Tucked away in Lynn Valley, Lynn Headwaters Regional Park has 40 kilometres of trails to explore. The park encompasses the entire Lynn Creek headwaters, from the tops of the mountain peaks to the banks of rushing creeks and streams. With flat trails in the valley bottoms, steep trails up into the hills, a picnic area, and a historic museum, there’s something for all abilities.
There are two main ways to access Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. The main entrance is at the end of Lynn Valley Road where there are several parking lots. The park also extends into the peaks behind Grouse Mountain. To reach that part of the park, ride the gondola up to the top of Grouse Mountain, or hike up the Grouse Grind or BCMC trails. Bring a copy of the park map to help you find your way.
The Lynn Loop trail is the most popular hike in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. It’s an easy 5km loop with one steep section. The top half of the loop heads up into the lush rainforest, while the bottom half returns along rushing Lynn Creek. The whole loop takes about 2 hours, but you can extend your trip using the Headwaters and Cedar Mills Trails to make an 8km loop that takes about 4 hours.
BC Mills House
If you’re visiting on a summer Sunday, drop-in to the BC Mills House. This historic structure near the park entrance is now a museum, holding artifacts and mementos from Lynn Valley’s logging and mining history.
This easy and flat forested trail leads into the park from Rice Lake Road. It runs through beautiful temperate rainforest next to Lynn Creek. The trail is named for Frederick Varley, a member of Canada’s Group of Seven artists, who lived in the area in the 1930s.
Grab your picnic basket and take a seat at one of the picnic tables near the park entrance. There are great views of Lynn Creek from the nearby footbridge.
If you’re looking for a longer hike that isn’t too difficult, head to Norvan Falls. The 14km hike gains elevation slowly and ends at a pretty waterfall. Plan to spend around 5 hours on the trail. Get more details in our blog post about North Shore Waterfall Hikes.
Love the uphill workout of the Grouse Grind? Try Lynn Peak instead. It’s a steep and technical trail up to a viewpoint bluff near the top of Lynn Peak. You’ll gain 720m over 4.5km. And there’s no gondola, so you’ll have to hike back down again, making the hike 9km in total. The hike takes about 4.5 hours.
Dam and Little Goat Mountains
Leave the crowds at Grouse Mountain behind and explore the backcountry. You can make a short loop through technical terrain to reach the summits of Dam and Little Goat Mountains. Follow Alpine and Ridge Trails on a 3.5km loop that takes about 1.5 hours.
Thunderbird Ridge (pictured left)
Another excellent short hike at Grouse Mountain is the moderate hike to Thunderbird Ridge. First, you’ll climb up above the peak of Grouse Mountain. Then, you’ll descend a heather-covered ridge to a rocky viewpoint that seems to hang above the Lynn Creek Valley. The 3.5km hike takes 2 hours.
For a more challenging hike in the Grouse Mountain area, follow the Alpine Trail to the rough Goat Mountain route. The final section to the summit involves a short scramble over a rocky outcrop. Watch out for the steep drop-offs. This tough 5km hike takes about 3 hours.
Head Deep Into the Backcountry
The most experienced hikers can explore deep into the backcountry on some very difficult and remote routes. You can climb high up to Coliseum or Crown Mountains, delve deep into a forgotten valley at Lynn Lake or make a traverse from Lynn Valley to Grouse Mountain on the Hanes Valley route. All of these backcountry objectives are seriously difficult with lots of climbing, rough terrain, poorly marked trails, and very long distances.
Taryn Eyton is a Vancouver-based hiker, adventure traveller and blogger. You can find her on the trails of Vancouver’s North Shore on weeknights and camping in the backcountry of Southwestern B.C. on weekends. Follow Taryn’s adventures at HappiestOutdoors.ca.