4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
The Hanes Valley Loop offers a long and challenging trail with a remote backcountry feeling accessed directly from the edge of the city.
This route is one of the best long, challenging trails in Vancouver and offers a strong balance of difficulty, technicality, and awe-inspiring vistas.
Furthermore, there are options to shorten the run if the weather turns sour, time runs out and you’re late for dinner, or your body is feeling too rough to continue. The complete loop begins and ends in the Lynn Valley Headwaters Regional Park and takes runners north through the Lynn Valley before ascending the Hanes Valley and the north side of Grouse Mountain.
Runners will travel on technical singletrack through dense forest in the valleys with numerous stream and river crossings.
One of the jewels of this route is access to Norvan Falls, a beautiful waterfall that is just a few minutes detour while traveling north through the Lynn Valley. The trail climbs a steep boulder field out of the Hanes Valley to reach the ridge leading to Grouse Mountain.
The boulder field is approximately 1.5km long but ascends nearly 500m! This is definitely one of the highlights of the route’s difficulty.
Enroute, runners receive great views of the east faces of Goat Mountain and Crown Mountain.
The trail is generally well marked with flagging tape.
After achieving the true summit of Grouse Mountain, runners continue along the ridgeline to the Grouse Mountain chalet and the top of the gondola.
From here, runners have an option of descending via the gondola or by way of the BCMC trail, both of which end at the base of Grouse Mountain.
Options include ending the run at the base of Grouse Mountain or continuing back to complete the loop.
Ending at Grouse Mountain and descending via gondola results in a run of about 16km.
Descending via the BCMC trail and completing the loop results in a total of approximately 30km.
From the base of Grouse Mountain, runners will run along the Baden Powell Trail around the lower flanks of Mount Fromme to return to the Lynn Valley Headwaters Regional Park. Estimated 8-12 hours for complete loop.
If you choose to end on top of (or even at the base of) Grouse Mountain, the run will likely be one to two hours shorter in duration.