The Velodrome Trail is a quick 2.7 km out-and-back hike along the slopes of Burnaby Mountain that offers access to a nice network of trails and beautiful views over the Burrard Inlet and the Indian Arm. Make your way up the set of 500 wooden steps for a great uphill climbing workout that will definitely get your heart pumping. Once you are at the top, take in the beautiful views and roam through the park while observing the amazing craftsmanship of the carved Japanese totem poles before making your way back down the long staircase.
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Route Description for Velodrome Trail
The Velodrome Trail is a steep route along the slopes of Burnaby Mountain that utilizes a set of 500 stairs for both directions of foot traffic. As this is a busy area, the trail here can become quite congested at peak times, making it necessary to arrive early in order to make use of the trail without the bustle of the midday crowds. Additionally, some stretches of the path can become muddy/slippery when wet, so make sure to wear decent hiking boots or trail runners to safely traverse the route.
The 500 stairs along this route make it a great option to get a physical workout in. Often called Burnaby’s Grind in reference to the physically demanding Grouse Grind Trail on the North Shore, the Velodrome Trail shares another similarity: it doesn't have many great views. Instead, hikers can make their way past the Japanese totem poles in Burnaby Mountain Park to get to the vantage points that look out over the Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet. Whether you choose this hike for the views or the intense workout, the Velodrome Trail is a surefire way to get your heart rate up.
Setting out from the parking area, pick up the gravel trail at the northeast corner of the Harry Jerome Sports Centre, where it enters into the dense tree cover. Follow along the trail as it gradually climbs uphill before coming to a junction. Turn right to begin the steep climb along the Velodrome Trail, making your way up the first set of wooden stairs. There will soon be a short stretch of dirt trail that breaks up the steps before they begin to climb again at an even steeper grade. As you make your way uphill, take the opportunity to look back once in a while to catch a glimpse of the Burrard Inlet through the tree cover.
After making your way to the top of the 500 stairs, the trail will flatten out and offer a reprieve from the demanding uphill climb. When you get to the junction in the trail, keep left to continue onto the Pandora Trail. Here, you will once again need to climb uphill, albeit at a much more gentle pace. Continue on the trail, where you will eventually break through the tree cover and enter a clearing into Burnaby Mountain Park. Go right at the next trail junction to travel around a short loop that passes by some beautifully carved Japanese totem poles. When you have reached the junction that joins back up with the Pandora Trail, a short detour to the right will provide a few vantage points from which you can look out over the waters of the Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet. Having taken in the sights, make your way back down the 500 stairs of the Velodrome Trail to return to the parking lot below.
Insider Hints for Velodrome Trail
- Wear proper hiking footwear or trail runners, as the trail can be muddy and the steps can become slippery in wet weather.
- The Velodrome Trail can become quite congested due to high levels of foot traffic. Be patient and aware of other hikers utilizing the stairs.
- It is best to arrive early to secure parking near the trailhead and avoid the high-volume foot traffic present on the mountain around midday.
Getting to the Velodrome Trail Trailhead
To reach the parking area for the Velodrome Trail from Vancouver, drive east on E Hastings Street, following it as the road veers left and becomes Inlet Drive E/BC-7A. Continue on for 1.8 km and make a right turn to reach the parking lot.
Velodrome Trail Elevation Graph
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