When you live in British Columbia, there are so many hikes and parks to explore that it can be overwhelming at times when choosing a place to go.
Luckily, you can be guaranteed that wherever you go in BC, you will be rewarded with spectacular views - whether it be from atop a mountain, or to a glistening turquoise lake.
If you are looking for somewhere to escape the touristy crowds and enjoy some tranquillity (with an insane view), here are a few spots we recommend.
Murrin Provincial Park
Located just south of Squamish along the Sea to Sky Highway, Murrin Provincial Park is a popular family picnic spot during the summer next to Browning Lake. The steep hiking trail that leads to the viewpoint provides one of the most amazing views overlooking Howe Sound. This trail is recommended for intermediate hikers, as even though the distance is not far, it is quite a steep hike!
Crown Mountain (North Shore Mountains)
Where: North Vancouver
This one is not for beginners - but will reward you with one of the most stunning views of the Capilano Watershed, the Lions, the entire city of Vancouver in the distance, and many coastal mountains. The trail can be accessed via Grouse Mountain, so it is actually relatively nearby to Vancouver! This is definitely a gruelling day of hiking, so be well prepared - the view is totally worth it.
The hiking trail to this beautiful lake located just east of Squamish also offers amazing views of the area around the Mamquam River, and is just a short 2-hour drive from Vancouver. On a sunny day, the sun reflects off the surface of the water and produces the beautiful turquoise colour! A Trail Kiosk was installed in 2017 with maps and information, so you should have no troubles finding your way to this little piece of paradise.
Tenquille Lake is a beautiful subalpine lake, which can be reached from a number of trailheads. The trails can be quite steep so beginners be warned. However, once you arrive at the lake you can relax at their various campsites and swimming spots, and enjoy the incredible view of the lake with the snowcapped mountains in the background. It honestly feels like a scene out of a movie!
Stoney Hill Regional Park
Where: Cowichan Valley
Stoney Hill Regional Park is located in North Cowichan, and has spectacular views of Salt Spring Island, the Sansum Narrows, and the surrounding area. The scenic 3.2 km trail starts and ends at the parking lot, and is a relatively easy hike for beginners, and hikers of all ages - it makes a perfect day hike.
Where: Salt Spring Island
This spot, a treasure of Salt Spring Island, is located just a kilometre from the Fulford Ferry terminal. It is just a short one-way trail up to the top of the hill, which gives you the chance to stroll through Douglas Fir and Hemlock forests, and rewards you with a breathtaking view of the western part of Salt Spring Island. Pack yourself a picnic and enjoy the view of ferries coming into the harbour!
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your hiking gear and your cameras, and get exploring!