big cedar kennedy falls trail

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get outside. Sure, it can be harder to motivate yourself but there are some great hikes in and around Vancouver that are perfect for rainy days. One of these rainy day hikes is the hike out to the Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls in North Vancouver. Since you’re in amongst the trees you stay relatively dry and it doesn’t matter if it’s misty as you’ll still be able to see the waterfall!

About the Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls Trail

big cedar and kennedy falls trail

The trail to the Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls is up on Vancouver’s North Shore on Mount Fromme. Once you get to the trailhead you’ll realise that you’re in mountain biking land. Chances are the car park will be full of pickups and mountain bikers will be popping out of the forests here and there.

On this trail you’ll come across an absolutely massive, 600+ year old red cedar tree. At this point you can turn around or you can continue on to Kennedy Falls. When we hiked this trail in March it was pretty quiet and we only saw a few people. I imagine it’s a bit busier in the summer but it’s still one of the quieter trails on the North Shore.

The trail is accessible all year round but expect some snow during winter. In mid-March there was still quite a bit of snow in places but it’s still hikeable with good shoes.

Hiking to the Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls

The trail to Big Cedar is quite rough and there are lots of roots and a few creek crossings to navigate. That’s what makes it fun! Make sure to keep an eye out for ribbons and trail markers up on the trees so as not to loose your way.

There’s a big parking lot up at the trail head now but this was closed when we visited in March. You can park along the road but make sure you’re not parked by one of the many no parking signs.

 

To the Big Cedar

hiking big cedar and kennedy falls trail

 

Take the trail that leads into the forest (where you’ll likely see many people pushing their mountain bikes). Walk this trail for about 500m and you’ll come to a switchback. There is a gravel trail that drops down to your right which is marked as the Cedar Tree Trail. Follow this trail as it crosses a little bridge and keep an eye out for the trail markers from here on in.

You’ll soon come across the first creek crossing and pass through the forest onto a rocky path. The trail is quite flat but there are a few steep up and down sections. A rope has been put in place in one part to help you navigate down a rock.

After about 1.5 hours you’ll come to the Big Cedar Tree. This was one of the only trees not to be logged in the area and is guessed at being 600 years old.

To Kennedy Falls

big cedar and kennedy falls trail

To continue from here to the falls you head northward and climb up hill. The route winds through the forest and then opens up and passes through an old landslide. Continue down through the rocky section and then up and over a small mound to where you can see Kennedy Falls just up to the left.

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Follow the same route you came to make your way back. After a few hours you’ll probably start seeing the mountain bikers again and you’ll know you’re back in the right place!

Difficulty: Moderate; uneven terrain
Distance:
10km
Time:
3-4 hours
Distance from Vancouver:
About 30 minutes by car. Also accessible by bus