The Lower Mount Fromme area has a huge maze of really cool trails, that are fun even on rainy or misty days. We followed a trail description from the fabulous 105 Hikes book; But you could also peek at the map to choose your own alternative path. I loved seeing all the bike ramps, bridges and well built stone trails past some giant trees and raging creeks.
These trails are mostly for mountain bikers, so if you hike here, be ready to step off the trail when cyclists zoom past.
Lower Mount Fromme Trail Map
This is the route we took, but you can easily shorten it, or add on the main peak of Mount Fromme if you want to go further.
Lower Mount Fromme – the basics
Elevation Gain: 435m
High Point: 780m
Time: 2.5-3 hours
What to bring:
Water, snacks and your camera!
The 10 essentials.
Facilities: There maps and loos at the trailhead
Dogs: Yes! Put them on a lead when you’re on the bike trails.
How hard is it?
Pretty easy as long as you are good at following maps and don’t get lost in the maze of trails.
Lower Mount Fromme – Getting Started
Search for Mountain Hwy Parking to find the trailhead. It’s the same spot you’d park for Kennedy Falls or to reach this part of the Baden Powell trail. There is a large map at start of the walk, so you can double check your route. Then, head off on the Big Cedar trail before turning left to climb up the Kirkland trail.
Fancy bike ramps
As soon as you get going along this hike, you’ll start to see the fun-looking bike ramps along the trail. In most cases there are two routes; A zig-zag trail to allow people to cycle uphill (we walked on that). As well as slides, ramps and jumps for the descent.
Plants on Lower Mount Fromme
Some sections of the trail are new-ish second growth forest, so they don’t have much vegetation at ground level. BUT other sections are covered in ferns and huckleberries.
In springtime, there was also plenty of skunk cabbage in the marshy areas.
Old Growth trees
The character of the forest changes several times as you wander through Lower Mount Fromme. I love the moments when the trail passes old Growth trees like this…
How busy is Lower Mount Fromme?
Obviously we didn’t visit on a particularly beautiful day, but we didn’t see a single other hiker on this walk. There were quite a few cyclists (and more arrived later in the afternoon.) Still, it was pretty amazing that such a pretty (and interesting) trail could be so quiet.
Into the mist
Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains often get misty, even when the rest of the city has clear skies. We loved that as we hiked higher, we found ourselves in this eerie, mist-filled forest.
Good for soggy days
One fantastic thing about this route is that even on wet days, the ground was not very waterlogged along the trail. I think this is because the bike trails have been built so well with rocks or boards to stop the trail from being eroded into a muddy mess. I don’t mind a bit of mud, but it was a nice surprise to stay relatively clean.
Once you’ve made it to the top of the trail, you can follow the Grouse Mountain Highway back down to the trailhead. Or, if you want to keep going, you can continue to the top of Mount Fromme. This part of the walk is much easier to follow (and to hike along), even in the mist. The trail is wide, not steep and is perfect to run down if you want to make it easier on your knees.
These are a couple of photos along the Grouse Mountain Highway. The first photo was just a large puddle by the trail. The second just gives you an idea of how straight and level it is. Lots of cyclists cycle up this route, then zoom down the fun, steeper routes in the trees.
We visited in the spring when snow was just starting to melt above on Mount Fromme, so the creeks were gushing and we saw quite a few waterfalls. None of these have names… just keep an eye out as even if they are not famous, it’s always fun to find waterfalls.
If you want a big waterfall, take the other trail to Kennedy Falls!
We liked running down the Grouse Mountain Highway, but in the end, we also liked the look of some of the lower trails back to start. In the end we hiked down this small section of Floppy Bunny trail because it looked so pleasant.
Marc and I both really enjoyed this little hike. It was nice to get outside despite the weather. Plus as this trail is so short, it allowed us to be lazy and sleep in before heading out to stretch our legs. What do you think? Would you consider adding the Lower Mount Fromme area to your list of hikes, or do you prefer to visit the more famous options nearby?
If you’d like other ideas for hikes near Vancouver, I have loooads of options on my main Canada page. Or click on the pins below to save this for later.