Hikes in North Shore

Region in British Columbia, Canada

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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Best Hikes in North Shore

Open details for Howe Sound Crest Trail

Howe Sound Crest Trail

Very Hard
30.1 km
1,776 m
10-14.5h

The Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT) is arguably one of the best hiking trails near Vancouver for serious hikers, stretching over 30.0 km from Cypress Bowl to Porteau Cove. Keep your hiking boots laced tight as you head over multiple summits, offering spectacular views of Howe Sound, The Lions, and the beautifully turquoise Deeks Lakes, to name a few.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Grouse Grind Trail

Grouse Grind Trail

Hard
2.9 km
789 m
2.5-4h

The Grouse Grind Trail is a physically demanding route in North Vancouver that attracts over 150,000 hikers annually. Affectionately known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,” this short 2.9 km hike has an elevation gain of 789 m, meaning you will need to be on top of your strength and endurance game to enjoy the spectacular views from the summit of Grouse Mountain!

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Open details for Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove

Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove

Very Easy
3.7 km
194 m
1-1.5h

The Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove is a short, 3.7 km out-and-back route that is a popular destination for family hikes and school trips due to its easy terrain and scenic views. The trail includes several newly built wooden bridges to improve accessibility. Catch the stunning views of the Indian Arm and Belcarra Mountains to the east before heading back down the trail to Deep Cove for a treat at Honey Doughnuts and Goodies.

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Open details for Capilano River Regional Park

Capilano River Regional Park

Very Easy
3.3 km
157 m
1-1.5h

Wander in one of Metro Vancouver’s oldest parks, the Capilano River Regional Park. Choose from trails spanning over 26.0 km, featuring highlights like the incredible Capilano Canyon, the Cleveland Dam, the Capilano River, and a salmon hatchery. Feel small among the impressive canyon walls of jutting cliffs then observe the rushing white-water of the river for a quick outdoor adventure.

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 Mount Strachan

Mount Strachan

Hard
8.3 km
604 m
3-4.5h

Mount Strachan is a wonderful hike in West Vancouver, offering quiet trails and stunning panoramic views of Howe Sound.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
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 Coliseum Mountain

Coliseum Mountain

Very Hard
22.7 km
1,277 m
7.5-10.5h

Prepare for a demanding day hike at the Coliseum Mountain. But those who dare this hike will reap high rewards, with striking, panoramic views overlooking Mount Burwell, Burwell Lake and Cathedral Mountain to the north.

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 Mount Seymour

Mount Seymour

Moderate
8.1 km
606 m
3-4.5h

The Mount Seymour hike is home to three unique trails leading to peaks, each offering their own panoramic vista. After a heart-pumping workout to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with views of Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, and the Indian Arm.

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 St. Mark’s Summit

St. Mark’s Summit

Moderate
10.4 km
560 m
3.5-4.5h

St. Mark’s Summit gives hikers unparalleled views of the beautiful Howe Sound. Hiking to Saint Mark’s Summit can be a great hike to complete in one afternoon. From the peak, you can see the islands of Howe Sound, the Tantalus Range and even Vancouver Island.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
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 Hanes Valley

Hanes Valley

Very Hard
15.9 km
790 m
5-7h

The Hanes Valley Trail hike makes for a hard and strenuous day, but the view at the top will make it all worth it. Starting from Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, you’ll travel past steep valleys, glistening lakes and wildflower fields to reach the top of Grouse Mountain.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
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 Hike to Eagle Bluffs via Black Mountain

Hike to Eagle Bluffs via Black Mountain

Moderate
8.2 km
435 m
2.5-3.5h

The Eagle Bluffs are recognized as one of the best lookouts over Vancouver’s North Shore, and can be easily accessed from the Cypress Mountain downhill ski area along the Black Mountain Trail. Highlights along the route include the North and South summits of Black Mountain, Cabin and Owen lakes, and of course the stunning vantage point from the Eagle Bluffs themselves. Here you can find the most beautiful views of Eagle Harbour, Howe Sound, and Point Roberts.

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