These 10 easy Vancouver hikes can be a refreshing cool experience in the forest, even on hot summer days.
Almost all of these Vancouver hikes have unique water features to enhance your enjoyment of the natural beauty of the area.
These trails provide the perfect opportunity to get in some exercise and to de-stress.
Most trails are open year-round, dependent on weather, and are accessible for all ages. Some are dog-friendly.
Many offer spots to stop and enjoy a picnic.
We have included two extra Vancouver hikes worthy of a visit at the end of this article, however there is an admission price to access these trails.
10 easy Vancouver hikes
When hiking or walking wear comfortable, study shoes, layered clothing and take water with you. Depending on the season, bug spray and sunscreen is also advisable.
Looking for more BC travel ideas and road trip adventures? Be sure to check out these articles to help start planning your trip:
- Spectacular Nairn Falls hike near Whistler Pemberton
- Top 10 scenic drives in Canada that will leave you in awe
- Explore the Sea-to-Sky Highway, one of the most scenic drives in North America
1. Bowen Island Crippen Park and Killarney Lake hiking trails
Crippen Park on Bowen Island is easy to explore on a scenic day trip from Vancouver.
There are several hiking trails and bike routes to discover. One of the most popular trails is the Killarney Loop trail.
Pack a picnic, then head to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal to catch a ferry to sail to the Howe Sound island.
Enjoy the stunning coastline views of snow-capped mountains during the 20-minute crossing time. Find out more about the trails.
2. Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley
Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley offers hiking trails winding through the natural beauty of serene, mossy wooded forests, wetlands and farmlands.
There are 29 kms of easy trails to travel along any time of the year that are family and dog friendly, along with 14 kms for horse riding trails.
Find out more about the trails.
3. Pacific Spirit Regional Park, UBC Endowment Lands
Pacific Spirit Regional Park offers more than 55.5 kms of trails to explore. The park provides beaches, forests, bogs and creeks.
The Camosun Bog features a self-guide nature walk along the 300-metre-long boardwalk over the delicate bog. If you love moss like we do, 13 different species of sphagnum moss have been found here.
Learn more about this area from the informational signs along the trail.
Download a map of Pacific Spirit trails.
If you visit Wreck Beach clothing is optional.
4. Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park
Lost Lagoon is an iconic landmark in Vancouver located in Stanley Park. Once a mudflat area, the fresh water lake was created when the Stanley Park Causeway was built in 1938.
The easy trail loops around the lake 1.8 kms. and lets you explore the important wetland habitat of Ceperley Meadows.
This area is a sanctuary for various wildlife and more than 230 different types of birds. Bird species change with the seasons as they migrate along the Pacific Flyway.
Look for beavers, raccoons, bald eagles, herons, songbirds and raptors. Please do not feed the wildlife or birds.
Find out more about bird watching in Stanley Park. Be sure to visit the Nature House when it is open.
Download a trail map of Stanley Park.
5. Rice Lake, North Vancouver
Peaceful Rice Lake is located in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. The trail is relatively flat and is about 2 kms in length.
Swimming is not allowed in the lake.
Download a trail map of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.
Rice Lake trail can be accessed via Lynn Canyon for a longer hike of about 3.8 kms.
Go over the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Turn left down the trail toward the 30-foot-pool and then up the wooden stairs to Pipe Bridge.
This path leads you to the entrance of the Rice Lake Trail.
6. Burnaby Lake Regional Park
Explore the natural wonders of Burnaby Lake Regional Park. The park is a wonderful wildlife sanctuary and a favourite spot for birdwatchers.
The entire Burnaby Lake Loop Trail is 10 kms. Download a map of the area.
The most popular two entrance points into the park are Avalon Avenue near the Equestrian Centre and Piper Avenue.
Avalon Avenue Entrance Burnaby Lake
On our visit, we learned that in the 70s the Sapperton Fish and Game Club, together with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, went after industrial polluters to clean up the contaminated Burnett River and save its salmon population. Coho salmon finally returned to the waters in the mid-80s.
The City of Burnaby bought up land along the river and made it a dedicated conservation area. A fish ladder was built in 1992 to the help salmon pass over the Cariboo Dam.
Along the trail watch for birds and other wildlife.
The highlight of the adventure was seeing a chipmunk feast on some tree buds.
Endangered Western Painted Turtles
We watched sunbathing turtles on a log in the water. These endangered Western Painted Turtles inhabit the area all year.
- In the winter, the turtles bury themselves underwater in the mud.
- The spring is for breeding and feeding. Baby turtles come out of their nests.
- The summer is for nest building and laying eggs.
- The fall is time for eggs to hatch. After hatching, turtles remain in the nest until spring. Along the trail we watched for birds and other wildlife.
Piper Avenue Entrance Burnaby Lake
Birdwatchers flock to Piper Spit, accessed from the Piper Avenue entrance. It is definitely a hot spot to see all types of waterbirds, bald eagles, osprey, blue herons, kingfishers and rare birds.
If you are lucky, you may even view the exotic-looking mandarin
This location is also a favourite for families. There are picnic tables, a Nature House, a boardwalk over the water, and a great viewing tower to spot wildlife.
Remember to bring along bird seed and to listen to the songbirds.
The Nature House is worth a visit, when it is open.
7. The Sanctuary at Hastings Park, Vancouver
The Sanctuary at Hastings Park, located on the PNE grounds, is one of Vancouver’s hidden gems.
This natural habitat attracts wildlife and more than 100 different bird species. The park features winding trails over bridges and walkways with plenty of spots to sit and soak up the peaceful, quiet surroundings.
The trail is located in the southwest corner of Hastings Park and is 2.1 kms in length.
8. Cleveland Dam and Capilano Watershed
Visit the Cleveland Dam and Capilano Watershed to take advantage of majestic views of the Lions mountain peaks watching over Capilano Lake.
The Capilano Watershed provides pristine drinking water a third of the Metro Vancouver area.
Carry on with a walk across the 91-metre-high Cleveland Dam to see the rushing waters fall into the Capilano Canyon below. Travel along the trail south into the lush rainforest to the second canyon viewpoint.
There are numerous trails to explore in the Capilano River Regional Park. Download a Capilano Park trail map and parking planner.
The Cleveland Dam and Capilano Watershed are located in North Vancouver.
9. Deer Lake Park, Burnaby
Deer Lake Park offers a variety of walking trails to choose from that are great for any time of the year.
There are picnic spots, a beach area for swimming and a boat launch for paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.
Lily pads cover much of Deer Lake, adding to this peaceful environment.
The main trail is one way with a total length of 5.7 kms. Here is a map.
There are a selection of shorter one way hiking trails to enjoy, ranging from 1.2 – 3.7 kms that can be followed using this guide.
Century Gardens at Deer Lake
Beautiful Century Gardens can be found in front of this lovely English Arts & Crafts style mansion built in 1911. This home is one of eight heritage houses that can be viewed on a 1-1/2 hour walking tour at Deer Lake Park.
10. Shannon Falls Provincial Park near Squamish
Shannon Falls Provincial Park is about an hour drive from Vancouver. Impressive Shannon Falls drops 335 meters, making it the third highest waterfall in British Columbia.
Take the short trail through the forest along the river to the falls from the parking lot.
This is always a favourite picnic stop. I have been coming here since I was a young child.
The park is open year-round, but use extra caution on wet days as the trails and other surfaces can be extremely slippery.
Carling O’Keefe Brewery owned the area in 1976 and used the mountain water to make its beer. The land was later donated to BC Parks in 1982.
11. Greenheart TreeWalk, UBC Botanical Garden
Greenheart TreeWalk takes you on an adventure through a temperate rainforest high above the forest floor.
A series of suspended walkways hang from 100-year-old giant Douglas firs & cedar trees. The eco-friendly network of treetop trails lets you experience the environment without harming the natural surroundings.
Allow at least one hour for the journey and don’t forget to hold on tight. Find our more about the tickets for UBC Botanical Garden and access to the other gardens while visiting this site.
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12. VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver
Take an outdoor adventure through the trails and walkways of Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden. This beautiful oasis offers 55 acres of planted gardens to explore.
The kids enjoyed looking for a variety of birds and were thrilled to see the squirrels and turtles.
If you are planning a visit to VanDusen Gardens there is an admission fee. Check out the bloom calendar before you go.
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Let us know if we have missed one of your favourite easy Vancouver hikes in the comments below.
More easy Vancouver hiking trails to explore
Othello Tunnels near Hope – currently closed due to storm damage
Nature lovers will enjoy experiencing the gorge by witnessing the roaring water, marvelling at the spectacular rock formations, and following the stunning path carved out by the river and plummeting timbers.
Explore historic Westham Island and one of the oldest bridges in BC
Visit a farm, take a nature walk on one of the many trails, bird watch, have a picnic or visit a winery. This beautiful, tranquil island is only a 45-minute drive from Vancouver.
Explore the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, one of Canada’s best birdwatching spots
Have you been here? Want to go or have other tips or comments. We'd love to hear from you.