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Dog-friendly off-leash hikes in Vancouver

While there are many hikes in Vancouver and the surrounding areas, not all of them are dog-friendly. Many of them still allow dogs, but only on-leash. Where’s the fun in that!? If you have a friendly dog, there’s nothing better than watching them run around and enjoy the freedom of peeing on many different bushes and smelling many different new things, without you having to be dragged behind on leash.

We’ve gathered a list of some of Vancouver’s best dog-friendly hiking destinations to enjoy with your pups!

Reminders: If you’re not a fan of good dogs, maybe avoid these areas. If you have a dog, don’t forget to pick up its poop. Seeing old dog poop everywhere is disgusting. Also, keep your dog under control – let’s not ruin this for everybody, shall we?

Quick Links: North Vancouver | West Vancouver | Vancouver | Fraser Valley

off leash hikes in vancouver

North Vancouver

Capilano Canyon

  • Location: Capilano Canyon / Cleveland Dam area
  • Length: 1 hour plus
  • Difficulty: Easy

There are many trails around the Cap Canyon that are dog-friendly, just follow the extensive signage. One of the best trails is to park in the first parking lot on the access road to the Fish Hatchery. From there, walk the trail towards the Cleveland Dam and go in a big loop. Here’s a good map of the route.

Lynn Headwaters to Norvan Falls

  • Location: End of Lynn Valley Road, Lynn Valley
  • Length: 3 – 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

The start of this hike is quite monotonous as you trudge 4km along a flat path, but eventually you’ll get to break into the forest to enjoy some more rugged terrain. This is an extremely popular trail, so you’ll likely see many other dogs in the first few kms, but eventually you’ll leave the crowds behind. Note: the higher trail (Lynn Loop) is on-leash only; same with Lynn Peak. Here’s more info.

Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls

  • Location: Mount Fromme, Lynn Valley
  • Length: 2 – 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

A fun hike with minimal elevation gain that’s enjoyable even in the rain. Can be muddy and slippery, so be prepared with good footwear. Getting to the Big Cedar is good for a short hike, but go all the way to Kennedy Falls if you want to get up close and personal with a beautiful waterfall. More info.

Quarry Rock

  • Location: Deep Cove
  • Length: 1 – 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy / Intermediate

Oddly enough, one of Vancouver’s most popular hiking destinations that is packed with people on summer weekends is off-leash and dog-friendly. While the start of the trail is on-leash only, you’ll soon get to a sign that permits dogs to be off-leash. Who knows how much longer this will be allowed…

Mount Fromme

  • Location:  Top of St. Georges Avenue in North Vancouver
  • Length: 5+ hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Now that dogs are banned from the BCMC hike on Grouse Mountain, it’s a bit harder to find a difficult hike up a mountain that also allows off-leash dogs. Mount Fromme is the perfect destination for dog parents who are looking for some intense hiking action. You’ll need to follow directions, as the trail can be confusing at times. More info.

Baden Powell Trail

  • Location: Many different access points across North Vancouver
  • Length: As much as you want (the whole trail is 42km!)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

This epic 42km trail stretches all the way from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove and is usually done in short bursts (or in an entire day if you’re a crazy trail runner). There are many access points, but some of the best for dogs are the ones around Dempsey Road / the top of Mountain Highway in Lynn Valley. From there, navigate the twisty trails and stay away from the mountain bikers. The lush forest will surround you and will make you feel like you’re the only person on the trail. Here’s more info.

West Vancouver

Cypress Falls

  • Location: Woodgreen Place, West Vancouver Map directions
  • Length: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

A nice, short hike to take with dogs in West Vancouver, the Cypress Falls hike offers a quick escape into nature. Dogs are allowed off-leash and under control. More info.

Lower Hollyburn Trail

  • Location: Cypress Mountain (park at the viewpoint or nearby)
  • Length: 4 – 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate / Difficult

A fun hike that is often quiet and less popular than the upper mountain trails. This loop winds its way from the viewpoint parking lot up towards the cross country ski trails and back. If you just want to go on a flat route, there’s another access point later along the road near the access road to the Hollyburn cabins. More info.


Spanish Banks to Wreck Beach

  • Location: Spanish Banks, Kitsilano
  • Length: 1 – 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

Vancouver has a lack of hills that allow for any decent hiking, so if you’re just looking for a long walk (we’ll call it a hike because of those stairs at the end!) start at the Spanish Banks dog park and walk the beach all the way around until Wreck Beach. You’ll see a lot of interesting sights along the way and your dog may enjoy running in and out of the ocean. Note: Wreck Beach does not allow dogs in the summer months, so exit the beach trail at Tower Beach to head back up onto the road for a loop, or turn around to retrace your steps.

Pacific Spirit Park

  • Location: Point Grey
  • Length: 1 – 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

The trails of Pacific Spirit Park are long and winding and there are several areas that are off-leash and dog-friendly. Check out this handy PDF map for a full view of the leash optional trails.

Fraser Valley

Mount Cheam, Chilliwack

Location: You’ll need a good car up a forest service road, the directions online are a bit confusing, so make sure you have an idea of where you’re going before heading off (speaking from EXPERIENCE!)
Length: 2 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate/Advanced

One of the most spectacular views in the Fraser Valley, Mount Cheam offers a 360-degree panoramic view from Chilliwack and the communities along the Fraser River, Jones Lake, the surrounding peaks, and Mount Baker to the south. More info.

Lindeman Lake

  • Location: Chilliwack Lake Road, follow the signage
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

A busy hike in the summer that is fairly quick and easy, with access to a stunning glacier lake. If you’re still looking for more of a climb after you hit the lake, continue on to the less picturesque but less busy Greendrop Lake further along the trail. Click here for more info.

Sumas Mountain

  • Location: Sumas Mountain, Abbotsford
  • Length: 6 – 7 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

We’ve never done this trail before, so it’s harder to write a description. But, the Vancouver Trails website offers plenty of details on the trail and how to get to the top.

What are your favourite dog-friendly off-leash hikes in Vancouver? Did we miss one or more? Let us know in the comment section!

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