Lynn Canyon Park – Vancouver’s Sea to Sky trail

Lynn Canyon Park – Vancouver’s Sea to Sky trail

If you fancy a pleasant, easy hike, without too much elevation gain, then Lynn Canyon Park is a really good area to aim for! We found this walk in the new 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia by Stephen Hui. The walk starts in the Harbourview park, right next to the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in North Vancouver. The Sea to Sky trail then follows Lynn Creek right up to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. The section of the walk near the suspension bridge is one of the busiest walks I have seen in Vancouver, but the rest of this walk is really quiet and relaxing.

Lynn Canyon Park Sea to Sky Trail map

Sea to Sky Trail to Lynn Canyon Park – the basics

Distance: 16 km (unless you start in the wrong place, like we did!)
Elevation Gain:
 154m
Time:
 4 hours
What to bring: Hiking boots as the boardwalks can be slippy. There are clear paths, so you don’t really need hiking poles. Just bring plenty of water. In summer, bring a swimsuit if you plan to cool down in the creek. The 10 essentials.
Facilities: There are loos near the start and middle of the hike. One in Lynnmouth Park, and one in Lynn Creek Park at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. 
How hard is it:
 There are some steep steps as you hike up and down the creek, but it’s still pretty easy.

Harbourview – Oops

Our walk started with a mistake. I had not read the instructions for the walk carefully, so I thought this walk started close to Lonsdale Quay where the sea bus terminates. It doesn’t. We should have started at Harbourview park, 4 km away. Oops. We had also walked into town to catch the sea bus, so this meant we had an extra 8 km, before we even started this hike. Double oops.

Still, there were some cool industrial views on the walk between the two harbours!

Lynnmouth Park

We had started this walk quite late, so by the time we made it to the lovely Lynnmouth Park, we were ready for lunch. This was a lovely spot to relax under the trees and eat.

Lynn Creek

Lynn Creek runs through the center of the park, so you can hear the water trickle past from anywhere in the park. Our first peek at the creek showed plenty of clean, pretty water, with lots of doggos running around to dip their paws into it! This walk crosses the creek multiple times on various bridges.

Cottonwood

I have never seen anything so fluffy! The fluff from the cottonwood covered the paths at the start of the walk. We saw quite a lot of this fluffiness all over Lynn Creek. You can pick it up in huge clumps and it covered the floor like a cozy blanket. I wonder if birds use this stuff to line their nests!? They should, as it would make a comfy bed for chicks!

Berry time!

There were plenty of salmonberry bushes lining the paths on the way to Lynn Canyon Park. Some berries were bright orange, some were red like raspberries. It is hard to tell how tasty they will be when you look at them. Sometimes these berries are sweet and succulent, other times the flavour is a bit meh. It is worth trying several until you get a good-un!

Lynn Canyon Park

There are quite a few areas where you need to climb up the sides of Lynn Creek. However there are sturdy steps and boardwalks, so it is not too hard. This would probably still be pleasant (if slippy) on a rainy day.

Paddling in Lynn Creek

There are a few places along the path where you can peek into Lynn Creek and dip your toes into the water.

Each of these paddling spots had other hikers and picnickers. But they seem to get busier the closer you get to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. We stopped off quite early on so it was quiet and so pretty!

However the water was blooming freezing. The Lynn Headwaters are fed from melting ice further into the North Shore Mountains, so even on a warm day in June, it is very chilly! It is perfect for cooling down your feet, but I couldn’t let my toes stay in that water for long!

Twin Falls Bridge

The first bridge in Lynn Canyon Park has some lovely (if dark/shady) views of the twin falls. I blooming love waterfalls at this time of year, so I am glad we stopped to look down from this bridge.

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

This is the most famous, and also busiest part of the walk! This wobbly bridge hangs 50 meters above Lynn Creek, with lovely views down to more waterfalls below. Lots of people come to Lynn Canyon Park just to visit this bridge. Maybe it is empty on rainy days, but in the sun, it was crazily full of people! We didn’t actually cross the bridge the whole way, as our walk continued on the Eastern side.

Here is the view of rushing water below the bridge. Cool eh!?

Lynn Creek’s 30 foot pools

Further up Lynn Creek there are the famous 30 foot pools. This area was soooo busy! I managed to take a photo without other people by walking right up to the water, but there were 30-40 people sitting around this pool! Apparently people hurt themselves (and even die) when they jump into this pool, so there were plenty of signs asking people not to dive in.

After the pretty pool, there is another steep climb back up the sides of the Canyon. If you look to the left just before the first viewpoint on the steps, you’ll see a little dinosaur!! It made me smile.

Pipeline Bridge

After another kilometer, we reached the brown Pipeline Bridge. To loop back to the suspension bridge, you need to cross this bridge and walk down Rice Lake road to head back into Lynn Canyon Park from the other side of the creek.

Back into Lynn Canyon Park

Our loop back led us through a lush, lovely forest! There were so many ferns that it was almost like being in New Zealand! This is the path you need to take to reach the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge if you start at the car park by the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre.

There are quite a few stairs (both down, and then back up) before you reach the suspension bridge again.

This is a lollipop style walk, so we were supposed to cross the bridge and return exactly the way we came…but we decided to find our own route on the other side of the creek. As soon as we left the suspension bridge behind, the path became completely quiet. Despite the crowds on the bridge, and within Lynn Canyon Park, the surrounding forest was totally empty!

Harbourview Park

Eventually we made it back to Lynnmouth Park. But we kept walking to reach Harbourview Park, where we should have started this walk. Harbourview Park is a thin slither of parkland that lines the final few hundred meters of Lynn Creek. The park is surrounded by Vancouver’s Industrial areas; So it is a strange mix of a natural habitat for birds right next to factories and cranes!

Once you walk to the end of the Harbourview park, there are lovely views back to Lynn Peak and the other North Shore Mountains.

Then, in the other direction our walk finished with pretty views over to downtown Vancouver, with Stanley Park to the right.

I hope you like the look of this Sea to Sky hike! If you start a little earlier than we did, you could easily walk up Lynn Peak to make this walk a little more epic! We kept it simple (ehem…apart from the extra 8 kilometers at the start of the walk!)

Other possibilities

You can find all my Canadian hikes here. Or, here are some other similar, not-too-tough walks in the area:

  

21 thoughts on “Lynn Canyon Park – Vancouver’s Sea to Sky trail

  1. I’m pretty sure I’ve been there as a small child. I’ve seen some pictures of me on that bridge and the creek and falls look very familiar. Of course I was a child and perhaps am not remembering correctly, but I’m pretty sure that’s the same place.

    Once again, I love your photos.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Oooh I didn’t know you’d been to visit Vancouver already!! There is one other famous suspension bridge, but you don’t really see waterfalls from that one, so you must have been to this one! 🙂

  2. Nice write-up and lovely photos! This is a nice loop to do in the winter too when you just need to stretch your legs. Sadly people do die in the creek – there are warning signs in all the popular spots – and as you found, many underestimate just how cold the water is.

    1. I assumed people died from jumping from too high up. That is so sad. Especially as there are so many people on hand!! 🙁

    1. Lol That is the best type of list! I have a similar looong list of places and hikes I’d like to do so I know the feeling! <3

  3. When I hike, I deliberately try to avoid well-known spots. Your pictures of the suspension bridge describe exactly why I do this – no words needed, lol!

    Your hike did look beautiful, and your post makes me miss the North Shore here in MN. We have reservations for August and I cannot wait. 🙂 Beautiful pictures, Josy, and those salmonberries look delicious!

    1. Those two berries in the photo were really good! I had a few sour ones before I found them though!!

      I like a mixture. I do looove quiet hikes, but sometimes it’s also cool to see just how many people enjoy the outdoors here. I figure if more people enjoy it, then there will be more people willing to protect it. Which is probably true as there are so many no-plastic waste shops and vegan restaurants here.

      I think it might be the direct easy access to wildlife and scenery that makes Vancouverites care about their surroundings. 🙂

      Having said that, we picked up a lot of rubbish on our walk last week, so maybe not. 🙁

    1. Yes, oh my goodness it was a total walking-traffic-jam near the suspension bridge! The start and end of the hike were pretty empty and relaxed though!

  4. Oh, that turned out to be a long day but you saw so many different aspects of Vancouver! I hope someday to visit some of those suspension bridges, last time I was up we ran out of time!

    1. That’s okay, it’s kind of nice to have excuses to come back! 🙂

      I hope I get to hike with you here (or south of the boarder) at some point!!

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