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HOWE SOUND/ SEA TO SUMMIT TRAIL TRAIL DETAILS COMMENTS DRIVING & ADDITIONAL INFO COMMENTS SHARE Difficulty Intermediate Time 3.5 hours One-Way 7.5km Elevation Gain 918 meters Season March - November Camping No From Vancouver 1 hour Public Transit No Dog Friendly Yes The Sea To Summit Trail in Squamish, BC, is a steep hiking trail that begins at the bottom of the Sea To Sky Gondola and finishes at the lodge at the top. Formerly known as the Upper Shannon Falls Trail, the route passes a couple of sweeping views of Howe Sound and the top section of Shannon Falls offering much more than a good workout. The trail begins underneath the Gondola at the far end of the gravel parking lot but hikers can also start from the overflow parking lot and hike past Shannon Falls along the Connector Trail. The trail is very well marked with Sea To Summit signs, so make sure to keep following those signs on the trees. Please ensure to either have a pass or bring money to purchase a ticket to take the Gondola back down after your hike. From the parking lot, cross the bridge and follow the trail up the short hill to a junction that joins with the Connector Trail. Go left and follow the path as you gradually climb uphill. The sound of water rushing down Olesen Creek can be heard up ahead as you approach and before long, you climb up onto a wooden bridge over the creek. After crossing the bridge, the trail joins with the trail to The Chief for a brief section. Go right and begin the steep uphill hike up the wooden stairs with the rushing water to your right. This section is steep and often quite busy with plenty of hikers heading up to enjoy the views on the Chief. Continue hiking uphill and watch for a sign marking a junction. Go right at the junction as you leave the trail to the Chief and continue following the Sea To Summit route. The trail offers a reprieve for awhile as you follow a flat section to a wooden bridge, crossing back over Olesen Creek before continuing along the easiest section of the hike. Just after passing the 1/4 way marker, things go back to being steep and difficult. The trail veers left and up some old, wooden steps, continuing a steep ascent through the forest. After hiking uphill, the trail reaches a clearing where the Gondola passes overhead. After waving at the passing people, continue hiking back in the forest along a section that descends gradually before the trail turns left again and heads up a steep hill. The first section of hill isn't too bad but then it gets very steep, with scrambling required and one section where you have to pull yourself over a challenging, large rock. Just after climbing up and over this rock, walk to the right and up onto the rocky bluff for a small view of Howe Sound.
Mount Gardner Hike Intro Any reason to head to Bowen Island for the day is a good one, but there is perhaps no better reason than for a hike to Mount Gardner. A trip up to Mount Gardner on Bowen Island gives you a great hike with the bonus of a fun day-trip off the mainland. A trip to the summit of Mount Gardner provides views of Vancouver, and also the sunshine coast and the Howe Sound islands. The hike is pleasant and can be completed in a loop which is always nice. The trailhead is 3 km from the Snug Cove ferry terminal on Bowen Island. If you want to save some cash for the ferry ride, it’s easily doable as a bike ride, saving you the vehicle fee and getting you an extra 6 km of exercise. Or, if you have time to spare, you can even walk those 6 km, though they won’t be terribly exciting. If you want to extend your outing on Bowen Island, Crippen Regional Park and Killarney Lake offer some additional easy hiking. The only drawback to this hike is a lack of clear markings on many of the trails, which can lead to some confusion as you make your way up. But, if you’ve never been to Bowen Island before, the hike is worth it for the experience alone. You may even get lucky and see orcas on the ferry ride over, as I did. Mount Gardner Hike Stats Rating: Moderate Distance: 10 km Elevation Gain: 570 m Highest Point: 720 m Time Needed: 4 – 5 Hours Type: Loop Season: Year-round Dogs Allowed: Yes Est. Driving Time from Vancouver: 1.5 hours (incl. ferry) Trailhead Coordinates:[masked], [masked]
Tunnel Bluffs Intro Tunnel Bluffs (aka Tunnel Point Trail) is a scenic hike along the Sea to Sky highway, near the town of Lions Bay. The Tunnel Point Trail up to Tunnel Bluffs is steep, with many nice viewpoints along the way to the final lookout. From Tunnel Bluffs, you have an unbeatable view of Howe Sound and its many islands. The Tunnel Point Trail to Tunnel Bluffs sees less traffic than other nearby hikes, like The Chief or Sea to Summit trails, making it a perfect alternative on busy summer weekends. As the trail averages around a 10% grade, you get in a big workout over the 4.5 km to the bluffs, yet the entire hike can be completed in about 4 hours. In short, this hike is challenging enough that you’ll feel tired at the end of the day, yet it’s short enough that you can sleep in and still have plenty of time to complete it. Plus, there’s the spectacular view to enjoy at the top. Tunnel Bluffs Hike Stats Rating: Moderate Distance: 8.5 km Elevation Gain: 650 m Highest Point: 705 m Time Needed: 4 – 5 Hours Type: Out-and-back Season: May to November Dogs Allowed: Yes Est. Driving Time from Vancouver: 45 Minutes
Diez Vistas Hike Intro The Sendero Diez Vistas Trail, located near the Village of Anmore, will take you on a challenging trek all the way around Buntzen Lake. In addition to the scenery of the lake, there are ten breathtaking views provided along the ridge of the trail looking overlooking the North Shore, Burrard Inlet, the Indian Arm and even Vancouver Island. The hike is aptly named, as ‘Sendero Diez Vistas’ is Spanish for ‘Ten Views Trail’. The challenging, technical terrain of the area make it popular for hikers and also for trail runners. The area is host to the annual Diez Vistas 50km Trail Race. The area is managed by BC Hydro, and they have a map of the Buntzen Lake area trails here. As a side-note – Diez Vistas is rated as ‘Moderate’ here. It is definitely closer to the ‘difficult’ side of moderate, however. This isn’t because of the distance, but because of the technical, rooty and sometimes steep sections of terrain. Diez Vistas Hike Stats Rating: Moderate Distance: 15 km Elevation Gain: 440 m Highest Point: 560 m Time Needed: 6 – 7 Hours Type: Loop