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Hanes Valley Hike

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Hanes Valley Trail Guide

Difficulty: Difficult
Total Distance: 14.8 km
Hanes Valley Official Website 
Trail head Location: 49.361549°, -123.028111°
Dogs: On leash
Parking: Yes
Public transit: Yes

Hanes Valley Trail Overview

This challenging day trail offers a variety of attractions and terrain types, from the touristy Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge and top of Grouse Mountain to the back country Hanes Valley route. This is a perfect hike for visitors to Vancouver who are interested in catching the “regular tourist sights” but also want to experience the natural beauty of Vancouver’s nearby mountains without crowds of fellow tourists.

The Hanes Valley trail is a one way 15 km (9 mile) hike between Lynn Valley and the top of Grouse Mountain. The hike can be done both ways but this guide describes starting a Lynn Valley which is the uphill route. Experienced hikers should allow 8 hours for this hike but less experienced hikers should allow for more time. The trail is best done in late season because it traverses creek crossings and alpine slopes that are snow covered most of the year, so be sure to check trail conditions on the trail head boards before heading out.

Although there is a quicker way to get to the trail head via Lynn Valley road this guide suggests taking the Varley trail to the trail head via Lynn canyon park. Since this is a one way trail it is best to take public transit to and from the trail head.

Take the 228 to Lynn Valley and get off at the Peters Road exit. Buses leave from Londsdale Quay every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 early in the morning and late evening, At Peters Road follow the signs to Lynn Canyon Park.

At Lynn Canyon park take some quick snapshots of the suspension bridge while crossing over. After the bridge turn left and follow the trail along Lynn Creek, until another less impressive bridge. Cross the bridge to find the trail head for the Varley trail which takes you along the West side of Lynn creek to the Lynn Valley headwaters regional office and the trail head.

After arriving at the regional office take the bridge across the creek to the the hiker information and registration board. From the trail head follow the Lynn Loop trail for 1.8 km to the Cedars mill / headwaters trail junction. After this junction the trail narrows and is marked with yellow markers until the bottom of the scree slope below the crown pass.

The hiker can choose either the Cedars Mill trail which follows the historic road to the site of Cedar Mill or the slightly more challenging Headwaters trail which is only 200 M (650 ft) longer. This guide follows the cedar mill trail but both trails arrive at 3rd debris chute.

After the 3rd debris chute the trail inclines away from Lynn creek until arriving at the turn off for Coliseum mountain. Fewer tourists pass the third debris chute so the trail is more natural and it is common to see bear droppings and deer (as we did while researching this guide) along the trail .

A five minute walk after the trail fork for Coliseum mountain is a metal suspension bridge and a trail to Norvan falls. Norvan falls is about a ten minute walk and offers good photo opportunities and a place snack before continuing down the trail. After viewing the falls backtrack to the bridge then continue down the trail on the other side of Norvan creek.

After crossing the bridge the trail winds through Hanes Valley where it is easy to image the forest before loggers arrived in the early 1900s because many of the old growth tree stumps are visible. Continue until reaching the junction for the Lynn Lake trail and turn left down to a natural creek crossing. The trail then ascends over small creeks and small avalanche tracks to a helicopter landing site at the bottom of the steep rock scree that goes up 490 m (1600 ft) to the crown pass.

After a long steep climb on boulders and loose rocks is the crown pass, here follow the trail left towards goat mountain. The trail continues to be challenging but chains have been added in steep areas assist hikers. Follow the signs to Grouse mountain unless you have enough energy and time for a short trek to the goat mountain peak to enjoy the view of the mountains (not included in this guide).

The trail markers end at the hiker information board which is where the trail starts from the Grouse mountain end. Follow the road down the hill to the Grouse mountain lodge where you can enjoy dinner with a view of the entire city of Vancouver.

The Grouse Skyride can be taken down the mountain for $10 (they recently raised the price from $5) or it is possible to walk down via the Grouse Grind trail. At the bottom of Grouse Mountain take the 236 bus to Londsdale Quay then the 228 bus back to Lynn Canyon park if the vehicle was left there.

Hanes Valley Hiking Tips

  • Bears also use this trail so bring bear bells and bear spray
  • Black flies and mosquitoes can be a problem so bug spray is a must
  • Save you knees and bring $20 or a credit card to buy a ticket to take the Skyride down Grouse mountain
  • Bring exact change for the bus, $2.50
  • Park your car at Londsdale Quay and take the buses from there, this shortens the return trip back to the car after the hike.
  • Make sure to check for the latest bus routes and times
  • The Lynn Canyon parking lot closes at 9:00 pm

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  1. Hmm, the only elevation gain mentioned in the notes above is 1600 feet to Crown Pass but over the whole length of the trail I would guess that you should be prepared for a whole lot more than that--say 3500 feet and maybe more. The first 7k portion of the hike--assuming a start at the Headwaters--to the turnoff to Norvan Falls is a doddle, along Lynn Creek. The brief walk then to the crossing is more of the same but then you're up through berry bushes (hence the possibility of bears in late August-Sept) to the pass. Then the route joins the regular trails along the top from Grouse to Goat, Dam etc.

    One caution I'd add to the hints: take water. We met a family coming down with a litre bottle of water between them...and this was August and it was stinking hot!

  2. Hello,
    If you register at the Hiker Registration Booth at Lynn Headwaters and decide to
    attempt the trail one way (not heading back to Lynn Headwaters) do you just deposit the slip of paper that is part of the hiker registration in the Grouse Mountain hiker registration box?

  3. Hello,
    If you register at the Hiker Registration Booth at Lynn Headwaters and decide to
    attempt the trail one way (not heading back to Lynn Headwaters) do you just deposit the slip of paper that is part of the hiker registration in the Grouse Mountain hiker registration box?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. We did the trail on August 10/13 and it took 8.5 hours. Take LOTS of water (2 litres wasn't enough for some in our group). Bug spray is a must at this time of year. It only takes 2 hours (or less) to do the first 7 km to Norvan Falls, so the majority of the hiking time is spent getting up the scree slope. The trail is well marked with yellow tags on the trees and orange tape on the slope. The uphill portion never seems to end! I wouldn't recommend this hike for anybody who hasn't done the Grouse Grind a few times. We met a park ranger at Lynn Headwaters who said we could leave our portion of the hiker registration slip at the end of our hike on Grouse Mountain, so that's what we did.