Best Dog Friendly Hikes Near Vancouver

Best Dog Friendly Hikes Near Vancouver

Best Dog Friendly Hikes Near Vancouver

Is there any better way than to spend a beautiful day exploring the forests that cover our BC mountains while hiking with dogs? In our honest opinion, no way. Living in the Vancouver area as a dog owner is definitely a blessing, especially if you and your pup are outdoor enthusiasts as there are so many different trails to investigate.  

Whether you are googling “dog friendly hikes near me” or “dog off leash trails near me” our list of top 10 best dog friendly hikes near Vancouver offers a mix of on-leash and off-leash adventures. 

We want to help you and your pup get outside and rediscover the beauty of the PNW!  

Hiking Gear for Dogs That You May Want To Bring

Before we dive into our list we want to make sure you are fully prepared. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or just starting out, it’s always good to have a list of things to be aware of and things you may want to bring for your pup.

Leash - Even if you choose to hike on an off-leash trail it is always wise to bring a leash with you. You never know when you may need one! 

Poop Bags - Because stepping in poop is gross… 

Dog Pack - Dog packs are great for so many reasons! Your dog can carry their own supplies, which means a lighter backpack for you, and it is also a great way to help your dogs increase their stamina and work on building muscle! 

*Quick note: make sure the first time you use a dog pack you put it on empty. Use it on your usual neighborhood walk to get them used to wearing it so it doesn’t come as a shock and your pup is ready for the extra weight*

LED Light -  Sometimes we get caught hiking as it’s starting to get dark, an LED light is an easy way to keep an eye on your pup. 

Bear Bell - We share a country with wildlife and we always need to remember that. Putting a bear bell on your dog lets wildlife know you are coming and can alternatively be used for making noise to scare away approaching wildlife. 

Collapsible Bowl - a great way to share water with your pup or give them a top up meal/snack 

Water - You may not always come across water on your hike, it is always best to have a bottle or two with you so that you can share with your pups if this is the case.

Pet Food & Treats -  Frozen fresh food is our favorite hiking meal as it thaws on the hike in. It’s  the perfect way to fuel your pup up while keeping them hydrated due to the moisture in the food's natural state. 

Paw Wax - Highly recommended for long hikes, paw wax protects your dogs feet from the elements and different terrains.    

Safety Considerations:

Some of these hikes are no walk in the park, so make sure your pup is up to the challenge. If your dog needs a little trail training to get into tip top hiking shape check out: 

Top 10 Dog Friendly Campsites & Parks Near Vancouver 


15 Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in Vancouver & Metro Vancouver

Trail Etiquette

A few simple, and easy notes to make hiking with your dog a more enjoyable experience. 

  • Make sure you pay attention to signs, not all trails are dog friendly, and on top of that, not all trails permit dogs off-leash. 
  • Yield to other hikers, not all hikers feel comfortable around dogs. To make everyone feel safe it is best to stand to the side until they have passed then continue your adventure! 
  • Pick up, and pack out your dog's poop. Don’t pick it up and throw it in the bush, those bags, even those that say they are biodegradable are terrible for the forest's ecosystem. Pick it up, and pack it out. 

Now with all that said and done, let's get to the fun part… 

St. Marks Summit | West Vancouver

St Marks Summit


At 11km round trip, what this hike makes up for in distance are its stunning views overlooking Howe Sound. One of Vancouver's most popular hikes starts at the northmost parking lot on Cypress Mountain. Crossing a small meadow, two bridges, lots of switchbacks, and always on an incline you will eventually reach the summit. On a clear day you and your pup can sit back and eat lunch while taking in the vastly stunning views of Howe Sound, Tantalus Range, the Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island off in the distance. Talk about a viewpoint! 

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Time and Distance: 5hrs | Roundtrip: 11km

Distance from Vancouver: 45min

Dog Policy: Dogs must remain on leash. There is very loose and rocky terrain, some areas have steep drop offs and there are fragile ecosystems. 

Brothers Creek Loop | West Vancouver

Brothers Creek


While the Brothers Creek loop doesn’t summit a mountain, there are still many beautiful things to see. A waterfall, lots of old-growth forestry, a very peaceful and small lake, and lots of different trails. With lots of small creek beds and large trails, this is a dog off-leash oasis. 

*Something to note: Many dog walking/hiking companies use this trail so make sure your pup has good manners and listens well as you may come across groups of dogs. 

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Time and Distance: 4hrs | Roundtrip: 7km

Distance from Vancouver: 30min

Dog Policy: Dogs are allowed off-leash 

Dog Mountain Trail | North Shore

Dog Mountain


Dog Mountain is a short and easy hike that is great for beginners or those looking for a quick mountain stroll. Snuggled into Mount Seymour this trail has a minimal elevation gain but still manages to give you beautiful views of Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge, and downtown Vancouver. 

After a relaxing lunch overlooking Vancouver your pup and you can make your way back down the trail the same way you came in. 

Difficulty: Easy

Time and Distance: 2hrs | Roundtrip: 5km

Distance from Vancouver: 50min

Dog Policy: On-leash dogs permitted

Norvan Falls | North Vancouver

Norvan Falls


While there are no mountain views on the Norvan Falls hike, you and your dog instead will be adventuring to see a stunning waterfall. Located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park this hike has been known to be relatively easy due to it being quite flat, there are however some challenging bits of terrain that can keep you on your toes which increases its difficulty level. 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time and Distance: 5hrs | Roundtrip: 14km

Distance from Vancouver: 40min

Dog Policy: Well behaved & controlled off-leash dogs are permitted

Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls | North Vancouver

Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls


Often described as a rugged backcountry hike, Big Cedar & Kennedy Falls is actually a “two-stop” excursion. 

As you and your pup are hiking along, your first stop will be at Big Cedar. After battling exposed tree roots, slippery creek beds, muddy hills, and many fallen trees that you will either have to crawl under or climb over you arrive at the 600-year-old massive tree. 

After standing in awe of the beautiful and grossly large cedar tree you can continue your hike north towards Kennedy Falls. The trail will begin increasing in elevation as you continue to climb and through everchanging terrain you will eventually come to the Falls. It can be quite cold here since there is minimal sun but is still an enjoyable place to sit and have a snack. 

Pack back up after your break and return the same way you came in, passing by Big Cedar again on your way out. 

*Please note: Big Cedar is currently at risk due to a significant erosion buildup around its base. Please protect this tree by admiring its beauty with a little bit of distance. For more information about saving Big Cedar see this article from the BC Tree Hunter 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time and Distance: 5hrs | Roundtrip: 10km

Distance from Vancouver: 30min

Dog Policy: Well behaved & controlled off-leash dogs are permitted

 Baden Powell Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon | North


Baden Powell


The Baden Powell Trail actually runs for 42km and is one of our favorite dog friendly hikes in North Vancouver. Boasting many trail heads, one of our favorites is the straight shot from Deep Cove to Lynn Canyon. As this is not a loop, but rather one entrance to another you will want to leave time to turn around the same way to make it back to your car.

With many scenic landscapes from creek beds, bridges, great canyon scenery, and twisty trails you and your pup are sure to have an all around fun and social experience. Watch for mountain bikes and even trail runners as this trail can be busy! 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time and Distance: 5hrs | Roundtrip: 12km

Distance from Vancouver: 30min

Dog Policy: Well behaved & controlled off-leash dogs are welcome here

Sumas Mountain | Abbotsford

Sumas Mountain

One of the most familiar mountains in the Fraser Valley, Sumas Mountain is situated between Abbotsford and Chilliwack. This occasionally muddy hike rewards you by eventually ending on the calm shores of Chadsey Lake. With a picturesque mountain backdrop nestled between thick Douglas Firs it is the perfect place to have some lunch and refuel for your hike back down. 

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time and Distance: 6.5hrs | Roundtrip: 13.5km

Distance from Vancouver: 1hr and 30 min

Dog Policy: Well behaved & controlled off-leash dogs are permitted

Derby Reach Regional Park | Langley

Derby Reach Regional


Less of a hike, and more stroll on tree covered trails, Derby Reach Regional Park is an easy and popular spot. This trail is open to horseback riders, mountain bikers, trail runners, walkers, and hikers…you may even see a cat or two on the trails so make sure your pup is respectful and listens well when you are here. You head in on the same trail you come out - since the trail is not a full loop but rather a long trail with a loop at the end you end up only retracing about half of your journey.  

Difficulty: Easy

Time and Distance: 2.5hrs | Roundtrip: 8km

Distance from Vancouver: 1hr

Dog Policy: Pay attention to signs - well behaved & controlled off-leash dogs are permitted and there is a dog-off leash area on the west side of the Edgewater Bar area of the park

Stawamus Chief | Squamish 

The Chief


If you are from Vancouver, or the surrounding area, chances are you have done “The Chief”. A classic hike that boasts intensity, beauty, scenic views, and the insane desire to do it all over again once you’re back at your car. 

There are three peaks, and it is possible to do the entire hike in a day - but there is also no shame in starting out slow and building your way up to the third peak. Make sure you come prepared as there is a metal ladder, many cliff drop offs, and a never ending steep climb up. Each peak offers stunning views and as you climb, of course the view gets better and better. 

Although the Chief is one our our favorite dog friendly hikes in Squamish make sure you keep your dog on a leash for their safety and stay on the marked trails.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time and Distance: 6hrs | Roundtrip: 11km

Distance from Vancouver: 1hr

Dog Policy: Dogs must remain on-leash

Sea to Summit Trail | Squamish

Sea to Summit


Formerly known as Upper Shannon Falls the Sea to Summit Trail begins at the bottom of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola…that was a lot of names. 

A busy hike over wooden bridges, creek beds, short breaks of flat terrain, loose gravol trails and a steep incline that will have you scrambling (literally) at certain parts of the trail. If that hasn't enticed you yet, just wait - you and your pup will be met with a few small views of Howe Sound throughout your way up and can wave to the folks in the gondola overhead.  

The trail is connected to the Chief, so make sure you pay attention to signage or you may find yourself trying to get to the peaks instead of finding your way to Shannon Falls. After you arrive at the top there is a clearing that offers a sweeping view of Howe Sound which is a great place to take a break and re-fuel. The best part about this hike is that so long as you have purchased a pup pass, you and your pup can ride the Gondola back down instead of adventuring on the slip n slide to get back to your car!

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time and Distance: 3.5hrs | Roundtrip: 7.5km

Distance from Vancouver: 1hr

Dog Policy: Dogs are permitted off-leash on the hike up and then are to be leashed if you choose to take the Sea to Sky Gondola back down. There is a season’s pass called “Buster the Dog” for purchase so you and your pup can enjoy that easy and methodical journey back down instead of turning around and trekking out. 

We hope this list has inspired you and generated some excitement to get out with your pup and explore the stunning natural beauty that Vancouver + surrounding areas have to offer. Remember to always pack a snack and plenty of water, share the path, respect the rules, take lots of pictures, and have fun! 

See Healthy Dog Hiking Meals and Snacks Here

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