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11 of the Best Hikes Near Vancouver for Families

Published Mar 18, 2020

In Vancouver, we are so lucky to have amazing hiking trails and walking paths right at our own back door. Here are 11 of our favourite hikes to do as a family, ranging from beginner to more advanced climbs. Go enjoy the great outdoors!

One of my favourite things about Vancouver is that you don't have to sacrifice nature to live the city life. 

We are surrounded by natural beauty, whether it be the many parks and beaches right in the city or the scenic views, waterfalls, and quiet forests not far away. How truly lucky we are!

This summer, spend time as a family getting active and trying out a new hike. Whether you and your kids are new to this, or ready to tackle a mountain, we've got something on this list for everyone.

From the easy and flat hikes to the more challenging climbs, here are are 11 favourite hikes near Vancouver.


1. Lighthouse Park

In West Van, this hike offers stunning views, wildlife, old trees, and easy trails! Only 20 minutes from where you park is a lighthouse that makes for a fun destination, but you can continue on to more sights too.

A perfect concoction for hiking with the kids. You can also catch an amazing sunset from here.



2. Stanley Park

It goes without saying that there is almost nothing we like more than strolling along the seawall in Stanley Park. 

There is an easy reason why this is the pride and joy of Van City: even though you're still in the heart of the city, you feel like you've escaped to nature!



3. Pacific Spirit Regional Park

With many different hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult, Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a spectacular place to come to escape the city. A great option for beginners is the Huckleberry Trail.

Photo Credit: Flickr


4. University of British Columbia

No, we are not suggesting you take your kids to a frat party. In fact, UBC is actually a great place to bring your family for a walk or bike ride.

The University grounds are huge. There are big roads, sidewalks, and trails, so the choice is up to you where to take your family. The best time to go biking is on the weekend when the roads aren’t as busy.



5. Deer Lake

In Burnaby, there is an easy, flat stroll around Deer Lake Park, which has five kilometres of trails. Apart from the beautiful scenery and wildlife you might encounter, what you'll love about it is the small beach area and playground to stop at along the way with little ones.




If you're looking to increase the sweat factor but still keep it doable for beginners, we have our more challenging hikes here. Whether that means longer or steeper, we guarantee they are worth the effort.


6. Deep Cove Lookout

The Deep Cove Lookout hike is slightly more challenging than the others, however still a relatively easy hike. It is about 4 kilometres roundtrip, so make sure this is something your kids would be comfortable with!

Crossing the creek bridges is fun for the kids, and the lookout, with views of Deep Cove and Indian Arm, is definitely impressive.



7. Norvan Falls

This trail is mostly flat, but becomes a little more challenging for its length. Located in North Van is this 14 kilometre loop that has a delightful small waterfall that kids will love! There is ample parking, and washrooms are available at the parking lot.


Photo Credit: Lynn Canyon


8. Dog Mountain

For the slight increase in difficulty level, the views here are well worth the effort! It boasts spectacular views of Vancouver on a clear day. This hike is only five kilometres roundtrip, and you'll only need two hours to complete it. 


Photo Credit: Ruth Hartup on Flickr



If you and your family are willing to put in some longer hours, we highly suggest these more challenging hikes. The views speak for themselves.


9. St. Mark's Summit

Beginning from Cypress parking lot, you can access this hike for on of the most impressive views of Howe Sound. It's 11km round trip with a fair amount of elevation gain, so you'll want to pack lunch and plenty of water for this one.



10. Grouse Grind

If you have older children who love the outdoors and aren’t afraid of a little (and by a little we mean a lot) of activity, we suggest hiking up the Grouse Grind. The actual hike is free and the views are absolutely incredible from the top. If you are too tired, there is also a gondola that for a small price can take you for a ride down.

Photo Credit: Grouse Mountain


11. Garibaldi Lake

Do we really have to say anything? The photo speaks for itself! While Garibaldi Provincial Park is a bit of a further drive, we think it's worth the 1.5 hour road trip.

This glacier-fed lake (hence why it's crystal clear blue) sits 1,450 metres above sea level and is surrounded by mountains, meadows, and even volcanic outcrops.

While at 18 kilometres round trip it's certainly the most challenging of the hikes mentioned so far, they do offer camping sites so you don't have to get there and do it all in a day before coming home. Make a weekend of it!




Wanting to find more fun things for you and your family to do? Check out our local things to do page!


Or you can check out these articles:

Top 5 Playgrounds In The North Shore

5 Fun Activities For Your Kids And Your Dogs

64 Things To Do In Vancouver







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