- Difficulty Difficult
- Time 10 hours
- Round-Trip 23.5km
- Elevation Gain 1245 meters
- Season July - September
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 40 minutes
- Public Transit Yes
- Dog Friendly On-Leash
October 21, 2021 - The backcountry trails in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, including Coliseum Mountain, are closed for the winter season. This includes all trails beyond Norvan Falls and North of Dam Mountain and Thunderbird Ridge in the Grouse subalpine. The trails will reopen in the early-summer of 2022, or when conditions permit.
The hike to Coliseum Mountain is a strenuous and challenging trail due to the overall distance, the elevation gain, and the rugged terrain. However, those who reach the summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the region. This trail is only recommended for experienced hikers with a good level of all around fitness.
From the parking lot, walk across the Lynn Creek Bridge to the large signboard and map on the other side and sign in at the registration board. Head to your left along the Lower Lynn Loop Trail which runs parallel with Lynn Creek to the left. This portion of the trail consists of a wide gravel road with little elevation gain. Continue forward past a junction as the trail merges into the Cedars Mill Trail. This section becomes narrower but is still easy to navigate as you cross some small bridges and pass through small groves of trees.
About 4km in, you will enter a clearing known as the Third Debris Chute where a signpost points the way to the right towards Norvan Falls. Follow the path up the rocky clearing to another signpost nearby and go left at this junction to continue along the Lynn Headwaters Trail toward Norvan Falls. You will encounter larger rocks and some tree roots along this section of trail as it heads through the forest.
About 3km further you will reach another signpost that marks the junction to go to Coliseum Mountain. First, ensure you have budgeted more than enough daylight hours from this point to complete the entire roundtrip hike back to the parking lot before continuing on the path to your right. If you choose to proceed you will see a large sign nailed to a tree pointing the way up to the Coliseum Mountain route and a cautionary notice. Please read the notice and only continue further if you are adequately prepared as the trail is dangerous from this point forward.
Immediately, the trail drastically increases in difficulty. The trail is marked well with orange ribbons and yellow tree tags so keep an eye out for them as you can easily stray off the path if you lose sight of the markers. The elevation gain is greatly increased, the terrain becomes very rugged and presents an obstacle course of large rocks, exposed tree roots, uneven and unstable surfaces, and some fallen trees intersecting the trail. The vast majority of the trail is tough and climbs steeply until it levels out briefly where you encounter a muddy section with a path of tree stumps for crossing through. Some of the stumps are loose and slippery so secure your footing as you cross over. Soon, the trail becomes very difficult again with the combination of steep elevation gain, jagged rocks, loose dirt, and exposed tree roots that pose a tripping hazard.
Eventually you will come across a small pond. This is a good spot to take a break before the final ascent. The trail remains rocky and steep to the peak and you can catch glimpses of the surrounding mountains and East Vancouver on a clear day. Soon, the trees begin to thin out and you will be scrambling up the face of the mountain. Keep an eye out for orange ribbons pinned by rocks and tied to small branches that mark the trail leading to the summit. Once you reach the summit enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, Cornett Lakes, and Hanes Valley. If you choose to continue further to the nearby lake at the top of Coliseum Mountain do so with care as there is no marked trail to the lake.
On your return trip be sure to leave ample time to safely complete the trip within daylight hours and be sure to follow the trail markers. The hike back presents the major challenge of descending through steep and rugged terrain where you will need to ensure at least three points of contact through many sections in order to safely navigate the trail to avoid falling. Secure your footing, use your hands wherever necessary, and steady your balance to help prevent injuring yourself or others ahead of you. When you reach the junction for the Lynn Headwaters Trail head left back along the route you came from toward the Cedars Mill Trail and Lynn Loop Trail. When you reach the signboard at the Lynn Loop trailhead, don't forget to deposit the other half of your registration sheet before heading back to the parking lot.