Elevation Gain
1,450.00 m (4,757.22 ft)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
13.00 km (8.08 mi)
Warming hut
No
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The Cypress Provincial Park corridor that goes north with the Howe Sound Crest Trail gives access to several stunning peaks that are minutes away from Vancouver. This outing takes you to one of those summits, photogenic Mount Harvey (1,652 meters). Like any hike that originates form Lions Bay, prepare for a thigh-burner; this has a gain of over 1,400 meters in only 6.5 kilometers!

The trailhead is located Lions Bay at the end of Sunset Drive, 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. There are free parking spots along the road, and the parking area just before the gate is free in winter (there’s a fee in summer). Make sure you read the parking signs carefully to avoid a bad surprise when you return.

The trail starts with eight switchbacks on a gravel road that could be snow-covered depending on the conditions. As the weather is usually mild at that elevation, the hike should be mostly snow-free until an elevation of around 700 meters.

After about 3 kilometers and an elevation of 700 meters, the trail to Mount Harvey appears on the hiker’s left. From that point, it’s a 2-kilometer grind through multiple switchbacks to gain the ridge at 1,400 meters. The toughest part of the ascent is over, and visitors are rewarded with fantastic views of the Lions and Howe Sound.

From the ridge, most of the ascent is behind you, but the final 250 meters are completed over 1.5 kilometers and can be steep and mildly technical at times depending on the conditions. In winter it can be done with snowshoes, but bringing crampons and an ice ax is a good idea. As this trail is not very travelled in winter, trail-breaking may be necessary from this point.

Once on the summit, the beautiful mountain scenery of the North Shore will reveal itself. Mount Harvey’s position means it offers one of the finest views of the Lions and of Brunswick Mountain. This is truly one of the gems of the North Shore. You need another reason to go? Mount Harvey sees less traffic than neighboring summits.

On the way back, take a few minutes to admire the ridge you took to ascend Mount Harvey. It is truly spectacular with its forested south side, open north side, and with the Lions and Howe Sound in the background. The return is via the same trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Fantastic views. Solitude.

Cons

High elevation gain.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

721.78 ft (220.00 m)

Highest point

5,419.95 ft (1,652.00 m)

Net Elevation Gain

4,698.16 ft (1,432.00 m)

Features

Old-growth forest
Big vistas
Backcountry camping
Wildlife

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Snowmobiles allowed

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Comments

If you're going up this route in winter don't forget that in 2017 five experienced snowshoers were killed when the cornice they were standing on collapsed. In a big snow year the cornices potential fall zone can be 8 metres long, so keep well back from the edge.

Less risk , but after snowfall small storm slabs can knock people into tree wells. Despite the seemingly low risk of this adventure all relevant precautions should be taken.
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