- Difficulty Easy
- Time 1.5 hours
- Round-Trip 4km
- Elevation Gain 110 meters
- Season July - October
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 45 minutes
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly On-Leash
The Bowen Lookout is an incredible viewpoint that is located near the Cypress Mountain ski area and overlooks Howe Sound, out towards Bowen Island. The hike is relatively short, with a steep climb and is often done as a short side-trip on the way to St Mark's Summit.
From the downhill ski area at Cypress, walk past the lodge and continue to the trail map located at the far end. Start the trail to the right of the trail map board and walk down the gravel trail as it heads into the forest.
Almost immediately, you reach a junction with the Howe Sound Crest Trail East. You can go either route as both trails take you to the Bowen Lookout, however this description will go right and then come back along the other route.
Go right and follow the trail uphill briefly to where it exits onto the side of a ski run and continues climbing. When you reach a large water tower, there is a junction with the Howe Sound Crest Trail to the right. Do not take this trail, instead go to the left and walk around the water tower, following the wide, level path as you quickly make time.
Along the wide path, you will pass a junction to the left with a sign. Note this junction as you will return via this route. Continue along the wide path as it narrows and then reaches a wooden bridge where it veers to the right. This is where the trail begins to really climb.
Follow the gravel path as it climbs steeply through a series of switchbacks until it reaches a sign with the junction to the Bowen Lookout. Go left at the sign and walk down the hill to the end, where you are greeted with a scenic view looking out towards Howe Sound and Bowen Island.
After enjoying the view, retrace your steps by walking back up the hill to the main trail, then go right as you begin to descend quickly through the switchbacks. Cross the wooden bridge and veer to the left, following the path as it begins to widen.
Watch for a trail sign on your right and go right at that junction towards Yew Lake (note: Dogs are not permitted on this trail and you will have to continue straight, going back the way you came). Immediately there is another junction but this is a very small loop within the forest, so you can go either way. At the other end of the forested loop, take the trail out of the forest and pass by a bog where the trail then joins with the Yew Lake Loop Trail.
For the quickest route back to the trailhead, go left and walk along the gravel path and before long, you return to the area with the map where you began. For a slightly longer route, go right and walk around Yew Lake, returning to the same area next to the map.