Hikes in Fraser Valley
Best known as the agricultural hub of BC, the Fraser Valley is also an amazing place to plan an exciting outdoor adventure. Due to its easy accessibility from a number of relatively dense population centres and its close proximity to a variety of different landscapes, this area is a great place to get out and explore beautiful British Columbia. Centrally located along the winding banks of the Fraser River, the area offers countless options for hiking, no matter your skill level or physical fitness. From challenging summits to casual wetland walks, you will be sure to find the perfect hike to meet all of your adventure needs.
Close enough to Vancouver, yet far enough away to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city, the Fraser Valley and surrounding mountains will produce some truly breathtaking views unlike anywhere else in BC. With countless rivers, lakes, forests, and peaks spread out in every direction, there is no shortage of wild terrain for you to explore along the fringe of the valley landscape.
The 15 Greatest Hikes in the Fraser Valley
With a number of larger cities located throughout the valley and smaller communities spread out further afield, you will have no trouble accessing the amazing hiking routes that can be found in this charming region. Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack all offer a number of excellent hiking routes that range from urban walkways to heavily wooded mountainsides; while smaller communities like Hope provide a more rugged experience on the peaks that tower above the coursing waters of the Fraser River. These areas provide beginner, casual, and experienced hikers with countless opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the valley without getting overly technical.
If you are looking for more of a remote experience, try heading to the southeast of the valley to explore the beautiful and challenging terrain of Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, where you can find a number of rugged peaks with viewpoints overlooking the Canada-United States border. It doesn’t matter if you have been hiking for your entire life or if it is your first foray into the pastime, the amazing landscape of the Fraser Valley will provide you with everything that you will need for a great experience on the trails. Check out this list of popular Fraser Valley route guides below:
- Lindeman Lake Hike: The Lindeman Lake Trail is a great hiking route in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park that will take you to a beautiful lakeside setting. After traversing some rugged and rocky terrain through the forest, you will arrive at the charming turquoise waters of Lindeman Lake. The lake is likely too cold to swim in, but the views are well worth the effort on this short hike.
- Bridal Veil Falls Hike: This hike is a very short adventure that passes through the dense forest canopy of Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park to visit the cascading water of the falls. This hike is an extremely popular outdoor destination for families and hikers of all skill levels due to the short distance and minimal elevation gain.
- Teapot Hill: The hike to Teapot Hill is a unique experience, as past hikers have deposited a number of old tea sets along the path that stand out in contrast to the natural beauty of the forest. The trail features several lookouts with scenic views over Cultus Lake and the Canada/United States border to the south. There are also education signs along the trail with information on local plant and animal life.
- Cascade Falls: The hike to Cascade Falls is a brief 0.6 km journey near Mission that will take you to an awesome suspension bridge overlooking a stunning waterfall. This is a great hike for families with young kids, as there is a parallel gravel road that offers easy access to the bridge for less mobile hikers.
- Elk Mountain Trail: This hiking route can be found southeast of Chilliwack and climbs through a beautiful stretch of forest and over a rugged ridgeline to reach the top of Elk Mountain. Although challenging in a few areas, this trail will produce amazing views overlooking the valley below and surrounding mountain peaks. This is a very popular trail, so be sure to arrive early.
- Hicks Lake Trail: This trail is an easy 6.6 km loop trail in Sasquatch Provincial Park that will take you around a serene lake. While out on the trail you will pass through stretches of woodland terrain and cross over a number of streams that feed into the lake. This is a great hike for families and casual hikers.
- Cheam Peak: The hike to Cheam Peak is an 8.4 km route near Bridal Falls that will take you up a steep hill to provide amazing views of the Fraser Valley. On this hike you will experience a variety of terrain that includes mountain streams, beautiful alpine meadows, and a rugged ridgeline traverse on the way to the summit of the peak. Here, you will have panoramic views that stretch from the Fraser Valley toward the Canada-United States border.
- Abby Grind Trail: This hiking route is an intense adventure that climbs a steep 424 m over a distance of 3.4 km. Sometimes compared to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver, this trail is definitely a great workout that is a bit more on the challenging side. From the top of the trail you will have views overlooking the Fraser Valley and surrounding mountain peaks.
- Pierce Lake Trail: Hiking along the Pierce Lake Trail is a challenging experience that will test your endurance. As you make your way uphill along this 15.8 km trail, you will have breathtaking views overlooking the vast expanse of the Fraser Valley. Additionally, the area surrounding the two picturesque mountain lakes is often used as a backcountry camping spot, making for a fun weekend of camping in the mountains.
- Mount Slesse Memorial Trail: This hiking route will take you through the dense canopy of the forest to reach the 1959 crash site of Trans Canada Flight 810. This popular route climbs uphill to the memorial where hikers can still see remnants of the plane, before working up to the viewpoint overlooking Slesse Mountain and Mount Rexford.
- Chadsey Lake Trail: This moderate hike near Abbotsford climbs uphill through the forest at a steady pace to visit a beautiful woodland lake, making it a great option for both casual and seasoned hikers. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere around the lake and jump into the refreshing water to cool off on a hot day.
- Mill Lake Loop: This is a charming lakeside circuit in Abbotsford that provides several scenic viewpoints for spotting local wildlife. The trail passes predominantly through easy terrain, making it perfect for hikers of all skill levels and ages. There are also several picnic areas along the route to sit and relax outdoors.
- Sumas Mountain Trail: The Sumas Mountain Trail is a rugged 16.9 km adventure that will take you through the forests near Abbotsford, BC to experience views over Chadsey Lake. From here, you will continue to the viewpoint at the summit of Sumas Mountain to enjoy views over the Fraser Valley, including the Fraser River and the cities that can be found along its length.
- Weaver Lake Trail: This popular hiking loop trail near Chilliwack meanders around a charming woodland lake and takes you across a variety of terrain to produce some scenic views across the water. This relaxed hike is a great adventure for those that enjoy a bit of variation in their route without too much in the way of difficulty.
- Lindeman and Greendrop Lakes Trail: This 10.9 km hiking route will take you through Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park to experience dense forests and rocky terrain on the way to reach two beautiful woodland lakes. Here, you will have wonderfully scenic views over the water that are reward enough for setting out on this tough and technical trail. Each of these lakes offer the opportunity to camp overnight, making this a great option for a multi-day trek in the backcountry.
When is the Best Time to Hike in the Fraser Valley
Each of the four seasons in the Fraser Valley has its own charm, providing a constantly changing backdrop of scenery that can truly be experienced at any time of the year. Depending on your agenda, hiking experience, and fitness level, you might want to avoid visiting the area during the winter, as many of the higher peaks that can be hiked during the summer will increase in difficulty. The increased water levels in the spring mean that rivers and waterfalls will be more prominent, creating some dramatic views that you won’t want to miss. Alternatively, the summer season provides the driest weather for hiking, meaning you will safely and comfortably be able to navigate the trails - so long as you stay protected from the sun!
Other Outdoor Activities in the Fraser Valley
With access to a wide range of terrain that includes rugged mountain peaks, vast swathes of forest, winding rivers, and scenic wetlands; there is virtually no limit on the number of activities that can be experienced in the Fraser Valley. Whether you are looking to fish in one of the area’s many waterways, go boating on a scenic lake, navigate some craggy terrain while rock climbing, or go paragliding high above the valley floor; you can rest assured knowing that the possibilities for adventure travel in the Fraser Valley are almost endless.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Fraser Valley
What is the Fraser Valley known for?
The Fraser Valley is a fertile tract of land that is characterized by the winding river along the valley floor and the steep mountain slopes that flank it on either side. Due to the high levels of nutrients in the soil and excellent transportation routes, this area is known to be the agricultural heart of British Columbia. Here, you can find countless farms, dairies, and vineyards that help supply both the province and the rest of the world with great food products.
What cities can be found in the Fraser Valley?
The Fraser Valley is a vast area of land along the winding banks of the Fraser River that includes eight unincorporated electoral areas and six municipalities. These include: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope Kent, and Mission. These are all found in relatively close proximity to the river and provide great access to outdoor activities across the surrounding landscape.
Best Hikes in Fraser Valley
Lindeman Lake Trail
The Lindeman Lake Trail is a 3.5 km out-and-back hiking route in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park that features some rocky stretches of trail and a beautiful lake setting. After making your way through the forest and over boulder fields, you will arrive at the charming turquoise waters of Lindeman Lake that sits nestled in a scenic woodland atmosphere. The lake may be too cold for a swim, but the views are enough of an incentive to complete this short hike.
- Technical Difficulty
- Physical Difficulty
Bridal Veil Falls
The hike to Bridal Veil Falls is a very short 1.0 km out-and-back hiking route that passes through the dense forests of Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park on the way to see the cascading water of the falls. Due to the short distance of the hike and minimal elevation gain, this hike is an extremely popular outdoor destination for families and hikers of all skill levels. Even if you are just passing through the area, this is a quick detour that you won’t want to miss.
The trail to Cascade Falls is a short 0.6 km out-and-back hiking route north of Mission, BC that takes you to a suspension bridge overlooking the beautiful waterfall. The trail climbs briefly uphill before ascending a set of wooden stairs to the falls. A parallel gravel road also offers easy access to the suspension bridge for those not wanting to take the stairs. This is a great hike for families with young kids.
Elk Mountain Trail
The Elk Mountain Trail can be found southeast of Chilliwack and climbs uphill through the beautiful forest and over an exposed ridgeline to reach the summit of Elk Mountain. Hikers will have amazing views over the green land of the valley below and can spot numerous mountain peaks in all directions. Make sure to arrive early for this popular hike in the Chilliwack area.
- Technical Difficulty
- Physical Difficulty
Hicks Lake Trail
The Hicks Lake Trail is an easy 6.6 km loop trail in Sasquatch Provincial Park that takes you around the edge of a beautiful lake. Along the trail you will pass through lovely stretches of forest and cross over the many streams that feed into the lake. The easy terrain and nice views make this a great hike for families and casual hikers.
The hike to Cheam Peak is an 8.4 km out-and-back hiking route near Bridal Falls, BC that climbs steeply uphill to provide hikers with amazing views of the Fraser Valley. Along the trail you will cross over mountain streams and hike through beautiful alpine meadows before traversing a ridge on the way to summit the peak. Once there, your views will stretch in every direction, including east to west across the many communities of the Fraser Valley and south toward the Canada-United States border.
Abby Grind Trail
The Abby Grind Trail is an out-and-back hiking route that climbs a sharp 424 m over a short distance of 3.4 km. While not as difficult as its Vancouver cousin the Grouse Grind, this trail is definitely a great workout on the more challenging side of moderate. From the top of the trail you’ll be able to look out over the Fraser Valley and spot the many mountain peaks that frame the landscape.
Hiking along the trail to Teapot Hill is a unique experience due to the numerous old tea sets that adorn the side of the path. The 4.8 km route climbs through the forest and provides educational signs about the flora and fauna of the area before summiting the stout hill. Along the trail there are several scenic lookouts with views of Cultus Lake and the Canada/United States border.
Lindeman and Greendrop Lakes Trail
The Lindeman and Greendrop Lakes Trail is a 10.9 km out-and-back hiking route in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park that will take hikers through the forest and over stretches of rocky terrain to reach two picturesque woodland lakes. The turquoise waters are likely too cold for swimming, but the scenic views over the water are reward enough for setting out on this technical trail. Both Lindeman and Greendrop lakes offer the opportunity to camp overnight, making this trail perfect for multi-day treks in the backcountry.
Chadsey Lake Trail
The Chadsey Lake Trail is a moderately difficult out-and-back trail near Abbotsford that climbs through the forest to visit a charming woodland lake. The trail is largely forested and gradually climbs uphill at a steady pace, making this hike ideal for both casual and experienced hikers alike. The atmosphere around the lake is spectacular and you can even jump in the refreshing water to cool off on a hot day.
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Other Activities in Fraser Valley
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