Lynn Creek Sea to Sky Trail

Quick Facts:

  • AllTrails link: Sea to Sky Trail, 11.9km with 235m elevation gain
  • Difficulty: moderate, but many flights of stairs make it strenuous
  • Traffic: heavy in the urban parks in Lower Lynn and near the suspension bridge, light to moderate in between
  • Facilities: flush toilets at Lynn Canyon Cafe and Bridgman Park
  • View: Twin Falls, different sections of Lynn Creek from canyon to mouth
  • Overall score: 8/10 in Lynn Canyon Park, 6/10 between Lynn Canyon Park and Bridgman Park, 3/10 Harbourview Park and crossing Main St.

We had a copy of Stephen Hui’s 105 Hikes in and Around Southwestern British Columbia for a couple years now, but we haven’t really tackled the hikes featured in this book. These are real hikes, many of which are currently too challenging for us with backpack carriers and 2 growing toddlers. To be included in this book, a hike has to take a minimum of 3 hours (his pro-hiker speed) and with at least 150m elevation gain.

However, we decided to tackle an easy-for-Hui hike in this book today: Hike #3, Lynn Creek via Sea to Sky Trail. The book states that this is 14km out and back, supposed to take 4 hours, with 154m elevation gain, which is significantly different from AllTrails. Hui’s route starts from the bottom and goes to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, whereas the AllTrails route starts from the top on Lillooet Road and goes to the bottom. We followed Hui’s route and started at Harbourview Park.

Harbourview Park is a small dog park in an industrial area of North Vancouver. A train was going through so that grabbed the toddler’s attention for a few minutes.

We skipped the viewing tower at the beach because we weren’t all that interested in looking at industrial activities, and there are much better views of the Burrard Inlet elsewhere. We headed north, following Lynn Creek upstream, and crossed under a rail bridge with graffiti covered walls, which was a pretty cool experience.

We soon emerged and had to cross Main Street, a busy 4 lane road.

After crossing the road, we rejoined the Sea to Sky Trail on the west bank of Lynn Creek, which winds through a chain of urban parks: Lynnmouth Park, which is a riverside, fenced off doggy playground, and Bridgman Park, which has a small children’s playground and a public washroom. There is a sizable parking lot at Bridgman Park, but due to the convenient facilities, it was totally full on this Saturday.

Lower Lynn Creek

After a short washroom break at Bridgman Park, we crossed under Keith Road and Highway 1, and continued walking on flat, stroller friendly path to Rusty Bridge, which crosses Lynn Creek to Inter River Park.

We continued north until we finally arrived at Lynn Canyon Park. The route up to this point, which was almost 4 km, was essentially flat and stroller friendly, except for a flight of metal stairs in the beginning at Habourview Park. There were also a lot of dogs, mostly off leash, throughout this long chain of urban parks along Lynn Creek.

But as soon as we entered the Lynn Canyon Park, the real fun began. The trail was very well maintained, with stable boardwalk and stairs through most of the muddy sections.

Being in a temperate rain forest, even the best maintained trails would be somewhat wet and slippery, but it sure is more pleasant than actually walking on flowing water and pools of mud that can be seen in some other trails such as Minnekhada.

One other aspect of this trail that was very pleasant was the constant sound of flowing water from Lynn Creek. We turned uphill and walked through some dryer woods, before plunging down hundreds of steps to more boardwalk through some wetland.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Lynn Canyon Cafe, Suspension Bridge, and the Ecology Centre were all closed. The washroom at the Cafe was still open. We crossed the Twin Falls Bridge and arrived at the Cafe for a much needed break.

After regrouping, we retraced our steps and went down the same way we came up.

It took us 1 hour from Harbourview Park to the entrance to Lynn Canyon Park, then about 1 hour and 15 mins to get to the Lynn Canyon Cafe. Our split for the return leg was about the same even though it felt much shorter, so the whole trip took us 4 hours and 30 mins of moving time. We did shave about 1.2km of walking off of Stephen Hui’s route by skipping the harbour viewing tower though.

We didn’t care for Harbourview Park especially with the crossing of Main Street. If we re-visit this hike, we might try to start at Bridgman Park or Inter River Park and possibly add more distance upstream from the suspension bridge instead.

Stay in touch with Outdoor Family

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

3 responses to “Lynn Creek Sea to Sky Trail”

  1. […] It features a great suspension bridge (a smaller but free alternative to the famed Capilano Suspension Bridge) , lush west coast rainforests, a running Lynn Creek and a cute little Ecology Centre. It also has a network of trails that connect up to Rice Lake, Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and down to the ocean via Lynn Creek Sea to Ski Trail. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *