Free Shipping over $49*
April 2017

Top 5 outdoor activities around Vancouver

Stanley Park

Author: Blake Rupert, who works at Valhalla Pure Outfitters Vancouver.

Five great reasons to explore the wild areas of Vancouver. Being Canada’s third largest city, Vancouver boasts a reputation for being one of the cultural capitals of the country! But along with the glitz and glam that comes from being a metropolis with shiny metallic skyscrapers and a thriving business sector, Vancouver loves its outdoors. In half an hour you can go from eating crepes on Granville street to skiing down Mt. Seymour or skim boarding on the beaches of Spanish Banks. Oh and did I mention there’s a second growth rainforest in North Vancouver? With so much to do it’d be easy to get overwhelmed but we’re here to narrow it down. My name’s Blake Rupert and I work at the Valhalla Pure store on Broadway! Here are my top 5 destinations to get out and explore when you’re in Vancouver.

1. Deep Cove

I thought I’d kick us off with a little bit of a hidden gem. Deep Cove is a paradise that doesn’t get a ton of attention because it’s out of the way. Sandwiched in a mountain valley and water that connects to the Pacific ocean, Deep Cove is this special little outpost of Vancouver. If you go there you’ll find artisans and adventurers enjoying the fresh air and stunning landscape! Some highlights of the area include Quarry Rock, a moderate level hike that weaves through a heavily wooded forest. After waterfalls and root formations the trail pops you out on a giant rock with a great view of Deep Cove as well as Burnaby and neighbouring Belcarra park. Effort to reward ratio on this hike is a huge win. Very family friendly. When you get back to town you can also rent a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddle board from Deep Cove Kayak and explore the Indian Arm. Their great map of the surrounding waters has a ton places of interest, including a historic lodge and abandoned powerplant. There are lots of designated camping spots along the Arm if you’re willing to stay out overnight, just head north!

2. Grouse Mountain aka the Peak of Vancouver

Grouse Mountain is a family owned ski hill that doubles as an adventure park in the warmer months! In the snow season there’s plenty of runs for both novices and experts to enjoy. And the convenience from the city is hard to beat. When the snow melts the mountain turns into one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist destinations. Real live lumberjacks put shows on everyday, there’s two rescued grizzly bears (Grinder and Koola) to visit, as well as a ‘Birds in Motion’ show and you can even climb to the top of the world’s only wind turbine with a 360 degree view pod. It’s perched at the tippy top of the mountain overlooking the city and the landscape behind. Sure is hard to beat those sightlines.

Oh ya and there’s always The Grind. A gruelling hike not for the faint of heart The Grind skips Grouse’s Skyride and gets you to the top of the mountain through a combination of leg power and sheer determination. The average person can expect to take about an hour and a half to complete the up portion. Downs are not allowed, to make sure the trail doesn’t deteriorate, so you’ll have to pay $15 for a ride back to the bottom. Protip: skip The Grind entirely and do the BCMC trail that runs parallel to the grind. You’ll skip the crowds! And dogs are allowed. You can expect the BCMC to be like walking up a river bed, so a little bit of technical savvy is required. After entering the gate, the BCMC trail goes to the right, and The Grind goes to the left.

Another destination worth mentioning is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, just south of Grouse Mountain. The Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses to towering evergreens, cedar-scented rainforest air and Treetops Adventure.

3. Whytecliff Park

This is one of the best places for a lounge day when the sun is shining and you just wanna kick back and potentially swim with a couple seals! With plenty of beachfront access Whytecliff Park in West-Vancouver is a must for BBQs featuring sea breeze. There are cliffs to scramble across if you want to get your explore on and there is a picture perfect island that you can only get to (dryly) at low tide. And then only if you’re brave enough to walk across a bridge of small boulders.

4. Stanley Park

Much ink has been spilled about this world class park. Consistently considered by some “The Best Park in the World”, the big green bubble between downtown and the Lions Gate bridge is a must visit. You could spend days inside this massive green space and still not find everything it has to offer. There’s the Vancouver Aquarium, with their adorable otters; the Seawall, which is an excellent way to get some exercise at an easy pace while enjoying the landscape of the city; the trails that criss cross through the park’s dense forest; the totem poles, the pools, the beaches… Let’s put it this way, I’ve been to towns smaller than Stanley Park. The park offers an incredible amount of things to do and nature to enjoy!

5. Buntzen Lake

Finally the farthest destination from downtown that made it onto our list. Buntzen lake is an area on the edge of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. You can expect about an hour’s drive from downtown Vancity and I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it on transit. The park is worth it though because A) it’s free B) it’s a magical place of adventure C) it’s free. When you park at the parking lot you’ll find a massive beach awaiting you. If it’s crowded you can go either direction around the lake and visit the far side which is often less populated. Along the way you might even find a secluded section of waterfront access if you’re lucky! And if you want to get your hike on there’s a medley of trails on the hills surrounding the lake that require varying amounts of commitment and preparedness. My favourite has to be Diez Vistas! The views from the plateaus are pretty unreal and if you happened to have done the Quarry Rock hike we mentioned earlier in Deep Cove you’ll be able to look out and see where you were stood from one of these viewpoints! Be sure to go for a quick dip to rest your weary bones when you finish the hike. After all, what’s the point of going to a lake if you’re not going to save on your shower bills!

Honourable Mentions

Drop by anytime at our store on West Broadway to get some more information about Vancouver's outdoors!