Vancouver has captured my heart because it lays in that sweet spot where the mountains meet the ocean. It’s the perfect place to hike, and also to paddle! If I’m not out hiking, you’ll probably find me on
Water-Access Hiking Trails
Below are some great water access only hikes you get to with your standup paddleboard.
While you can technically access the Widgeon Falls trail by foot, it’s much quicker to paddle there from the boat launch across from Pitt Lake Canoe Adventures rental shop. It’s a 10km round trip paddle along Widgeon Creek, and then a 6km roundtrip easy hike to the falls. Be sure to check tide times to cross Pitt Lake at slack tide, otherwise the current is strong and it’s difficult to cross.
Learn more on the Outdoor Vancouver website here.
Widgeon Falls is the destination beyond Widgeon Falls. It’s a tough hike with route-finding skills required, difficult to complete as a day hike. I’d camp near the falls trailhead at Widgeon Creek Campground or backpack up to camp at the lake.
Learn more on the Live Trails website here.
Drive your high clearance 4×4 up to Callaghan Lake (where you can camp for free, by the way), paddle 2km across the lake to the trailhead. It’s only a 2km hike up to this beauty, but gains 300 metres so be ready for a heart-pumping half hour.
Learn more on the Whistler Hiatus website here.
Mt Artaban – Gambier Island
It’s a long and potentially treacherous paddle, but heading over to Gambier Island is time well-spent if this is within your skill level. It’s 15km from Horseshoe Bay or 10km from Lions Bay. I’ve only kayaked over from Bowen Island, but if I were SUP, I would go from Lions Bay so you’re not crossing a BC Ferries path. The hike is 10km return gaining 615 metres from Halkett Bay. Given the time required to access the island, as well as the distance and difficulty level of the hike, I’d highly recommend camping at Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park. There’s a beautiful backcountry wilderness campsite just above the beach where you can land.
Learn more via AllTrails here.
Leading Peak – Anvil Island
Leading Peak, the highest point on Anvil island, is one of my favourite hikes in Howe Sound. Anvil Island is only a few
Learn more in my trail report here.
Hike-Access Lakes to SUP
While my Thurso Surf Waterwalker isn’t the lightest thing in the world, it’s definitely doable and oh so worth it to carry it up short distances to paddle some lakes that rarely see
Joffre Lakes is a 7.7km trail gaining 491 metres. It’s a pretty tough slog, but incredibly rewarding to paddle a glacial lake.
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Learn more on the BC Parks website here.
Lindeman Lake is much easier to access with only half the distance and elevation gain as Joffre. It’s a 3.5km RT trail gaining 200 metres.
Learn more on Vancouver Trailshere.
Mystery Lake is another easy hike in at only 3km round trip and 140 metres gain. Located on Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, it’s a great destination for a summertime evening jaunt up after work.
Learn more in this post by lynncanyon.ca
Whyte Lake in West Vancouver is 6km round trip gaining just over 300 metres.
Learn more in my Whyte Lake trail report.
Edith, Fawn and Stump Lakes
Most people are familiar with Alice Lake in Squamish, but did you know there is a trail from there called the Four Lakes Trail? It’s an easy 6km loop gaining 138 metres that passes by Alice, Edith, Fawn and Stump Lakes; each every kilometre or so.
Learn more at AllTrails.
For even more lake ideas, check out my post “Hikes to Swimming Spots Near Vancouver.“
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