BEST HIKES IN BC
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7. Tunnel Bluffs (Squamish)
One of the closer hikes to access from Vancouver, Tunnel Bluffs is a must! It is also less well known so it is sort of a hidden gem! It is only about a 30-40 minute drive from Vancouver. You will have to park your car in a small parking lot on the side of highway that is closer to the water (this means you will have to make a U-turn up ahead and then come back because you cannot turn into this parking lot when coming from Vancouver)
There are no signs so the trailhead can be a little difficult to find. You will have to cross the highway (there is no crosswalk so you will have to be careful when crossing as there are cars coming at more than 100kmh around blind turns). The trail is through a small opening in the bushes right across the North end of the parking lot (towards Whistler side)
There are 3 view points, the 1st view point is only a 5 minute trail up from the start. This would be a great spot to catch the sunset! The trail itself is not easy and I do not recommend if you have knee or ankle problems. There is a lot of climbing required. Make sure to bring lots of water and snacks! There weren’t any bears even though the trail wasn’t that busy but I still would not recommend doing this alone in case a bear does come across your path. There were not many mosquitoes either which was nice.
6. Joffre Lakes Hike (Pemberton)
This is by far my favorite hike of all time. I think the reason I like it so much is because it is not super easy, not super hard and the best part was that it never gets boring. There was always either a view, waterfall, river or lake to stop and enjoy at.
There are 3 Joffre Lakes, and they are all a beautiful and unique color, especially on a sunny day. Try to plan to go on a sunny day as the lakes won’t look the same color when it is cloudy. That being said, if you don’t have a choice, it is still breathtaking even when it is cloudy. Also keep in mind that the higher the temperature is, the more difficult the hike will be.
The first lake is only a 5 minute flat trail from the parking lot. Although it is super easy to get to, it is still extremely beautiful!
The second lake is about a 2 hour hike up but with incredible view points to stop at on the way. This is the hardest one to get to. Once you get here, you can stop, take some photos, have some snacks and enjoy the view. I spent about 1.5hours just chilling here, totally worth it!
After the 2nd lake is a massive stair-case waterfall! One of my favorite parts!
The 3rd lake is about a 45 minute hike up from the second but it is less difficult to get to. If you go earlier in the season, you will be stepping in some snow when you get to the 3rd lake. Many people stop here and camp for the night. It’s a pretty good idea as the views are totally incredible that you won’t want to leave.
Just make sure you bring enough food for yourself but also make sure to not leave food out in the open because there are bears that will come if they smell food and you really don’t want that happening. The good thing is that they have created storages for your food so that the bears won’t smell it.
Feel free to take a dip in any of these lakes! Just be warned that it is extremely cold as it is all glacier water. Or bring a floatie and enjoy the ride!
At the waterfalls and rivers, I always drink the water. It is fresh glacier water, one of the best waters in the world! On the way up to the 2nd lake, there is a small waterfall where they have created a “fill-up” station for you to fill up your water bottle. DEFINITELY do this! Don’t be afraid, our waters are safe :)
I spent a total of 7-8 hours here because we just chilled a lot but the hike can be done roundtrip in 5 hours if you don’t take long breaks.
If driving from Vancouver, it is about a 3 hour drive each way. If you will be too tired to drive back in the evening, book a night in Whistler and enjoy the village vibes! I stayed at the Pan Pacific Mountainside.
That being said, driving back on the sea-to-sky highway during sunset is absolutely beautiful! But if you are driving on the sea-to-sky highway after sunset, just be warned that there are not a lot of street lights and it can get dark. In combination with your tiredness, it might not be the best idea to drive back late at night.
5. St. Mark's Summit
This is a newer hike as not many people know about it yet. It is definitely one of the hardest hikes I have done but also one of the most rewarding.
To get here you park at Cypress mountain and take the trail up from near the chairlifts. There will be small signs directing you to which trail you want to take as there are multiple trails.
I highly recommend bringing some heavy duty bug spray with you as the bug problem here is unreal. There are no mosquitoes so at least you don’t get bit but there are so many other bugs flying around and they are not shy to enter your ears, eyes, nose, mouth… yea, it’s not fun. And you will go through this for at least an hour.
We started our hike around 6pm to make it up by 9pm to watch the sunset. Best idea ever! The catch was that we had to hike down in the dark. If you decide to do this, please bring lots of flashlights (in case any of them run out of battery) and go with a group!! There are definitely bears around and the larger your group is, the less likely you will encounter a bear, especially at night.
Coming back down took about 2 hours.
I was surprised to find out that I had really good cell reception for the majority of this hike so that’s a plus!
4. The Chief
This was the first real hike I ever did about 4 years ago so it was pretty hard for me at the time. The views here are also epic. My favorite part about this hike is that there are tons of chipmunks at the top who are used to humans so they will come close to you if you try to feed them. It may even come on top of your shoe!
Unfortunately at the time I wasn't big on photos so I don't have a photo of the view to share here.
This hike takes about 6 hours round trip.
3. Garibaldi Lake
Honestly, I found the Garibaldi Lake hike a little boring and it might have to do with the fact that I did it a couple weeks after doing the Joffre Lakes hike. Joffre Lakes was constant entertainment throughout the hikes with viewpoints, waterfalls, rivers and lakes. (*Edit: I did this hike again 3 years later (2019) and I enjoyed it a lot more. Still just as beautiful as it always was!)
At Garibaldi Lake, there is none of that. There is one small waterfall near the lake but other than that, nothing epic until you actually get to the lake. That being said, the lake is beautiful!
This hike is about 5 hours round trip and it is found just before Whistler off the sea-to-sky highway.
You can go up even higher up to Panorama Ridge and see the view of the lake from up to. This hike takes 12 hours round trip from the bottom. Many people camp here and hike down the next day. I have never done this.
2. Deep Cove (aka. Quarry Rock)
Deep Cove is located in a small village in North Vancouver. The trail is not difficult & it is child-friendly.
The view at the top is amazing and when you get to the bottom, treat yourself to a nice cold drink and lunch on a patio.
It is about 1.5 hours round trip.
1. Lindeman Lake
You will find the trail to Lindeman Lake off of Chilliwack Lake Road (about a 2 hour drive East of Vancouver). The trail is not long but the hotter it is, the more tired you will get and the longer it will take. It is not very easy so small children would probably complain throughout.
The lake itself is a very beautiful, clear, turquoise color. Many people bring their flotation devices with them and just float on the lake. It is cold though because it is glacier water!
We went late July so all the snow had already melted off the mountains but it would have looked pretty cool with the snow still on there.
Round trip the trail takes about 2hrs plus any time you spend at the lake.
Another 4km past Lindeman Lake you will find Greendrop Lake but we didn't go that far. You are also allowed to camp at these lakes.