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Hiking in Vancouver, BC in May?
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Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Hiking in Vancouver, BC in May? on 02/13/2011 15:25:12 MST Print View

I just found out that I need to go to British Columbia in May for work, does anyone have any recommendations on a 3 day trip while I'm there?

wander lust
still snow in May on 02/14/2011 22:42:16 MST Print View

There still can be a lot of snow till June / July in some years. Last year the last snow on the peaks around Vancouver disappeared in mid August. Some years most snow is dumped on the mountains here in spring.

So, it really depends how this May will be. Let's hope it doesn't rain for days when you are in Vancouver. :)

If the conditions are good and there are no avalanche warnings, I can higly recommend the Howe Sound Crest Trail. Awesome views of the Howe Sound, Vancouver Island, Mnt. Baker, the Lions (you hike between those 2 peaks) and Vancouver. It's strenous though, goes up and down all the time and pretty steep.
But absolutely stunning.

some pictures: has some nice trip suggestions, there are many great day trips.

Maybe something in Garibaldi Park, near Whistler.

Parts of the Baden Powell Trail (In West- and North Vancouver) are doable year around:

Blowdown Pass East of Pemberton is beautifull.

There are few people on bpl who live in Vancouver or nearby.

Furthermore, the guys at can also help you for sure.

Scott Truong

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Vancouver +1 above post. on 02/14/2011 23:46:36 MST Print View

Yeah, I'd do the Howe Crest Sound Trail or Garibaldi Provincial Park (camping at Garibaldi Lake). Even with snow, I'd imagine Garibaldi should be OK. Bring your fishing rod. There's also Golden Ears Provincial Park, camp at Alder Flats and hike to Panorama Ridge (or dry camp up there).

HCST (I only made it as far as Deek Lake... one end of the trail):


Garibaldi Provincial Park (you may have trouble getting to this ridge where this photo was taken if it's really snowy):


Golden Ears Provincial Park:


The Baden Powell Trail in Deep Cove (North Van) and Lighthouse Park (West Van) are good for day hikes, or rent a mountain bike and bike along the water through Kits Beach into the University of British Columbia endowment lands for something to do.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Hiking in Vancouver, BC in May? on 02/15/2011 11:27:44 MST Print View

Peter, you are very close to Northern Washington, there are a lot of hikes that will work that time of year, or try Vancouver Island- stay close to the coast and you will have more then you could handle in a life time.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Hiking in Vancouver, BC in May? on 02/15/2011 12:15:28 MST Print View

Any chance that you could make it to Vancouver Island? Some great treks there and little snow to deal with.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
depends on 02/15/2011 16:09:10 MST Print View

depends what you want to do

plenty of day scrambles, weekenders, alpine climbs, etc ...

best place for info is

Kevin Kerstens
(kjkerstens) - MLife

Locale: BC Canada
Juan De Fuca Trail on 02/15/2011 18:36:42 MST Print View

I would take a look at the Juan De Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island, great ocean walk with Beach camping.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

May on 02/16/2011 00:14:27 MST Print View

You're likely going to encounter a lot of snow on the higher elevation trails in May. Anything in Garbaldi Park, Golden Ears, Howe Sound Crest Trail etc is likely to have quite a bit of snow. The HSCT is awesome but we were still hitting snow in late August last year and there is some sketchy terrain, so I'd be hesitant to do it in May unless I was well prepared for snow travel.

I would likely look at hiking trails that travel along the coast, rather than ones through the mountains. The most notable ones are the Juan de Fuca, West Coast Trail, North Coast Trail and Sunshine Coast Trail. All of these should be snow free. Of these, I would recommend doing the Juan de Fuca because logistically it is much easier than the WCT, it's radically cheaper and you can hike only as much as you want. I personally would suggest leaving a car at Sombrio beach and then hitching hiking about 30km to the southern terminus. That might not sound like much distance for 3 days, but the terrain is fairly rugged and the camp sites are amazing so you want time to enjoy them. Spend day one getting to Sombrio, hitch hiking back to the start and then hiking a couple miles to Mystic Beach. Then camp at Bear Beach night 2 and Chin Beach night 3 and then exit the following day. If you're a fast hiker and you don't have 4 days/3 nights then you could probably lump two days into one but it would be a long day. There aren't a lot of campsites so you pretty much need to camp at these beaches.

wander lust
coastal hikes on 02/16/2011 13:49:11 MST Print View

+ 1 Juan de Fuca

You will also spend about 6 hours if you take you own car to get to the NCT, about 8 if you take the greyhound. And you have to pay for hostel and the water taxi and the shuttle ride from the trailhead.

So, the Juan de Fuca will be way cheaper.

And be prepared for rainy weather and high humidity, although you could even get lucky on the coast in May, but you never know...

Donovan Lynch
(BCFinn) - F
Vancouver Island Trails on 02/24/2011 11:22:14 MST Print View

North Coast trail off Cape Scott is closed due to damage to the cable crossings and bridges. I haven't heard when the trail society/parks groups are planning to have it back up and running.

Juan de Fuca trail is likely right up your alley though with your time constraints etc. Look up the trail guide and pack raingear, it will be very wet in May.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
WCT on 02/24/2011 11:37:26 MST Print View

I have done the WCT 4 times in May without any rain. Crazy and I suspect I should buy a lottery ticket, but the great thing about the trail in May is the lack of people and trodden trails....

Jason Picard
(jasonpicard) - F
2nd Juan de Fuca on 02/24/2011 15:38:29 MST Print View

This is a great trail, much more difficult than one anticipates. Parking and trailhead shuttles are available in Port Renfrew. The scenery and terrain is amazing; hiking through old-growth cedars, walking on cobble beaches overlooking the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains beyond. You may get lucky and see a whale or two. May is relatively early in the season for coastal BC. It won't be terribly busy, and apart from the surfers at Sombrio Beach, you'll likely only bump into a handful of people throughout the entire trail (3-4 days).

I cannot emphasize how important good raingear is for this trail. I have done all sorts of hiking in the area, and in May you might get a nice stretch of sunny weather, but the odds are very good you'll get some sustained heavy rainfall at some point during your hike.

Edited by jasonpicard on 02/24/2011 15:39:04 MST.