4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
St Marks Summit is a mostly a wide and generally flat trail with numerous breathtaking views.
It is also one of the most popular hikes on the North Shore.
In the summer the bugs can get pretty bad on this trail.
Bug nets are recommended early summer.
The trail also frequently takes folks longer than they expect, so it's best to start early.
The route has numerous options to start, but taking the lower interpretive trail that starts south west of the Lions quad is the most pleasant.
The trail links up with a gravel road, and switchback up to the Bowen Lookout.
This short detour is the first of the excellent viewpoints.
Shortly past this is the trail junction, and another incredible view of the Sisters (Lions) framed perfectly in the trees.
The trail descends, and then is a flat traverse across Strachan to a lovely meadow.
From here the trail climbs gently up a hill.
The maintained section of the trail disappears about half way up this climb.
From here the ground is rooted, and rocky.
Be sure to watch you step, and better yet wear proper hiking footwear.
The trail steepens before opening up at St Marks summit.
There are several little trails that approach the cliff face and offer excellent views.
If you are travelling this area in winter be advised that the traverse along Mt Strachan is all avalanche terrain, especially beneath the Christmas gulley.
Avalanche Safety Training Level 1, and the appropriate equipment is essential, even for snowshoers and micro spike hikers.
At present wilderness camping is allowed in Cypress Provincial park.
There are no set campsets.
You must be at least 50m from the trail, and 100m from any creeks or water sources.
Leave No Trace is mandatory.
Damaging shrubs or trees to set up a tent is also a ticket-able offence, so be sure to carefully select a spot to setup.