Hiking: Baden-Powell Trail – Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon (Vancouver, CA)

This is my first summer in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, and it would be tantamount to sacrilege if I wasn’t hiking in the drop dead gorgeous wilderness every chance I got.

So far I’ve only taken an easy on legs walk around Alice Lake Provincial Park, which is half cleared roadways and half bush walk. That was enough to be the gasoline to the spark.

As I don’t have a vehicle, and was planning this hike solo, I was limited to anything accessible via public transport that got me there and back within a reasonable time frame. I checked a local Vancouver hiking trail website, and it gave me a great breakdown of location, difficulty, season opening, length, duration, and hiker feedback in the comments section. I’m new to hiking in the Canadian outdoors, so a bit of research into the trail and wilderness etiquette was a must. I didn’t want to reenact the bear scene from the Revenant any time soon.

Make that ever.

bear attack
Why can’t we be friends? – Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Throwing away food scraps in the bush in Australia and New Zealand is not a such a risky move, so I made sure I was aware of my new surroundings and possible outcomes before I slingshot that banana skin into the foliage.

I am aware that having a Grizzly Bear chewing on my asshole was a remote possibility from an errant toss of a banana skin, but why invite trouble. I like my ass just the way it is.

To take a little tangent, I went on a camping trip for Canada’s 150th birthday a couple of weeks ago to High Falls Creek, about 1.5 hours outside of Squamish BC, and was schooled on Bear Awareness right from the get go. My camping buddies noticed I had stockpiled all my food for the weekend in my tent, and I was promptly informed this best way to have a furry friend visit me in the night.

You don’t know what you don’t know, so take the time to read up a bit on what you’re getting yourself into. For example, only those people who grew up, or have spent a lot of time in Australia, know that if you leaves shoes outside for any period of time, bang those fuckers upside down to avoid a nasty surprise from a pair of poisonous fangs as you slip them on.


Baden-Powell Trail – Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon

On the website I used to research this trail, it says that the hike is a one-way, 12 km trip, with an estimated duration of 5 hours. Perfect. I had to take 3 buses and walk for another 40 minutes to get to the trail head in Deep Cove, but all in all in was a simple journey.

Baden-Powell Map
Home is just outside the bottom left of the map

Deep cove is an amazing spot just on its’ own. As the name suggests, it is a semi-circular cove that looks like a water sports haven. It was a calm sunny day and I couldn’t ask for a better place to start the day.

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Deep Cover – North Vancouver

The trail head was only a 10 minute walk to the top left part of the photo, and the hike was on.

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A timely reminder

 

Starting out, the hike was an open trail with a mix of walkways and steps with natural features in between. As the point of hiking is to be immersed in nature, I found some of the steps to be superfluous and unnecessary, but on the whole it was incredible wilderness after on 5 minutes on the trail.

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My kind of Friday morning

 

The first 20 minutes takes you to Quarry Rock lookout. This is an incredible vantage point overlooking Deep Cove. The stillness of the water was something to behold, another perk of getting up early.

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Someone hand me a wakeboard – Quarry Rock Lookout

 

As I mentioned before, the hike was supposed to take around 5 hours, so I was quite happy when I did it in a little over 3. I did all the obligatory short stops to take photos and videos to maintain my Social Media uploads and just generally breathe in the outdoors.

Ah the outdoors! Just taking a moment to be still and listen as you let your heartbeat subside inside your ears. The sound of the birds and light wind in the trees. This is living. I brought my earphones along for the journey, but they stayed in my backpack until I was back on the bus. The sound of nature is something that reaches down into your soul and all your worries and fears take a back seat while you breathe it all in.

Whoa, lay off the spiritual stuff would ya

So back to the trail itself.

There are a couple of roads that intersect various parts of the trail, and I’m happy that I had Google Maps, as I was hiking solo and did get a little lost at times. There were points when I actually lost the marked trail and wandered off onto diversionary trails. When I didn’t see any trail markers on the trees for more than 10 minutes, it was time for a quick check of the phone, followed by some ducking and diving around fallen trees until I was back on course.

After a couple of hours of hiking, the sound of chainsaws and increased foot traffic on the trail meant I was getting closer to civilisation again. I had been fortunate for the majority of the trail to have it to myself, with the odd jogger and mountain biker crossing my path.

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Ah the serenity… while it lasts – Just outside of Lynn Canyon

I’m actually pretty glad I came across two mountain bikers with their heads craned back, peering into the canopy. I saw my first wood pecker absolutely given’er!

You have reached your destination

Lynn Canyon is quite a popular tourist destination in the Summer. After following the river upstream, I reached the Lynn Canyon cafe and decided I’d earned my pre-prepared chicken wrap, aka bear bait, that I brought with me on the hike. It was nice just to sit and read in the sunshine after a pleasant, sometimes strenuous, but mostly medium heart-rate level hike.

I can’t say that I deal with crowds very well, so after crossing the Suspension Bridge to take some photos amidst tourists who didn’t handle heights very well, it was time to high tail it to the closest bus stop to start the journey home.

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View downstream from the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Note to self, don’t drop phone.

 

That’s a wrap

As I write this, my ass hurts (in a good way) and I have a deep satisfaction for the journey I was a part of yesterday. The trail was a great mix of pleasant walking with difficult parts mixed in. There’s a variety of elevation changes (hence, sore butt) that keeps the heart rate up and the eyes looking down to make sure your ankle stays in one piece while you navigate rocks and tree roots.

If you’re in the Vancouver area, I highly recommend this trail if you have some degree of physical fitness. It’s a trail that anyone can do, but depending on your cardio fitness and time you start, you might be finishing in the dark. It’s a one-way trip too, so catching public transport was actually a bonus, as I didn’t have to make any special arrangements for using my own vehicle.

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Ah, that’s better. Time for a dip – West End, Vancouver

 

Don’t forget to like, comment, share, follow and sign up for my blog via email if any of this relates (or at the very least interesting!). Would love to hear your thoughts. You can find more words and pictures in the social media links to the right and in the menu above.


 

Happy hiking everyone.

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