Hollyburn Peak – Hikes Near Vancouver

Hollyburn Peak – Hikes Near Vancouver

Hollyburn Peak is one of the easy to reach peaks in Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains where your car does most of the hard work for you. The trailhead starts at an elevation of 900m, so you don’t have to climb up a huge amount to see spectacular views of Vancouver, the Georgia Straight and the surrounding mountains. We have been up here several times snowshoeing (it is great for beginners) but we had never ventured up in the summer or autumn.

It turns out this is the perfect trail if you wake up a bit late, and fancy a mini adventure when you only have a few hours to spare.

Hollyburn Peak – Summer trail map

Hollyburn Peak – the basics

Distance: 8.4 km 
Elevation gain
: 400 m
Highest Point: 1326 m
Time: 3.5-4 hours
What to bring:
The 10 Essentials
In winter you will need spikes or snowshoes depending on the conditions.
In summer, bring bear spray if you have it.
Facilities: There are loos at the trailhead and the Baden Powell trail (half way up.)
Dogs: Yes, on a leash.
How hard is it? Intermediate (as it is steep in some places) but it’s not long, so pretty easy as mountains go. 
Snowshoeing Hollyburn Peak:
I have another post if you fancy doing this in the snow.

Hollyburn Peak – Getting started

Head to the Nordic area of Cypress Mountain. Cypress Mountain resort started to charge for parking in the ski areas. You can still park in lot 3B for free; this involves a slightly longer walk to the trailhead. To get started on the trail, head up the path to the left of the Nordic ski runs, below the power lines.

After the first slightly steep section, you can relax as the path slopes gently below the power lines. You want to turn left when you see the warming hut (this is used to keep snowshoers warm in the wintertime.)

Once you have turned, you’re finally heading towards Hollyburn Peak. The path is quite pleasant here; It’s not very steep with plenty of pretty trees and berry bushes. Bears like to hang out here in the summertime (when the bushes are full of berries) so be sure to make plenty of noise as you hike.

There are a few signs on the trees to show you the way, but the path is pretty obvious even if you miss them.

Views from the trail

The trail gets gradually steeper, so it will start to get your heart beating. Remember to turn around and peek at the views down to Vancouver while you catch your breath. It is a slightly different route than the way that you might follow on snowshoes (straight up). As you get closer to the peak, the trail wiggles through the trees, curling around the mountain.

Heather Lake

You’ll reach Heather Lake when you’re super close (less than 100m) from the top. We hiked up in November, so the lake was just starting to freeze.

Push to the Peak

The final push to the top is the steep. You may need to use your hands to help pull you up in a couple of spots. I love the views from these steep areas as you can see through the trees to the surrounding scenery.

Summit of Hollyburn Peak

This is a popular mountain to climb all year round, so even in the afternoon in November there were several groups of walkers at the top. However there is plenty of space at the peak, so it is easy to find a quiet spot to take in the views (and eat some snacks.)

Leave no trace

Just be aware, as soon as you get a snack out of your bag, cheeky faces will appear in the trees around you hoping for a bite. Just resist their cuteness as you should never feed wildlife in Canada (it’s one of the principles of leave no trace)

Views from Hollyburn Peak

Without any snow to slow us down, it only took an hour and a half to hike up for these views. This is a pretty fantastic effort to view ratio! You’ll get a great view over to the twin peaks of the Two Sisters (or the Lions) 

I zoomed in to show off the Sky Pilot, and even Mount Garibaldi over in Squamish. I love that you can see so far here on clear days.

To the southeast you can see Mount Baker (in America) peeking out from the clouds.

There are also great views east to the cliffs behind Crown Mountain. Basically Hollyburn Peak has fabulous views in all directions!

Heading down from Hollyburn Peak

If you start earlier in the day, there is a route from here over to Mount Strachan. However most people return the way they came, via the Baden Powell trail and the Powerline trail.

By the time we made it back to the Powerline trail, golden hour had started and everything started to turn rose gold. It was such a pleasant hike for so late in the year.

Other walks in Cypress Provincial Park

I hope you like the look of this hike up Hollyburn Peak. If you’re looking for other peak-bagging options in this area, I have lots of other ideas in my introduction to Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains.

  • Bowen Lookout – This is the easiest option in the area and great for sunsets
  • Black Mountain to Eagle Bluffs This is a fun trail that will allow you to swim in a tarn at the top. If you want a quieter version, look at hiking from Whyte Lake to West Knob and Donut Rock.
  • St Marks Summit – This is the next mountain along the Howe Sound Crest trail between Bowen Lookout and Unnecessary Mountain. It’s moderately hard and really fun.
  • Mount Strachan – This is less popular than Hollyburn and Black Mountain, but is really beautiful
  • Unnecessary Mountain – This one is tough, but beautiful!
  • The Lions – One mountain beyond Unnecessary Mountain are the iconic peaks of the Lions or Two Sisters. It’s both exhausting and spectacular.

Or, you can click on the pins below to save them for later.

27 thoughts on “Hollyburn Peak – Hikes Near Vancouver

    1. It is to warm you (not your shoes!) There are lot of snowshoe trails in this area, so they have a heated hut so people can get warm at this high point before they head out on the trails again.

  1. I’m very curious to know how you got that photo of the bird. It looks as though she is sitting on the very top of a huge evergreen tree. Do you have a drone? Very cool!

    1. Lol no! It was at the top of the tree, but the trees at that elevation are really small, so we were sitting eye to eye. 😀

      This mountain is covered in snow for half the year, so lots of the trees grow reeeally slowly.

  2. Absolutely beautiful photos and even better information! I appreciate all the insider knowledge and tips, especially the leave no trace – such an important mention!

  3. I only disagree with one thing you said, you should never feed wildlife ANYWHERE, Canada or otherwise! 🙂 I’ve seen overly aggressive marmots in Rocky Mountain National Park and overly aggressive chipmunks/squirrels at Grand Canyon and in Florida. This is dangerous for both the people and the animals!

    1. It’s different in the UK too (we used to make peanut butter seed balls for birds in the winter).

      I have a few friends who are leave no trace experts here; They said you shouldn’t feed any wildlife as they start to depend on humans/change their habits. I decided to defer to them, so we don’t feed wildlife.

      I didn’t know any of this when we first started hiking here!

  4. I live in the “other” Vancouver, so I get up your way quite a bit (when borders are open anyway!) I’m going to be using your blog for my daily hikes! Thank you so much!

    1. Oh yay! I have been wanting to do more hikes on your side of the border too! It’s going to be exciting when things finally reopen!

  5. This looks incredible! I definitely want to explore more of Canada and can’t wait to get to Vancouver!

  6. I love a hike that allows you to sleep in! And the views are incredible. You live in a beautiful place!

    1. Heh! I quite like being out early…I just don’t like waking up to get started 😀
      Hikes like this are a good compromise.

  7. You do all these hikes and often you see spectacular scenery along the way. Out of curiosity: Once you reach the summit, how much time do you send there?
    It seems to me, that in this case the views from the summit were more spectacular than during the hike. Very often, you seem to come to pass beautiful waterfalls and spray painted train wrecks or tea pots, which I would probably consider to be the true highlights of your hikes.
    Like you, I agree, that feeding wild animals should be avoided. Unfortunately, quite a few people don’t seem to care/ And quite a few people just throw their garbage away.

    1. It really depends on the hike – sometimes we spend as much as an hour at the summit, but when it’s cold we might only relax for 15-20minutes until we start getting cold.

      I quite like the views on the way and enjoy the whole experience (not just the payoff at the peak) BUT I do love the view pay-offs too. 😉

    1. Yeah, I have a feeling most people that read this know about leave no trace…but you never know. Maybe I can help keep the pretty walk pretty and wild.

  8. I can’t wait until the borders open up again and I can check out this trail (and some other ones near Vancouver too!). The photos are lovely. Looks amazing!

  9. Great post! I’ve never been to Canada but it looks so beautiful. Once it’s finally safe to travel again, I’ll definitely try to make it to Canada to go on hikes like these!

  10. I cannot get over these spectacular views! I am so envious! I would gladly spend an entire day here taking in the views. Ugh, I really need to get out your way!!!!

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