My very first blog post was about being thankful for a great local hike called Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver. I’ve hiked this trail many times since I wrote that post, most recently a couple of days ago with my sister. I never get tired of hiking Mt. Seymour trail with its phenomenal views. On this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I am again thankful for Mt. Seymour and all the other amazing hikes and parks on Vancouver’s North Shore.
Distance: 9 km (5.6 miles) return. This is an out and back hike.
Elevation Gain: 450 m (1476 ft)
High Point: 1455 m (4774 ft)
Time Required: 4-5 hours including breaks
Difficulty: Moderate (gnarly and slightly exposed sections, especially beyond 2nd peak)
Access: Mt. Seymour Provincial Park (west end of ski area parking lot)
My favourite thing about Mt. Seymour trail is that there are so many gorgeous views along the way. There is no waiting until you get to the top for “payout”. The trail has three peaks and while I always like to get to the third (Mt. Seymour Peak), turning around at 1st peak makes for a great shorter hike with outstanding views.
The hiking season is drawing to a close by mid-October when rain, snow, ice, and fog can all play havoc on the trail. October also has its share of crisp, sunny days and it’s my favourite month for hiking Mt. Seymour. The crowds have thinned, especially on the weekdays, and the fall colours are stunning against the rocky terrain.
One of the best geography lessons for understanding convoluted Vancouver and surroundings is sitting on top of Seymour Peak. On a clear day, looking south, you can see well beyond downtown to the snowy mass of Mt. Baker in Washington. To the west, the mountains on Vancouver Island are clearly visible; and to the north, the distinctive peaks of Garibaldi and Sky Pilot provide reference to the vast Coast Mountain range.
I love Mt. Seymour’s panoramic views, but I’m equally enchanted by the pretty little pools and ponds that are scattered along the route. If you’re up on 3rd peak, make sure you explore around the perimeter where there are all sorts of hidden gems.
What better reward for making it to the top than a tasty salmon sandwich. Of course it was probably a stupid thing to take for lunch in bear country. Almost every hiker we ran into that day had seen a mama bear (Black Bear) and her cub, but no sightings for us.
My beautiful hike to Mt. Seymour reminded me that it’s always a good time to be thankful. To all my readers, Canadians and others, Happy Thanksgiving!