- Difficulty Easy
- Time 2 hours
- Round-Trip 4.5km
- Elevation Gain 175 meters
- Season year-round
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 40 minutes
- Public Transit Yes
- Dog Friendly Yes
The Lions Bay Loop starts from the General Store and Cafe and follows several hiking trails, passing Crystal Falls and viewpoints of Howe Sound. The trails that make up the loop include the Centennial Trail, the Crystal Falls Trail, the Soundview Trail, and the Harrison Trail, before returning to the start on the Centennial Trail.
The trailhead is located on the other side of Centre Road by the Lions Bay General Store and Cafe, to the right of the wall that separates the Sea To Sky highway. Before setting off on your hike, make sure you have checked the parking signage to avoid being towed. Do not park in the General Store and Cafe parking lot.
Follow the Centennial Trail next to the wall as it almost immediately crosses a metal bridge over Alberta Creek before continuing along a wide section of trail. The trail then enters the forest and begins to climb gradually as you continuing hiking parallel to the highway but higher above. The forest is beautiful through this section and as you continue hiking along the Centennial Trail, go left at each of the junctions to see the varying views of Howe Sound. The most interesting of all of the views is Arbutus Point, where a short 30 meter trail leads to a picnic table and a view out to Howe Sound. A sign sits there identifying the different islands and mountain ranges.
Back on the trail, continue hiking as it keeps gradually ascending until you reach a junction with the Harrison Trail. You will return to this point after completing the loop but, for now, go left and down the wooden stairs as the trail descends quickly. Pass through several switch backs and over a small creek before the trail exits the forest onto a road.
Cross the road and walk into what looks like an old, gravel parking area. Walk towards the right of the gravel area and a trail continues in the open above the Sea To Sky highway. Despite all of the noise of the passing traffic, the view of Howe Sound is great along this stretch. Continue walking along the gravel path until you reach the end at a road called Crystal Falls Road.
At Crystal Falls Road, turn right and walk up the road until you reach a point where it looks like the road splits to go left or right (left goes across a bridge). Look straight ahead, in the middle of the "split", for a sign pointing to the Crystal Falls trail. Follow this trail uphill and before you reach the water tower, look for a trail to the left that takes you a few meters down to a wooden bench with a view of the waterfall along Magnesia Creek. This side trail is within a few minutes of leaving the road and is not marked, so take your time looking for it and make sure not to miss it.
After enjoying Crystal Falls, continue along the trail as it climbs quickly before passing a fence and arriving at a gravel clearing next to a road. The clearing to the right offers a scenic view of Howe Sound. Continue your hike to the left up the old gravel, logging road which is now called the Soundview Trail.
The Soundview Trail climbs uphill along the wide path as you first pass a junction with the Upper Harrison Trail on the left, before reaching a junction with the Harrison Trail on the right a short distance later (if you reach a paved road, you have gone too far). It's this second junction with the Harrison Trail on your right that you want to take. Follow the Harrison trail as it descends quickly into the forest and, not too much longer, arrives back at the junction with the Centennial Trail where you passed earlier. Go left onto the Centennial Trail and begin walking back downhill towards the General Store and Cafe where you began your hike, making sure to take the paths for the small viewpoint loops that you didn't take before.