• Difficulty Intermediate
  • Time 5 hours
  • Round-Trip 10km
  • Elevation Gain 150 meters
  • Season year-round
  • Camping No
  • From Vancouver 30 minutes
  • Public Transit Yes
  • Dog Friendly Yes

Trail Notice

The survival of the Big Cedar Tree is at risk due to significant erosion that has been ocurring around the base of the tree. Please protect the tree by not getting too close. For more information, read this article from the BC Tree Hunter.

The Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls trail in North Vancouver is a rugged hike into the backcountry along the east side of Mount Fromme and to the west of Lynn Creek. The trail passes an enormous old-growth cedar tree, with several trees growing out of it, before heading further north to a spectacular waterfall called Kennedy Falls.

While the trail has less elevation gain compared to many North Shore trails, the route itself is quite rugged with lots of roots, slippery creek crossings, muddy hills, and numerous fallen trees to climb over or under. Pay extra attention to the trail markers as it can be easy to lose the trail in some sections where there is a lot of deadfall.

From the parking lot, walk to the far end and head down into the forest to the hiking trail. Follow the trail as it stays parallel to the Old Grouse Mountain Highway for the first section. At the junction, go straight and within the next 15 meters, go right at the second junction staying on the Big Cedar Trail. Continue along the trail as it crosses a nice wooden bridge as you begin to leave the mountain bikers behind.

The trail continues along the route, quickly coming to the first creek crossing. Be careful as you make your way down the slippery section into the creek bed before crossing and climbing up the other side. Continue along the trail as it passes through the forest and gradually descends along the rocky path. Through the entire route to Kennedy Falls, you will notice plenty of evidence of logging operations including some metal tools and lots of wooden cross ties along the path that were used to help bring the logs out of the forest.

After about 1 hour and 30 minutes, you reach the enormous tree known as the Big Cedar Tree. It's one of the only trees not to be logged in the area and is supposedly about 600-years old, giving a good idea of what the forest would have looked like had it not been logged.

After viewing the tree, continue heading northward as the trail climbs uphill from the Big Cedar Tree, crossing another fallen tree along the way. The route continues through the beautiful forest for about 30-minutes until you reach an area where there are lots of old wooden ties from the logging operations. Zig-zag your way through, following the worn route. Shortly after, the trail opens up into a rough stretch, passing through an old landslide with lots of debris to step over and around. Continue down through the rocky section and then up and over a small dirt mound to where the creek comes into view with Kennedy Falls just up to the left.

The area around Kennedy Falls can be quite cold as it gets little sunlight, being located on the northern side of Mount Fromme. You can walk up along side the river to get a really good view of the falls but be careful as the mist from the waterfall can make the rocks slippery. Find a nice place nearby to enjoy a break and snack before heading back.

Return via the same route you came, carefully hiking the rugged terrain and being sure to watch for trail markers. Pass the Big Cedar Tree and look for the coloured ribbons on the other side that lead over the fallen trees and back onto the trail. Around a couple of hours from the waterfall, you may encounter the occasional mountain biker, giving a good indication that you are almost back at the beginning of the trail.

The hiking trail to Big Cedar Tree and Kennedy Falls (Video by: Outdoor Vancouver)

How to get to Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Trail

Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver
30 minutes

The start of the hike to Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls begins from the top of Mountain Highway. There is a parking lot at the top of the highway but it fills up quickly on busy weekends. If you are unable to find a parking spot in the lot, you will have to park further down Mountain Highway and walk up the road, which could add an addition 1km each way to your hike.

From downtown Vancouver, head east through Vancouver towards Highway #1 and merge onto the highway heading westbound. Cross the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge (2nd Narrows) and continue on the highway. Just after crossing a small bridge, take Exit #21: Mountain Highway and drive up the hill, going right onto Mountain Highway. Follow Mountain Highway uphill and stay in the right lane as it begins to level and you enter Lynn Valley. At the 4-way intersection with Lynn Valley Road, continue straight through the traffic lights and up Mountain Highway to the very top.

View a map of Driving directions to Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Trail.

Transit Access to Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Trail

The closest bus to the top of Mountain Highway will be bus #210: Upper Lynn Valley Road. Depending where you are taking the bus from, you will more than likely have to transfer to this bus. You can take bus #210 directly from downtown Vancouver at Granville and Pender to a point on Mountain Highway that is within a few blocks of the start of the trail.

If you are starting from the Seabus terminal in North Vancouver, take bus #228: Lynn Valley. After about 20 minutes, get off the bus when it reaches the Lynn Valley Centre Shopping Mall. Walk along Lynn Valley Road in the direction the bus was going to Mountain Highway, then cross to the opposite side. You will need to get on the #210 bus heading up Mountain Highway. Get off of the bus just after Coleman Street, before the bus turns right onto McNair Drive (ask the bus driver). From here, you will have to walk the rest of the distance (10-15 minutes) up Mountain Highway to the start of the trail.

TOTAGO Plan Trip With Public Transit
Traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) and šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam).
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Additional Info

Camping at Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Trail

Camping is not permitted at Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Trail.

Dogs at Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Trail

Dogs are allowed on the Big Cedar Trail to Kennedy Falls but keep in mind this is a fairly rugged trail. Please make sure to pick-up after your dog.

Toilets at Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls Trail

There are outhouses at the start of the trail. There are no toilet facilities along the trail or at Kennedy Falls.

Dogs, Toilets and Camping

Although we try to keep information as current as possible, www.vancouvertrails.com makes no warranty or representation as to the availability, quality, fitness for purpose, conditions or accuracy of the information provided with respect to this trail or trails. The information provided herein is further subject to our Terms of Use.