Canada’s Adventure City

Vancouver: A Visitor’s Guide

The Ultimate Vancouver Travel Guide

Vancouver is the ocean jewel city of Canada, and in this Vancouver travel guide we will help you plan the ultimate trip to Vancouver and the surrounding coast mountains.  

It’s often hard to believe that Vancouver is one of the largest cities in Canada, as you are hiking through complete wilderness right on the edge of the city, or paddling through pristine ocean inlets.  While there are many things to do in Vancouver that are city related, like shiopping and dining, the wilderness is remarkably accessible. 

Some of the top things to do in Vancouver include hiking, paddling, sailing, skiing and biking.  Many of the best hiking trails in Vancouver are accessible by public transit and some of the best beaches are just outside the downtown core. 

Stanley Park is a refreshing rain forest oasis, right in the heart of the city, with amazing walking paths and a bike path along the shore, connecting Coal Harbour to Englsih Bay. 

There are a thousand fdifferent trips you could plan in Vancouver, though one thing is consistent:  with the wilderness so close to the city you are sure to have an amazing trip, filled with outdoor activities in Vancouver.  

Use this Vancouver travel guide and visitor information to help plan the trip of a lifetime, or even to find some new trails in your backyard! 

Top Attractions In Vancouver

Things To Do In Vancouver

Vancouver Travel Tips

Getting To/ From Vancouver:

Getting to Vancouver couldn’t be easier!  Here are some of the ways you can travel to Vancouver.

Driving To Vancouver:

The good news is, if you’re driving West in Canada, you can’t miss vancouver.  The Trans-Canada Highway passes right through Vancouver, before boarding the ferry to get to Vancouver Island. 

Flying To Vancouver:

You can fly into Vancouver International Airport directly from much fo the world.  The airport is one of Canada’s largest and busiest airports, but it is really well managed, so it has a small feel to it.  

From the airport you can easily hop on the Skytrain for a small fee and be in downtown in a matter of minutes.  No sweat! 

Getting To Vancouver By Bus:

You can get to Vancouver from Calgary by bus with Rider Express, who offer scheduled service from Calgary to Vancouver on a fairly regular basis. 

Where To Go Hiking In Vancouver

Vancouver’s Top Hiking Trails- Easy Walks & Small Hikes

Lighthouse Park

2 Hours
6 km Return
No elevation

Lighthouse Park feels like an escape from the city, while being so close still.  Walk through old growth trees, including some of the largest and oldest Douglas Firs in Vancouver.  The views from the coast are fabulous, including views of the distant Vancouver dotnwtown.  You could stop for a swim here and enjoy a nice picnic lunch.  There is parking and this trail is accessible by public transit.  

Lynn Canyon/ Loop

1.5 Hours
5 km Return
160 m Elevation 

Lynn Canyon and Lynn Loop are two great areas to explore in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley.  Cross a towering suspension bridge and hike beneath a 1000 year old canopy of Douglas Firs and Cedars.  

The trail follows a rushing creek and there are occasional pools that you can hop in for a dip.  Beware the water is very cold! 

This area is accessible by public transit.

Quarry Rock

1.5 Hours
3 km Return
100 m Elevation 

Quarry Rock is a beautiful lookout in Deep Cove.  You can access it by hiking on a  gorgeous trail that traverses the edge of the cove.  The hike is fairly easy, with occasional boardwalks and some loose rock here and there. 

Once you popo out at the viewpoint you can soak in the views of Indian Arm and Deep Cove.  Don’t forget to pop by one of the breweries on the way back to restore your electrolytes! 

This area is also accessible by public transit. 

Stanley Park

2 Hours
6.5 km Return

No Elevation

Stanley Park is a beautiful nature oasis right in the heart of downtown Vancouver.  Stanley Park has some really great walking trails and you can combine these to make several hiking options.  

While most of Vancouver forest was burned over a century ago in a large fire, Stanley Park was mostly spared, and you can see some towering old growth cedars from long ago times.  

Enjoy the great views of the city, and being beneath the ancient forest canopy on a hot day.  This is a very easy hike toa ccess and is within walking distance of downtown Vancouver.

Bowen Lookout

1.5 Hours
4 km Return
110 m Elevation

Imagine hiking to a high up lookout, but without having to gain all that elevation?  This is basically Bowen Lookout.  Starting from the Cypress Mountain parking lot, the elevation gain is all done by car, so you only have to climb 110 m over the course of the hike. 

Walk through a deep forest with some massive alpine trees until you come to a lookout with views of Howe Sound and Bowen Island far below. 

This is one of the easiest hikes to get a bird’s eye view in Vancouver. 

Best Hiking Trails in Vancouver- Big Day Hikes

Mt Seymour

4 Hours
10 km Return
450 m Elevation

Mt Seymour is the furthest right of the 3 North Shore mountains visible from downtown Vancouver and offers an alpine oasis right on the edge of the city.  Despite being easy to get to, Mt Seymour is proper wilderness hiking and weather can move in here surprisingly fast.  Make sure you are adequately equipped for this hike. 

Mt Seymour hiking trail starts at the ski hill parking lot and heads directly uphill twowards first peak and on to second and third peaks.  The views of the city are second to none, with sheer wilderness to the North and the sprawling city of Vancouver to the South.  

Eagle Bluffs

4 Hours
8 km Return
350 m Elevation

Eagle Bluffs is an epic viewpoint looking out over Howe Sound and far across Georgia Strait.  From here you can look down on Vancouver and can see the distant hills of Vancouver Island.

The hike starts at the parking lot of Cypress ski area, and can also be done from Horseshoe Bay.  This would be a perfect place to catch sunrise or sunset, just make sure you bring a light. 

Grouse Grind

Time:  Depends on you (roughly 1 hour, one way)
3 km One-way
850 m Elevation

The Grouse Grind isn’t exactly the most fun or the most scenic hike in Vancouver, but it is a classic and iconic challenge nonetheless.  The trail is hiked by avid athletes and normal people alike, with some pretty impressive time records.

You hike through a coastal mountain forest and pop out at the base of the Grouse Mountain ski area.  From here you can walk around and enjoy the views, do some tours at the mountain, or head back down on the Gondola. 

It is not encuoraged to hike back down the trail, so be prepared to take the Gondola down, which has a cost associated with it. 

Explore Nearby

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Stewamus Chief in Squamish

Squamish

Foggy shore in Victoria, BC.

Victoria

Tofino is one of the best places to visit on Vancouver Island.

Tofino & Ucluelet

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Adventures Canada features the best travel and adventure experiences in Canada.  We help visitors and locals connect with the wilderness and find new experiences near them.

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