4.23 out of 5 - 26 reviews

View Dilly Dally Loop Description | Add Comment

Roger from Surrey writes:

Date: 08/29 - 08/30 2021
Conditions: Day 1 - Sunny, 25 C; Day 2 - Foggy, 15ish C

Note that the northern section (trail starting from service road to roughly Dilly-Dally Pass) is closed due to trail instability. Swan Falls trail is also closed.

I finished the hike (clockwise) in roughly 16 hours (12 first day, 4 next day). Northern section had lots of fallen trees and were missing many trail markers. Thankfully I didn't get lost but I had to 2nd guess myself and always keep a lookout for any man-made feature. Very strenuous ascent from northern service road branch off all the way to Swan Falls junction. There were some streams along the northern section, some ponds on peaks around Mt. Beautiful, and lakes in the southern part. If you're just looking to enjoy the views ontop of the peaks, you'll get 90% of the views going counter clockwise and stopping at 117 lookout and then either taking Swan Falls trail down (if open) or just backtracking.

Difficult hike, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  • Dilly Dally Loop photo
  • Dilly Dally Loop photo

    Posted: August 31, 2021 07:30:54 PM PST

    Mark from Surrey writes:

    Completed the Dilly Dally loop on a sunny day on Nov 2nd. Could not have asked for better weather, and there was no snow yet. The view from Dilly Dally peak is very impressive, but it is a lot of exertion to get this - there are many easier options. Given the gate opening times of 8:00 to 4:30pm at this time of year I don't recommend you do this trail unless you are fit and really pushing it hard. I finished in just under 7hrs, but I was running on some of the easier sections. It was interesting to see the log road on the ridge descent to powerline road - I wonder how old this is.

      Posted: November 3, 2020 08:32:44 AM PST

      Frederick Gadd from North Vancouver writes:

      Still plenty of snow across the entire ridge of dilly-dally. Makes an already taxing and time-consuming hike a little worse. I went counter-clockwise and was passed in the woods by a proper trail runner, but he turned around describing the conditions as "gnarley". I ended up summitting successfully but bailed out and used the swan falls path to get back to the lake trail early rather than continuing down the ridge. I'm not sure how much time that saved me since it still took 9 hours.

      I'm giving 4 stars because I had no view through the fog, so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt that the view was good... but it seems to me to be a lot of work for not very much elevation.and a very ordinary peak.

        Posted: June 21, 2020 07:58:28 PM PST

        Simon from Vancouver writes:

        Completed full loop counter-clockwise on June 30, 2019 in 11h with multiple, leisurely breaks amounting to probably ~ 2hrs of that total. Would recommend going clockwise, as mentioned elsewhere; the blueberry bushes were so thick going down from Dilly Dally peak, it's almost like swimming through them... Can't see your own feet... Would be nice to be on the more well-traveled portion of the trek at the end of the day.

        Although the trail marking is quite good, would recommend bringing a GPS with the track loaded just for peace of mind.

        Water filter very handy, although few sources between Lindsay Lake and the creek on the north side of Dilly Dally Peak. Once you get near the alpine, just stay topped up as best you can.

          Posted: July 15, 2019 02:23:46 PM PST

          Dannaya from Coquitlam writes:

          Hiked on July 1st. The elevation gain is pretty intense. Make sure you're prepared to be exerting energy for about 10 hours. Trail conditions were mostly dry, with a few small muddy patches. We started from the north end, going in a clockwise direction. The trail is mostly well-marked. There were a few short sections where it took a little bit of searching to find the next marker, especially in some of the more overgrown areas, but nothing too difficult. Most of the beginning section the trail is quite wide as it used to be an old logging road (there are still remnants of rebar and pavement). Once you get past this area, however, be prepared to do a lot of bushwhacking. You can't see the trail unless you're right on it. Another commentor mentioned starting from the north end for this reason and I have to agree. It would be much more difficult seeing the trail and finding your footing, going downhill after your muscles are fatigued by a strenuous ascent.

          I'm guessing, at about 1200m you reach the first pretty good viewpoint, and a short distance later is Dilly Dally Peak, where you can see views of Indian Arm and Coquitlam Lake. From here you hike along the ridge, starting to slowly descend. There is another designated viewpoint with an unobstructed view of Coquitlam Lake. When hiking along this portion, you are exposed to the sun, so bring a hat or sunglasses if you want.

          There are a couple of ways to get down from here: Continue along the ridge and descend at the south end of the loop, or cut down via the Swan Falls trail, which connects back to the hydro road, just past the north beach of Buntzen Lake. We chose to go down Swan Falls. There is a junction indicating Mt. Beautiful 500m ahead, or you can take a right (west), which is the Swan Falls trail, even though there is no signage (but there are trail markers). This descent was pretty rough going. The trail is not well-maintained, is very steep, and there are many areas where you need to climb over things, or descend backwards. So, make sure you've rested up an appropriate amount of time before beginning your descent. One advantage of taking this route is that you come across the beautiful Swan Falls viewpoint somewhere around 300m (maybe less) elevation from the bottom. At this time of year the water flow has reduced enough that's it's safe to go for a dip in the pools that have formed in the hollowed out rocks. However, be cautious if it has been raining because the rocks around the falls are very smooth and could be extremely slippery if wet, and there are a few sheer drop offs. Not too long after the falls you hit the hydro road and start your way back.

            Posted: July 2, 2019 08:12:16 PM PST

            Aaron from Coquitlam writes:

            completed full dilly dally loop on june.19/2019. trail is clear of snow, would recommend completing in a clockwise direction. this allows one to complete the most strenuous and overgrown portion while going uphill instead of the reverse when you will be more fatigued and it is much more difficult to see the trail floor when it is covered by the overgrowth. I would recommend completing with a very early start and on a dry clear day only. trail is well-marked enough for experienced hikers that it would be difficult to get lost. for inexperienced hikers it would be more challenging at times with route-finding as a few stretches were absent of flagging or markers. vast majority of the trail is marked/flagged. trail quality and route finding is much better and enjoyable after dilly dally peak, along with the views. overall took about 8 hours at a quick pace without breaks.

              Posted: June 19, 2019 08:29:22 PM PST

              YG from Vancouver writes:

              My friends and I completed this hike on May 11 2019.
              We did it counter clockwise. We are fit hikers and it took us close to 11h to complete due to getting lost several times as the snow which really trully starts past Linsey Lake. I recommend spikes and gaiters as your feet will sink (sometimes down to your hips).Hiking down from Dilly Dally peak was the worst as we didn't/couldn't see the right path down. At some point we jad to do some dangerous scramble doen the steep Dilly Dally peak ultil we saw some steps by some hikers who that day day attempted Dilly dally peak clockwise (we ran into them down at the more flat section). We knew it was some sorth of deadfall but the snow was covering any track of signage to go down. So scramble and scramble following a mix of the all trails+google maps tracks ( and thank good we found does steps too).
              After sometime luckily we found the steps and we saw the ribbon and were able to find our way down.
              Overall the hardest part was from Linsey lake and down the dilly dally peak, if u go bring your 10 essentials and be ready its so easy to get lost!
              The few hikiers we ran into were only doing a portion of this hike, or cutting thru Swam falls trail. we were the only ones that day who complete the whole loop and it was a race against time (as the gates close at 8pm).
              This hike is not for the faint hearted, and you most be strong, don't give up and keep going.
              Stay safe, good luck and have Fun.

                Posted: May 13, 2019 12:28:49 AM PST

                Sarah Faye Bruce from NEW WESTMINSTER writes:

                We hiked this trail clockwise in late April and still lots of snow but nothing an experienced hike can't handle. Absolutely loved this hike. It starts off nice and gradual (if you go clockwise, which I highly recommend as you peak early and, after a few up and downs over a couple of regions, the descent is a little less steep) along the lake and then you're off to the right and straight up the mountain. There's a nice little stop at the waterfall and then before you know it, you're way up there! I was impressed by how much elevation you gain so quickly. After crossing a couple of gullies we hit deepish snow but it wasn't so bad that we needed our snowshoes, and after a beautiful wander through the snowy woods, we reached the peak of Mt. Beautiful with its 360 views of the mountains, lakes, and the city.

                It was a bit hard to find the trail through the first couple of passes and was very steep and slippery due to snow but by the time we got to Lindsay lake (frozen), it wasn't too deep and the forest was lovely! The Pulpit viewpoint was definitely one of the highlights with a rock ledge you can sit on and see from Buntzen Lake to Vancouver Island. Not for the faint of heart but definitely worth stopping at. Then up ahead there was an option to do the ridge view trail or bypass it. Since we'd already done a cumulative elevation of around 1300 meters, what was another climb? Another fantastic viewpoint and a little wander through a mossy forest before the final steep descent.

                  Posted: April 29, 2019 12:49:58 PM PST

                  Nikki Jin from North Van writes:

                  I did the Lindsay loop yesterday and the trail was in great condition, snowshoes were carried but not required, crampons were good enough higher up(above 900m). I once again met Fred, the "Axe Man" mentioned by "Banks from Port Moody" earlier (August 19, 2018). Fred was cutting a huge deadfall on the trail over a year ago when I first met him (it'd take him many hours if not days), and yesterday he went up with an axe again to finish building a little bridge over a stream. He is the one who helps maintain the trail regularly year around. I can't thank you enough Fred for all the beautiful work you've done for the benefit of others.

                    Posted: February 3, 2019 06:11:38 PM PST

                    TW from Vancouver writes:

                    To clarify previous comment:

                    Elevation gain might be 1142m but actual vertical is a lot more. Latter is more relevant in determining how challenging the trail is.

                      Posted: November 5, 2018 04:05:28 PM PST

                      TW from Vancouver writes:

                      Park is now on fall hours: opens 0800, closes 1630. Be sure to check their website before you set off.

                      Not sure the vertical given here or by the park is accurate: I logged 1344m by the top of Tangled Summit.

                      Despite seeing several claims the route is not well traveled, I saw 14 people on the trail on a damp November morning!

                        Posted: November 5, 2018 07:36:12 AM PST

                        Banks from Port Moody writes:

                        Did Dilly Dally counter-clockwise today with a group of four in just a tick over 8 hours. What an outstanding trail! Even with the forest fire smoke blocking the views, this was a well worth the effort.

                        The trail was dry the whole way and slipping was not as frequent as describe elsewhere. That said, I can see how during wetter times of the year this trail is probably pretty mean.

                        Most of the comments earlier on this forum are accurate. Take the time to read them. Here are a few which helped us:
                        -Get water at lindsay lake, there was nothing reasonable beyond here until nearly back to Bunzen.
                        - Trail flagging was much better than we expected. We carried GPS but only required it a handful of times.
                        - That said, the Swan Lake trail is nicely developed the whole way. The Dilly Dally extension is far less built up.
                        - Definitely take the time to swim at Bunzen North.

                        Also, unlike most trails in the area which are cleared with chain saws, large parts of Dilly were cleared by axe!!! This includes some pretty large fallen old growth which must have required massive effort to cut through. Thanks axe man!

                          Posted: August 19, 2018 06:36:54 PM PST

                          joyce from Coquitlam writes:

                          Do not be fooled by the number. The total elevation gain would be more than 1800m, not 1100m. Very challenging one if you are strong enough to finish the loop.

                          • Dilly Dally Loop photo

                            Posted: August 13, 2017 05:41:32 PM PST

                            Paul Henderson from Vancouver writes:

                            Hiked Dilly Dally Loop today. Didn't see a single other person on the trail until I got back to Buntzen Lake. It was hazy from the fires so the views were not spectacular. Dilly Dally is a pretty challenging hike as others have suggested with some interesting route finding. I carry a GPS and used it a lot to keep on trail and at one point I was going in completely the wrong direction (I was going counter clockwise and got confused at the first set of lakes) before figuring out where I was with the GPS. 10 hours total finishing with a dip in Buntzen Lake.

                              Posted: August 10, 2017 08:40:59 PM PST

                              Niomay from Vancouver writes:

                              Friend tried to do Dilly Dally today clockwise, beautiful viewpoints but there was still snow from 1000m and up and couldn't complete it without snow equipment. Three river crossings with good stone steps on the trail, just make sure to check for trail markers right across the water. Allow some extra time to pass fallen trees and branches.

                                Posted: July 8, 2017 08:42:50 PM PST

                                Dave from Toronto writes:

                                Attempted the trail this weekend. Started our assent from parking lot side. Could only get about an hr in before requiring snow shoes and gps.

                                  Posted: April 9, 2017 09:18:23 PM PST

                                  Robin B Cases from Surrey writes:

                                  I finally got to do this one exactly a month ago on July 27. Make sure to do this hike in good weather. Though there aren’t any exposed sections, the conditions are bad enough even on a nice, warm (or super hot) sunny day. There’s quite a bit of going over and under trees. Getting to the summit is one thing but the real challenge is coming down. Of all the hikes I’ve done, this is one of the, if not the most brrrutal on the knees. Not only is it very steep but also wildly overgrown and slippery in most places. It’s unpleasant and you’ll be on your butt a lot of the time. If only the reward came after the suffering. As it states at the start of the trail, “This trail is maintained to wilderness standards only.”

                                  Another really important thing to consider is the park hours. It is advised to start early. I hate to admit this but I miscalculated myself. Due to circumstances, I ended up starting past noon. Having done similarly hikes in the past (at least on paper), I thought I would make it in time but nope…not today. So, I ended up staying in my car for the night. The following morning, I got to talk one of the park staff who went looking for me that night. He was real nice and was genuinely concerned, didn’t seem inconvenienced at all. Shout out to them for looking after the park AND our safety.

                                  In summary, be prepared! If you’d like to get a glimpse of this tough yet beautiful hike, here are some photos: https://www.facebook.com/robinjunyahhikes/photos/?tab=album&album_id=610049095863187

                                    Posted: August 27, 2016 12:04:00 AM PST

                                    Sean from Vancouver writes:

                                    Completed the Swan Falls Loop - a good portion of the Dilly Dally loop but taking the route clockwise and heading up the very steep Swan Falls Trail, on July 23. This was our first time hiking in the area, and were extremely impressed. The initial 4kms of flat was a good warmup then the real challenge began, with 3.5km of super steep terrain with some scrambling/ropes along the way. Swan Falls (2 views) on the way up were wonderful, and a great place to top up your water, have a snack and snap some pictures.

                                    We reached the summit of Mount Beautiful around 1:30pm and stopped for lunch and enjoyed the incredible views of Coquitlam Lake, Mount Seymour, Indian Arm and the Burrard Inlet and the city (we ate, and so did the mosquitos). Then we started our descent, which surprised us as there were a lot more "passes" (more up and downs) then expected. Trail at this point is not as well marked as the flat section along the lake or the Swan Falls trail - we needed to be careful when going around deadfall to stay on course.

                                    When we reached Lindsay Lake there were actually two routes to choose (an easy direct route filled with tarns and blueberries), or the longer, harder route with more viewpoints. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we chose the harder route. However, the view from The Pulpit was worth it, it was my favourite of the day - incredible views looking West, down to Buntzen, Seymour, and out over the city. Worth the detour. There were some muddy/wet areas at the top, with no snow to be seen. At this point, the trail was marked much better.

                                    The descent back down to the parking lot on the Halvor Lunden trail was steep, but much more manageable on tired legs than doing the trail in reverse, so we were happy with the direction we chose. All in all, this took us just under 10 hours to complete the 21k route. We took our time to enjoy the trail, but had to be cognizant of the time - given the park closes the gates at 8pm, building in a little buffer with an early start helped.

                                    Loved the trail - it was challenging but achievable, with a little something for everyone.

                                      Posted: July 26, 2016 11:42:08 AM PST

                                      Zack from Langey writes:

                                      Third attempt at this trail. First time took a wrong turn and went down swan falls after mount beautiful. Second time got rained out at the lower lakes.

                                      Made it yesterday June 25. It was cloudy and even though it wasn't raining we got soaked from water on the bushes ( no avoiding it, trail gets more overgrown the further you go. ) Being totally drenched at times may be tainting my report.

                                      Even in perfect conditions this trail is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced. Route finding can be tricky at times. Some signage is deteriorated and easy to miss. Past the dilly dally peak the trail is close to not being a trail at all other than the odd marker. Lots of deadfall and very steep and slippery. Some of it is pretty big and obstructive deadfall too. You better stil have some energy to focus on your footing after 4-5 hours of decently hard hiking or you will be falling a lot.

                                      That I said, I enjoyed the hike. It wasn't the most fun ( pretty good to mount beautiful ) but it was a mental and physical challenge. Views and being dry and less slippery would have helped if we went on a nicer day.

                                      Took us just under 10 hours going at what felt like a decent speed for 3 reasonably fit 28 y/o males.

                                        Posted: June 26, 2016 09:29:17 AM PST

                                        Erika K from New Westminster writes:

                                        Did part of this trail today with a few friends. We started at the south beach, took the Buntzen trail to North beach, connected to Powerhouse road, carried onwards to Halvor Lunden and cut into the Dilly Dally Trail/Croker Lookout. We had the intention of just going to the lookout and it was well worth it. I think it is about 17k round trip. There is a nice variation of trail in and out of the forest, with a few beautiful creeks and waterfalls to pass (it is a bit slippery at parts though, use caution). The trail is quite over grown in parts and frankly a little dodgy in some spots. I was pretty certain we'd run into wild life but we didn't, in fact we didn't even see a single person from the Halvor trail on. The lookout is a nice spot to have lunch, with another quick detour over to little horn mountain peak (there is a lot of tree overgrowth here, so it's not much of view, but in-between trees, it's beautiful). Keeping a slower pace up the dilly dally trail (as you gain 300+m elevation, in a short 1.5km distance), in total, the hike took us about three hours there and two hours back with a short break for lunch. (But i'm sure you could do it in 4 if you can endure a faster pace.)

                                          Posted: June 1, 2016 07:53:18 PM PST

                                          Hilary from New West writes:

                                          Did this on May 23. First off, we picked the wrong day for a hike-it was drizzly and foggy all day. The words that come to mind when I think of this hike are "treacherous, tedious and boring". I'd probably be singing a different tune if it wasn't foggy, so take my comments with a grain of salt. Spotty snow through the lakes district and quite a bit of snow leading up to the tangled summit. The trail though rough in patches was pretty easy to follow. Just keep your eyes peeled for markers and go slowly. We were going to run out of time so took the Swan Falls bailout. I heard it was steep, but man was it steep. Not rock climbing steep (which was ok for me who is afraid of heights) but just unending descent - the kind where you have to grab a tree and slide one your bum to get down. And the hill seemed to go on forever. My legs were like jello by the end. The swan falls route took us 11hours and according to our gps, 26.3 km and 1440m total ascent. Keep that in mind when you're planning your visit. I hope you get a view ;)

                                            Posted: May 24, 2016 11:36:45 AM PST

                                            Preston Rohrick from Vancouver writes:

                                            May 21, 2016
                                            Started at parking lot and went up the Halvor Linden Trail. The trail is in great condition up to the first view point.

                                            Pushing past the first viewpoint the trail starts to get a bit worse, although I had no problems getting to the lakes. I was going steady and made it to the first lake in about 1hr 38m.

                                            I assumed that once I was up there it would be quite easy to get to Mt. Beautiful along the ridgeline. I UNDERESTIMATED the difficulty past this point.

                                            The trail from St. Mary's Lake to Lindsay Lake was quite sketchy. There was still some snow and I lost the main trail a couple of times. Getting closer to Lindsay Lake it was 100% snow on the trail.

                                            From Lindsay Lake to Mt. Beautiful it was at least 50% snow covered. The snow was still deep and it started to wear you down quite a bit. Going up was fine, but going down on slippery snow with legs getting weaker was tough. There was a large number of times where I would pop through the top layer of snow and be balls deep. I was wearing Water Resistant shoes which helped, but eventually they were completely soaked.

                                            The trail from Lindsay Lake to Mt. Beautiful was really tough. The trail is not in very good condition and it is hard to follow especially in the snow. I found myself off the trail and shimmying on the side of a cliff once thinking that it was the trail. I ended up back tracking and using my GPS to find the trail again.

                                            The view from Mt. Beautiful was amazing. You could see a full 360 from that point. You could see Vancouver, Burnaby and Surry. You had a great view of Indian Arm and Coquitlam Lake. The one thing you could not see was Buntzen Lake. (But you got a good view of that on the way down).

                                            At the summit of Mt. Beautiful I had reached "450 floors" on my fitbit. To put this in perspective when I reached the first viewpoint on the way up my fitbit was at "175 floors". This is a VERY long hike. When I did the Grand Canyon I only had 400 floors from valley to rim. I reached the Summit in about 5.0 hours.

                                            I decided to short cut via Swan Falls Trail for my return. I was running out of time as I left late. The trail is quite sketchy and not well maintained. It is much steeper than the Halvor Linden Trail. From the top of Mt. Beautiful to the bottom took me about 1hr and 45 mins. I then went as fast as I could from McCombe Lake to the parking lot on PowerLine Road. I started at 1:30pm and ended without break at 8:40pm. Total distance was 15 miles.

                                            The hike was great, but I would recommend doing it in Mid June when the snow is all melted. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND going CLOCKWISE on this hike. I would start at Swan Falls Trail or Dilly Dally FIRST, then come down Halvor Lunden. The Halvor Lunden is in much better condition.

                                              Posted: May 22, 2016 03:41:59 PM PST

                                              Kelly from Vancouver writes:

                                              Went up May 2nd 2016 to do the Lindsay Lake Loop. No snow until the very top. The lakes district was covered in deep snow but compact so walkable in hiking shoes just slow. We cut out to the viewpoints and up to West Point/Pulpit as our final destination. Stunning views. We skipped Lindsay Lake cause of all the snow but if you've left enough time, it is completely doable there. It is pretty much clear of snow by the viewpoints now.

                                                Posted: May 3, 2016 10:37:23 AM PST

                                                Jev from Venlo writes:

                                                I've done a bit shorter version of this walk (Swan Falls Loop) on April 3-d. The views were fantastic, however I did not expect tons of snow that were at the top. Snowshoes were not really needed as the snow was relatively hard, but I did get wet feet. High waterproof shoes would have been fine.

                                                  Posted: April 7, 2016 01:41:00 AM PST

                                                  Lu Vettese from Vancouver writes:

                                                  I didn't do all of the dilly dally loop, instead I did the "Lindsay Lake Trail" (basically half of dilly dally) on August 1. You can find it on the BC Hydro Buntzen Lake website. It's the easiest of the three trails around that region (1020m & 15km). If you are not a very experienced hiker, starting with this one will get you a taste of what you need to complete the Dilly Dally. This summer has been very dry, we didn't find much running water, the tip is to bring all of your own water. On a hot day for 15km, we needed 2 litres (it depends on how long it takes you to complete the trail as well) and brought enough food for two meals. For Dilly Dally, three meals are probably needed. Not as much bugs as I imagined, since there's barely any water for them grow in. With climate change, the landscape is changing, drying rivers and dying trees, so see it while you can.

                                                    Posted: August 2, 2015 07:53:32 AM PST

                                                    Anthony from Coquitlam writes:

                                                    Very fun hike with very rewarding views at mount beautiful. There is also a shorter route where you can head down Swan falls that sheds off around 5k which is pretty cool! Recommend this hike to anybody who has the day off and is up for the challenge.

                                                      Posted: June 17, 2015 12:36:16 PM PST

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