If you’re looking for a challenge, hiking Lynn Peak is a great, back country hike, not too far from the city. Not quite as steep as the Grouse Grind, but it has almost as much elevation, more distance, and arguably, a far nicer view from the top.
The hike starts in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, accessible by transit via the #228 bus from Lonsdale Quay. Start by climbing up the first part of the Lynn Loop route, following signs until you see one that marks the start of the Lynn Peak trail. The first section is quite rocky, and you’ll scramble over boulders and streams, but the trail is easy to follow without getting lost.
The next part is less intense, as the trail slowly winds up through the forest. The last section is steep again, with a lot of roots and rocks, but when you reach the top, the view is definitely worth it. On a clear day you’ll see Grouse Mountain, Georgia Strait – even all the way to Mt Baker in the US. The lookout is on large, flat rocks, with plenty of room to stop and sit, eat and take photos.
The way down is a bit rough on the knees, with the steep descent and slippery rocks. Be sure you’ve given yourself enough time, because navigating your way down this terrain in the dark, could be rather treacherous. So long as you’re well prepared and in good shape, this hike can be done in about 4 hours.