Lynn Peak is a hike near Vancouver that I don’t hear many people mention, but it still sees a fair amount of traffic. It may not have the views of nearby Mount Seymour or my favourite, Bowen Lookout, but it’s still got some great views and, since most of the hike is in the first, it’s a good option for a rainy day. It’s a fairly strenuous hike that’s often compared to the Grouse Grind (that’s to say, lots of elevation in a short time!), but is much quieter in terms of people.
Lynn Peak trail
Calling it the ‘Lynn Peak trail’ is being a bit too simplistic. In fact, there are two peaks. There’s the South Lynn Peak, sometimes called Rice Peak, and then Lynn Peak to the north. Most people, and indeed the Regional Park, refer to South Lynn Peak as Lynn Peak and hikers typically hike to a viewpoint just before South Lynn Peak. That’s because South Lynn Peak doesn’t have much of a view. If you’re a peak bagger continue on to South Lynn Peak and Lynn Peak by all means, but if you’re here for the views, then you’ll only need to walk to the viewpoint before turning around.
How to get to Lynn Peak
There are several places you can start your hike to the Lynn Peak viewpoint from. Parking is often very difficult with most spots closest to the trailhead being gone before 8 am. The closest you can park is by BC Mills House in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Alternatively, there’s the Cedar Mills Trail Parking Lot along the same road, but before the House. Or, you can park in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve by Rice Lake.
Know before you go
- Always practice leave no trace ethics. Not sure what those are? Get a refresher here.
- Just because it’s spring in the city, there’s often still snow in the local mountains until July.
- Carry bear spray with you on all BC hiking trails. Get more bear safety tips here!
- Wondering what to pack for Vancouver day hikes? Here’s a hiking packing list!
- Refresh your memory about hiking safety with BC Adventure Smart.
- Don’t leave home without your 10 essentials. They could save your life!
- Dogs are allowed on a leash.
- This map from MEC is great for North Shore hiking and Cypress mountain trails.
The Lynn Peak hike
This route assumes you’ve parked as close as possible to the trail. If you’ve parked near Rice Lake walk along the Lynn Headwaters Connector Trail until you reach a turning on your right-hand side for the Lynn Loop Trail. If you’ve parked further down Lynn Valley Road, you can either walk along the Varley Trail, or the road, until you reach BC Mills House.
From the parking lot by BC Mills, walk towards the bridge and cross over Lynn Creek. There’s a map of the area straight ahead. This is where the Norvan Falls hike goes from too. At this stage, you have the option to register your details which is a great idea if you’re hiking solo. Just remember to sign yourself out when returning to the parking lot!
At the map, go right and follow the gravel road for about 10 minutes until you reach a sign marking the beginning of the Lynn Loop trail on your left. If you parked by Rice Lake, this is where you’ll pick up the trail.
Once on the Lynn Loop, you’ll quickly start making your way uphill before coming to a wooden boardwalk and a sign pointing you to the right onto the Lynn Peak trail. The trail here is quite rocky in sections so take care.
As you wander through the forest, you’ll climb quickly and around the 40-minute mark, you’ll get a small view of Seymour Mountain on your right. Continue hiking uphill. Another 40 minutes or so later, you’ll come to a second viewpoint with a much clearer view of Seymour Mountain. This is a nice spot for a break before continuing up an even steeper section of trail.
Eventually, you’ll come to the final short but steep climb that brings you out to the viewpoint at Lynn Peak. The rock opens out onto Seymour Mountain and sometimes you can even see Mt Baker in the US on a clear day.
The trail makes its way through the second-generation growth forest, ascending quickly. After walking for about 40 minutes, a small view of Seymour Mountain appears on the right, much of which has grown over. Continue hiking uphill as the trail begins to level and heads through some sections with flatter grades.
The trail continues onto the summit but there aren’t any views on offer there. If you wish to continue to the peak, follow the pink ribbons.
Retrace your steps until you meet back up with the Lynn Loop Trail and go left then right onto the gravel road, crossing back over the bridge to the parking lot. If you parked at Rice Lake, go left then left again to reach your car.
Lynn Peak hike statistics
Know the essential hike details for the Lynn Peak trail
What to pack for Lynn Peak, Vancouver
Make sure you look at these packing lists for the Lynn Peak hike.