It’s Summer 2021 in Vancouver, and while we’ve been following Bonnie Henry’s restrictions vehemently the past year, June 15th marked a huge breath of fresh air for many of us. The province of BC opened up travel across BC again, along with larger gatherings of up to 50 people! Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel has arrived, and I’m not going to lie, I’m all set to rent a car and re-visit some of my favourite pit stops.
To celebrate the easing of restrictions in Vancouver, we’ve curated a list of the top excursions you must try this summer 2021. They are some of the most popular search terms on our Bored in Vancouver site, so we know it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for.
1. Climb Mt Seymour and Swim Mystery Lake
This summer, go for a hike and take a refreshing dip in a cool, clear swimming hole found on top of Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver. From the Mt Seymour parking lot, Mystery Lake is a good 15-20 minute hike away. It’s easy for kids, but also easy if you’re lugging in some lunch. There are quite a few flat rocks for sunbathing or picnicking around the lake, so this is a great half or full-day activity.
Interested in other great lakes around Vancouver? Read our list of top ten swimming lakes in the GVA.
2. Explore Capilano Canyon in North Vancouver
Don’t have a car? Then take transit to Capilano Canyon. It is a treasure trove of secret riverside hang-outs, cliff-jumping locations, and dog-friendly, off-leash areas. Metro Vancouver Regional Parks are open to the public and socially distance measures have been put in place to keep residents safe.
The secret to finding the best location to chill out in Capilano Canyon? Lots of exploration. There are rocky bluffs, deep waterholes, and fun cliffs for jumping (just be safe!). The water is definitely not warm, so make sure you go on a hot day and scope out a spot that has plenty of sunshine.
To find more North Vancouver trails and swimming holes, read our list of freshwater swimming holes.
3. Swing From A Rope Into Brohm Lake in Squamish
Pack a floaty and picnic to Brohm Lake in Squamish BC, and you’ll be able to find the rope swings by following the sounds of excited cheering around the lake trail. The lake is beautiful and refreshing but can get extremely busy, so make sure to head there early in the morning in order to get parking. Currently, parking is limited and Brohm Lake is open for day use only.
Looking for more rope swings around Vancouver? Read our list of epic rope swings.
4. Cliff Jump In Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver
Every summer the glacial creek in Lynn Canyon turns into a haven for cliff jumpers. You can go watch them jump into bone-chilling glacier water by crossing the suspension bridge from the parking lot, turning left and walking along the river until you hit the watering hole. Before you jump in with them, we warn you that cliff jumping is dangerous and if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe DON’T DO IT. If you are ready to try it, then start with the lower-level jumps before trying the main cliff.
Want to know of other cliff jumps in Vancouver? Find them here
5. Take a scenic ride and bare it all at Barnston Island
A great day trip, Barnston Island has two features that make it unique for visiting, one is a scenic 9.8 bike route around the entire island and the other is their nude beach on the eastern point called Barnston Bare Beach. Officially a nude beach in 2009, the sandy mounds make it a popular area for nude beach volleyball.
The best way to access Barnston Island is to leave your car behind on the mainland and take a 5-minute ride on the free tugboat ferry across Parsons Channel. Bring your bike to get around easily on the island. Open from 7 am to 10 pm, Check the British Columbia, Barnston Island Ferry website for travel advisories, schedules, and restrictions.
6. Kayak Indian Arm and Visit Twin Islands
Ready to take it to the next level? Rent a kayak from Deep Cove and enjoy a leisurely paddle to Twin Islands, where you can walk the sandy beach connecting both islands at low tide. The cliffs on the east side of the north island are popular for cliff jumping but obviously do so with great caution. If you’d like, prepare for an overnight stay as camping is permitted on the North Island too.
On average it takes about an hour and a half to paddle to Twin Islands. Be cautious of boat traffic on weekends. Note that fires are not permitted on the islands.
Looking for other free camping options around Vancouver? Read our list.
With restrictions easing in Vancouver, we’re ready to start exploring again around the Lower Mainland. Do you have an epic trip to recommend. Tell us about it in the comments.