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  • Cheryl Cole

12 of the best dog-friendly hikes in Vancouver

Want to get outdoors with your pup? Check out these amazing dog-friendly Vancouver hikes - and some cute local pup-pics for inspo!


Vancouver is known for it's beautiful trails and stunning mountain views, and who better to enjoy them with than your furry-best friend?


If your pup loves the great outdoors as much you do, Vancouver has some amazing dog-friendly hikes on offer - and there's even some that allow your dog to roam free and let off some steam.


Here are 12 of the best dog-friendly Vancouver hikes to help you rediscover the beauty of our city, and get your pup's tail wagging at the same time.


On-Leash


St Mark's Summit, West Vancouver


The spectacular views of Howe Sound make this 11km hike one of the most popular on the North Shore. Although the elevation gain is only 460 meters, this 5 hour hike takes some stamina but the breathtaking cliff-edge view is well-worth the effort.


Beginning at Cypress Mountain downhill parking lot, follow the sign that points to the Howe Sound Crest Trail alongside the ski runs. Then simply keep an eye out for the orange markers in the trees to lead you to the top.

With plenty of switchbacks and muddy sections towards the top, your dog will be thoroughly entertained - and make sure to stop off at Bowen Lookout on your way back down for a rest with an incredible view.

Time: 5 hours Length: 11km Season: July - October


Dog Mountain, North Vancouver


This short hike from Mount Seymour is a firm favourite with Vancouver doggos. Although there is minimal elevation gain, it's a bit more of a technical trail so you do need to watch your step as there are areas of slippery tree roots and lots of rapidly changing terrain. 


For only 2 hours of hiking, the views of Vancouver on a clear day are some of the best you'll get.


COVID Update: The province has introduced free Day Passes to control overcrowding at six of its BC Parks - including Mount Seymour park. Before heading to Dog Mountain, find more information on how to book a free day-pass here.

Time: 2 hours

Length: 5km

Season: June-October

Baden Powell Trail, (Deep Cove to Lynn Valley), North Vancouver


Close enough to Downtown Vancouver that it's accessible by public transport, the Deep Cove to Lynn Valley leg of the 48km Baden Powell Trail connects some of the most popular spots— Quarry Rock (see below for the standalone), the lower sections of Mount Seymour as well as Lynn Canyon.


From a stunning view of Deep Cove and Indian Arm, to great canyon scenery of the Seymour River and Lynn Creek, if you and your pup are up for a challenge, this hike has it all.


Time: 5 hours Length: 12km (linear) Season: Year-round

Mount Seymour Summit, North Vancouver


Better suited to larger, more active dog breeds, this hike offers a wonderful alpine ramble with breathtaking views throughout, and lots of switchbacks.


Accessed from the Mount Seymour parking lot, you can choose how far you want to go, with a total of three peaks - views from First Peak do not disappoint and you can reach there in 1.5 hours.


Stunning 360 degree views of vistas into the vast backcountry in one direction, and over the city and ocean in the other, make this slightly tougher hike very worth-while.


COVID Update: This hike requires you to book a free day-pass before-hand. Find out how here.

Time: 5 hours

Length: 9km Season: July-October

Mount Strachan, West Vancouver


This strenuous and scenic trail from the parking lot at Cypress Mountain Resort offers amazing views of Howe Sound and backcountry mountains as far north as Garibaldi Provincial Park.


Challenging terrain and steep sections means your pup will need to be strong and active to tackle this hike, but he's sure to enjoy all the mud in this slightly rougher trail.


Keep watch for the remains of a plane crash—a Navy T-33 jet went down on Mount Strachan in 1963 and the remains still rest there today.


Time: 5.5 hours

Length: 10.5km

Season: July-October

Mystery Lake, North Vancouver


If your pups love water, they'll love this short hike located in Mount Seymour Provincial Park.


You’ll climb about 150 meters but the overall distance is short and the lake itself is a perfect spot for an afternoon of relaxation.


Not hiked with your pup before? This is a perfect introduction!


COVID Update: This hike requires you to book a free day-pass before-hand. Find out how here.


Time: 1.25 hours

Length: 3km

Season: July-October



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Off-Leash


Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver


Situated next to UBC, Pacific Regional Park has over 55 km of trails to hike or walk through beautiful, peaceful woods. Not all these trails are leash-optional, but a lot of them are, so check out this map to help you plan your route.

With so many trails, this is a perfect place to let your dog run free and explore, while you enjoy the relaxation of escaping the city for a few hours.

Time: 3 hours

Length: 10km Season: Year-round

Quarry Rock, North Vancouver


An easy hike through peaceful forest takes you to Quarry Rock, a clifftop overlooking the beautiful seaside town of Deep Cove. The views are stunning at any time of the year and dogs of all sizes love letting loose off-leash through the woods, running over cute wooden bridges while you enjoy the fresh forest air.


Then you can both enjoy a well deserved rest on Quarry Rock where you can spend hours taking in the incredible views. There's a reason why this is one of the most popular trails on the North Shore!


Time: 1.5 hours

Length: 3.8km

Season: Year-round




Norvan Falls, North Vancouver


It may be a lengthy trail, but with only 195 meters elevation gain and the promise of a cascading waterfall at the end, this one is definitely worth the time.


Lush green forests and a stunning waterfall surrounded by mossy rocks will keep your pup happy for hours, and there's plenty of water opportunities along the way too.


Time: 5 hours

Length: 14 km

Season: Year-round

Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls, North Vancouver


Another North Shore classic, this is a rugged hike into the backcountry along the east side of Mount Fromme and to the west of Lynn Creek.


Although there's not a huge elevation gain, the terrain is rugged with roots and slippery creek crossings which may be a little more challenging for you than for your pup.


After about 1 hour and 30 minutes, you'll reach the enormous, almost 600-year-old tree known as Big Cedar - one of the only trees not to be logged in the area.


Then, if you're up for the challenge, continue on the trail for a few hours and you'll be rewarded with an amazing view of Kennedy Falls.


Time: 5 hours

Length: 10km Season: Year-round


Mount Fromme, North Vancouver


Mount Fromme is located just east of Grouse Mountain and offers rewarding views without the useful crowds found at more popular North Shore hiking trails.


At an elevation of 1,185m, this is an intermediate hike ideal for dog parents who are looking for some intense hiking action. Now that dogs are banned on the BCMC hike on Grouse Mountain, this is a perfect alternative.


Time: 5 hours

Length: 10km

Season: July - October


Cypress Falls, West Vancouver


A quick and easy hike in West Vancouver offering an escape into nature through dense forest old Cedar and Douglas Fir trees that makes for a great experience all year round. There's two beautiful waterfalls for you to enjoy while your pups can join you off-leash and under control.


Time: 1.5 hours

Length: 3km

Season: Year-round

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