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Howe Sound Crest Trail

5 Reviews
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Howe Sound Crest Trail

5 Reviews
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Hwy 99, West Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
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cmbtraveller wrote a review Sep 2017
Canada503 contributions198 helpful votes
There are several access points for this trail and the best is on Cypress Mtn Park. From here you head mostly north towards the Lions and Mt. Harvey. While not a difficult hike it's not that hard to get lost and there have been fatalities associated with this area because people did just that... got lost. Wear proper foot gear, bring water and make sure to stay on the trail. If you're not sure where the trail is STOP and go back the way you came.
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Date of experience: April 2017
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DX4 wrote a review Jun 2017
Vancouver, Canada1,732 contributions54 helpful votes
+1
Well, I'm sure it's a beautiful hike to the top, but we did not make it due to all the snow in JUNE! However, we did manage to re-route our hike along the ski runs to some nice view points. Bring a walking stick, dress in layers and water proof hiking boots! Steep and snowy still. We will try again in July or August!
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Date of experience: June 2017
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BeezerFamily wrote a review Apr 2017
West Vancouver, Canada94 contributions22 helpful votes
If you like a good hike or nature walk, check this trail out 0 you wont be disappointed. Bring the dogs or go with a group of friends. A lovely outing.
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Date of experience: January 2017
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Sam B wrote a review Sep 2015
Vancouver, Canada106 contributions77 helpful votes
+1
This is a wonderful, and extremely difficult day hike. We tried to do it this past summer and while it was amazing and I would do it again, I'm not sure if it would be possible under the same conditions. Summer 2015 was extremely hot and dry. I started this trail at Cypress towards Deeks Lake with a hiking partner, 24L pack and good gear, with 5.5L fluids, water tabs/pump, and started at 4am. The ascents are great and major trail work means its fairly smooth for the first few hours. St.Marks' summit is achieved without too much difficulty but the trail definitely gets much more difficult as you go, with multiple quick ascent/descents, and extremely rugged path. I had tried this trail a few years back but turned back as I couldn't follow the trail markers in dense fog little bit after Unnecessary Mt I think. This time, despite cloudless sky and 30deg heat, we still made a mistake at the base of the W Lions. Instead of switchbacking before the W Lions peak, we traversed the crevasse to climb the W Lions proper, thinking this was part of the trail. This part is especially treacherous, tight and technical, and we made it about half way towards the peak before deciding the turn back. Stupidly, I had climbed W Lions some years back and didn't know exactly where it continued as HSCT and where the ascent proper started... So we returned, at that point pretty beat, baking in the sun, and continued along the path. Because of the heat, the 5.5L didn't last long and soon dehydration was becoming a major concern. The Lions set us back about 1.5-2hrs and we were really feeling it as we approached Magnesia Meadows (beautiful views). We could have pushed on from here, but I was feeling terrible having completely run out of water (with only 1 potential fill up point, a fairly muddy puddle). We refilled completely at Magnesia Meadows, but decided to stay the night. Other hikers were also talking about bear sitings along the trail. Prepared for a day hike, we had no tent but it didn't matter because the weather was so beautiful and there is a shelter if needed. I just used an emergency blanket and some tarp comfortably. Early in the morning we continued along the path, but having failed as a day hike and having commitments the next day, we took one of the early descents which led back towards Lion's Bay. It was a fantastic hike, but I would prefer to do this as a two day minimum, or trail run it next time. Not knowing about the switchback before starting the W Lions ascent really took a lot out of me. Also, this was one of the first times when my lower cut, not much ankle support Salomon shoes weren't the most comfortable. They are usually by go to as I like to be light on my feet, but better ankle support is needed for this hike! Also, if it isn't obvious, a ride must be arranged at the destination to come back to Cypress parking lot to pick up a vehicle etc. There are some points of phone service along the trail so there are points to make contact and update plans etc as we had to do.
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Date of experience: July 2015
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John S wrote a review Sep 2015
Vancouver, Canada453 contributions266 helpful votes
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Part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail the route to Saint Mark's Summit winds its way up from the Cypress Mountain parking lot to the summit at 1333 m -- high above Howe Sound. Views are sweeping and spectacular as you look west into the horizon past Gambier Island. Into the first kilometer or so you'll be treated to your first view ...the iconic Lions peaks. A certain level of fitness is required as much of the trail is not a groomed path; many exposed roots and rocks to contend with. The route is about 12.3 KM / 7.6 mile return with an overall gain of 470 m or 1540'. Expect to take approximately 4 hours with a nice break at the top Bring proper footwear as you may have to contend with mud in some spots. It is wilderness so take the appropriate equipment and precautions; bear repellent is prudent if the trail has few hikers. It's a local gem; weekdays will be a lot less crowded.
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Date of experience: September 2015
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