Hikes with the Best Payoff Views

To be included and modified accordingly from www.modernmixvancouver.com

There is no shortage of amazing hikes in so many areas surrounding Vancouver. In this post, I will be focusing on some hikes which casual hikers can get the most Instagram-worthy views for reasonably minimal effort!

1. Joffre Lakes

Difficulty: Intermediate

Location: Pemberton

Expected Time: 3.5 - 4 hours

Round-Trip Distance: 10km

Elevation Gain: 370m

If you enjoy clear turquoise waters, crisp mountain air and layers of greenery, I would highly recommend Joffre Lakes for a relatively easy hike. With a round-trip distance of 10km and elevation gain of 370m, this hike is not very strenuous, but still allows you to enjoy the splendour of Lower, Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes.

From the trailhead parking lot, head along the trail staying to your left at the fork and in just minutes you will reach the first of three lakes.

It is relatively easy to access compared to other alpine lakes in the vicinity. The only drawback is that it is located in Pemberton, around 2.5 hours away from Vancouver, making it one of the furthest hikes to access. Definitely allocate at least half a day to enjoy this popular, family-friendly trail. 

To get from Middle Joffres Lake to Upper Joffres Lake, cross a wooden bridge and pass a log floating in the water.

Be sure to snap one for the 'gram at Upper Joffre Lakes where Matier Glacier hangs impressively above. It's a view you're unlikely to ever forget. 

2. Diez Vistas 

Difficulty: Intermediate  

Location: Port Moody

Expected Time: 6-7 hours

Round-Trip Distance: 15km

Elevation Gain: 460m

Named Diez Vistas for its ten views, this hike offers beautiful scenery overlooking Indian Arm as you circle your way around the Buntzen Lake vicinity.

The payoff for this hike is that although it is fairly long and technical, you can stop at several of the viewpoints to soak in the views. Many of the viewpoints are shrouded by the greenery, however, certain viewpoints make for great picture spots and food breaks. 

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After your break, continue along the Diez Vitas Trail before climbing back up the north side of the ridge. Once you have passed the final view, the trail will wind its way down various switchbacks rather steeply towards Buntzen Lake. It is a nice spot to grab a picnic and enjoy the view.

 Photo Credits: Ashika Persad

Photo Credits: Ashika Persad

3. St Mark's Summit

Difficulty: Intermediate

Location: North Shore

Round-Trip Distance: 11km

Elevation Gain: 460m

A large portion of the St Mark's Summit consists of various increasingly steep switchbacks which follow a trail uphill until it reaches a huge green water tower.

Although there are various challenging forest sections, observing the spectacular Howe Sound views as you go uphill make it worth the journey.

4. Lindeman Lake

Difficulty: Intermediate

Location: Chilliwack

Round-Trip Distance: 3.4km

Elevation Gain: 300m

Located in a lesser known area of Chilliwack, venturing through this short hike will lead you to tranquil and picturesque turquoise waters.

I personally enjoyed it as it is a less popular hike, allowing you the breathing room to enjoy peace and quiet.

Follow this trail as it winds into the forest briefly before beginning your ascent. At the half-kilometer mark, you will stumble across a log bridge build from a fallen tree. After climbing uphill past the 1km mark, you will reach the first South viewpoint. Continue along the west shore to a sandy beach area which offers a resting spot to end your hike.

 Literally paradise!

Literally paradise!

If you are interested to venture for another half hour beyond the 4km mark, you can cross some boulder fields and explore Greendrop Lake.