Hiking the Lions (Lions Bay Entrance)
Distance : 15 km.
Max Elevation : 1500 m ( 4900′ )
Elevation Gain : 1300 m (4200′ )
Time : 6-8hrs
Leering behind Vancouver’s North Shore are the three peaks we know as the lions. These peaks are seen from a distance but a rather few number of people actually scale the peak. You though, can help to correct this lacking.
There are several ways to climb the Lions Peaks but the simplest is through Lions Bay. At the top of Sunset Dr in Lions Bay is a small parking log where there is free parking available. From here the hike starts out on a gravel road. This is a reasonably boring part of the hike but the gate stops driving up any further. Follow the road up and to the right for 30-45min before cutting into the forest. Just watch for signs and follow into the forest. The trail from here get a little more interesting with a bridge across the river before heading up through the cut line. This is quite steep at parts and can be less than scenic with fallen logs and brush scattered through the forest. Once through the cut line though you will reach a plateau, this is where the hike really gets good.
The face here is North-West facing so snow is present for most of the year. It is important to prepare for this with appropriate footwear and layers; The air may be warm but snow is present well through July. From here the trail is in a sub-alpine climate zone so it is much more open than before. The view will just get better as you approach the first peak. The view wraps around from Squamish to the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver to the Coastal Range. This is spectacular. There is a second peak as well that has an even better view. The ascent up to this peak though is more of a scramble and can be quite dangerous. Worth the hike but again, this requires preparation.
Overall this is a challenging hike that ends in a spectacular view. The first half is quite boring but leads to a challenging and exciting finally. The hike will take 6-8hrs for a moderately fit hiker. Start early, bring nourishment and prepare for a diverse set of conditions.
Overall, this hike gets:
8/9 The Reward
7/9 The Challenge
4/9 The Enjoyability