Contributed by Stephen Hui, author of Destination Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, a new guide to 55 hiking trips from Greystone Books. His first book, 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, was a #1 BC bestseller.
5 Beautiful Destination Hikes Near Vancouver Off The Beaten Path
With everyone raring to get outside these days, solitude can be difficult to find on some trails. Nevertheless, wherever there’s a popular trail, a “hidden gem” of sorts is often just a valley or two away. Here are five less-trafficked but well-established trails near Vancouver.
All of them are included in my new book of 55 hiking trips — Destination Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia: Swimming Holes, Mountain Peaks, Waterfalls, and More.
Mount Nutt Viewpoints
A very long day hike (or overnighter) and scramble to the top of Golden Ears is not essential to admire the rugged beauty of these twin summits. A shorter option is the trail to the ridge south of Mount Nutt, in Golden Ears Provincial Park and the territories of Katzie and Stó:lō First Nations. It’s a steep grind, but the payoff isn’t exactly peanuts.
Punch Bowl Pass
The pleasant hike to Punch Bowl Pass traverses sections of the historical Whatcom and Dewdney trails in Manning Provincial Park and the territories of the Nlaka’pamux, Stó:lō, and Syilx peoples. The often steep route heads up the valleys of Snass Creek and its east fork. Visit old-growth trees and subalpine meadows on the way to the pass overlooking the pretty lake at the headwaters of the Tulameen River.
Mount Lincoln offers commanding views of historic Yale and the foot of the Fraser Canyon. Steep and fun, with an average grade of 37%, the trail to the top makes for a satisfying little outing that’s off the beaten path. Lying in the territories of the Nlaka’pamux, Stó:lō, and Yale First Nations, Mount Lincoln is not for acrophobes due to a precarious section with aging ropes.
The hike to Crooked Falls is about both the low-elevation destination and the not-so-long journey. There are ancient trees to hug and luxuriant mosses to feel en route to the waterfall. Follow the Sigurd Trail into the Squamish Nation’s Esté-tiwilh Wild Spirit Place, set aside as a spiritual and cultural sanctuary.
Eaton Lake fills a large mountain bowl in the Skagit Range, near Hope. It’s a sweet spot to float on your back and gaze at the sky. This trail, in the territories of the Nlaka’pamux and Stó:lō peoples, is demanding, but it repays your efforts by visiting old-growth trees and waterfalls en route to the satisfying destination.
Important reminders: Check current conditions, take the 10 essentials, leave a trip plan with a responsible person, and make sure to leave no trace.
For more information on the 55 hiking trips in Destination Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia, visit 105hikes.com or follow Stephen Hui on Facebook or Instagram.
Related: Top 5 Rainy Day Hikes Near Vancouver