Dog Mountain might be the easiest mountain climb I have ever done! The payoff amazing. It is an easy hike with hardly any elevation gain, but you are rewarded by some stunning views over Vancouver as well as the surrounding mountains of the North Shore. The trail-head starts in the car park for Mount Seymour. This means most of the hard work is done by your car, as the start of the walk is already quite high up. Unfortunately this is not particularly easy to get to on public transport, so if you are car-less like me, you need to persuade a friend who has a car to give you a lift!
The route to Dog Mountain starts near the start of the route up Mount Seymour. Look at the paths to the far left of the gondola, that head into the trees. There is a map and a sign showing the Dog Mountain trail. Mount Seymour looked completely different to our visit in June when it was covered in snow! It was lush, green and there were no flies buzzing around.
My walking companion for the day was the lovely Tegan, who came with me on our hardest walk so far, up Coliseum Mountain. Last time we ended up walking for 10 hours, my legs turned to jelly and poor Tegan didn’t make it to the top, so it was a pleasant change for us to have an easy stroll together.
The route goes straight into the woods, so we were surrounded by peaceful greenery and bird songs right from the start. We thought we had the trail to ourselves for the first ten minutes or so. It was so quiet! Our main problem was all the muddy puddles! Vancouver had a week of rain and the path showed it!
Soon we met up a group of hikers dressed in onesies. I suppose they must have been ready for Halloween!? There was Winnie the pooh and a couple of fluffy animals, with a happy doggo (the dog was a real animal!) After that, quite a few groups of people appeared all at once, so the trail suddenly seemed busy and full of chatter. It was a perfect autumn day for a hike, so I am glad lots of people were out enjoying it! We found some gorgeous small ponds that reflected the surrounding forest.
Now I am not sure why this is called Dog mountain; But there were a lot of happy dogs making the most of the Dog mountain trail! We jumped over the muddy puddles, but dogs were jumping straight in! We saw quite a few mucky puppies walking with their humans! Anyway, with plenty of doggos to meet, and lovely trees to see, the time passed pretty fast.
After around 45 minutes we made it to a rocky outcrop, and these stunning views!
When we had crossed the bridge to reach the North Shore, below us, the sea and Vancouver’s industrial area has all been covered in mist. By the time we had made it to Dog Mountain’s viewpoint, the mist had retreated out to Richmond and the Delta. It looks so peaceful from up high!
This is our mountaintop selfie:
The views of the city were also pretty. You can see downtown and Stanley Park sticking out into the sea, then UBC and Pacific Spirit Park sticking out even further right. The skyscrapers further left are in Burnaby. All those tall building look tiny from the top of Dog Mountain!
It was quite crowded at the view point – there were around 30 other people and several dogs! We were also joined by two massive ravens who kept diving down to see if anyone had dropped food. There were also these cheeky-chappy birds. I am not sure what birds there were, but they must be used to humans giving them food because they came and perched next to us while we ate out apples. They were completely unfazed by humans. They were very sweet little dudes anyway.
It was slightly harder to get views of the mountains in the other direction. Dog Mountain view point is still surrounded by trees, so you have to find gaps in the trees to catch glimpses of the other mountains. Still, we had brilliant views of Coliseum mountain, Crown Mountain and the ridge we’d explored to reach Goat Mountain. Mountains look so different from new angles, so it took me a while to work out which was which!
I was attempting to take this last mountain view (Coliseum Mountain is on the far right of the photo) when I noticed our shadows. So we waved goodbye for a mountain piccy! I really like the way it turned out. Next we wandered back into the trees to follow the path back to the car park.
Although the path is really easy, you do need to watch your feet. The fun thing about the trail is all the crazy tree roots. But it would be easy to trip on them if you are not careful! We also found quite a few really cool trees. My favourite was this squiggle of a tree that decided to grow in different directions until it makes a perfect J-shape.
The walk back was similarly fun. We made it back to the car park in what seemed like no time at all. Then, Tegan gave me a lift down the mountain. She had pumkin-carving plans with her family; So I took the train back into central Vancouver and met up with Marc for lunch. Marc is working way too hard at the moment, so he was in the office even on this beautiful Saturday.
After lunch, I wandered home slowly through the backstreets of Mount Pleasant. I’ve added a couple of photos of the autumn leaves there too as it is just so pretty! If you like the look of these, there are lots more on my post about cycling through the city!
Anyway, Dog Mountain was a fun hike and would be a fantastic introduction to walking if you fancy seeing some gorgeous views without having to strain your legs on the steep British Columbian slopes!