • High Knoll: High Knoll hike is a popular trail in Minnekhada Regional Park. A short hike will take you to a nice bluff overlooking the Pitt River.
  • Jug Island: The Jug Island hike is a fun trail that starts at one beach and leads to another. Jug Island Beach is small, but scenic and you can swim on hot, summer days.
  • Munro Lake & Dennett Lake: The Munro Land & Dennet Lake hike is a perfect trail for those looking for a challenge and avoid the crowds, with two glistening lakes and a stunning scenic lookout.
  • Sawblade Falls: Sawblade Falls hike leads to a small, but scenic waterfall in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park.
  • Steelhead Falls: Steelhead Falls hike is a gentle trail at Hayward Lake that leads to a large waterfall. The hike is easy, but those who want to hike further can make a loop around the entire lake.
  • Widgeon Falls: The Widgeon Falls hike makes for a fun outing, as you have to find a way across the Pitt River to reach the trailhead. The trail itself is mostly flat and easy, and leads to a small, but scenic waterfall.

When Is The Best Time To Hike East of Vancouver

Like most of the trail within British Columbia, peak season for hiking East of Vancouver is between late June to mid-September. The weather is pretty much unbeatable, especially once up in the mountains and the wildflowers are often in full bloom during this period.

However, this is also when the trails are at their peak busy season. Meaning you might find crowded trails and be vying for camping sites and hotel accommodations. If you wish to avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting in either the spring or fall shoulder season, though you may run into some snow!

Some of the trails can also be done all-season, but we recommend checking trail conditions beforehand and ensure you dress warmly.

If you’d like to make a trip East of Vancouver your next getaway, we’ve got all the information you need! Find our comprehensive guide to planning a trip East of Vancouver, with an insider’s tips on the best restaurants, accommodations, cafes and experiences. We’ve taken all the guess work out, so you don’t have to. Now just lace up those hiking boots and hit the trails.

How To Plan A Trip East of Vancouver

If you’d like to make a trip East of Vancouver your next getaway, we’ve got all the information you need! Find our comprehensive guide to planning a trip East of Vancouver, with an insider’s tips on the best restaurants, accommodations, cafes and experiences. We’ve taken all the guess work out, so you don’t have to. Now just lace up those hiking boots and hit the trails.

Frequently-Asked-Questions About East of Vancouver

Are there a lot of bears in Coquitlam?

Yes. Coquitlam is the bear-sighting capital of B.C., so if you are heading into the mountains or even local parks, it’s important to have bear spray on you. Be sure to be bear aware and if you see one, don’t run or turn your back on the bear.

What is the easiest hike East of Vancouver?

If you’re looking for a quick, relatively easy hike, we recommend the Steelhead Falls hike. The path is gentle, with little change in elevation and it leads to a pretty waterfall that makes for a great photo-op.

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Best Hikes in East of Vancouver

Open details for Crystal Falls

Crystal Falls

Easy
5.6 km
123 m
1.5-2h

Crystal Falls is a gentle hike following the Upper Coquitlam River, which ends at the stunning Crystal Falls waterfall on Pritchett Creek. While this is an all-year trail, summer takes this hike to the next level, with crystal clear canyon pools available for a refreshing dip.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Sendero Diez Vistas

Sendero Diez Vistas

Moderate
13.6 km
593 m
4-5.5h

For a challenging walk around Buntzen Lake, try the Sendero Diez Vistas Trail hike. Find ten incredible viewpoint along the ridge walk, overlooking the North Shore, Burrard Inlet, the Indian Arm and even Vancouver Island.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Gold Creek Falls

Gold Creek Falls

Easy
5.9 km
105 m
1.5-2h

Gold Creek Falls hike is a great walk for those camping nearby in Golden Ears Provincial Park or visiting Alouette Lake. With an easy, well-maintained path leading to a beautiful waterfall, this makes for a great family hike.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Golden Ears

Golden Ears

Very Hard
22.0 km
1,574 m
8-11.5h

The Golden Ears Summit is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding hikes in all of the Vancouver region. Located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, this popular hike provides 360 views over stunning vistas and is often completed over two days.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for High Knoll

High Knoll

Easy
5.3 km
324 m
2-2.5h

Head to Minnekhada Regional Park to hike to High Knoll for mesmerizing views and plenty of trails to explore throughout. Pass by marshes split into two sections by a dyke, and teeming with local wildlife

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Jug Island

Jug Island

Easy
5.3 km
217 m
1.5-2h

The Jug Island hike is an easy walk for the whole family through fresh-smelling cedar forests, up the spine of the peninsula. Pass by both Belcarra and Bedwell Bays, where clear, glistening water entices hikers in for a refreshing dip.  

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Munro Lake & Dennett Lake

Munro Lake & Dennett Lake

Hard
12.5 km
929 m
5-6.5h

For a challenging hike, explore two amazing lakes near Coquitlam, BC: Munro Lake and Dennett Lake, which can be accessed via a steep hike in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, Coquitlam. Be sure to pack your swimsuit so you can run straight for the water at the end of the hike during the summer months.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Sawblade Falls

Sawblade Falls

Easy
9.3 km
333 m
2.5-3.5h

Explore woodland trails on the Sawblade Falls hike, which leads to a scenic waterfall located on Burke Mountain in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, Coquitlam. Pass by smaller falls and beautiful alpine forests to enjoy fresh mountain air on the way to the main attraction.  

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Steelhead Falls

Steelhead Falls

Very Easy
1.9 km
62 m
0.5h

The Steelhead Falls hike is an ideal year-round trail with little to no snow due to the low elevation. The waterfall is spectacular and has upper and lower viewing platforms, making the Steelhead Falls a great option for families and solo hikers alike

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Widgeon Falls

Widgeon Falls

Easy
7.3 km
198 m
2-2.5h

Get ready for some paddling fun, since you’ll need to canoe or kayak to reach the starting point for the Widgeon Falls hike. This trail can be a great all-seasons hike, but is especially spectacular in the fall, as the leaves change colour all along the shallow waters of Widgeon Slough.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.

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