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    Pacific NorthWest Blog — 150 Canada Anniversary

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    5 Amazing Day Hikes In Vancouver, BC This Summer!

    5 Amazing Day Hikes In Vancouver, BC This Summer!

    5 Amazing Day Hikes Near Vancouver, British Columbia



    As Vancouver's hottest days are upon us, this is the perfect time to start planning some day hikes in the Pacific NorthWest! 

    What I find most amazing about our home base in Vancouver is living in an urban environment but still having amazing backcountry wilderness on our doorstep. All of these 5 hikes are within 1-2 hours driving distance from the city of Vancouver and they can be completed in a single day. 

    1. Dog Mountain

    The Dog Mountain bluffs offer the best-hike-to-view ratio in the Lower Mainland. It is a quick 25 minutes drive from downtown and it only takes about 1 or 2 hours to complete.

    The trailhead begins just past the Bear’s Paw lodge at the far end of the Mount Seymour parking lot. In the summer, the Dog Mountain bluffs and the other ridgelines higher up in Mount Seymour Provincial Park are an excellent place to watch meteor showers and observe the northern lights. While you can’t camp on the Dog Mountain bluffs, there are many backcountry camping spots in the park where you can camp with a view of the sparkling lights of Vancouver from your campsite.

    2. Stawamus Chief

    Photo by OutdoorVancouver.ca 

    The Stawamus Chief, or “The Chief”, is the second largest free standing granite outcropping in the world (after the Rock of Gibraltar). There are three domed summits you can hike to, all accessed by a trail that starts on the side of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park near Shannon Falls. The lowest dome takes about 3 hours and the highest dome takes 5 hours (all times are return trips).

    The Chief in Squamish is also a world-famous rock climbing destination. Many professional climbers will spend the summer months living in the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park campground at the base. There are also day climbing tours available in the nearby town of Squamish to climb one of the many challenges routes on the front face.

    For more info feel free to check out this link by Outdoor Vancouver

    3. St. Mark’s Summit



    A spectacular view over the mouth of Howe Sound. You can see Bowen Island on top left, the smaller Anvil Island to the right and the mountains of Vancouver Island fade into the clouds in the distance.

    St Mark’s summit is an intermediate hike that starts by the Cypress Mountain day lodge. It winds 11 km along the Howe Sound Crest Trail. It takes about 5 hours to get to the summit and back.

    If you’re really ambitious and you want to hike the entire Howe Crest Sound Trail it takes 1-2 days to hike the full 32 km. There are many other mountains along the trail that have much better views like the Binkert Lions, Unnecessary Mountain and Mount Harvey, but St. Mark’s Summit is the easiest hike and the other peaks can be difficult to reach until mid-to-late summer when the snow has melted.

    4. Mount Cheam

    Mount Cheam is the highest peak in the Fraser Valley but also one of the easiest climbs thanks to a logging road that gets you within a one-hour hike of the summit. The road is snowed-in for most of the year so the best time to go is between July and October.

    The backcountry forest road can be accessed from Chilliwack Lake road and you will need a 4×4 vehicle. You can find more information on how to get there on the Mount Cheam hike page provided by Vancouver Trails.

    5. Garibaldi Lake

    The view of the aqua blue waters of Garibaldi Lake and Mount Garibaldi from the Panorama Ridge.

    The 3-hour hike up to Garibaldi Lake is a tedious trek along seemingly endless switchbacks. But once you arrive at Garibaldi Lake you will be blown away by just how insanely beautiful this glacial lake is. While it can be done in a day, it is better to spend a few days at the beautiful campground along the southern shore.

    Book ahead at the Garibaldi Lake Provincial Park campground and from there you can hike to Panorama Ridge, the Battleship Islands, Black Tusk (a highly recommended 3 hour hike from the campground where you can see Whistler and the Pacific Ocean from the same peak), Cheakamus Lake and the amazing wildflowers in the Black Tusk meadows (best seen between the middle of July and middle of August).

    There you have it, our 5 Amazing Day Hikes in Vancouver, BC this Summer! Looking to Rep Your Pacific NorthWest on the trails? Pick up your PNW Lifestyle Swag here

    150 HOURS IN VANCOUVER CELEBRATING CANADA 150th

    150 HOURS IN VANCOUVER CELEBRATING CANADA 150th

    DAY ONE:

    Hours 1 – 24

    So it’s your first time in Vancouver, eh? Welcome! We’re sorry for waking you up early (get used to the apologizing – we’re known for it), but we want you to make the most of your 150 hours with us. Grab a hearty breakfast, and yes, Canadian bacon, pancakes and maple syrup are all allowed. The best plan of attack for the day is to start with a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour. The two-hour loop will give you the “lay of the land” so you can decide where you want to spend more time. The tours stop at many of Vancouver’s most popular sites, including Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium and Granville Island, as well as neighbourhoods like Chinatown and Gastown. Continue your orientation of the city with a Sea Vancouver tour of the city’s harbour by Zodiac, or head to FlyOver Canada, a 4D flight simulation that will have you soaring above our country’s astounding natural landscape. Spend the rest of the afternoon on the city’s famous shopping strip, Robson Street, or familiarize yourself with the works of British Columbia’s best known artist, Emily Carr, at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Finish off the day with dinner at a restaurant with a view of Vancouver’s majestic mountains.

     

    DAY TWO:

    Hours 25 – 48

    This morning we suggest that you rent a bicycle and ride the 9 km (5.5 mile) section of the sea wall that runs around Stanley Park. Locals are especially fond of this urban greenspace, which is located right at the tip of the downtown peninsula and is bigger than New York’s Central Park. The sea wall is mainly flat, so even if you’re not a pro cyclist, you’ll likely be able to make it around in a couple of leisurely hours. But why hurry? Stanley Park is home to lots of great diversions including public art, beaches, restaurants and the Vancouver Aquarium, which is world-renowned for its marine stewardship program. When it’s time for lunch, head over to Granville Island; either continue along the sea wall on your bike, or grab a ride. This area was once an industrial area, but is now an arts district with a very popular public market. Enjoy lunch at the market, then spend the afternoon tasting your way through the stalls selling local delicacies, the island’s craft brewers and distillers, and shopping the artist studios that dot the precinct. For dinner, indulge in local, sustainably-sourced seafood - likely from Granville Island Public Market!

     

    DAY THREE:

    Hours 49 – 72

    Today is all about the great outdoors! You’re going to head over to Vancouver’s North Shore, exploring the canyons, streams and mountains that make this area a natural playground for locals. Take the SeaBus ferry from downtown’s Waterfront Station over to Lonsdale Quay, then catch a bus up the mountain. If you have time, take a stroll around Lonsdale Quay Market – it’s a great place to stop for a coffee with a view back to the city’s skyline. Your first stop will be Capilano Suspension Bridge Park where you’ll take the swaying bridge across the canyon, before getting a taste of Vancouver’s temperate rainforest on the Treetops Adventure. A short stop further is the Capilano River Hatchery where you can see salmon jumping their way up the fish ladder to swim upstream, and then take an easy hike along the surrounding trails. Your final stop is Grouse Mountain – the Skyride gondola whisks you to the peak where you’ll find plenty of adventures waiting for you! In the summer, visit the orphaned grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, hike the trails, and go ziplining! In the winter, Grouse is a snowy wonderland with slopes to ski, forests for snowshoeing and a pond for skating. The Peak Chalet offers lots of dining options, from grabbing a beer and nachos on the Altitudes Bistro patio through to a multi-course fine dining extravaganza at The Observatory.

     

    DAY FOUR:

    Hours 73 – 96

    Make sure you wear your most comfortable shoes today, because you’re going to be doing a lot of walking as you explore Vancouver’s neighbourhoods. Located on the edge of the downtown, Gastown is the city’s oldest neighbourhood. You’ll find plenty of history at every turn, and it’s a great spot for browsing First Nations art, hip boutiques and dining at some of the city’s coolest restaurants. A little further east is Chinatown, the third largest in North America, and home to the tranquil, four-seasons Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Yaletown is also on the downtown peninsula and is a former warehouse district that has since been transformed into a chic residential area. Shopping is a big attraction, but so is the people watching – order a coffee and sit on the sea wall to watch the locals. The West End is a beachside neighbourhood at the foot of Stanley Park, and home to the city’s LGBT community – definitely worth a wander, or head down to English Bay Beach to take a paddle boarding lesson. Just over the bridge is Kitsilano, Vancouver’s original hippy enclave with a bustling beach, shopping thoroughfare, and attractions like the Museum of Vancouver and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Celebrating diversity and the arts, Vancouver has a festival calendar that is bursting with exciting events, and tonight, you’re going to experience one for yourself! Whether you’re catching a documentary screening, stand-up comedy, fringe theatre, an Asian food market or a jazz performance, these events speak to our very Canadian trait of embracing our diversity.

     

    DAY FIVE:

    Hours 97 – 120

    Speaking of diversity, today you’re heading to one of Metro Vancouver’s most multicultural suburbs, Richmond. You may have already been here – Richmond is home to Vancouver International Airport! Jump on the SkyTrain’s Canada Line south and get off at Aberdeen Station. Venture into Aberdeen Centre or one of the other nearby malls to find yourself transported to Asia, complete with supermarkets, tea shops, household goods and any number of exclusive Asian brands, all yours for the browsing. Then take a short walk along the waterfront pathway to the ROX – Richmond Olympic Experience. Located in the speed skating venue from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the ROX features simulators so you can experience what world class athletes feel when they compete. At the south edge of Richmond is the fishing village of Steveston. Made famous as the shooting location for the TV show Once Upon a Time, you can eat fish and chips on the wharf, wander the adorable main street, and visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, a National Historic Site. While you’re in Richmond, grab a deal at McArthurGlen Designer Outlets, where you can stroll the outdoor mall and find top fashion brands at significant discount. And with almost half of the population claiming Asian ancestry, Richmond is a fantastic place for food! Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese – you’ll find all cuisines here.

     

    DAY SIX:

    Hours 121 – 144

    Today, you’re going to get out of town! Whether you decide to head north or east, you’re sure to find plenty of adventure. Driving north towards Whistler, you’ll travel the spectacular Sea to Sky highway, which winds up the coast to Howe Sound before heading through the mountains. You’ll want to stop at the charming Horseshoe Bay for a photo opp before continuing to the Britannia Mine Museum where you’ll learn about the history of the area. Stop for lunch in Squamish, a seaside city with a thriving farm-to-table dining scene and craft beer culture. Then visit the Sea to Sky Gondola for spectacular 360 degree views up Howe Sound, as well as hiking trails and Via Ferrata climbing route in the summer, and snowshoeing in the winter. Or instead, head east through to the Fraser Valley for a full day of wining and dining! This area is known for the rich, fertile soil that grows much of Vancouver’s fresh produce and is also home to one of British Columbia’s wine regions. Along with cellar door tastings at the wineries, you’ll be tempted by stops at cheesemakers, bakers, fresh produce stands and farms. If you’re in the mood to catch your own dinner, this area is also known as an amazing fishing spot for salmon and trout. Finally, whichever option you choose, finish your day with a glass of something local at a restaurant with a view of the water, and toast Canada’s 150th birthday. Thanks for celebrating with us!

     

    DAY SEVEN:

    Hours 145 – 150

    We apologize for the early wake-up call, but you’re going to need to get going to catch your flight! You’re off to discover more of this beautiful country, and continue celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary.

    Source: Tourism Vancouver

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