On a rainy hike, fog and light stream through the moss and trees at Pacific Spirit Park

Best Hikes in Vancouver BC: 21 Trails for a Rainy Day

I’ve been living in Vancouver since 2015, and have discovered that if you are always waiting for a sunny day to get out, that you will be waiting a long time. It might seem surprising that one of the best ways to spend a rainy day in Vancouver is to get out for hike. In fact, one of the most underrated things about living in and exploring this city is that you can comfortably do hikes in Vancouver BC all year.

Everything you have heard about winter in Vancouver is true. It is wet, it rains a lot! Welcome to Vancouver, AKA Raincouver. Locals know this. However, we also know that there are plenty of ways to enjoy being outside on a rainy day in Vancouver.

Why is hiking one of the best ways spend a rainy day in Vancouver?

Good question! Generally speaking, temperatures around Vancouver are mild, so with the right gear, it’s easy to explore and hike year round. Although it rains quite a bit, at sea level, it doesn’t often snow. Vancouver is a beautiful city nestled in rain forest, this means there are lots of trees on trails to provide some cover. Also, something special to note about heading out for rainy day hikes in Vancouver BC, everything is lush and very green throughout the winter. Plus waterfall season! If you know, you know 🙂

What to wear for rainy day hikes in Vancouver BC

I learned a lesson when I was a newcomer to the PNW. Through experience, I now know that waterproof and water resistant are not the same thing! Because of the volume of rain, you will want to make sure you have waterproof gear 🙂 Trust me, this will make or break your rainy day in Vancouver experience! Very important!

Similar to other climates in winter, make sure to dress in layers. A 3 layer system works well in Vancouver too.


Choose a layer that is warm and retains warmth if wet. Your baselayer is meant to keep sweat and wet off your body. My favourite fabrics are merino wool, silk, and bamboo. Lastly, here’s the top tip to keep in mind when choosing a base layer- No cotton!!


Something that has insulating qualities. This is the layer that will keep you warm. Keep in mind that it’s often above freezing in Vancouver, and if you are hiking you will be working, and potentially sweating. Sometimes, packing multiple options for an insulating layer are helpful.


This is where waterproof is the key word!! A waterproof (vs. water resistant) jacket is a must. Also, you will likely want to have a hood, waterproof pants, and a hat.


Socks and baselayers are similar. Choose a fabric that will wick moisture away from your body, or that retains warmth when wet, like wool.


Be sure to have comfortable shoes. I have always found that waterproof shoes are not truly waterproof in the pnw, as you are bound to step in puddles. Choose socks that will maintain warmth, even if your feet get wet.


Choose a pack that has a waterproof cover, or is a waterproof pack in itself. They exist! Some of my favourites are here in my rain gear guide for exploring in the PNW.

Safety Considerations for Rainy Hikes in Vancouver BC

  • Boardwalks can be very slippery when wet, be aware of this!
  • Many trails around Vancouver do have roots and small rocks on the ground, I’ve been caught and tripped before!
  • With the rain comes mud!
  • Ensure that you have waterproof gear, it can be very cold if you get soaked.
  • Now that you know about the rain, you will want to be aware that if your bag is not waterproof, your extra clothes and supplies will get wet in your bag!
  • Continue to be wildlife aware. Many trails around Vancouver have cougars and bears at times.

21 Hikes in Vancouver BC to Do in the Rain

Vancouver is a beautiful city in British Columbia that is on the West Coast of Canada. It is surrounded by rivers, the Pacific Ocean, rainforest, and many mountain ranges. Consequently, there are a many beautiful hikes in Vancouver BC that make for a great way to spend time outside on a rainy day.

Waterfall Hikes in Vancouver BC

Here’s a local PNW secret: With rain, comes waterfalls! Many waterfalls slow to a trickle during the summer AKA dry season, and with the rain comes rushing magical waterfalls! There are even some waterfalls that only exist in the rainy season. What a fun way to spend a rainy day in Vancouver, chasing waterfalls!

1. Twin Falls Loop

Distance: 1.3km (0.8mi), Elevation: 46m (150ft), Terrain: dirt path, boardwalks, Dogs on leash

Twin Falls Loop is a trail in North Vancouver in Lynn Valley Park. Because the loop meanders along the river valley, it’s a great place to find beautiful views in Vancouver, no matter the weather. You’ll cross the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and walk along boardwalks through lush, green rainforest. The water here comes direct from the mountains, and so, it’s cold! For those who are interested in cold water therapy, there is a great spot for cold plunging in Vancouver at a beach just past the falls.

2. Cypress Falls

A man is slacklining in front of Cypress Falls.  A waterfall in West Vancouver that is a great place to explore on a rainy day in Vancouver
Slacklining over Cypress Falls

Distance: 2.7kms (1.7mi), Elevation: 124m (406ft), Terrain: dirt path with some roots, Dog friendly trail in Vancouver

Cypress Falls is one of the most scenic short hikes in Vancouver. Most people will find this to be an easy trail, with stunning waterfalls. Because of it’s location in the rainforest, there are some roots and rocks on the trail to watch out for. You will want to keep small children and dogs close by as there are some drops into the river valley. This is one of many local gems in Vancouver, you won’t find too many people around!

3. Norvan Falls

One of many waterfall hikes in Vancouver BC, is to Norvan Falls.  Pictured is Norvan Falls, a single stream of water pouring over rocks surrounded by green rainforest plants into a pool of water below.  THere are large rocks and a log across the water.
Norvan Falls in North Vancouver

Distance: 14kms (8.6miles), Elevation: 363 m (1191 feet), Terrain: large rocks, gravel, and roots, Dogs on leash

This trail is flat, however it’s a pretty long walk at 14kms roundtrip. Hikers can choose to complete this trail as an out and back or a loop. The trail follows Lynn Creek then winds through the shady forest of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park before arriving at Norvan Falls. Occasionally, this trail gets snow, and the falls freeze, and you can have a magical experience viewing frozen waterfalls in Vancouver!

4. Shannon Falls

Shannon falls, a waterfall on the way to Squamish from Vancouver

Distance: 1.6kms (1.0mile), Elevation: 52m (170ft), Terrain: gravel, then paved to lower lookout. If continuing on to the second viewpoint, there are some stairs. Dogs on leash

Shannon Falls is an easy hike around Vancouver, that starts from the Sea to Sky Gondola (which is also well worth a visit)close to Squamish BC. The falls are impressive anytime of year. Likely, you will find them to be incredible during the rainy season as the volume of water crashing is huge! With this in mind, be sure to be cautious around the water, as mentioned, it’s powerful and there have been accidents here in the past.

These are just a few of many waterfalls near Vancouver. If you love a good waterfall, check out my guide to waterfalls in the area.

Rainforest Hikes in Vancouver (with shelter from the rain)

Not only is the rainforest alive and vibrant green year round, it also offers great cover from the rain! I will never take for granted the beauty of the rainforest, it truly is magical and always reminds me of scenes from Jurassic Park.

5. Whyte Lake

Distance: 5.0kms (3.1miles), Elevation: 197m (646ft), Terrain: Some small roots and rocks, mostly dirt path, dogs on leash

Whyte Lake Trail in West Vancouver is a popular destination for nature walks in Vancouver. The trail runs along a creek for the whole time. Because of it’s location, it is one of the best examples of temperate rainforest in Vancouver. Check out the variety of mosses growing everywhere! The lake at the top is a great spot for a picnic, with a dock and a couple beach spots. You can also fish in Whyte Lake, and the trail earns a spot on my list of cool hikes in Vancouver! Check it out to learn why.

6. Lynn Canyon to 30 Foot Pools Loop

One of my favourite hikes in Vancouver BC is to 30 foot pools in Lynn Canyon.  A white woman in a pink toque and black rain jacket stands beside an emerald green pool of water on a rainy day in Vancouver
Checking out 30 foot pools in Lynn Canyon on a rainy day in Vancouver

Distance: 1.9kms (1.18miles), Elevation: 82m (269 ft), Terrain: Boardwalks with some stairs, Dogs on leash

Lynn Canyon and the 30 foot pools in North Vancouver BC are an awesome way to spend a day in any season. Admire the crystal clear water and stunning landscape, enjoy a picnic lunch or take a cold dip before crossing back over Lynn Canyon Park’s suspension bridge. A local favourite swimming hole and spot to cold plunge. There are waterfalls all around too! So, why not plan to spend your next rainy day in Vancouver at Lynn Canyon?!

7. Cleveland Dam Loop (to the Salmon Hatchery)

Fog sits in the canyon at Capilano River and Cleveland Dam, one of many great hikes in Vancouver BC
Vancouver is a rainy city, however it’s magic when the rain stops and the light shines through!

Distance: 3.5kms (2.2 miles), Elevation: 179m (587ft), Terrain: Smooth gravel, stairs, and some dirt pathways with roots, dogs on leash

Cleveland Dam Loop in North Vancouver, BC is a great spot for a hike or trail run. You will have spectacular views of the mountains and water from many spots on this looped trail. This trail is an easy trail, however, for those looking for more of a challenge, there are many trails that connect . There is also an interesting salmon hatchery, and the dam itself is very impressive. This is not a good spot for swimming at all, the volume of water here is incredible!

8. Hyannis Trail

A womand and small child walking along Hyannis Trail on a rainy day in Vancouver.  There is mist in the trees, and everything is green.  There are many puddles to splash in.
Hyannis Trail is one of many great easy hikes in Vancouver BC

Distance: 2.6kms (1.6), Elevation: 71m (233ft), Terrain: This portion of the trail network is a wheelchair and stroller friendly trail in North Vancouver. DOG FRIENDLY

Hyannis Trail in North Vancouver BC is a short but rewarding hike. The views along the trail are beautiful. The lower section starts at the parking lot and follows an easy path for about 1 km before reaching the middle section where you can connect to other trails for a longer hike, or turn back. You might also enjoy viewing the many old growth trees in the rainforest along this trail. One of my favourite places to hang out on a rainy day in Vancouver.

9. Pacific Spirit Park

Distance: Multiple Options from 1km to 16kms ( 0.6-10miles), Elevation: Multiple options from flat to 300m (0-980ft), Terrain: smooth gravel, boardwalks, stairs, dirt paths (depending on trail), park is full of many dog friendly hikes in Vancouver

Pacific Spirit Park is located right within the city of Vancouver, close to UBC, and because of this is accessible by public transportation. With its lush forests, rolling hills, and access to ocean beaches, it’s the ideal spot for hikers, runners, cyclists, birdwatchers, and anyone else looking for a peaceful getaway from the hustle of city life. The park offers plenty of trails suitable for all skill levels, so there’s something for everyone.

10. Lighthouse Park Juniper Loop

My favourite set of hikes in Vancouver BC.  The view of Vancouver's skyline looking across the ocean from Lighthouse Park, on large slabs of rock.
Views of Vancouvers’s skyline from Lighthouse Park

Distance: 1.0km (0.6miles), Elevation: 36 m (118ft), Terrain: Dirt path, smooth without roots, ONe of many dog friendly hikes in Vancouver

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver has some of the best views in Canada (in my opinion). Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll to rocky beaches, or a hike through the forest, Lighthouse Park has plenty to offer adventurers of all kinds. Find all trail details for this trail on the TrailCollectiv app. There are numerous trails in this park located right on the Pacific Ocean, including a wheelchair and stroller friendly loop called Juniper Loop. Also, if beachcombing is your thing, one of the beaches at this park makes the list of best places to find sea glass.

11. Baden Powell to Quarry Rock (top on my list of favourite hikes in Vancouver BC)

Distance 4.2 kms ( 2.6miles), Elevation 197m (646ft), Terrain: Dirt path, boardwalks, one of many dog friendly hikes in Vancouver
This trail runs along the longer Baden Powell Trail to Quarry Rock and offers amazing views of Indian Arm. Most people know this trail from the village of Deep Cove, however I suggest starting the trail from Mount Seymour Parkway. Instead of climbing, this route travels down through stunning rainforest. You’ll find lush forest, rocky outcrops, small creeks, boardwalks, and if the clouds part, incredible views of Indian Arm in the Pacific Ocean. If you choose to go out on Quarry Rock, be mindful that when it is raining, it can be slippery.

12. Mosquito Creek

Lower Mosquito Creek Distance: 3.3 kms (2.0 miles), Elevation: 59m (194ft) Terrain: Boardwalks, smooth gravel, dirt path. Dogs on leash.

Upper Mosquito Creek Distance: 4.2kms (2.6 miles ), Elevation: 144m (472 ft) Terrain: Dirt path, some roots and rocks, boardwalks. Dogs on leash.

There are two options for trails, upper Mosquito Creek and Lower Mosquito Creek. These North Vancouver Trails are a great choice for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are plenty of spots to stop for lunch, take in breathtaking views, or splash in the creeks. You’ll also pass by several creeks, towering trees, lush forests, and unique geological formations as you make your way through the trails.

13. Belcarra to Maple Beach

Distance: 3.3kms ( 2.0 ) out and back, Elevation: 168m (551ft) , Terrain: dirt pathway with gentle ups and downs and some roots and rocks. Dogs on leash

Belcarra Regional Park is in Coquitlam BC is a great spot for nature walks and hiking. It has stunning views of the Burrard Inlet, and so offers plenty of opportunities for exploration, with meandering trails and rocky beachfronts. This trail to Maple Beach is perfect for all ages and the beach is a great spot to hang out for a while and have a snack.

14. Jug Island

A favourite of hikes in Vancouver, where there are purple and orange sea stars and green sea urchins everywhere along the rocks at low tide.
Find all kinds of sea creatures at low tide in Belcarra Park

Distance: 4.5kms ( 2.8miles ), Elevation: 173m (568 ), Terrain: Lots of ups and downs and roots, and some stairs, Dogs on leash.

Although this trail is often rated as easy, many people disagree because the terrain is not flat and smooth.

Despite the roots and rock, this is a beautiful trail! On the way to Jug Island you will pass through lush old-growth forests and alongside creeks. You will finish at a beach with views of an Island and Indian Arm. At low tide, make sure to check out the rocks, as there are hundreds of star fish. Although the ocean views aren’t as beautiful in the rain, the sea life is so interesting and this is a great adventure on a rainy day in Vancouver!

15. Sasamat Lake in təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park

Distance: 3.2kms (2.0miles ), Elevation: 32m (104ft), Terrain: Smooth dirt trail, Dogs on leash

Sasamat Lake is a great spot for nature walks and hiking all year round. It has great beaches for swimming in the summer. The lake is surrounded by towering trees, rainforest, and rugged mountains. Because of it’s beautiful location and access to nature, locals call it paradise!

16. Rice Lake

Distance: 2.9kms (1.8), Elevation: 39m (128), Terrain (smooth, hard packed) No DOGS

Rice Lake in the lower Seymour Mountain Conservation Reserve is the perfect place to take a hike on a rainy day in Vancouver. The surrounding forest provides shelter from the rain, and there are lots of puddles to jump in! You can easily spend several hours exploring all that the Seymour trail network has to offer. There is even a suspension bridge and a trail with historical ruins too! This is also a great spot for a trail run, fishing, or bird watching! If you are are interested in birding, you will want to check out the BC bird trail for information about species you might see and hear along the way.

17. Minnekhada Regional Park

There are clouds and fog sitting in the trees, a view from High Knoll in Minnekhada Regional Park overlooking forest and acreages.
View from High Knoll at Minnekhada Regional Park when the rain stops

Distance: 3.7kms (2.3), Elevation: 140m (459ft), Terrain: Smooth packed gravel and dirt Dogs Allowed on leash only

Minnekhada Regional Park is a beautiful park located in Coquitlam, British Columbia. You will find diverse ecosystems, many species of birds, and a variety of trails. Whether you are interested in bird watching or the ecosystems around the marsh, there is something for everyone here. Because Black bears frequent the area, be sure to be bear aware! There are also lots of toads, that are a lot of fun to find on the middle boardwalk!

18. Beaver Lake Trail Stanley Park (inner Stanley Park trails)

A white woman and a child on one of the lesser known hikes in Vancouver BC, the inner loops of Stanley Park. It is raining and there are green trees and moss everywhere.
The inner trails of Stanley Park are a hidden gem in Vancouver!

DISTANCE: up to 8kms (5 miles), Elevation: up to 100m (328 ft), Terrain: Smooth packed gravel/dirt, Dogs: on leash
Stanley Park is not a hidden gem in Vancouver. However, most people don’t know about the trails through the inner part of the park. To access Beaver Lake Trail, you can park by the train in the inner park (for a shorter hike about 3kms) or join from the sea wall to do a longer nature walk. Whether you want to spend time looking at towering trees, exploring through lush vegetation, or bird watching, this is a nature-lover’s paradise. You will also find the famous seawall and the bike route around Stanley Park here.

Hikes in Vancouver BC where you will find snow instead of rain

Locals have a saying that if its raining at the beach, there is snow in the mountains! So, make like a local and head up to escape the rain. On a rainy day in Vancouver, sometimes, you’ll be treated to some incredible cloud inversions when you go up! There are many snowy, winter hikes in Vancouver that are just as beautiful in the winter!

19. BCMC

DISTANCE: 2.4 kms one way (1.5miles), ELEVATION: 791 m (2598 Ft) , TERRAIN: steep, roots, snow DOGS NOT PERMITTED

When its raining in Vancouver there is usually snow in the mountains. BCMC, also known as the real Grouse Grind, is well travelled and with a pair of ice cleats/crampons is a lovely trail through the forest. Even though this trail is quite rooted and is a climb, the snow does a great job of smoothing out the trail. Bonus: you can decide to take the gondola down if you wish! You will find the BCMC trailhead running parallel to the famous Grouse Grind, there is a clearing from the parking lot at Grouse Mountain, head up here! If you decide to take the gondola down, it will cost you $20 Canadian.

20. Bowen Lookout -One of the most beautiful snowy hikes in Vancouver BC

A family of 3 people, a woman, a man, and 3 year old child sit on the snow at the top of Bowen Lookout -one of many beautiful hikes in Vancouver BC.  The view is looking out over trees and islands and mountains in the Pacific Ocean on the coast of British Columbia.
Bowen Lookout is one of many beautiful easy hikes in Vancouver

DISTANCE: 4.7 kms (2.92 miles), ELEVATION: 152 m (499ft), TERRAIN: Snow covered dirt path in winter. NO DOGS ALLOWED ON THIS TRAIL

Bowen Lookout on Cypress Mountain near Vancouver BC offers a stunning view of the surrounding area. Because of the low effort, high reward views, this tops my lists of all hikes in Vancouver BC. From the lookout point, hikers can take in sweeping views of Howe Sound and its islands, as well as the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the North Shore Mountains.

21. Dog Mountain

Distance: 4.8kms (2.98), 157m (515 ft), Terrain: Roots and muddy, snow covered in winter, Dogs on leash

Personally, I prefer this trail in the winter. There has been a lot of erosion to the trail, so while this is a short trail, it is technical. Roots everywhere! Then, the snow flies on the top of Seymour Mountain and covers all those roots up in a blanket that is much easier to navigate. Dog Mountain Trail meanders through the forest and trees and comes out to a stunning view over the city of Vancouver and Pacific Ocean. On days where it is socked in at the top, there won’t be views, but you’ll feel like you are in a winter wonderland. Some days, you will be above the clouds, so while it is raining below, you might catch a stunning cloud inversion at the top!

Wrapping up: Rainy Day Hikes in Vancouver

Overall, rainy hikes in Vancouver BC can be a lot of fun. Just make sure you come prepared with the right gear and get out there to explore! With its lush landscapes and varied terrain, Vancouver is an amazing place for hikers of all experience levels to enjoy the outdoors regardless of whether it’s raining or not. So don’t let a little wet weather keep you from having an amazing hiking experience – just make sure to plan ahead and stay safe. Happy trails!

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