Location: Lynn Headwaters Regional Park
Park here: Lynn Headwaters Entrance Parking Lot
Public Transport: Bus # 210 from downtown Vancouver
Hike Distance: 5.2 km loop
Hike Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss: 170 m
What makes it easy? The path is relatively smooth and flat, except for a short, steep section in the middle.
Park website: Click here
The Lynn Loop is a trail where I start almost all my sojourns in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, from solo wilderness treks into Hanes Valley, to aimless wandering down by the river. Done on its own, it showcases a microcosm of the park’s history and ecology. Its gentle grades are perfect for a family stroll or a snow-free dose of the North Shore off-season.
As you circumnavigate the densely wooded route, look for the remains of ancient trees and the leftovers from 19th century logging activities.
Finding the Trailhead
The Lynn Loop shares a communal trailhead with numerous other regional trails. After exiting the entrance parking lot at the end of Lynn Valley Road, follow the path past a couple of heritage buildings, including the old BC Mills House, and cross the wooden bridge over Lynn Creek.
On the opposite side of the creek, a large signboard and a marker post denote the trail’s official starting point.
The Lynn Loop can be done in either direction. I usually opt to do it clockwise, as I prefer climbing up rather than down the short steep section in the middle.
The Hike Itself
The path starts as a wide gravel service road that parallels Lynn Creek. The river is occasionally visible through the trees.
Once the site of a lumber mill, the valley is still scattered with remnants of its logging past, including the skeleton of this long-abandoned vehicle now overtaken by nature.
The first major branch in the path comes after 1.8 kilometres. Turn right for the Lynn Loop and start a short, steep uphill climb.
The next 300 metres, known as the 2nd Debris Chute, is the most rugged section of the trail ascending 100 metres to a parallel path higher up the hillside. This part of the route is rated as ‘intermediate.’
Several staircases have been built into the hillside to smooth the ascent. This one is guarded by two massive tree stumps, all that remains of the region’s original old-growth forest.
At the top of the 2nd Debris Chute, you’ll come to a T-junction. Turn right to continue the loop. The trail immediately flattens out and traverses the hillside beneath the forest canopy.
In a couple of hundred metres, take a short, signposted diversion off the main trail to a cluster of giant boulders scattered across the forest floor. These granite behemoths are popular with rock-climbers who refer to their tricky climbing routes as ‘problems.’
Back on the main loop, pass a junction with the Lynn Peak trail and gradually descend back to Lynn Creek and the starting point.
Before You Go:
- In high summer, the parking lot often gets full. To avoid the congestion, consider catching a bus from central Vancouver (# 210 from downtown or # 228 from Lonsdale Quay).
- For a more gradual climb, turn right after you cross Lynn Creek and procced around the loop in a counter-clockwise direction.
- You can lengthen the loop by continuing past 2nd Debris Chute to 3rd Debris Chute and looping back along the Headwaters trail (total distance: 9 km)
Have you hiked the Lynn Loop? Tell us about your experience!
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