Now that the smoke from the wildfires has cleared, it is time to get back outside and enjoy the beautiful outdoors before the rain starts. The fall weather is already in the air and before we know it, the leaves will start changing colours and create a whole different kind of beauty in B.C.
My absolute favourite thing to do outdoors is go for a hike. There is nothing in this world that can compare to looking out over the top of a mountain, seeing beautiful glacier lakes, and breathing in the fresh air. Now add in the changing fall colours, and you have a picture perfect outdoor activity.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to your fall hike? Well I have a few ideas for you, especially since I have officially reached my one year mark living out in B.C.
Top 5 day hikes near Vancouver
Here are my favourite five hikes that also aren’t too far from Vancouver that I have discovered so far.
1) Garibaldi Lake
This one is my absolute favourite hike in B.C. because it holds a pretty special place in my heart. This is where I got engaged and let me tell you, with the beautiful lake and greenery at the top, it was the perfect spot. When you get to the top you can opt to pass through Taylor Meadows, which I highly recommend. Stop and smell the trees and the beautiful flowers on the path before making your way over to the lake. When you see the lake for the first time, you will stop in your tracks. It is a beautiful deep blue. The colour will stun you, even on a cloudy day. Take a walk around, there are plenty of benches that look out on to the lake and scenery.
Difficulty: This hike was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. It is 9KM up to the lake and it is all slightly uphill switchbacks so be prepared for a bit of a burn.
Pro tip: Go early! A lot of people know about this beautiful gem and so it can get pretty crowded. We started our hike at around 6am and it was perfect.
2) Joffre Lakes
If beautiful glacier lakes, endless trees, and waterfalls are your thing, then make your way out to Pemberton for a day of hiking Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. The first lake is an easy 5 minute walk and its crystal blue colours and mountain views will truly be spectacular. Guess what? Somehow it only gets better from here. Each lake sparkles in the light, and the hike to the top has you twisting through all of the colours of fall.
Difficulty: This hike has moments were it is a really steep climb but over all pretty balanced. It is long so prepare to spend all day but I would say it would be medium difficulty.
Pro tip: Just like Garibaldi, it can get really crowded so go early. Also, while I found the second lake the prettiest of them all, I would highly recommend taking the time to explore all three. Each one of them is slightly different but absolutely beautiful.
3) Dog Mountain
Looking for an easy hike really close to Vancouver but also offers spectacular views? Then Dog Mountain is the spot for you. This hike is located on Mt. Seymour. It will take somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half to make it to the top. Don’t let the short hike fool you though, the views from the top are spectacular. You get the full city on one side and the mountains on the other. There are plenty of picture perfect spots along the way, included a cute little lake.
Difficulty: This hike can get a little muddy since it is a pretty narrow path, but it isn’t too difficult. If you love hiking, you will make it to the top no problem.
Pro tip: pack a little picnic for the top of the mountain and stay to enjoy the views from one of the rocks at the top.
4) St. Mark’s Summit
St. Mark’s Summit is also pretty close to downtown and on the Howe Sound Crest Trail. I love this hike because it truly offers a little bit of everything. There is a beautiful meadow about half way up the hike. Once you get to the summit you are in for a real treat. It is a pretty steep hike, making the vertical views from the top both frightening and majestic. It is amazing to look down at the blue ocean. You will honestly feel like you are on top of the world.
Difficulty: This hike once again has its moments. Be prepared for a fairly steep hike and quite a few switch backs near the top. Again another medium hike.
Pro tip: This is an awesome hike because it isn’t too crowded and offers some amazing views. It is also a dog friendly hike so it is a great date for you and your pup.
5) Lynn Loop
For those that really want an easier hike with beautiful views then this is the spot for you, especially in the fall months. Take moments to breathe in the fresh air and marvel at the beautiful large cedar and hemlock trees. Just be careful of aggressive bears along the trail. It seems to be an issue lately.
Difficulty: This 5km hike is quite easy (there is just one little steep part that will get your heart pumping). It is a great hike if you don’t have the full day.
Pro tip: Since the hike is a pretty short one, put some time aside for the other beautiful spots in the area. One of my favourite stops is the suspension bridge. Less busy than the Capilano bridge and definitely worth the views.
There you have it, some of my favourite hikes to discover this fall. I would love to hear if your top hikes made the list or if you have some others that I should give a try. In the meantime I hope you all get outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.