Hello again! We hope you are ready for Part II of our BC Hiking series. This time, we are keeping this fairly close to home, as this post will focus on some stunning Metro Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky Hiking Trails! If you missed our previous post on Vancouver Island & the Sunshine Coast, check it out here! Metro Vancouver is home to over 2.46 million people, spread across 2,877 square kilometres. Not everyone has the time or ability to access far away adventures. However, we are fortunate to have such stunning local mountains! Some of these hikes are even accessible by public transit.
Home sweet home – view of Downtown Vancouver & the North Shore mountains
The following hikes are scattered across the metro area, as well as up along the Sea to Sky highway. Even better, all of these treks are day hikes – so you can sleep in a little and still make it back home for dinner! Additionally, these Metro Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky hiking trails are all dog friendly. If your pup is eager for a full day’s worth of exercise, then these trails are for you! The only downside to these, however, is they do tend to be a little busy. Proximity and connivence, while it means more accessibility, results in more people accessing them. As long as you don’t mind another person or two on the path with you, then these Metro Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky hiking trails are the perfect day-getaway.
Approaching the summit on Golden Ears
Safety out on the Trails
As with any exploration, whether it be close to home like these hikes, or venturing into the backcountry, it can be dangerous. It is vital to go in prepared, and be ready to tackle the challenges that lay ahead. Please keep in mind the following:
- Bring reliable communication — the Ontario hiking trails below will lead you through areas of spotty, to non-existent, cell coverage. Satellite GPS and phones are useful to carry on person, especially if you are leaving for multiple days
- Pack proper gear — layers, reflective clothing, emergency survival equipment and the knowledge on how to use it
- Time the day — know when sunset is and plan to be ready for the night before darkness sets
- Weather — can be unpredictable, but still check ahead of time and pack accordingly
- Bring a friend — never go alone, and choose partners who are knowledgable, experienced, and fit enough to complete the journey
- Overconfidence — leave it at home, be realistic of your ability
- Wildlife — be aware of what you can encounter and what to do if so, as well how to properly store camp provisions during the night
- Communicate — let someone know where you are going, and when you expect to be back. If you are driving, leave a note on the dashboard with the same information
Remember, it’s better to ask before you leave, than be left with questions half way through your hike. Do your research, train, and be prepared. Adventures are fantastic experiences, and the more you think ahead of time, the more you will be able to enjoy the moment! For more information on trail safety, check out Adventure Smart!
Metro Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky Hiking Trails
Mount Cheam offers one of the most spectacular views in the Fraser Valley, with unobstructed 360-degree panoramas. From it’s peak, you are able to clearly see Chilliwack and the communities along the Fraser River, Jones Lake, the surrounding peaks, and Mount Baker to the south! As Mount Cheam is the tallest in its surrounding area, it really does feel like you are on the top of the world. The trail zigzags out in the open, guiding you up the mountain through beautiful meadows and gravelly terrain. Even though the elevation gain during the hike is only 700m, you’ll finish up at well over 2000m! Make sure to bring plenty of water as you will be in the sunshine for the majority of this hike. Learn more by clicking the name of the trail above!
View from the peak of Mount Cheam at sunset
Golden Ears is one of the most popular hikes in the Golden Ears Provincial Park, and offers more than fair compensation for those willing to accomplish this challenging trail. At 24km in length, hikers and their pups can complete this in one day, but many also enjoy this trip over 2 days, camping at Panorama Ridge. The trail becomes increasingly steep as it progresses, with much of the 1500m of elevation gain occurring near the last 1/3 of the hike. If you are planning to do this in one day, leave very early in the morning! The trail itself is quite well maintained, a direct result of its popularity. The scenery around the hike though feels like it has been pulled from the pages of Lord of the Rings, with the colourful trees making this a perfect fall hike. Learn more by clicking the name of the trail above!
Golden Ears Provincial Park
An easy and local favourite, starting from the General Store and Cafe and follows several hiking trails, passing Crystal Falls and viewpoints of Howe Sound. This loop is a collection of trails that include Centennial Trail, the Crystal Falls Trail, the Soundview Trail, and the Harrison Trail, before returning to the start on the Centennial Trail. The hike is an easy one to squeeze into any day, as you can easily complete it under 2 hours. The minor elevation gain, and public transit connivence, also attributes to its accessibility, while still having reputable views. Learn more by clicking the name of the trail above!
View from the midpoint of the loop trail
No list of Metro Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky hiking trails would be complete without mention of this classic. You’ve probably hiked this trail multiple times, but there are many more variations that spread across and around the main trail. If you’ve been to Peak 1, make sure to check out the traverse to Peaks 2 & 3 (note that they are a little more difficult). An all three peak hike can still easily be completed in a day. For those not initiated, the Chief towers high above the town of Squamish and is a popular hiking destination. The steadily increasing trail offers scenic views of Howe Sound and several mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park! The main trail, that leads you up to the South Peak, is extremely well maintained and marked, so you are able to turn off your route finding mind, and just enjoy the hike with your pup! Learn more by clicking the name of the trail above.
View from the second peak of the Stawamus Chief
We’re ending off this segment with another easy-breazy-beautiful hike. The Lynn Headwaters Regional Park has many trails that offer a variety in choosing shorter hikes to longer day hikes. Lynn Loop is a short trail that takes you up through the forest before looping back along the rushing water of Lynn Creek. The winding trail meanders you through the forest, past mossy stumps and beautiful trees – the sound of the rushing water is never too far. Due to its ease, the trial is quite popular on almost any day. Learn more by clicking the name of the trail above!
Luscious forest and well established trails crisscrosses the entire canyon
We hope you have enjoyed Part II of our BC Hiking series. The Metro Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky hiking trails above are some of our favourite! Well, we are biased, they are all dog friendly after all. Regardless, go on and get out there! Maybe we’ll see you on the trail. Much love,
– The GoFetch Team