3.09 out of 5 - 11 reviews

View Lower Hollyburn Description | Add Comment

Rico Micallef from Tigard writes:

Boring trail- there are so many more gorgeous trails with killer views - I would not bother with this one.

    Posted: July 23, 2019 09:13:40 AM PST

    Bryce from Vancouver writes:

    Did this trail on July 15, 2017.

    Finding the correct route at first can be a bit tricky with all the possible directions right at the start, but it wasn't too difficult. Bring your phone with you and compare your location to the map of the trail if you're ever unsure. I definitely took a wrong turn a couple of times during and had to backtrack.

    You'll come across a section that is marked off as 'closed' with a landslide covering the trail very soon after you start. This is the right way. You can climb over the landslide with little difficulty, but I wouldn't want to do it if I was unsure of my footing. The first 20-30 minutes part of the trail is mostly flat, following Millstream Trail along the side of the mountain before the climb starts.

    You'll pass three lakes during the hike, but the 2nd lake was certainly the highlight for me. The descent was the worst part, being down a bike trail. The terrain was basically destroyed by the cyclists skidding their tires, and it was like a mixture of loose dirt and large fist sized rocks almost the entire way down. If I did this trail again, I think I would look for a different way down.

      Posted: July 20, 2017 09:39:46 AM PST

      Diana from Vancouver writes:

      This was the worst trail! There aren't any signs and barely any markers. I think we ended up going backwards on a mountain biking trail and just came back down the same way. We did try to go right twice like the instructions said but ended up at a house.

        Posted: July 9, 2017 12:30:56 PM PST

        Jissy from Burnaby writes:

        Completed this hike on June 17 2017. When you pass the first gate, turn right immediately on the first trail that looks like it goes into a forest. We did that wrong and completed the hike backwards. Anyways There was still a landslide at the beginning of the trail, but it is cross able and there's a rope to help. There was some snow at the top of the trail, so prepare for that. Runners were ok on this hike.

          Posted: June 17, 2017 03:53:36 PM PST

          Brad Mistry from Vancouver writes:

          I did this May 22nd, 2016. There is no snow on the trail.

          If you're climbing right at the start, you're going the wrong way, lol.
          To maneuver around the landslide, climb half way up the landslide and you'll see a man-made trail on the right which continues around it.

          There are several junctions after you hit the lakes so pay attention to the map + description... I would suggest taking your smartphone and constantly checking up on Google Maps to see if you're where you're supposed to be.

            Posted: May 25, 2016 03:38:16 AM PST

            Brian Somers from Lynn Valley writes:

            I really enjoyed this hike. Right now (April 2016) there's a landslide right at the start of the trail. It's easy to navigate across with some care. As others have said, you need to be very careful at the start of the trail as it's easy to miss a turning. Also, just after Blue Gentian, it's easy to accidentally cross a river and head north towards Lost Lake. There's a left turn just before the river that shouldn't be missed and brings you up towards West Lake! It's definitely necessary to have a record of the trail description above with you on this hike and if possible, some sort of GPS to keep you heading in the right direction. There's still snow around Blue Gentian and above, so hiking boots are definitely a better choice than hiking shoes. The snow slows you down, but isn't bad enough to make you want to skip Blue Gentian and West Lake and stay on the BP trail.

              Posted: April 17, 2016 01:26:39 AM PST

              Marian from Abbotsford writes:

              I am planning to start hiking at the hollyburn lodge and pass by west lake, blue gentian lake and lost lake. Is it possible to swimm in any of the lakes? Thanks.

                Posted: July 3, 2015 03:06:07 PM PST

                Nyomi from Vancouver writes:

                The first part of this trail is very confusing as it is easy to take a wrong turn down a bike trail (which happened to us) we ended up going to a high point at the edge of the creek to look for the first bridge (which is a small dilapidated one but it is the right one). Once we found the second bridge the trail was way easier to navigate. There was no snow up at Gentian Lake but the boardwalks were extremely slippery so we walked alongside them most of the time. Some parts of the trail are covered in debris from the recent storms in the area and as you ascend towards the Baden-Powell trail there is a tree that has fallen over blocking the path, which we just clambered over. The trail could use some maintenance. Also, watch out for mountain bikers on your way down!

                  Posted: December 14, 2014 04:55:38 PM PST

                  Peter N. from Burnaby writes:

                  We took a modified version of this hike, starting at the parking lot near Hollyburn Lodge then heading towards West Lake before looping back at West Gentian Lake. A good hike for kids, approx. 4 km in total, with some elevation gain going from W.G. Lake back to Hollyburn, but nothing a child couldn't handle. We went on Sunday as the weather was less than ideal, and I would peg this is as a great hike for those days when it's too cloudy for a mountaintop hike. Fun to look at all the cabins as well. As of 6/15/2014, there was no snow anywhere around.

                    Posted: June 16, 2014 04:43:14 PM PST

                    genevieve from port coquitlam writes:

                    Did this hike today and it was absolutely lovely. We did see a bit of snow on the side of the trail, but it was no big deal. I highly recommend that anyone thinking of doing this hike print the directions from this website and watch out at a few important parts. These things are worth noting:

                    -"At the Lawson Creek Forestry Heritage Walk trail..." not to be confused with Lawson Creek which you will pass over on a wooden bridge.

                    -"After enjoying the scenery, walk halfway around the lake to the trail junction and go left by the sign pointing the route to West Lake. Less than a hundred meters later, go left again at the junction." This should really read "less than 25 meters later". we missed the turn but didn't get too far before catching on to our mistake.

                    -"The first part of this trail is well maintained as you pass the Girl Guides cabin on the right before reaching a trail junction with a sign pointing to the left. Do not follow the arrow..." there is a pretty good space between the girl guides cabin and the turn off but these directions make it seem as though it's pretty close.

                    -on the way back down there are a lot of opportunities to bail. watch out for loose rocks/gravel and slimy wood.

                      Posted: June 1, 2014 06:19:13 PM PST

                      Ivy T from New Westminster writes:

                      I do understand everyone’s frustration with this hike, but if you do take the time to pdf and read through it could be worth it. It seems complicated to navigate, but now that we did it once it makes sense and we wouldn’t need the instructions again. Same instance with the “Two Valley Loop”
                      April 12, 2014 – We just did this hike, and although the trails at the beginning are slightly confusing, it was still well worth it. Basically, follow the trail that looks like a trail and not any of the Mountain bike trails near the beginning – there were a lot. The “second right” was a mountain bike trail, so we back pedaled to the main trail again and just kept following that and figured it out.

                      There are a few trails and junctions you need to be aware of so reading and bringing the notes below would be a good thing. They did not steer us wrong at all, and we didn’t feel we lost any of the “outdoor wilderness experience”.

                      It was a pretty steady incline up, but this time of year we couldn’t make it past the first lake (Blue Gentian Lake), due to the depth of the snow. Maybe in a month it will be better to get across. For those of you who want to give it a try, avoid the Blue Gentian Lake, and stay on the Baden Powell which will take you to a large clearing to rest and get out of the snow for a short while then come back down the way you came.
                      I would say it was a good challenge, and good for intermediate/beginner hikers who want to challenge themselves. Yes – slightly confusing at the beginning, but it was worth it and now that I have done it once, I wouldn’t need the instructions again.

                      Happy Hiking!

                        Posted: April 14, 2014 11:17:48 AM PST

                        Anonymous from Vancouver writes:

                        Avoid this trail! See all those frustrated and confused hikers posting comments below me? Do you want to go through that? No, so just click on 'REGION MAP' and pick from one of the other many hikes available in the North Shore.

                        I like how detailed this site can be with directions for hikes but there's no way I could memorize every single detail of a hike. Thankfully the smartphone comes in handy for this. But... nobody wants to be grabbing that thing constantly for directions. It kind of kills the adventurous feel of being outdoors I think. Well this trail will have you grabbing for your phone constantly! So many forks in the paths, it's crazy. This isn't a hiking trail, this is a mountain bike path, actually many paths. Granted we didn't really follow the directions from this site but rather from James' comment posted August 8th, 2012. I'm pretty sure we weren't even on the path that this site said to be on right from the beginning. We didn't go right shortly after starting, we just kept heading straight up just like James said to do.

                        Long story short, 45 minutes up and we found more forks. Maybe if we followed the directions from this site we would have had more luck but from reading all the confused hikers comments we figured we could sort of just figure it out. No way. The trail we took had barely any markers and forks all the way up. Really frustrating.

                        You know it's going to be bad when right from the start of the trail there's no signs and no markings. Here's another clue: there were no other hikers on a hot long weekend but lots of mountain bikers. Wat does that tell you? Usually hiking trails have people on them. Skip this one.

                          Posted: June 30, 2013 07:48:08 PM PST

                          Murphy from vancouver writes:

                          Does anyone know what the conditions are like up there now? It seems like the snow is slow to melt in some places this year.

                            Posted: June 13, 2013 10:06:27 AM PST

                            DM in Kitsilano from Vancouver writes:

                            We tried hiking this today but it's still way to early. We made it just past Blue Genetian Lake but had to turn back. The snow is too deep and we could no longer find any markers.

                            We had a hard time starting the trail due to the poor directions but after back-tracking a few times finally made it to the Millstream Trail and onwards. We found the directions to be pretty hard to figure out the whole way, I wish I had have read these comments first!

                            We'll definitely be heading back in August to try to complete the route. I'm not even really sure how far we made it or if we were ever really on the trail. It's very beautiful and I'm looking forward to seeing it snow-free. For today, I'm happy to be home, and warm.

                              Posted: April 27, 2013 05:31:27 PM PST

                              Margaret Corbett from West Vancouver writes:

                              The Forks trail below the junction with the Trans Canada trail has benn used primarily by mountain bikers in the few years since I last hiked it. It is very slippery now and I wouldn't recommend it today.

                                Posted: September 25, 2012 07:00:56 PM PST

                                Joan from North Vancouver writes:

                                Monday August 13 We hiked this trail today and really enjoyed it however the directions are not 100% accurate. When you start the trail after going through the first gate head right on that first trail.(not the one with orange markers)Very quickly you will come down a set of steps but will see that the path also takes a sharp turn to the left-take that trail. When you pass through the second black gate keep going straight until you see the second post with trail names and a map. Here you turn left and go uphill.
                                It is at the Scout cabin not the Girl Guide cabin that you will see a sign pointing to the left. We could not see a TV tower however the trail on the left does have a very visible ribbon. We did not see a junction with the Trans Canadas trail in a clearing? We continued down the mountain bike path and made it back to where we had started.(it included walking over a wooden bridge) It is a beautiful hike.

                                  Posted: August 13, 2012 03:47:03 PM PST

                                  James from Vancouver writes:

                                  We did this hike on Sunday, well we did what we could of it, but as many others have commented the instructions really are not up to scratch.

                                  Our corrections to the instructions:
                                  1. "Walk up the trail a short distance and go right and then another right as you then begin to descend into a creek gully."

                                  As noticed by someone else, the first right is a mountain biking trail. Just stay on the path you're on and it eventually heads down into the creek gully to the right.

                                  2. "Continue along the wide, uphill trail, passing the Shields Incline Railway Trail. After 15 - 20 minutes of uphill, you reach a junction with the Baden Powell Trail. Go right and follow the Baden Powell Trail under the power lines, before taking another right to continue your incline."

                                  This was where the instructions really screwed us. As you come under the power lines you will hit a junction with a signpost that has a map on it. The instructions say to take this right. Don't! It leads you down the Baden Powell trail in the opposite direction to where you want to go. Just keep heading straight on. A right turn here only takes you DOWN the mountain. Stay on the path and head straight on. The path naturally curves LEFT, uphill into the incline and eventually hits the Crossover trail.

                                  We ended up taking the Crossover trail and coming back that way (after a 90 minute detour on the Baden Powell courtesy of the inaccurate directions).

                                    Posted: August 8, 2012 08:50:09 AM PST

                                    Laurel from North Vancouver writes:

                                    We got all the way to Hollyburn ski runs, but it was very difficult to follow the directions especially at the start. We bailed at Hollyburn and hiked out to the parking lot after hiking for over 4 hours. We also encountered snow at Gentian Lake. Quite a few times we had to backtrack as we were on the wrong trail. Very challenging to follow the trail!

                                      Posted: July 28, 2012 09:16:17 PM PST

                                      Mahsa from Vancouver writes:

                                      We tried to do this trail today. We went up there and followed the instruction, but we got lost. We back tracked tthyme start point of the trail and tried it again ,no luck! We ended up going up a path, without knowing where we are going. Beautiful though. After one hour of wondering through the forest,We decided to give up on the hike and go for a brunch! Too bad!

                                        Posted: June 16, 2012 10:08:15 PM PST

                                        Payam from Vancouver writes:

                                        Went there today and took a pic of this map at the ranger station next to Hollyburn lodge:


                                        We started at Main trail and hit snow about half way up. Once at the lodge, we headed west on Grand National, then up Jack Pratt to West Lake, and finally back down Main trail to where we parked. The snow from the lodge onward is hard packed and easy to walk on but as summer comes along and it starts to melt, you will post hole through it.

                                          Posted: June 2, 2012 03:11:31 PM PST

                                          Julia from Vancouver writes:

                                          My husband and I did half this trail yesterday and had to turn around at Blue Gentian Lake.

                                          The trail markers were poor: we had to backtrack three separate times along the trail to get going where the instructions indicated. The issue is mainly that the Lower Hollyburn trail doesn't actually exist - lower Cypress is laced with several different trails and these instructions basically create a loop by going down one trail and veering off down another. So, if you're looking for "Lower Hollyburn" signs, they don't exist. One of these detours was fortuitous though - we saw a beautiful waterfall trying to find the Baden-Powell trail traveling up towards Blue Gentian Lake, definitely worth a visit.

                                          Also, as mentioned by the other hikers, this trail shouldn't be open in May. My husband and I hit 2 metre snowbanks and fell through a couple spots waist deep. Snowshoes would have been handy. The snow began half way up the Baden Powell trail going towards Blue Gentian Lake and the snow got to be so high that we lost the trail at a couple points. When we finally got to Blue Gentian Lake it was completely iced over. Seems to me from the other comments that people can't get through until late June or even July.

                                          Otherwise, the trail was beautiful and relatively well-groomed.

                                            Posted: May 13, 2012 11:11:43 AM PST

                                            sue from pearson writes:

                                            Yes, the instructions were poor...e.g. references to trail names that could not be located Locating a trail by naming it *Millstream* when there are no markers to identify it as such is not helpful to a novice on the trail. Also we came across the biker paths and took two rights and ended up at a dead end biker path... We decided to bail given that the early instructions were poor, we could not count on later instructions to not get us lost. too bad, we were looking forward to this hike.

                                              Posted: April 9, 2012 01:11:34 AM PST

                                              CATHERINE from VANCOUVER writes:

                                              We tried to hike this today but had to bail and went to Eagle Bluff instead. the directions are awful and we could not find the spot where you are suppoose to turn right and then turn right again. There are so many right turns and none of them are marked. to avoid being lost we choose to walk away from this hike, too bad..... also there were so many mountain bikers flying down the hill someone was bound to get hurt. someone needs to look into remarking this trail before a hiker is lost in the woods

                                                Posted: August 27, 2011 07:58:39 PM PST

                                                Omid from Vancouver writes:

                                                I just hiked this loop yesterday, and the directions are incredibly poor, and wrong at points. There's still plenty of snow on the trail as well when you pass West Lake.

                                                At the beginning you take a right, then you go straight through the trail with an orange marker. Do not take the second right, as it will lead you straight down into a creek valley. Try to follow the markers, going across creeks, until you reach a fairly wide open, well worn path. This is the Millstream Trail, but it's not marked anywhere. When you eventually go up the Lawson Creek Path and get to the Baden Powell, you go right, then you go left, not two rights. Two rights leads you to the Brothers Creek Loop. You eventually hit a junction, and follow the signs to Blue Gentian Lake to the right, then to West Lake. When you go left past West Lake, the trail description doesn't tell you that before you hit the junction with the Baden Powell, there's a fork with three options where you have to keep to the left. The left onto the Forks Trail is immediately after the bridge ends, so don't miss it. Then follow it to the gravel road, and continue going down hill until you see the pink ribbon into the woods. Then you follow this trail until you reach the black gate you came through in the first place.

                                                I don't know if I'll do this trail again, since the only point worth seeing is near the Alpine parking lot and West Lake.

                                                  Posted: July 11, 2011 12:21:33 PM PST

                                                  Canuckle Head from Vancouver writes:

                                                  Hiked this entire loop trail today ... Blue Gentian Lake is now snow free. Going to West Lake and First Lake, there is some snow, but it's not very deep and it's very doable. The snow offers some cool relief actually under the hot sun. There are picnic benches at First Lake, after you cross the bridge and right accross from the Ranger Station. This is a great spot to have lunch. Bring bug spray as it did get a little buggy on the trail.

                                                  Happy Trails!

                                                    Posted: July 9, 2011 09:03:22 PM PST

                                                    RJ from Burnaby writes:

                                                    We hiked this trail yesterday and it's still very snowy starting on the Baden-Powell just before the Blue Gentian lake turnoff. We only went to Blue Gentian. The snow is still thigh-deep in spots and is crusty with fast-melting snow underneath; very tricky to walk on. It would be really easy to twist an ankle under these conditions.
                                                    Would recommend giving it a couple more weeks before hiking this trail.

                                                      Posted: June 13, 2011 10:07:42 AM PST

                                                      SG from Vancouver writes:

                                                      We hiked half of this loop today, but had to head back because the snow was still very deep. We did manage to make it up to Blue Gentian Lake and turned around after that. At the higher elevation points our feet were sinking deep into the snow. Beside Blue Gentian Lake we sank waist deep at one point. If you're thinking of doing this hike in May, snowshoes would help, but maybe you should wait until the end of the month because just past Gentian Lake the footprints on the trail stopped and the trail markers were nowhere to be found. The trail was very beautiful and we definately want to come back and complete the 2nd half at a later time.

                                                        Posted: May 1, 2011 07:42:34 PM PST

                                                        Todd from Burnaby writes:

                                                        This trail can be misleading at times especially at the beginning. If you want to just see the lakes, just take the Baden Powell trail. The extra confusion is totally gone.

                                                          Posted: September 26, 2010 10:28:10 AM PST

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