Resting next to the cities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, the well forested North Shore mountains is a region of contrast with gentle terrain set amongst rugged mountain relief. Three valleys holding pristine creeks or lakes (reservoirs) penetrate deep within the North Shore and which rise quickly to steep, imposing peaks. The lower elevation, south facing slopes yield a interesting mix of terrain supporting picturesque small lakes, wetlands, old growth, canyons, bluffs and waterfalls.

Not surprisingly, this area has become a hotbed of recreational activity supported by its vast, world class trail network for walking, hiking and mountain biking. Other spring to fall activities include mountaineering, cycling (road), trail running, paragliding, white water kayaking, rollerblading and more. Three popular resorts also operate here: Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain which provide guest services and some activities during the summer months, as well as full winter recreational services such as downhill & Nordic skiing , snowshoeing and tubing.

Several parks and protected areas established on the North Shore have also helped to promote these recreational activities. Provincial parks, conservation reserves, city parks and regional parks have all become popular destinations to recreate. Combining these tracts with the water supply zones gives a vast area which is protected from development. This interconnected, preserved land supports extensive forests and river/creek ecosystems. Wildlife is also supported and protected here – this is habitat for mountain goat, black bear, mountain lion, white tailed deer, coyote, racoon, weasel, squirrel, hare, eagle, woodpecker, raven, gray jay, grouse and owl. As well, old growth cedar, fir and hemlock along with wildflowers such as columbine, tiger lilies, blue gentian and violets are possible flora sights.

Hiking on the Howe Sound Crest Trail – View of the ‘West Lion’


On the trail to Mt. Brunswick

An excellent trail system here supports world class downhill mountain biking and hiking. Well known trails include:
Howe Sound Crest Trail, Baden Powell Trail, Trans-Canada Trail, Mt. Seymour Trail, Grouse Grind, Brothers Creek Trail, Mt. Hollyburn Trail, Mt. Strachan Trail, Binkert Trail, Mt. Harvey Trail, Mt. Brunswick Trail, Hanes Valley Route, Headwaters Trail, Old Buck Trail, Yew Lake Trail, Dam Mountain Trail, Seymour Valley Trailway, Bridle Path Trail, Fisherman’s Trail, Dog Mountain Trail, Deeks Lake Trail, Perimeter Trail, Mosquito Creek Trail, BCMC Trail, St. Georges Trail, Dreamweaver, Per Gynt, The Executioner, Bitches Brew, 7th Secret, Ladies Only, Griffin, Boundary, Scull, CBC, TNT, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and many more.

Trail Ventures BC has just published the second edition of the most accurate and detailed trail map of the entire North Shore Mountains area. This trail map is made specifically for walking, hiking, mountain biking and mountaineering. All trails from the edge of North & West Vancouver cities to Lions Bay and Porteau Cove are included in this map. The second edition of the North Shore Trail Map is available for sale as of August 2015.


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