Trailblazing 2017: Easy Breezy Easter Hike at Buntzen Lake Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 3.5 hours

Round-Trip Distance: 8 km

Elevation Gain: 110m

Distance from Vancouver by car: 1 hour

Accessible by Public Transit? Yes

 

I really enjoyed this moderate trail circling Buntzen Lake. I enjoyed that it was a loop, so we did not have to retrace our steps. You can start from either the southern or the northern end of the lake.

Once we disappeared into the forest away from the recreation areas, it was really serene and peaceful. Some of the more notable stops along the way include these lookout points.

An interesting note is that the entire area is second-generation growth and created for the purpose of producing electricity for the city of Vancouver. The Buntzen Lake hydroelectric project was developed in 1903 and was the first hydroelectric generator to provide electricity to Vancouver. Through the years, BC Hydro has maintained the network of trails throughout the area. You can see the power lines while walking on some parts of the trail.

I saw many dogs along the way - I guess this is a dog-friendly trail. We were lucky enough to meet some horses all the way from Langley on this trail!

I loved this lookout point near the end of the trail atop some rocks. I just sat there drinking in the view - it was so quiet that you could only hear nature's music.

There was also a really nice suspension bridge near the end.

The views at North Beach were worth the relatively long trail. This is also a perfect spot to have a barbeque or picnic.

Overall, this hike is the perfect relaxing half-day trail relatively near Vancouver with great scenery and family-friendly activities. At the same time, you will still feel like you're getting in a good workout due to the distance and variation in elevation.

Till the next hiking adventure!

Trailblazing 2017: Queen of Quarry Rock

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 1.5 hours

Round-Trip Distance: 3.8 km

Elevation Gain: 100m

Distance from Vancouver by car: 30 minutes

Accessible by Public Transit? Yes

I have wanted to do the Quarry Rock hike for the longest time, but never got round to it. Deep Cove has always been one of my favorite places in North Vancouver. I remember visiting it when I first moved to Vancouver and planning future picnics and kayaking trips. 

This weekend was (in my opinion) the actual start of Spring. It was freaking gorgeous after many days of rain in March. I knew it was time for an outdoor hiking adventure. 

My parents and I drove to Deep Cove, which was swarming with people basking in the sunshine. Tip: It is fairly hard to find parking when the sun is out so wait patiently. 

I pushed myself extra hard at spin class this morning because I was expecting an easy hike based on Vancouver Trails. However, it was more moderate than easy! There were many sections with steps leading upward. There were only several flat sections and bridges. It was uphill, with a slight elevation gain of 100m, which is actually quite steep for a 3.8km hike. Stretch before, and do fuel up before the hike and when you reach the summit! 

The views at the top were well worth it though!

From the top of the rock, the beautiful blues of the Indian Arm and mountains surrounding Belcarra, as well as picnic area of Deep Cove were breathtaking on a clear day.

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Just standing up and admiring the view. It was really crowded as this is a popular day hike. 

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I may have looked pensive, but I was actually pretty perplexed.

In search of the perfect Instagram shot, I clambered to the bottom section of the rock. I asked 2 girls to move aside so I could get a better view. Unfortunately, my iPhone which was loosely encased in my jacket pocket, tumbled out and went straight over the edge. It was like it happened in slow-mo. I gasped as it rolled down the sides of the rock into the wilderness below. Maybe this is a sign that nature wants me to do a digital detox. Though this definitely wasn't the best way to kick off my ambitious plans for #Trailblazing2017, I still admired the gorgeous view. After all, it was just my phone and not my safety that was harmed. Glad I had the sense not to reach out and grab it!  Future hikers to Quarry Rock, or any other trails please take care of your belongings and your safety! The rocks are fairly steep in the area. 

Still, I'm so excited to have crossed off Quarry Rock from my bucket list. I really recommend it as a casual half day hike. 

Deep Cove is the perfect place for summer picnics, walks, cafe visits and lounging around in the sunshine. 

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RIP iPhone and I can't wait to share more hiking adventures and natural outdoor beauty with you guys. 2017 will be an amazing year of trailblazing!