The Five Most Beautiful (But Difficult) Hikes Close To Vancouver 

Sophia Quinn Sophia Quinn

The Five Most Beautiful (But Difficult) Hikes Close To Vancouver 

There are tons of hikes around Vancouver and the North Shore but often the most challenging ones reward you with the best views. Here’s our top five beautiful but difficult hikes close to Vancouver.


1. Crown Mountain 

Starting off strong, Crown Mountain is one of the most beautiful but gruelling hikes close to the city. The trail starts at the top of the Grouse Mountain chalet, but if you’re feeling crazy, you can start with the Grouse Grind. All in all, this hike offers arguably the best, uninterrupted views of the city from the East. The final section is a bit of a scramble so take your time and be careful, especially on the descent. 


Length: 9km 

Elevation gain: 874m 

Time: Approximately 5hrs round-trip from the top of the Grouse Grind 


2. Mount Brunswick  

The highest peak on the North Shore, Mount Brunswick is not for the faint of heart. Starting the trail from Lions Bay, you’ll navigate through a well-maintained trail before hitting the T-off for either the Lions or Mount Brunswick. Stick left and you’ll be rewarded with views from above the Lions at the top. Seriously, the view from the top couldn’t be more incredible. 


Length: 14.3km

Elevation gain: 1546m 

Time: Approximately 6-7hrs round-trip 


3. Watersprite Lake

Before even explaining this hike, you need to know that it’s only accessible with a 4×4 vehicle. Do not expect to make it up this logging road otherwise. The first section of the hike itself is relatively moderate but the last few kms involve lots of scrambling up a steep, rocky incline before the lake. Right now, the lake is almost fully thawed so enjoy the picturesque views and take a dip (if you dare)! 



Length: 19km 

Elevation gain: 735m 

Time: Approximately 6hrs (but don’t underestimate the time on the logging road to get there) 


4. Elfin Lakes 

A bit on the easier side, this hike remains at the top of our bucket list for hikes this summer. It is also a great launch point for several other hikes in the area if you decide to make it an overnight backcountry trip. 


Length: 20.1km 

Elevation gain: 821m 

Time: Approximately 6hrs round-trip 


5. Panorama Ridge 

One of the coast’s most iconic hikes, Panorama Ridge is simply stunning. It’s honestly the best way to view both Garibaldi Lake and check out Black Tusk up-close. Although the ridge does get high traffic, it’s seriously worth it. For this hike in particular, you’re going to have to book a day-pass the day before as well! 


Length: 28.3km

Elevation gain: 1541m

Time: Approximately 6-7hrs round-trip

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