Vancouver's North Shore Mountains

Comments 12 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Okay technically, they are not in Vancouver but after posting some photos from Mount Seymour recently I was asked about the North Shore Mountains. The Lions fit in the middle somewhere, but those not from around here (or maybe even some locals) might not know just exactly where they are and what they’re called.

Here’s a quick rundown courtesy of wikipedia.

Cypress Group

  • Black Mountain (1217m) A forested summit overlooking Horseshoe Bay. Ski runs on the northern slopes are managed by the Cypress Mountain Resort.
  • Hollyburn Mountain (1325m) A popular hiking destination. Commonly known as Hollyburn Ridge and the location of an old alpine recreation community dating back to the early years of the 20th Century. It is the site of the only groomed cross-country ski trails in the Lower Mainland.
  • Mount Strachan (1454m) Ski runs on the southern slopes are managed by the Cypress Mountain Resort.

  • Photo Credit: Richard Eriksson on Flickr

    Grouse Area

  • Mount Fromme (1185m) A large forested summit dome, often seen but seldom visited. This mountain is noted for the mountain biking trails on its south slopes.
  • Grouse Mountain (1231m) Site of a very popular ski area, and the popular hiking trail Grouse Grind.
  • Goat Mountain (1401m) Another popular alpine hiking destination, very conveniently located near the top of the Grouse Mountain aerial tramway.
  • Crown Mountain (1504m) An exposed granite pyramid ringed by sheer cliffs.

  • Photo Credit: Stephen Rees on Flickr

    Cathedral/Lynn Range

  • Lynn Peak (1015m) A small forested mountain, nevertheless a popular hiking destination due to ease of access.
  • The Needles (1258m) An isolated series of ridge-top summits north of Lynn Peak.
  • Coliseum Mountain (1441m) A remote alpine area consisting of a series of gentle granite exposures.
  • Mount Burwell (1541m) A remote granite dome located at the limit of legal backcountry access.
  • Cathedral Mountain (1737m) Among the tallest and most prominent of the North Shore Mountains, but off-limits due to its location within the GVRD watershed.
  • Fannin Range

  • Mount Seymour (1449m) Good trails and convenient access by road make Seymour a local classic hiking area. Downhill ski area in winter.
  • Mount Elsay (1419m) A remote backcountry peak located beyond Seymour.
  • Mount Bishop (1509m) A rarely climbed peak in the remote northern region of Mt. Seymour Provincial Park.
  • Lions Area

  • The Lions (1654m) Probably the most famous peaks in the North Shore Mountains. These mountains, a pair of twin granite domes, are visually distinctive and can be seen from much of the Greater Vancouver area.
  • Mount Harvey (1652m) An isolated alpine peak located near the Lions.
  • Brunswick Mountain (1788m) The highest of the North Shore mountains, located north of Mount Harvey.

  • Photo credit: penmachine on Flickr

    So the next time you’re cruising down the Horizon run up at Cypress, you’ll know you’re actually on Mt Strachan, and if you’re snowshoeing the Discovery Loop up Grouse, you’d actually be on Dam Mountain.

    I’d really like to explore more of the local mountains, especially with some hiking in the summertime. Maybe I’d finally be a tourist in my hometown start with the Grouse Grind. Good times.

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    12 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. Tyler IngramTuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 8:43am PDT

      Grouse Grind was voted as Vancouver’s number 1 pick up area for singles a year or two ago. I don’t like the grind, it’s not true hiking and then to have a beer at the top kind of defeats the purpose of exercise 😉

      I’ve hiked the 3 peaks of Mt.Seymour as well as Dog Mountain (mt.Seymour) and been to Hollyburn Ridge on Cyprus. There are a couple more I want to do on Cyprus as well.

      I want to hike the Lions. I’ve been told most people go for the first one, the second one takes a bit more time so its seldom traveled (which is what I like) I don’t like well traveling hiking paths (gravel drives me insane too).

      But then there are a bunch more hikes I want to do too like the Black Tusk, the ones in Garibaldi etc. I’ve done Diez Vistas in Port Moody (Buntzen Lake area) over looks Indian Arm and Vancouver.

      If you’re interested in local hiking there is for the hiking enthusiast.

    2. RaulTuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 9:35am PDT

      Do you remember a post by Paul Hillsdon where he did a run-down of how much did it cost to ski in each one of these mountains? It would SO complement this post (which is GREAT BY THE WAY).

    3. TawcanTuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 9:36am PDT

      I’m with Tyler. Grouse Grind is crowded and over-rated. If Grouse Mountain is your destination you’re better off hiking up on the BCMC trail that’s next to the Grind. The trail is literally deserted and is way more enjoyable than the Grind.

      Here are bunch trip ideas you can check out:

    4. Miss604Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 9:40am PDT

      Ah good idea Raul! Here’s Paul post “Comparing Vancouver’s Ski Mountains

    5. JenTuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 10:55am PDT

      Hi – this is really useful…and I grew up in Vancouver! I enjoy your blog a lot. I just wrote a post of my own about how vancouver is starting to get pretty again…and the mountaibns are one of the prettiest features we have. I love being able to see them again. Thought you might be interested.jen

    6. wynTuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 11:42am PDT

      I still marvel at how close the local mountains are that we can see the ski hills’ lights. I remember them these days by sight and experience traveling to them but once upon a time I was told a memory trick to name the ski hills from West to East because they are in alphabetic order: Cypress, Grouse, then Seymour.

      I’d chose Grouse Grind any day because I’m not an overly nature enthusiast and would rather get my intense workout started instead of meandering and driving for hours to get to it. Thus it becomes the site where people race on it and return on a weekly basis to test themselves again.

    7. fotoeinsTuesday, April 1st, 2008 — 4:55pm PDT

      Thanks, Beck. Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved stats and facts like these about our local hills. When I finally moved away from YVR and came back on visits, I learned an important lesson: never underestimate the visual power of the proximity of city, mountains, and water.

    8. MikeWednesday, April 9th, 2008 — 12:42am PDT

      The Grouse Grind is great as an alternative for using the stairmaster at the gym on a sunny day, but in terms of scenery, it’s not a hike I would recommend. All of the North Shore mountains have incredible hikes in the summer. On a clear sunny day, you can see incredible views from Hollyburn Mountain on Cypress, Goat Mountain on Grouse, and Dog Mountain on Seymour. You can even hike to the Lions from the town of Lions Bay along Highway 99. It’s like going up and down the Grouse Grind three times in one day!

      Another good site with lots of information on hiking trails around Vancouver worth checking out is

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    12. goridaTuesday, February 17th, 2009 — 9:30pm PST

      I’ve already explored several of them, but never Brunswick Mountain. Three days ago we hiked to the summit, and the view was astonishing.

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