25 Must-Do Waterfall Hikes in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland

The Vancouver area and the surrounding Lower Mainland offer a multitude of outdoor activities, including some amazing hikes. The diversity of landscapes allow hikers to experience the best of the natural attractions in the region, which includes some incredible waterfalls. While some are easily accessed by hikers of all ages and abilities, there are others that will require a bit more exertion. No matter which falls you choose to visit, you won’t be disappointed.

Cypress Falls

This is a great hike to do if you are short on time, or if you are looking for a good winter walk that is close to Vancouver. Located in West Vancouver and only 3 kms in length round trip, it should only take you about an hour and a half to make it in and back, if you don’t take too much time for pictures. The lower altitude allows for good conditions all year round and there is only an elevation gain of 130 meters, which makes it suitable for walkers of all ages and abilities. The gorgeous scene of the waterfall and the old-growth cedar and fir trees makes for a perfect venture out into nature.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Flood Falls

If you are travelling in the Hope area and want to have a short hike that allows you a spectacular view, this is the one for you. Just a kilometre in length, you only need about 45 minutes to hike in and out, although you will probably want to sit and soak in the sight of the tumbling water for a bit, especially if you are visiting in the spring when there is the greatest amount of water flowing. A great year-round walk, this is an easy trail that will be good for even younger members of your family, with an elevation gain of only 40 meters. This is a great addition to a Bridal Veil Falls visit, as this waterfall is completely different in structure and has fewer visitors.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Woodland Falls and Sawblade Falls

Located in Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, less than an hour outside of Vancouver, the trail to Sawblade Falls offers hikers an opportunity to get out into the mountains above Coquitlam. Don’t be put off by the sound of gunfire in the area, the noise from the gun range will fade as you move farther into the forest. The bonus of this trail is that you will pass by the smaller, but still impressive, Woodland Falls. You can complete this easy 9-kilometer hike as a partial loop, which is a nice feature. Also, be aware that there is a healthy bear population in the area.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Swan Falls (Buntzen Lake)

Not for inexperienced hikers, this route has a steep climb to the beautiful falls. There is a nice, but challenging, loop trail that will take you along the lake, up to the waterfall and over a pass. You can get some great views of the city of Vancouver, along with the fabulous waterfall and surrounding mountains. This is a 15.1 kilometer hike and it is recommended that you hike in proper footwear as parts of the trail can be slippery.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Rolley Falls

Near Mission, just over an hour from Vancouver, you will be able to enjoy the easy hike to Rolley Falls. This 4.7-kilometer loop trail is perfect for all skill levels and has some boardwalk areas along the way which makes walking easier. Accessible year-round, the waterfall at the end of the trail, while not huge, will provide you will an opportunity to stick your feet in the water and get some fantastic pictures.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Bosumarne Falls

Allow an hour to take this 2.5-kilometer hike to the scenic Bosumarne Falls. While most list this hike as easy, there are some challenging sections, such as a creek crossing and some rugged, rocky areas. The elevation gain is only about 75 meters, so estimate at least an hour to get up and get back. There are two spots to see the waterfall, with the second one being right at the base.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Cliff Falls

Located in Maple Ridge, Kanaka Creek Regional Park offers visitors a chance to enjoy the beautiful Cliff Falls. Technically this hike is not taking you to the falls, it is offering hikers a chance to see the area around the falls. There is an easy trail that will take you from the picnic area at the falls to a fish hatchery, through a marvellous forest full of cedars, firs, spruce, and maple trees. Take a picnic and soak up the beauty of the water cascading down.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Shannon Falls Provincial Park

On the Sea to Sky Highway, just south of Squamish, you will find the access point to the third highest waterfall in the province – Shannon Falls. This impressive waterfall tumbles a total of 335 meters to the base, where you can take in all its glory. A short, easy hike will allow you to get up close and personal with the rushing waters or chose to do the slightly more difficult hike to get to the upper falls.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Widgeon Falls

This adventure will not only allow you to take a hike in the beauty of the Pitt Meadows area, but a canoe or kayak paddle will be required to get you to the start of the trail. If you don’t have your own method of water travel, you can rent from the local adventure outlet. If you like, take along your camping gear and stay overnight at the campground at the beginning of the trail. The round trip, easy walk to the gorgeous falls is 6 kilometers in total. Allow for at least 5 hours for both the canoe and hike from start to finish.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Kennedy Falls

North Vancouver offers up this backcountry, rugged excursion that takes you to the incredible Kennedy Falls. Rated as an intermediate trail, you need to allow for at least 5 hours to complete this 10-kilometer trail. The old growth forest surrounds you as you make your way up to the falls themselves. It is important to keep an eye out for the trail markers to ensure you are staying on the path.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Cascade Falls

Near Mission you will find a lovely short walk that will take you to a suspension bridge and incredible views of Cascade Falls. You only need about a half an hour to complete the walk, so if you are in a hurry you can still enjoy some outdoor time with a great destination at the end. The best time to go is between April and November, with the spring being the best as the winter run offs enhance the falls.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Nairn Falls

The Sea to Sky Highway offers up many opportunities for travellers to enjoy waterfalls and excellent scenery, and Nairn Falls is a great place to stop for a hike between Whistler and Pemberton. The round-trip hike is only 3-kilometers, so you only need about an hour and a half to complete it. There are two overlooks for you to view the falls and get some great pictures.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Brandywine Falls

Another excellent waterfall destination along the Sea to Sky Highway, Brandywine Falls is a popular walk for both locals and visitors. This short hike will take you approximately a half hour along a kilometer of trail to a lookout. The falls themselves have a height of approximately 70 meters down the craggy cavern. If you like, continue along the trail for a view of Daisy Lake. There is a small path after the link fence that leads down to the base of the falls, but be careful, if the water is flowing strongly it is easy to get wet!
Directions/How to Go
Details

Steelhead Falls

There are a multitude of waterfalls that are easily accessible with just a short, easy walk, and this is one makes that list. Steelhead Falls is located by Mission, just a little over an hour away from the city of Vancouver. You can enjoy a one kilometer walk through the beautiful forest to the spectacular falls.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Twin Falls

This popular hike in North Vancouver takes you into Lynn Canyon to see the beautiful Twin Falls. You cross a suspension bridge and have a quite significant elevation gain of 65 meters, so you do want to be in decent shape to complete this hike. You should allow for about 1 hour to do the 1.5 kilometer walk. Take some water and a good pair of shoes and enjoy the coastal rainforest surrounding you through the hike.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Crooked Falls

Situated in the Upper Squamish Valley, Crooked Falls is a waterfall that you definitely don’t want to miss. Considered an intermediate hike, you need about 3 hours to finish the 6-kilometer round trip hike. There is an elevation gain of 380 meters, so be prepared! Of course, this is another falls that is best enjoyed in the spring, although the hike can be enjoyed from April through November.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Echo Falls (Monmouth Falls)

The first challenge of this hike is crossing the river to get to the trailhead. Paddleboards, canoes, boats, and kayaks are popular choices if you happen to have one of your own, otherwise check with Squamish Water Sports as they can supply a boat shuttle back and forth. This hike is challenging, with an elevation gain of about 900 meters over 6 kilometers but there are plenty of pools to jump in and cool off along the way, and the views are spectacular. Don’t attempt this hike if you are not an experienced walker. Echo Lake is a great fishing and camping spot, so you can even plan to spend a night or two in this beautiful area.
Directions/How to Go
Details

High Falls

If you happen to be afraid of heights, this is probably not the trail for you. There are steep portions and slippery edges, so please be very careful if you attempt this hike. The views are spectacular though, so if you accept the challenge you won’t be disappointed. Although it is listed as an intermediate level trail, you definitely want to be in shape to traverse the 650-meter elevation gain and the rocky trail. Round trip the length is 12 kilometers, and you want to allow at least 5 hours to complete it.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Rainbow Falls

Near Whistler you will enjoy this 2-kilometer loop hike to Rainbow Falls. Appropriate for all ability levels, this is one of the original hiking trails in the area. Following the sound of 21 Mile Creek, the landscape of this hike was changed in 2017 by the wildfires in the area, but the end destination is still the same – the flowing waters of the falls. If you would like, you can continue on to Rainbow Lake and the views there.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Bridal Veil Falls

Just east of Chilliwack, this provincial park is home to a spectacular waterfall that is a definite must see if you are in the area. The water falls 60 meters over the smooth rock face, creating a veil effect which has provided the name. There are two short trails that you can use to make a loop to and from the falls, with a total distance of less than a kilometer. You only need about 15 minutes each way to walk, but you will want to allot some time to enjoy the waters and view.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Norvan Falls

This intermediate level hike takes about 5 hours round trip and can be completed year-round. The 14-kilometer walk will take you through lovely forest and gives you glimpses of the logging activity that took place here in the early 1900’s. Take a lunch and some water and hang out looking at this beautiful natural wonder. Don’t forget to sign in before you start the hike and follow the trail directions on the website to get to the best picnic spot.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Crystal Falls

This is a popular destination in the Vancouver area and can get quite busy during the summer months. To get to this gorgeous natural wonder, you need to embark on a fairly easy 7-kilometer hike along the Upper Coquitlam River. Along with fantastic photo ops, these falls also offer the opportunity to take a dip in the river or in the canyon above the falls. The river is shallow, and the cool water is a nice treat after hiking. Take a picnic and make it a full day outing. You need at least two hours to complete this activity, more if you are going to swim or picnic.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Gold Creek Falls – Golden Ears Provincial Park

A 5.5-kilometer round trip hike takes you through the beauty of the coastal rainforest to the falls of this provincial park. You will want at least two hours to complete the hike, but make sure you allow time to enjoy the rocky beach and the waters of the falls. There are two viewpoints to get unique views of the tumbling waters.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Neverland Falls

With the building of the Sea to Sky Gondola the opportunities to hike high in the mountains has opened up significantly. You will need to take the Gondola up in order to start the hike to this dual waterfall. Start with the Al’s Habrich Ridge Hike and continue on to the loop trail to the waterfall. You will want four to eight hours to complete both sections of the trail. Take a towel as you may want to have a dip in the cool waters.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Cleveland Dam

Just because this is a manmade waterfall does not take away the amazingness of this site. The thundering waters flowing down will take your breath away. You can take a 15-kilometer round trip walk through a variety of landscapes to reach the dam and the awesome views. This is an easy hike that you will want to have at least 4 hours to complete, more if you take a picnic with you. If you want, you can do this one way and take public transit back to your start point.
Directions/How to Go
Details

Posts Information

  • : 26
  • Leave a Reply