Ten Must-Do Hikes In Beautiful British Columbia


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Ten Must-Do Hikes In Beautiful British Columbia


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I grew up in beautiful British Columbia and I consider myself lucky because I’ve always been surrounded by the mountains and ocean, with adventure on my doorstep. After hiking for years, I’ve been able to explore a lot of the trails and provincial parks near Vancouver. Below are ten of my favorite hikes rated easy to difficult. All are within a few hours driving distance from the city. My challenge to you is to crush all of these (in order) this summer —you’ve got this!

When hiking, and generally any time you’re outside, it’s important to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. They are seven things you can do to help preserve the environment for generations to come. Take only photos, and leave only footprints.

To find additional information on the trails I share in this blog post, I recommend using AllTrails and offline maps to navigate the area and explore safely. All trail lengths below are roundtrip. Have fun and be safe!

Joffre Lakes

This trail is a BC classic and will bring you to three spectacular lakes—Lower, Middle, and Upper Joffre Lakes. Get ready to be mind-blown by the towering mountains and vibrant turquoise-coloured water at all three. The color of the water is due to the glacial silt that comes from the surrounding glaciers. The trail is open all year round which makes this provincial park both a summer and winter destination. If you’re brave enough, you could take a dip in the water in the summer months (but be warned… the water is very, very cold). If you’re keen on camping, check out the ‘Reservations’ section of the BC Parks’ website to snag a permit. Campsites are situated at Upper Joffre Lake and are epi.

Note: This spot has exploded with popularity within the last few years, so if you decide to go, I suggest getting to the trailhead at sunrise or just after so you can enjoy the lakes with minimal people around. On a sunny Saturday or Sunday, the parking lots/trail will be very full. So, if you can, go on a weekday!

Length: 7.7km | Elevation gain: 491m | Route Type: Point to point

Mount Seymour

If you’re looking for a hike that is close to Vancouver, this is a great option. It’s 45 minutes from Downtown Vancouver and offers epic views of the city and the surrounding mountain peaks—which is why it’s one of my favorite hikes in British Columbia. The trail starts at the Mount Seymour Ski Resort so there is loads of parking. Along the trail, there are three peaks that you can hike to—my favorite is First Peak (which the stats below reflect) but I definitely recommend checking them all out.

Length: 8.2km | Elevation Gain: 577m | Route Type: Point to point

Saint Marks Summit

This is another classic hike in the Vancouver area is located on Cypress Mountain, another local ski resort. The well-marked trail will lead you to epic views of Howe Sound. This is a beautiful spot to watch the sunset and take photos. If you decide to stay and watch the sun go down, please be cautious when hiking back in the dark. Bring a satellite phone and/or offline map so you know where you’re going and always look out for your group.

Length: 10.8km | Elevation Gain: 605m | Route Type: Point to point

Lake Lovely Water

This trailhead is a bit harder to reach… but I wanted to add it to the list because it’s one of my favorite spots in British Columbia. The parking lot is on the west side of the Squamish River which means that you’ll need to cross the river in order to start the hike—I recommend asking a Squamish local to boat you across (for a fee) or helicopter across. I was given the opportunity to helicopter across, so that’s how I got there. The flight is incredible but pricey. If you’re keen on flying via helicopter, check out the ‘Location’ section of the BC Parks’ website for more information and the ‘Reservations’ section to learn more about camping.

Length: 10.1km | Elevation Gain: 1140m | Route type: Point to point

Sea To Sky Gondola

You’ll find the Sea To Sky Gondola along the Sea To Sky Highway (aka Highway 99) between Vancouver and Squamish. While you’re able to take a gondola up and down, there’s a hike that’ll get you up top as well! The trailhead is at the parking lot/base of the gondola and weaves up the mountain. Once you get to the top, you’ll be welcomed with beautiful views, a restaurant to buy food/drinks, access to other trails and the backcountry. I recommend hiking up and taking the gondola down (for a small fee).

Length: 11.6km| Elevation Gain: 955m elevation gain | Route Type: Point to point

Watersprite Lake

For this classic hike in British Columbia, you’ll need a 4×4 or a vehicle with high clearance to get to the trailhead. The hike may be a bit challenging and long—but it is worth it in my books. Once at the lake, you’ll be rewarded with epic mountain views and a beautifully colored lake. Be sure to bring your swimsuit and go for a polar plunge. There’s a cabin that sleeps 10 people and tent camping available. Check out this website to snag a spot in the cabin.

Length: 17.2km | Elevation Gain: 736m | Route Type: Point to point

Wedgemount Lake

I’ve been here at least seven times because it’s one of my favorite hikes in British Columbia. It is a tough hike and takes me about 4 hours to get up to the lake with my overnight backpack on. The steepness of the hike is pretty relentless but once you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with epic views. If you’d like to camp, which I definitely suggest you do, check out the Camping/Overnight Stay section of the BC Parks’ website. If you’re brave enough, you can take a dip in the water in the summer months but beware—the water will take your breath away (literally and figuratively).

Length: 10.3km | Elevation Gain: 1,200m | Route Type: Point to point

Mount Brunswick

If you’ve done a few of the hikes above or have trained a bit, you’re ready to take on Mount Brunswick—the tallest peak in the North Shore Mountains. This hike is steep, relentless, and exposed for the last hour or so. Be prepared for scrambling near the summit and earn your views. You really feel like you’ve conquered a mountain when you stand on the peak looking down at Howe Sound, Vancouver, and the surrounding peaks.

Length: 12.6km | Elevation Gain: 1,556m | Route Type: Point to point

Panorama Ridge

This is an iconic hike in British Columbia and is one of my all-time favorites. It is long, especially if you decide to day hike it—but it’s worth it. There are two trailheads for this hike so I’ll explain each. One is at the Garibaldi Lake/Rubble Creek trailhead, which is the most popular, and the other is at the Cheakamus Lake trailhead. After doing both trails, I recommend starting at the Cheakamus Lake trailhead because it’s just as scenic and you’ll see a fraction of the people. The stats below reflect this trail. That said, if you’re wanting to visit Garibaldi Lake on the way to Panorama Ridge (there is a slight detour so it’ll make your hike longer), definitely start at the Garibaldi Lake/Rubble Creek trailhead.

If you’d like to camp, check out the Reservation section of the BC Parks website. Camping is a great idea as you’ll be able to break up the hike and it won’t be as strenuous as it would crush it all in one day. I’ve done it in one day and it takes about 9 hours (give or take). I suggest getting to the trailhead very early, bringing a lot of food, layers, and water purification tablets (or a system) as there are streams along the trails. If you’d like to camp, here are my tips:

  • Camp at the Garibaldi Lake Campground if you’d like to visit Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge. Start at Garibaldi Lake/Rubble Creek trailhead.
  • Camp at Taylor Meadows Campground if you’d like to visit Panorama Ridge only. Start from the Garibaldi Lake/Rubble Creek trailhead.
  • Camp at Helm Creek Campground if you’d like to visit Panorama Ridge only. Start from the Cheakamus Lake trailhead.

Length: 29.1km | Elevation Gain: 1,573m | Route Type: Point to point

Golden Ears

What a grind. This hike is iconic and is one of the best places I’ve ever camped! The trail has a lot of exposed roots and is very steep after Alder Flats so be prepared. If you’re a seasoned hiker and want to tackle this trail with an overnight backpack, I suggest heading up there early so you can take your time hiking, chill at the top and grab a tent pad. Campsites are situated below the summit. As far as I’m aware, for camping, the tent pads are claimed on a first come first serve basis and you don’t need a permit. This may change in the future, as this spot gets more popular, so please do your research.

Length: 21.7km | Elevation Gain: 1,708m elevation gain| Route Type: Point to Point

*These images were taken just below the peak at camp.

That’s it for now! I hope you found a couple of hikes you want to crush this summer. I will be sharing more hikes in my beautiful home province of British Columbia soon, so stay tuned. Any questions? Pop them in the comments and let’s chat.


Leave a comment


  1. emma on June 17, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    What an amazing list!! Thanks for the share!

    • Angela Liguori on June 22, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      Stoked you like it, Emma! Thanks for the comment.

      • Angela ◡̈
  2. Angela Liguori on June 22, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Hi Julia,

    Thanks for the comment and kind words. That jacket is from Helly Hanson and is called W KIRKWALL II Raincoat.

    Angela ◡̈

  3. The Wanderlust Rose on June 23, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    These hikes are stunning! Thank you for sharing, I can’t wait for the border to open again 🙂

  4. Luis Ernesto on December 12, 2020 at 4:16 am

    Hi there, I’ve been folowing your social media and I think your performance is amaizing, thanks for the inspiration.

    • Angela Liguori on December 15, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you so much for the support, Luis!

  5. Luke on January 5, 2021 at 3:51 am

    100% agree Panorama Ridge is the best in BC…followed pretty closely by Assiniboine. Awesome photos!

    • Angela Liguori on January 10, 2021 at 8:21 pm

      So happy you agree, Luke! Assiniboine is pretty incredible as well.

  6. Phoebe on January 21, 2021 at 6:19 am

    Hi! I love your blogs they are super inspiring! I was just wondering How early/late you left for the Mount Brunswick hike to catch the sunrise/sunset?

    • Angela Liguori on January 22, 2021 at 1:45 am

      Thanks so much, Phoebe! I’d give myself around 3-3.5 hours to get to the top of Brunswick. I prefer sunset when hiking in the North Shore Mountains as the sun sets in front of you and it’s incredibly beautiful!

  7. Vinothkumar on December 26, 2022 at 8:45 am

    All places are so beautiful and thanks for to given opportunity to see your camp beautiful moments with our nature ….. Once again thanks Angela liguori

  8. Catalina on January 4, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Hi Angela, thank you for all the information 🙂 I’ll be in vancouver for 1 year in 2023 so I pretend to do all this trails 🙂 I have a question regarding to the howe sound crest trail, I know is not on the list, but do you know if the camping sites are first come first serve? I check on the BC parks website, but there ir only backcountry’s campsites on Garibaldi and Joffre lake, not in Cypress Park. I’m a little confused with the difference between backcountry campsites and the normal ones 🙂 Thanks !!! I love your social media accounts

    • Angela Liguori on November 23, 2023 at 11:26 pm

      Hey Catalina, sorry for my delayed response but yay this is so exciting! Yes they are first-come-first-serve.

  9. Monique on October 10, 2023 at 2:12 am

    Hi Angela,
    Can you recommend a good half day hike around Victoria that would be suitable to do in early November?

    • Angela Liguori on October 24, 2023 at 8:23 pm

      I love Goldstream Falls!

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