Vancouverites know a thing or two about rain. And one of our little rain secrets is that hiking in it is actually pretty fun. Zip yourself into a rain jacket, then head out into the forest. It’s extra green when it rains, the waterfalls really get going, and the fog makes for some great moody photo moments. Here are our top picks for rainy day hikes in Vancouver.
Safety First: Just because these hikes are close to Vancouver doesn’t mean you aren’t going to the wilderness. North Shore Rescue recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Bring a rain jacket and wear waterproof hiking boots. Bundle up on rainy hikes with extra warm layers. Don’t forget to leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.
This North Vancouver hike is perfect for a rainy day since it’s entirely in the beautiful West Coast rainforest. The trail climbs up into the trees before looping back to descend along the banks of Lynn Creek. Recent trail improvements have smoothed out the muddy patches so you can focus on enjoying the moody fog, not on avoiding puddles. Use the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park map to find your way.
Trail Stats: Easy / 5km loop / 160m elevation gain / 1.5 hours
Head to Cypress Falls in West Vancouver to experience some beautiful waterfalls. It’s a great hike for a rainy day when the waters of Cypress Creek really rage. The trail skirts the edge of the deep canyon. There are several different viewpoints to see the waterfalls. Be sure to look for the huge old-growth cedar and douglas fir trees along the trail.
Trail Stats: Easy / 3km return / 130m elevation gain / 1.5 hours
While Whyte Lake may be tiny, it’s a worthwhile destination on a rainy day. This West Vancouver hike follows the banks of Nelson and Whyte Creeks through a beautiful rainforest that sheilds you from the rain. The trail climbs slowly as it meanders through groves of cedars and clumps of ferns. When the trail flattens out, follow a spur trail to a dock on the lake. Download the Whyte Lake trail map to stay on track.
Trail Stats: Easy / 5km return / 160m elevation gain / 2 hours
This hike in West Vancouver is a great pick for a rainy day since it stays in the forest to keep you dry. However, keep in mind that in the winter, the higher elevation portions will be very snowy and impassable. Along the way, the trail passes some old-growth trees, a fern-lined canyon, and a waterfall. Bring our trail description of Brothers Creek so you don’t get lost.
Trail Stats: Moderate / 7.3km loop / 760m elevation gain / 4-5 hours.
In the summer, Buntzen Lake in Port Moody gets crowded with hikers, swimmers, and picnickers. But on rainy days, you’ll have it all to yourself. The trail circles around the large lake, crossing both a floating bridge and a suspension bridge. The highlight on a rainy day is the section on the east side of the lake where many little streams wind through the moss and ferns. The Buntzen Lake trail brochurehas a map to keep you oriented.
Trail Stats: Easy / 10km loop / 100m elevation gain / 3.5 hours
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