• Difficulty Intermediate
  • Time 4.5 hours
  • Round-Trip 8km
  • Elevation Gain 650 meters
  • Season May - November
  • Camping No
  • From Vancouver 40 minutes
  • Public Transit No
  • Dog Friendly Yes

The hike to Tunnel Bluffs climbs steeply from the Sea To Sky Highway before following a flat section of an old logging road and arriving to a sweeping view of Howe Sound. On a sunny day, the incredible view looks out towards Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast as well as south to Horseshoe Bay and along the Sea To Sky Highway.

The trailhead to Tunnel Bluffs is located directly across from the north end of a small parking lot along the Sea To Sky Highway. This means that you will have to carefully cross the highway, which can be difficult because there is a curve in the highway from both directions where you cannot see oncoming traffic and vehicles are travel very fast. Make sure to leave plenty of time between cars to make it across safely, do not take any chances.

From the highway, walk into the bushes and you should see a map of the area that's behind plastic and attached to a large rock. Walk to the left and follow the trail up onto the large rock before heading into the forest. The trail is very well marked with large, yellow markers the entire route, so make sure to follow these yellow markers to Tunnel Bluffs and also on your return.

After a short 5-minutes, you reach the first viewpoint to your left where you can walk out onto the rocky bluff for a view of Howe Sound. Back on the trail, continue your hike as you step over a log and begin a steep ascent. The first section of trail is very steep and relentless at times as you climb almost 500-meters in less than 2km. Use a bright, yellow rope to help pull yourself up through a steep section and continue following the yellow markers uphill.

A green arrow points to a "Viewpoint", however the trees have grown and blocked this second viewpoint, so continue hiking up the trail. Eventually, you reach a clearing where there is a trail marker ahead that is not yellow. Make sure to look and go left as it's easy to miss the yellow trail marker to the left. Walk up over the exposed rock and back into the forest as the trail continues to climb until it reaches a second rope. Use this rope carefully as it's not as strong as it probably should be.

Just after passing the second rope, the difficult, steep section of the hike is over and the trail passes through forest before joining with an old logging road and climbing gently uphill. Depending on the time of year, sections of this trail can be muddy as water drains from the snowmelt above. You will find yourself gaining distance quickly through this section.

The trail reaches a junction where there is a sign with a small map of the area. Go left at the junction to Tunnel Bluffs and follow another old logging road that is flat. At a second junction, go left again. Pass quickly along the route as you follow the well marked route. The trail veers left and you climb up onto a rocky bluff where you can just barely catch a glimpse of Mount Hat and Mount Brunswick. Continue to follow the trail as it rounds the corner, then drops down onto Tunnel Bluffs.

On a clear day, the views are outstanding looking out to Bowen Island, Keats Island, and the Sunshine Coast. Pleasure craft cross Howe Sound and the ferries can be seen arriving and leaving Horseshoe Bay in the distance.

After enjoying the view and lunch, return to the trail and retrace your steps in the direction you came. Go right at the first junction and, then when you reach the junction with the small map, go right again and head down the gradually slope. When you reach the rope, this is when the trail becomes steep and you will need to be careful to watch your step as there are steep sections of loose dirt and few places to step. Make sure to follow the large, yellow trail markers on the trees to stay on the trail. Pass the yellow rope and as you round a corner and can see the lower viewpoint, you are getting very close to the end of the trail. When you arrive at the highway, again, make sure to leave plenty of time between cars to cross the highway back to the parking lot.

How to get to Tunnel Bluffs

Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver
40 minutes

The hike to Tunnel Bluffs starts along the Sea To Sky Highway, just north of Lions Bay. Parking is located on the west side of the highway and you will have to very carefully cross the highway to get to the trailhead. While driving North on the Sea To Sky Highway, you CANNOT turn left and cross over the highway into the parking lot. Instead, you will have to drive about 4km north where there is a U-Turn lane during the 2-lane section of highway where you can turnaround. There is very limited parking in the parking lot.

From downtown Vancouver, make your way to Georgia Street and head westbound as it merges with the Stanley Park causeway and you cross the Lions Gate Bridge. Just after the bridge, stay in the left lane and exit towards West Vancouver. At the first set of lights at Taylor Way, turn right and drive up the hill towards Highway #1. Look for the signs and turn left, onto the onramp for Highway #1 heading Westbound towards Horseshoe Bay.

Drive along Highway #1 and merge onto the Sea To Sky Highway heading north towards Squamish and Whistler. Continue driving until you reach the small community of Lions Bay. Watching your speed, continue on the highway as you pass Lions Bay and shortly after, as you round a corner to the right, notice a parking lot on your left. The parking lot is a popular stop for tourists and offers a view of Howe Sound.

However, you MUST continue to drive north bound on the Sea To Sky Highway for about 4km to a U-Turn Lane. When the highway becomes 2 Lanes, drive in the left lane and watch for signs for the U-Turn route. Pull into the left lane and wait until there is a break in oncoming traffic (remember, oncoming traffic is driving very fast, so leave lots of room before crossing). Cross the highway and use the lane to loop around and merge with traffic heading southbound. Drive the 3-4km south and pull into the viewpoint parking lot.

The hike to Tunnel Bluffs begins at the north end of the parking lot, directly across the highway on the east side.

View a map of Driving directions to Tunnel Bluffs.

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Additional Info

Camping at Tunnel Bluffs

Camping is not permitted at Tunnel Bluffs.

Dogs at Tunnel Bluffs

Dogs are allowed on the trail to Tunnel Bluffs, however the terrain is very steep and may be too challenging for some dogs. There are also steep cliffs at Tunnel Bluffs, so make sure to not allow dogs too close to the edge. Please ensure to leash your dog when crossing the highway, keep your dog under control at all times on the trail, and pick up and remove any excrement from the trail.

Toilets at Tunnel Bluffs

There are no toilets along the trail to Tunnel Bluffs.

Dogs, Toilets and Camping

Although we try to keep information as current as possible, www.vancouvertrails.com makes no warranty or representation as to the availability, quality, fitness for purpose, conditions or accuracy of the information provided with respect to this trail or trails. The information provided herein is further subject to our Terms of Use.