Credit: Sewell's Marina & Tourism Vancouver
From mountain biking to hiking and whale watching to paddle-boarding, Vancouver has it all. The coastal landscape and balance of city and nature make Vancouver the perfect playground for all types of adventure seekers. Here is a list of just some of the many ways you can experience the city and all its natural glory this Spring.
The Greater Vancouver area is known as a world-class mountain biking destination and is home to some of the best trails in British Columbia. Trails range from beginner to advanced and can be found in Delta, North Vancouver, Whistler, and more. Some popular Vancouver trails include Mount Fromme, Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour, Burnaby Mountain, Delta Watershed Park, and Burke Mountain. Head north to Squamish and Whistler to expand your mountain biking adventure even further. Companies like Endless Biking in North Vancouver provide riders with guided tours, lessons, and training for all skill levels. For more information, click here.
Hiking the North Shore
The North Shore Mountains are only a 30-minute trip from downtown and are home to some of the best hiking trails in Metro Vancouver. Try your hand at the Baden Powell, which takes you from Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon, or make your way to West Vancouver and walk the trails of Lighthouse Park. For hikers looking for some friendly competition, head to Grouse Mountain and hike the (in)famous Grouse Grind. This trail is 2.9 kilometers of stairs leading to the top of Grouse Mountain – it may be painful, but the views from the top and free ticket into the park make it worth the trek. For more information about hiking in Vancouver, click here.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Also located in North Vancouver and built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge is Vancouver’s longest-running attraction. Recommended for those in favor of heights, the bridge hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River and runs 450 feet long. The bridge is very sturdy and only softly sways, making it perfect for those seeking only a little bit of a thrill. In addition to the bridge, the park includes the Treetops Adventure (a series of seven suspension bridges built high in the trees) and Cliffwalk, a cliff-side journey that takes visitors on a connected series of suspended walkways jutting out from a granite cliff face high above the Capilano River.
Continue your adventure about 5 minutes up the road from the Suspension Bridge and find yourself at the base of Grouse Mountain. Take the Skyride to the top of Grouse where you can enjoy optimal panoramic views of the Lower Mainland. Other activities include its Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, lumberjack shows, scenic hiking trails, ziplines, helicopter tours, and much more.
Kayaking & Stand Up Paddle Boarding
For those activated by water, exploring the city by kayak or paddle board is the perfect option. Vancouver has several paddling points: English Bay, Granville Island, and Deep Cove. The season usually begins as early as April and can last as late as the end of October depending on the weather. Take a guided tour or simply splash your own way around with Vancouver Water Adventures and Deep Cove Kayak.
If you’re keener on boats with motors and have a love for majestic animals, whale watching is the adventure for you. From March to October each year, thousands of whales migrate through the waters near Vancouver, making it one of the world’s best locations for whale watching. When it comes to spotting whales in Vancouver, Orcas are often the most sought after. The water around Vancouver Island and on the coast of Vancouver proper host large resident pods of nearly 100 orca whales, as well as small pods of transient orcas that travel across wide ranges of coastline. Vancouver is home to several acclaimed whale watching companies including Wild Whales Vancouver, Prince of Whales, Steveston Seabreeze Adventures, and Vancouver Whale Watch. Although not solely dedicated to whale watching, sailors have been known to spot orcas and other sea life with Sewell’s Marina. Try their zodiac Sea Safari and explore Horseshoe Bay and Howe Sound.