Access: Getting to Lynn Headwaters

Level: Difficult

Distance: 16 km o/w

Time: 6 h

Elevation Change: 1122 m

Topographical Map: 92 G/6

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Season: May to Nov

The trail to Grouse Mountain continues from where the previous hike left off. Thus far the trail has been relatively flat and well-maintained. The next 1.3 km section continues in much the same vein to the upper reaches of Lynn Creek where it suddenly turns west into the Hanes Valley. A fork to the right follows surveyor-tape markers 3½ km up to Lynn Lake where the creek originates. Expect the going to get much rougher, with the trail often following the creek bed and sometimes disappearing altogether in the underbrush. You'll gain an additional 330 metres of elevation before reaching the lake.

Let It Rain: British Columbia has something to envy. Twenty-five percent of the world's remaining temperate rainforests hug the rugged coast of the province. Yet more than half of this rare and exotic ecosystem, comprising just 0.02% of the earth's land mass, has already felt the bite of the logger's saw. The province's remaining forest was once part of an intact ecosystem stretching from Northern California to Alaska. Fully 95% of the temperate rainforest south of the border has been razed. Such scarcity makes ecotourism set in the temperate rainforest of BC an increasingly valuable commodity when properly marketed throughout the globe. The plutocracy south of the border squandered its natural heritage already. We're halfway there and seem likely to follow suit.

The left fork is no less demanding. Though the trail to Grouse Mountain is well-established, this is a demanding wilderness route with many rough, extremely steep sections. On the way you'll gain an additional 892 metres of elevation. You may encounter heavy snow pack as late as June. During the spring runoff Lynn Creek may be impassible so be prepared to turn back early in the season. After fording the creek you'll be following Hanes Creek up to Crown Pass 4½ km away. Numerous peaks are accessible from the pass while the main route to the left leads down to the Grouse Mountain Skyride an additional 3.6 km away. If hunger and thirst assail you at this point the main chalet has plenty of options to satisfy both. The truly gung ho may be tempted to walk down the Grouse Grind against the current of sweaty trendoids running up. Doing so will add a very steep 2.9 km to your day, saving you a few dollars.

Whether you choose to ride the tram down or hike out you can catch the bus back to Vancouver behind the main office at Grouse Mountain base. The #236 Lonsdale Quay bus will take you to the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal from which downtown Vancouver is just a 20-minute boat ride away. Alternately the #232 Phibbs Exchange bus will take you to Edgemont Village where you have to transfer to the #246 Vancouver or #246 Park Royal bus. The latter version is bound for West Vancouver necessitating yet another bus transfer at the corner of Marine Drive and Garden Avenue after the evening rush hour Monday to Saturday and all-day Sunday. With luck you'll meet the connecting #240 Vancouver bus for the Lion's Gate Bridge crossing.

For those who may be put off by the elevation gain an alternative would be to undertake the described route in reverse. Gain your elevation by taking the tram up to Grouse Mountain then walking up and over Crown Pass. Hanes Valley will lead you down to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.

The End


Trillium

Dwarf Dogwood

Since the Dogwood is the provincial flower in British Columbia, "bunch berry," is a protected species. Following pollination and fruiting, dwarf dogwood produces a bunch of bright red berries, hence the name. Bunch berry berries are edible either raw or cooked though they are not particulary tasty. They have further been used both internally and externally to counteract natural toxins from mushrooms, poison ivy and even bee stings. Dwarf dogwood is a perennial and a perennial favourite with hikers as this low ground cover will be found along most forested footpaths on the coast. The white petal-like mane surrounding the central flower are actually specialized leaves called bracts.

Illustration by Manami Kimura