North Shore
North Shore

hikes in North Shore

Region in British Columbia, Canada
North Shore Trail Map

Hiking on Vancouver’s North Shore is incredible. Spanning North Vancouver and West Vancouver, it doesn’t get much better than hiking in Vancouver’s North Shore.

The North Shore is all mountains, meaning just about any trail will get your blood pumping. Hiking on the North Shore is a great way to get outdoors without a long drive from Vancouver.

From hikes in North Vancouver you can marvel at views of downtown Vancouver, Vancouver Harbour and the Indian Arm. Venture further west on the North Shore and you will be hiking in West Vancouver, with incredible views of Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound.

The scenery changes drastically as you explore different parts of the North Shore, from alpine forests to crystal-clear lakes, to craggy mountain peaks. The stunning backcountry offers mesmerizing views from three main mountains: Cypress, Seymour and Grouse. With a huge network of trails, hikers alike will find something here, with ski trails to trek in the winter and beautiful, forest lined hills in the summer.

Those who dare will be rewarded with unparalleled views on the multiple summits crossing the Howe Sound Crest trail, while Norvan Falls offers a magical waterfall at the height of the path, and for the little ones, Capilano River Regional Park is sure to delight with canyon views and old-growth trees.

The Top 10 North Shore Hikes

These ten epic hikes in the North Shore bring some of the best hikes in North Vancouver and West Vancouver. These hikes mix family-friendly walks with remote, rigorous treks that you can stretch over two days to complete. But regardless of time or fitness level, hikers will be blown away by the rolling hills, wildflower meadows, pristine lakes and of course, jaw-dropping mountain peaks that won’t soon be forgotten. Better yet, with so many options, the North Shore remains a destination to be visited over and over again. Below are the 10 best hikes in Vancouver’s North Shore:

  • Howe Sound Crest Trail: This is a legendary hike and a must-do for all experienced hikers. Be warned, this trail is incredibly challenging, but also highly rewarding with multiple summit views and fun, backcountry camping spots.
  • Norvan Falls: Set out on this year-round trail for an easy hike at a lower elevation than most spots in the North Shore. This spot is especially popular for dog-walkers and leads to a scenic waterfall.
  • Crown Mountain: Next to Howe Sound, this is one of the most difficult hikes on the North Shore, leads to a pointed summit. This one is also for experienced hikers only, but those who are fit enough will be rewarded with incredible summit views of the North Shore Mountains.
  • Mount Seymour: This hike is easy to access from the many ski-resorts located around the trail. Delight in several viewpoints on the way to the upper summit, or feel free to turn back sooner knowing you already took in incredible views.
  • Hanes Valley: If you are a serious trail runner, this can be completed in a loop, or for most hikers, this is as a point-to-point hike. Scramble over big rocks and steep canyons in the Hanes Valley, then carry onward to Grouse Mountain Resort.
  • Capilano River Regional Park: This central park trail has something for everyone. There are numerous, paths throughout the park so you can make the hike as short or as long as you wish. It's a great place for kids, and has a huge dam, salmon hatchery, and several old-growth trees.
  • Mount Strachan: This is another difficult hike offering terrific views and also an interesting historical monument for an airplane wreck for the Royal Canadian Navy T-33 Jet, which crashed in 1963.
  • Whytecliff Park: This park has some nice short walking trails, perfect for families to enjoy trails along the beach. The BC Ferries vessels can be seen coming and leaving Horseshoe Bay, and wildlife can also be spotted, including seals and if extremely lucky, even orcas.
  • Coliseum Mountain: Embark on a full-day hike at Coliseum Mountain, where at the summit hikers will find panoramic, 360-degree views. This is an extension from Norvan Falls, for hikers looking for an extra challenge.
  • Dog Mountain: This is another popular hike in Mount Seymour Provincial Park. The trail is technical, but doesn’t have much elevation gain. It makes a great place for an after-work hike.

When is the best time to hike in the North Shore?

A large amount of the trails within the North Shore can be completed all-year-round, but some are season dependent. Since some areas are covered by large mountain summits, the parks might not see much sunlight—meaning rain and snow can stick to the ground much longer than usual. For that reason, early summer to late fall is the best time for most hikes within the North Shore. The ground is typically less muddy, with drier terrain to make for easier and safer hiking.

How to plan a trip to the North Shore?

Not sure where to start on planning your trip to the North Shore? No sweat, we have a full guide on planning your trip to the North Shore outlining all our insider secrets, like how to get here, where to stay, and the best food and drinks in the area. 

Frequently Asked Questions about the North Shore

Are there a lot of bears in the North Shore area?

To be honest, yes, there are bears in the North Shore area. Hikers should always be prepared and well-versed on dealing with bears before setting out on a hike. It is important to give a bear space and do not run! Use a bear spray if it approaches and never turn your back.

Which trail is the hardest to complete in the North Shore?

There are multiple challenging hikes in the North Shore area, but completing the entire Howe Sound Crest Trail is definitely the hardest hike. But it crosses multiple summits and you won’t find better views over all of Vancouver than on this trail.

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The best hikes in North Shore

Howe Sound Crest Trail

01. Howe Sound Crest Trail
Difficulty

18.7mi 5,827ft 10-14.5h

The Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT) is arguably one of the best hiking trails near… Read More

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Grouse Grind Trail

02. Grouse Grind Trail
Difficulty

1.8mi 2,589ft 2.5-4h

The Grouse Grind Trail is a physically demanding route in North Vancouver that attracts over… Read More

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Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove

03. Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove
Difficulty

2.3mi 636ft 1-1.5h

The Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove is a short, 2.3mi out-and-back route… Read More

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Capilano River Regional Park

04. Capilano River Regional Park
Difficulty

2.1mi 515ft 1-1.5h

Wander in one of Metro Vancouver’s oldest parks, the Capilano River Regional Park. Choose from… Read More

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Mount Strachan

05. Mount Strachan
Difficulty

5.2mi 1,982ft 3-4.5h

Mount Strachan is a wonderful hike in West Vancouver, offering quiet trails and stunning panoramic… Read More

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Coliseum Mountain

06. Coliseum Mountain
Difficulty

14.1mi 4,190ft 7.5-10.5h

Prepare for a demanding day hike at the Coliseum Mountain. But those who dare this… Read More

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Mount Seymour

07. Mount Seymour
Difficulty

5.0mi 1,988ft 3-4.5h

The Mount Seymour hike is home to three unique trails leading to peaks, each offering… Read More

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St. Mark’s Summit

08. St. Mark’s Summit
Difficulty

6.5mi 1,837ft 3.5-4.5h

St. Mark’s Summit gives hikers unparalleled views of the beautiful Howe Sound. Hiking to Saint… Read More

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Hanes Valley

09. Hanes Valley
Difficulty

9.9mi 2,592ft 5-7h

The Hanes Valley Trail hike makes for a hard and strenuous day, but the view… Read More

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Hike to Eagle Bluffs via Black Mountain

10. Hike to Eagle Bluffs via Black Mountain
Difficulty

5.1mi 1,427ft 2.5-3.5h

The Eagle Bluffs are recognized as one of the best lookouts over Vancouver’s North Shore,… Read More

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Yes, there are more than 10

North Shore is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in North Shore that you should take a look at as well

Mosquito Creek Hike

11. Mosquito Creek Hike
Difficulty

4.6mi 696ft 2-2.5h

The Mosquito Creek Hike is a secluded and scenic urban hiking trail on the North… Read More

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BCMC Trail

12. BCMC Trail
Difficulty

1.4mi 2,595ft 2.5-3.5h

The BCMC Trail is a workout based hike in Vancouver’s North Shore that allows hikers… Read More

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Twin Falls Loop

13. Twin Falls Loop
Difficulty

3.3mi 446ft 1.5-2h

The Twin Falls Loop is a fun 3.3mi day hike that packs a… Read More

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Skyline Trail Map

14. Skyline Trail
Difficulty

2.2mi 1,634ft 2-3h

The Skyline Trail is a 2.2mi loop that climbs up a steep slope… Read More

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Mount Seymour Trail

15. Mount Seymour Trail
Difficulty

5.1mi 1,893ft 3-4.5h

Follow along the Mount Seymour Trail as it steadily climbs above the North Shore to… Read More

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Lynn Canyon Park Loop

16. Lynn Canyon Park Loop
Difficulty

0.9mi 299ft 0.5h

The Lynn Canyon Park Loop is a short 0.9mi hike around the rushing… Read More

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Yew Lake Loop

17. Yew Lake Loop
Difficulty

1.4mi 89ft 0.5h

The Yew Lake Loop is a 1.4mi interpretive trail with educational signs posted… Read More

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Kennedy Falls Trail

18. Kennedy Falls Trail
Difficulty

7.5mi 1,565ft 3.5-5h

The Kennedy Falls Trail is a rugged hike through the dense West Coast rainforest of… Read More

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Fisherman's Trail

19. Fisherman’s Trail
Difficulty

7.5mi 696ft 2.5-4h

The Fisherman’s Trail is a 7.5mi out-and-back hike that follows closely alongside the… Read More

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Hike to South Needle

20. Hike to South Needle
Difficulty

8.8mi 4,455ft 6-9h

The Hike to South Needle follows along an extension of the trail to Lynn Peak,… Read More

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Cypress Falls Hike

21. Cypress Falls Hike
Difficulty

1.3mi 331ft 0.5-1h

The Cypress Falls Hike on the North Shore of Vancouver is a fantastic trail where… Read More

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Centennial Trail

22. Centennial Trail
Difficulty

2.4mi 351ft 1-1.5h

The Centennial Trail is a scenic hiking route that runs along the coastline between Lions… Read More

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Unnecessary Mountain Hike

23. Unnecessary Mountain Hike
Difficulty

9.8mi 3,583ft 6-8h

The hike up to Unnecessary Mountain will take you along the Howe Sound Crest Trail,… Read More

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Mount Fromme Trail Map

24. Mount Fromme Trail
Difficulty

6.4mi 2,900ft 4-6h

The Mount Fromme Trail is a great out-and-back option for when you are looking to… Read More

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Seymour Valley Trail

25. Seymour Valley Trail
Difficulty

14.9mi 1,099ft 5-7.5h

The Seymour Valley Trail is a 14.9mi out-and-back that follows alongside the Seymour… Read More

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Centennial Seawalk

26. Centennial Seawalk
Difficulty

3.1mi 108ft 1-1.5h

The Centennial Seawalk is a stunning 3.1mi out-and-back trail that follows closely along… Read More

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Crown Mountain Trail

27. Crown Mountain Trail
Difficulty

5.6mi 2,867ft 4-5.5h

The Crown Mountain Trail is an exciting and technical route up one of the North… Read More

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View of Vancouver skyline at sunset from Lonsdale Quay Market along the Spirit Trail

28. Spirit Trail
Difficulty

6.9mi 233ft 2-3h

The Spirit Trail is an easy-going 6.9mi hike along the shipyards of Vancouver’s… Read More

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Hollyburn Mountain Hike

29. Hollyburn Mountain Hike
Difficulty

4.3mi 1,476ft 2.5-3.5h

The Hollyburn Mountain Hike is a 4.3mi out-and-back trail in the Cypress Mountain… Read More

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Whytecliff Park - Panorama Ridge Trail

30. Whytecliff Park - Panorama Ridge Trail
Difficulty

0.7mi 177ft 0.5h

The Panorama Ridge Trail is a short trail within Whytecliff Park that is perfect for… Read More

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Deep Cove Lookout via Perimeter Trail

31. Deep Cove Lookout via Perimeter Trail
Difficulty

3.9mi 906ft 2-2.5h

Hiking to the Deep Cove Lookout via Perimeter Trail will take hikers on a technical… Read More

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Lynn Canyon Sea to Sky Trail

32. Lynn Canyon Sea to Sky Trail
Difficulty

9.8mi 791ft 3.5-5h

The Lynn Canyon Sea to Sky Trail is a 9.8mi out-and-back trail that… Read More

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Norvan Falls

33. Norvan Falls
Difficulty

8.7mi 1,283ft 3.5-5h

Embark on a hike at Norvan Falls, located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, in North… Read More

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Rice Lake Hike via Lynn Canyon

34. Rice Lake Hike via Lynn Canyon
Difficulty

2.9mi 381ft 1-1.5h

The Rice Lake Hike is a short 2.9mi trail that leads hikers through… Read More

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Mackay Creek Trail Loop Map

35. Mackay Creek Trail Loop
Difficulty

2.6mi 1,775ft 2-3h

The Mackay Creek Loop Trail is an intense workout for hikers that love a steep… Read More

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Mount Elsay Trail

36. Mount Elsay Trail
Difficulty

9.3mi 1,378ft 4-5.5h

The Mount Elsay Trail is a beautiful 9.3mi loop trail in the backcountry… Read More

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Bear and Beaver Trail Loop

37. Bear and Beaver Trail Loop
Difficulty

2.7mi 495ft 1-1.5h

The Bear and Beaver Trail Loop is a perfect half-day hike that passes through Lynn… Read More

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The Lions via Binkert Trail

38. The Lions via Binkert Trail
Difficulty

9.1mi 4,721ft 6.5-9h

The Lions via Binkert Trail is a difficult out-and-back route with sections of steep incline… Read More

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Mount Harvey Trail

39. Mount Harvey Trail
Difficulty

6.6mi 4,600ft 5.5-8h

The Mount Harvey Trail is a 6.6mi out-and-back with steep sections of trail… Read More

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Dinky Peak Trail Map

40. Dinky Peak Trail
Difficulty

1.5mi 315ft 0.5-1h

The Dinky Peak Trail is a less-travelled path in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, partly because… Read More

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Goat Mountain Trail

41. Goat Mountain Trail
Difficulty

4.4mi 1,289ft 2.5-3.5h

The Goat Mountain Trail is a picturesque hike into the Lynn Headwaters backcountry that will… Read More

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Goldie and Flower Lake Loop Map

42. Goldie and Flower Lake Loop
Difficulty

2.0mi 240ft 1h

The Goldie and Flower Lake Loop is a short trail that makes its way through… Read More

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Whyte Lake Hike

43. Whyte Lake Hike
Difficulty

3.4mi 686ft 1.5-2h

Follow along the Whyte Lake Trail as it meanders along creeks, over moss-covered bridges, and… Read More

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Cates Park Loop

44. Cates Park Loop
Difficulty

1.5mi 89ft 0.5h

The Cates Park Loop is a short 1.5mi trail near Deep Cove that… Read More

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Brunswick Mountain Trail

45. Brunswick Mountain Trail
Difficulty

9.4mi 5,102ft 7-10h

The Brunswick Mountain trail is a 9.4mi out-and-back that takes hikers to the… Read More

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Old Buck and Bridle Trail Loop Map

46. Old Buck and Bridle Trail Loop
Difficulty

3.8mi 1,047ft 2-2.5h

The Old Buck and Bridle Trail Loop is an amalgamation of the Old Buck, Bridle,… Read More

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Whytecliff Park

47. Whytecliff Park
Difficulty

0.6mi 125ft 0.5h

Grab the whole family and head to Whytecliff Park, a beautiful oceanside spot in West… Read More

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Deep Cove Park Loop

48. Deep Cove Park Loop
Difficulty

0.8mi 62ft 0.5h

The Deep Cove Park Loop is a forested hike through one of the many recreational… Read More

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Flint and Feather Trail

49. Flint and Feather Trail
Difficulty

2.1mi 2,595ft 3-4h

Sandwiched between the Grouse Grind and the BCMC Trail is the Flint and Feather Trail,… Read More

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Hike to Lynn Peak

50. Hike to Lynn Peak
Difficulty

7.7mi 3,343ft 5-7h

The Hike to Lynn Peak is a challenging trail for hikers looking to push themselves… Read More

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Panorama Park Loop

51. Panorama Park Loop
Difficulty

1.1mi 135ft 0.5h

The Panorama Park Loop is a 1.1mi trail through an urban park in… Read More

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Lynn Valley Link Trail

52. Lynn Valley Link Trail
Difficulty

8.8mi 1,667ft 4-5.5h

The Lynn Valley Link Trail is a great day hike to experience the city while… Read More

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Mystery Lake Loop

53. Mystery Lake Loop
Difficulty

3.0mi 837ft 1.5-2h

The Mystery Lake Loop is a popular hiking trail on the North Shore due to… Read More

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Dog Mountain

54. Dog Mountain
Difficulty

3.0mi 787ft 1.5-2h

The Dog Mountain hike is the most popular trail in the Mount Seymour Provincial Park—and… Read More

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Elsay Lake Trail

55. Elsay Lake Trail
Difficulty

12.5mi 3,871ft 7-9.5h

The Elsay Lake Trail is a tough route through the backcountry of Mount Seymour Provincial… Read More

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Lynn Headwater Trail to Norvan Falls

56. Lynn Headwater Trail to Norvan Falls
Difficulty

11.3mi 1,903ft 5-7h

Hike along the network of trails that pass through the beautiful Lynn Headwaters Regional Park… Read More

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Lynn Lake Trail

57. Lynn Lake Trail
Difficulty

13.5mi 2,664ft 6-8.5h

The Lynn Lake Trail is a lengthy hike through the Lynn Headwaters backcountry that is… Read More

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Lynn Loop Trail

58. Lynn Loop Trail
Difficulty

3.4mi 614ft 1.5-2h

The Lynn Loop Trail is an excellent day hike option for beginner hikers and weekend… Read More

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Indian Arm Trail

59. Indian Arm Trail
Difficulty

9.5mi 3,901ft 6-8.5h

The Indian Arm Trail is a very lightly-trafficked out-and-back route that sets out from Deep… Read More

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Brothers Creek Trail

60. Brothers Creek Trail
Difficulty

4.0mi 1,293ft 2-3h

The Brothers Creek Trail is a fun half-day hike that takes you through a thickly… Read More

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Capilano River Loop

61. Capilano River Loop
Difficulty

5.1mi 981ft 2.5-3h

The Capilano River Loop is a great day hike option for hikers looking to make… Read More

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