Weekend Hiking on Sunshine Coast Trails – What You Need to See

Written by: Nicole van Zanten

Whether you live on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, or you travel from Metro Vancouver to explore the great outdoors during the Summer, this outdoor playground in our very own backyard is filled with plenty of mountains, ocean views, creeks and more to explore. Weekend hiking on Sunshine Coast trails is ideal for everyone from the sometimes-hiker to the avid adventurer, searching for a day in the forest or a leg burning challenge.

The Sunshine Coast, which stretches 180 km along the Salish Sea from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound, is perfect for a weekend adventure. A short trip on the BC Ferries from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal to Langdale offers beautiful scenery to set the stage for your weekend away.

If your adventure bug ready to explore this beautiful region of British Columbia, read on.

Here are my four favourite Sunshine Coast trails to put on your bucket list this Summer.

Porpoise Bay

Rating: Easy

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park is found just north of Sechelt. The trails in this area are quite short in distance and overall duration (about 30-40 minutes round trip). I love Porpoise Bay as a post-lunch or pre-dinner hike, as it’s short enough to sneak in a quick trek through the forest before a meal, yet it still provides incredible views to take in as part of your weekend away. Bonus: There’s a campsite within the park, so you can head to the trails daily, if you wish.

Porpoise Bay

The view of Porpoise Bay north of Sechelt.

Mount Daniel

Rating: Intermediate

From a short hike to an intermediate leg burner, Mount Daniel is for those of us who are searching for a challenging, yet rewarding adventure on the Sunshine Coast.

A view of the sunrise over Pender Harbour

Sunrise from the top of Mount Daniel.

Mount Daniel is a popular hike in this area, and provides rewarding views. The climb offers a total ascent of 440 metres (1443 feet). It’s certainly that – a climb – yet achievable with a base level of fitness. Once hikers reach the top of Mount Daniel, the view overlooks Pender Harbour and surrounding mountains and ocean.

This area is truly special in First Nations history. Legend has that the mountain was used as a passage area for young women who were entering into adulthood. Ancient circles of rocks were used for meditation by First Nations women – sometimes, you can see remnants of these moonstones, if you look hard enough.

Triangle Lake

Rating: Easy

While an easy hike in terms of the single track ground to Triangle Lake, prepare to spend about 2-3 hours round-trip. Triangle Lake is especially unique for those who love the beauty of the rainforest that our West Coast offers. All sorts of trees, fungi and florals just thrive on this trail, with so many colors, shapes and sizes to view.

Hiking the Triangle Lake Trail

The beautiful west coast rainforest along the trail to Triangle Lake.

This trail offers a combination of soft paths with some rocky, single track scrambles that make for a fun few hours on your feet. You’ll reach the lake at about 3 km, at which point you’ll realize that Triangle Lake is not really a lake, but more of a bog and a true wetland staple. Or perhaps you’ll read this blog and impress your fellow hikers as they curiously look at the ‘lake’ upon them.

Pack plenty of snacks and hydration for this hike, as you’re sure to stop plenty of times and enjoy the scenery around you.

Pender Hill

Rating: Intermediate

Another intermediate hike, yet shorter in duration and distance, is Pender Hill. At just 2 km in round-trip distance, Pender Hill is a short, yet steep hike that also offers remarkable reviews – just like Mount Daniel.

Hiking on the Sunshine Coast.

The start of the trail to Pender Hill.

I love this hike partially because of the beautiful flowers you can find growing on the rock ledges. Violas, Shooting Stars, Mimulus and more. The dry and rocky climb to the top (depending on the weather, of course) makes the display of floral beauty just that much more impressive. Wipe your brow once you reach the top and enjoy the view of Pender Harbour below.

The Sunshine Coast is filled with incredible long hikes, short climbs and intermediate day trips that are sure to suit any hiker or adventurer. If you’ve never explored this area of our beautiful province, be sure to put this on your bucket list this Summer and venture into the Sunshine Coast trails.

Nicole van Zanten

As a born and raised Vancouverite, Nicole grew up on the most popular of trails, exploring Greater Vancouver, Whistler and the Sunshine Coast on weekend hikes as a child. Her love of the outdoors led her to become a trail runner, recently completing her second 50KM ultra marathon in our own backyard of the North Shore mountains. You can spot her adventuring with her trail runners and dogs on warm, sunny days, finding the next best gem to share with Vancouver Trails.

One response to “Weekend Hiking on Sunshine Coast Trails – What You Need to See”

  1. MSAA says:

    Oh nice, Sunshine Coast looks like it has some amazing hikes! My wife and I just got back from hike in Whistler, but this looks to be our next adventure!

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