Wild Coast Tales Monthly Adventures: Hiking Lynn Peak
Last month, I explored the trails at West Vancouver’s Whytecliff Park. This month, I take to the North Shore with a challenging climb up Lynn Peak.
I have spent many hours exploring the trails of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and the connecting Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Norvan Falls, Rice Lake, Seymour Valley Trailway, and the trail leading to Lynn Canyon Park are my go-to hikes.
I have walked by the trail marker for Lynn Peak countless times and am always curious about the hike. A few weeks ago, when I had a friend from Toronto visiting, I figured it was the perfect time to try it out! I wanted to give my friend a taste of the North Shore mountains and spectacular views, without getting totally wet in snow. Yes, there is still snow in the mountains in July! Lynn Peak was the perfect fit.
How to get there:
You can start the trail from Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (parking lot closest to Rice Lake) or from Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Currently, the road leading to Lynn Headwaters is closed and under construction so check the status before you go. For full driving directions, visit VancouverTrails.com.
You can also take transit to the trail head. I took the 210 Bus from downtown Vancouver and got off at the last stop (Evelyn St and Underwood Ave). I crossed the nearby foot bridge and headed over to Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.
The trails are well-marked. Head in the direction of Rice Lake and keep a watch for the Lynn Loop trail markers. You will follow this trail, which then connects to the Lynn Peak trail. Find the full trail directions at VancouverTrails.com. OutdoorVancouver.ca also has detailed directions.
Climbing Lynn Peak is often compared to hiking up the infamous Grouse Grind, so be prepared for a relatively challenging hike.
The hike takes place in the forest, with the exception of the final viewpoint. The trail is lovely – huge trees, plenty of greenery, and takes you through the aptly named Enchanted Forest.
The first 45-60 minutes of the hike are mostly uphill and quite rocky. Be careful with your footing, especially on the way back down. The trail flattens out briefly, before climbing up again. Compared to other hikes, I did find the climbing a tad boring and unrelenting at times, mainly because there aren’t many views to distract you along the way.
Fortunately, some lovely mountains finally appear to break up the climb! To your right, there is a small clearing and chance to spot Mount Seymour. Further up and to your left, climb out onto the rocks for mountain views to the west.
One last climb and then you will reach the Lynn Peak Lookout. Be sure to go out onto the rocky clearing for stunning views of Mount Elsay and Mount Seymour to the east, the Seymour Demonstration Forest below you, and Vancouver and beyond to the south. On a clear day, you can see the Iron Workers Memorial bridge, Burnaby, Surrey, and Mount Baker.
We brought plenty of snacks (and maybe a few drinks) to enjoy at the top. It was a welcome break and chance to soak up some sunshine before hiking back down.
Extend your hike:
If you want to extend your hike, here are a few ideas:
South Needle: beyond Lynn Peak Lookout lies the actual summit (from what I hear there are minimal views). The trail becomes somewhat rougher and less clearly marked, eventually taking you to summit of South Needle. The views are said to be fantastic, but the hike is long and challenging. Find more details here.
Rice Lake: once you return to the Lynn Loop trailhead, go left and towards Rice Lake. Loop around Rice Lake (15-20 minutes) and snap some pictures of the picturesque lake and mountains backdrop.
Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge: one benefit of taking transit to a hike is ending in a different spot than you started. Trails from Lower Seymour and Lynn Headwaters connect to Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge – a great, free alternative to Capilano Suspension Bridge. Find the trail map here.
Danielle is the blogger behind Wild Coast Tales and lives and works in Vancouver. When she isn’t working in B.C.’s liquor industry, you can find her walking on the seawall, running on the trails, climbing one of the North Shore mountains, or cooking up a kitchen creation to fuel her adventures.
Danielle shares her West Coast adventures on her blog WildCoastTales.com and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/wildcoasttales/). Every month on BCAdventureGirls.ca, Danielle shares one of her recent adventures - whether it be a favourite Vancouver hike, a day spent exploring the city, or a new-to-her trail.