Cypress Falls – Hikes near Vancouver

Cypress Falls – Hikes near Vancouver

If you’d like a fun mini adventure to find the best waterfalls near Vancouver, then you should go and take a peek at Cypress Falls Park in West Vancouver. The first waterfall is less than 10 minutes walk from the car park, so this could be good for walkers as well as non-walkers, grannies and toddlers.

This time of year is always pretty soggy, but this winter has also been warmer than normal. That means lost of the snow-pack on the North Shore Mountains has started to melt, creating fantastic bonus waterfalls in addition to the Upper and Lower falls. We found at least six other good ones.

Cypress Falls – the basics

Distance: 2.6km 
Elevation Gain:
120m
High Point:
305m
Time: 2 hours for the whole loop
What to bring:
Water, snacks and your camera!
We brought the 10 essentials.
Facilities: I read that there is a toilet by the car park, but we couldn’t find it.
Dogs: Yes! Good dogs are allowed to be off-leash within Cypress Falls Park, but you’ll have to pop the leash on near the top once you leave the designated off-leash area.
How hard is it? Easy-ish. The paths can be confusing, so keep an eye on your map! It would be a great trail for older kids, but maybe too tough for little legs.

Cypress Falls Park – How to get there

Cypress Falls Park is one of the many pretty parks in West Vancouver. It is very easy to reach either via public transit (via the #253 bus) or if you are driving, take exit 4 from highway 99. There is a car park on Woodgreen Place which had plenty of room in winter; Although I imagine it might fill up in the summertime. Once you’ve parked, take the main trail into the woods and listen out for the first waterfall.

Cypress Falls Loop – Getting started

There aren’t many signs up in Cypress Falls Park, but you need to take the path that heads right, leading down towards the first waterfall viewing point. The last few weeks have been quite warm (and very rainy) so the waterfalls were swollen by all the extra rainwater and melting snow.

This waterfall was opposite the path, and doesn’t seem to have a name as it normally wouldn’t be quite so impressive.

Cypress Falls – Lower Falls

There are a couple of places you can view the lower Cypress Falls. The first view made it look like the water was boiling up from the rocks as there was so much mist. Higher up the trail, we could look down on the same falls from above. I took the two videos below to give an idea about how gushing and loud this waterfall is.

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We visited on the first nice (non-rainy) day in ages, and there were very few people here. Right after the waterfall, there is this bridge across the canyon. If you want to do the full loop, keep left and don’t cross it yet.

Next you need to head up into the trees. We kept getting distracted and taking detours down to the river as it looked so, so impressive. Most descriptions of this hike only mention two waterfalls, but we found quite a few extra bonus waterfalls like the one below.

Cypress Falls Park – Old Growth Trees

Our plan for the afternoon was to come and see the waterfalls. I had no idea that this park was home to something even more impressive – a whole bunch of amaaaazing old growth trees! I am not sure how these stunning trees managed to avoid the logging companies’ axes in the over the last 150 years, but I am so glad that they did!

Most of the giant trees were Douglas Fir trees, with those deep, crinkly trunks. But we found some Red Cedar trees too, like the ones above. It’s hard to understand how massive these trees are from my photos, but some of them were nearly as wide as my height!

We spent most of the time staring upwards to look at the giants. I added the photo of Marc below for scale.

You can probably get the idea from my photos. This isn’t a long walk; It’s only 1.3km to the highest point. But you can’t walk quickly as there is so much to see. We had to step over little bubbling brooks, watch our step on the slippery roots and stop to admire the old growth forest and bonus waterfalls.

Cypress Falls Lookout

The higher you walk into the forest, the fewer people you’ll meet. At one point near the top, you’ll leave Cypress Fall Park and head into private land. There is a giant board that tells you you are entering this land at your own risk. If you have any energy left, you should keep going, as the best waterfall view is yet to come!

This is our first view of the Upper Cypress Falls. From far away, it looks like a white stripe through the trees. It was actually quite hard to find the path beyond this viewpoint. We climbed up a bank to the left, and found a really good mountain bike path to follow up a teeny bit further. That path pops out on a power-line road.

Cypress Falls Lookout View

Walk a little way along the powerline road, watching out for two blue markers (they look like bright blue mushrooms.) You can follow those markers down to a fantastic up-close view of the Upper Cypress Falls.

The canyon is impressive, but the sheer volume of water is amaaazing! I’ll add another teeny video, so you can get the idea.

 

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Once you’ve finished being amazed by the upper waterfall, there are a few options for returning in a loop. We continued along the powerline road, then dropped down back into the forest to hike along the other side of Cypress Falls Park. Just be aware, it’s hard to navigate on this side of the canyon, so you may need to use your phone’s GPS to guide you.

I really loved this quieter side of the park. We got lost a couple of times, but it was cool to see the waterfalls from the opposite side of the canyon, and the old Growth trees continued to impress us.

After a few navigational errors, we made it back down to the bridge above the Lower Falls. If you want an easier day out, it is probably quicker to return the way you came, but we always like finding loop-trails when we can.

This was SUCH a fun winter walk. The whole area was below the snowline in February so we could explore without needing to bring snowshoes or spikes. I think it would also be a lovely area to explore on a hot summers day, as all that water vapour must act like natural air conditioning for the forest.

Other Waterfalls near Vancouver

Springtime is normally the BEST time for seeing the fabulous waterfalls near Vancouver. If you need some more ideas for chasing waterfalls, here are a few:

Or if you’d like to visit this waterfall, click the images below to save/pin them.

Cypress Falls - The upper falls are a quick hike away, and well worth the effort - Great Waterfall near Vancouver Cypress Falls Park has plenty of stunning old growth trees Cypress Falls Park has fantastic waterfalls, old growth trees and a deep canyon. It's a great hike near Vancouver

47 thoughts on “Cypress Falls – Hikes near Vancouver

  1. Cypress Falls looks like a wonderful place for a short hike, who doesn’t love a waterfall and there are so many there to enjoy. Another wonderful walk near Vancouver. May have to come back and do some more exploring.

    1. Riiight!? We are so lucky! I guess it’s also nice that all those rainy days have a plus point when you fancy a waterfall walk! 😉

  2. It’s so good that you can get here by bus. So many of these walks around Vancouver get busy in the summer and parking is a nightmare. Looks like a nice walk, and a beautiful falls

    1. Yeah, I can imagine this one might be really busy in the summer, I was surprised by just how quiet it was on a sunny day.

      p.s. YES! Yay for buses!

  3. This hike to Cypress Falls looks so awesome! Any hike that is super scenic and has a waterfall, sign me up! Every time I read one of your posts I think I need to plan a trip to Vancouver! Excellent tips too! 😁

  4. I never get the time to do hikes in Vancouver. I think I’m gonna need a couple weeks of just camping and hiking since my bucket list is just growing. This place looks so pretty and I’m a sucker for a good waterfall!

    1. I know what you mean! I have soooo many hikes that I’d like to do in Whistler, but it’s such a long drive that we often end up visiting places closer. We are both so spoiled for amazing spots near where we live!

  5. Wow, that looks like a gorgeous hike! I love hikes where you can choose to just do a quick “to the payoff and back” for folks who are less mobile but also have longer options — it makes it much easier to visit with family of all ages. Next time I’m in BC this will definitely be on my list!

    1. Yay, thanks Carrie! I guess the quick pay off and back is also if people just want a mini adventure to stretch their legs on a road trip!

  6. Reading this post makes me miss hiking in Vancouver, I want to get back there to do this beautiful hike! Thanks for the info!

    1. Oooh did you used to live in Vancouver too Tiana? You are right, we are so lucky to live in an area with so many walking options!

    1. Nature injection is SUCH a good way to describe this. It was only a few hours, but I felt sooo happy afterwards.

    1. It’s good eh? I think the upper waterfall was my favorite BUT it’s awesome that there is a good one that is reachable with very little effort.

  7. Wow, if this is only nearby I would love to walk here. It seems an easy walk and not that hard based on the photo you shared here. I always love your new trail find.

    1. Thanks Rudy. Yeah, we tend to do easier hikes in the wintertime. I bet you’d be able to do any of the ones I have been on recently. 😀

  8. I’m so glad you found the uppermost falls! I came across them by accident on a different hike a few years ago and was blown away. They were roaring on that day with sooo much spray. The camera got drenched…

    1. Oh no for your camera!! That whole area below cypress Mountain is pretty gorgeous isn’t it! What hike were you doing? It seems like there are plenty of paths in that area!!

      1. Thankfully the camera was okay but it’s not recommended! Yes, there are loads in that area – I was on a made-up loop that took in part of the Trans Canada Trail between Cypress and Nelson Creeks (Whyte Lake). Not mind-blowing but it was a nice enough wander in the forest.

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