Lions Bay

The Lions Hike from the Lions-Binkert Trail

The Lions – Desk of Contents

  1. Hike Introduction
  2. Hike Statistics
  3. Map and Elevation
  4. The Lions Video
  5. Climbing Route Description
  6. Legend of the Two Sisters
  7. Instructions and Parking
  8. Hike score
  9. Free PDF Obtain

The Lions Hike Intro

The Lions are an iconic natural landmark in Vancouver, simply noticed from many elements of the metropolis. A hike to the Lions supplies certainly one of the most scenic vantage points of any hike round Vancouver.

Also called the Two Sisters, these twin peaks are so outstanding from the metropolis, they have impressed the naming of the Lions Gate Bridge, the city of Lions Bay, and the B.C. Lions football workforce.

Nevertheless, the hike to The Lions is certainly one of the tougher ones around. The terrain is steep, troublesome, and snow persists properly into the summer time. This is not a hike for newcomers.

The mountaineering route described under follows the Lions-Binkert Trail to the base of the West Lion. The stats and occasions don’t embrace summiting the West Lion. Summiting the West Lion ought to solely be executed by skilled mountaineers, with proper training and kit. Fatalities have occurred on the West Lion, as the scramble up it leaves no margin for error – a fall can be almost certain dying.

Warnings aside, in case you are match and have mountaineering experience, this is one among the most rewarding hikes you can do near Vancouver. From the base of The Lions, you will have unimaginable views south in the direction of Mount Pointless, Vancouver, Mount Baker, and Washington; views to the west of Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island; views to the north in the direction of Mount Brunswick, Mount Harvey, and Garibaldi Park; and east throughout the North Shore mountains and Golden Ears.

This guide describes the route from Lions Bay, up the Lions-Binkert Trail. Additionally it is potential to hike to The Lions beginning from Cypress Mountain Resort. That route has less elevation achieve, however longer complete distance. If you want to hike The Lions from Cypress Mountain, learn our information for the Howe Sound Crest Trail, which describes that route carrying previous St. Mark’s Summit and Mount Pointless.

You would also drop an additional automotive at Cypress Mountain or Lions Bay and do that hike as a point-to-point.

The Lions-Binkert Hike Stats

Score: Troublesome
Distance: 15 km
Elevation Achieve: 1,328m
Highest Level (Ridge): 1,566 m
Time Wanted: 7 – 9 Hours
Sort: Out-and-back

Season: July – October
Canine Allowed: Sure
Est. Driving Time from Vancouver: 40 Minutes
Trailhead Coordinates: 49.470989, -123.234799

For a better understanding of the stats and problem score, take a look at the Climbing Guides web page for details. All the time carry The 10 Essentials and fill out a visit plan.

The Lions Hike Map and Elevation

Click following button or aspect on the map to see information about it.

The Lions


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The Lions Video

The Lions-Binkert Trail Mountaineering Route

From the parking space (instructions), walk by the yellow gate and knowledge board. The path starts out as a gravel/ previous logging street, which is the route for roughly the first third of the trail. After about 5 minutes, you’ll see a junction for the Upper Harrison Trail on your left, and a water station on your proper. Go up previous the water plant to your proper. The gravel street narrows a bit..

About twelve minutes, or 600 meters into the hike, you’ll come to the first main switchback/ hairpin turn in the street.

After 200 m further, you’ll reach one other switchback. You’ll then come to a clearing at a fork in the street. Straight ahead is a fence with a ‘no trespassing’ sign for the Magnesia Creek watershed. Go proper.

You will shortly comply with two extra switchbacks on the street.

Maintain grinding your method up the street (the hike will develop into extra fascinating soon). The street remains steep and snakes a couple of extra occasions. After one ultimate hairpin, you’ll come to the junction for Brunswick Mountain. It’s going to take roughly thirty-five minutes to succeed in this point, which comes at 1.9 km.

Stay on the street to the right in the path marked for The Lions and Mount Harvey. The street here narrows to a doubletrack path.

The street will degree out and views of the Tantalus Vary, Howe Sound, and Horseshoe Bay will open to your right.

You’ll come to a T-intersection around 2.four km and 40 – 50 minutes. Go right, where there’s some orange flagging and markers in the timber. You’ll now be on a large, groomed path.

Around 2.7 km or 50 – 60 minutes, you will come round a bend. In your left, you’ll see a path that splits off to the left marked Harvey Trail. Keep straight, in the path marked Lions Trail.

The trail here has unfastened rock and is comparatively flat. Shortly after the Harvey junction, you cross over Alberta Creek and there’s a waterfall on your left. In the event you look to the clearing where the creek flows, you might have a pleasant view of the mouth of Howe Sound. There are many unfastened rocks and boulders in the area – it wouldn’t be sensible to linger too long on this stretch of trail.

You’ll cross by a big cliff face in your left, which may have a trickle of water operating down it.

The Lions-Binkert Trail will continue to climb again upwards. Hold following the street and the odd orange marker in the timber.

Around 2.3 km, the path becomes singletrack trail.

At round 1 hour 20 minutes, 4.three km, the path begins to climb uphill once more. After another 500 meters, you will come to a junction. There’s a marker here with the elevation written on it as 835 m. It’s marked here for the Harvey Basin and HSCT straight ahead. But be sure to tuck onto the trail in the timber in your proper.

The path goes into the timber and drops down in the direction of Harvey Creek. The trail now becomes extra rooty and technical terrain. You’ll cross over a picket bridge by a small but scenic waterfall. This is usually a great place to filter water. Push across the different aspect into the dense forest.

From right here, the real mountaineering begins. The path turns into more strenuous and your tempo will slow down. There will possible be some deadfall to navigate, relying on when path upkeep was final carried out. Although troublesome climbing, the path is straightforward enough to comply with as long as you take note of the orange markers. You’ll begin to see considerably more markers in the timber.

Maintain grinding up. As you climb, views of Howe Sound will open up behind you. There might be a number of sections the place you could want to make use of your palms to climb. There are also a number of sections where rebar is bolted into rock that will help you climb.

After about 1:45 – 2 hours, you’ll be able to see Pointless Mountain to the south. You’ll also see Gambier Island in Howe Sound to the west.

There’s not a lot to say for this a part of the hike, aside from to keep chipping away at the elevation. Be sure to stay on the path as it isn’t all the time clearly defined. So long as you see the markers and flagging, you’re nice. Take your time scrambling up.

At just over 6 km, you’ll come to a plateau the place you possibly can see the West Lion instantly forward of you and Mount Harvey off to your left. Maintain following the trail and also you’ll start to return out into the alpine.

Up at 1,300 m, you’ll come to a boulder area. Chances are you’ll find some operating water from snowmelt here when you want a refill.

Behind you, you’ll have an unimaginable view of Howe Sound – Gambier, Keats, and Bowen Islands, and the Sunshine Coast. You will also see Pointless Mountain and its sharp ridge.

Comply with the orange flagging in the branches of some small timber. If there’s still snow, microspikes will probably be useful here. Take warning.

You’ll finally crest the ridge and connect with the Howe Sound Crest Trail. You’ll comply with the prime of the ridge up to the left, in the direction of a Search and Rescue cache. There are pale orange spray-paintings on a few of the larger rocks.

After about 3 hours and 7.3 km, you will reach the Search and Rescue cache. From the SAR cache, hold going up the hill following the spray paint.

An superior view of the East Lion, in addition to the North Shore mountain vary in the direction of Golden Ears, opens to the east. Cypress Bowl, Mount Strachan, Black Mountain, Mt. Baker, Sunshine Coast (Mount Elphinstone), Tantalus Range, Cleveland Lake, the Capilano Watershed, Vancouver Island, Sky Pilot, Mount Garibaldi, and extra may be seen. It’s one in every of the most unimaginable views you may ask for.

Here, on the ridge, you’re at an elevation of about 1,566 m. The West Lion summit has an elevation of 1,646 m and The East Lion has an elevation of 1,606 m.

You’ll be able to comply with the trail to the West Lion, but as cautioned above, it isn’t beneficial to scramble the summit. The views are superb right here, and you’re not missing something by not reaching the summit. Take excessive caution as you navigate the path near the sharp cliffs. Stop wherever you like, rest up, and soak it all in.

For these wanting to increase the hike additional, it’s attainable to proceed on the Howe Sound Crest Trail to a col between the East and West Lions – however that route also has a sketchy part.

Once you’re prepared, flip around and retrace your steps back to the parking zone.

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The Legend of the Two Sisters

Native legend tells the story of an incredible Chief of the Capilano Canyon who had two daughters who have been rising into womanhood. As was customary, a big celebration was held and neighboring tribes have been invited. The Chief granted his daughters one wish, they usually wished for his or her father to invite all the tribes he was at present at warfare with to attend. He obliged, and an awesome feast was held. Because of the celebration, a brotherhood was created between the warring tribes, and an enduring interval of peace began.

“Then the Sagalie Tyee smiled on His Indian youngsters: ‘I will make these young-eyed maidens immortal,’ He stated. In the cup of His palms He lifted the chief’s two daughters and set them ceaselessly in a high place, for that they had borne two offspring–Peace and Brotherhood–every of which is now an excellent Tyee ruling this land.

“And on the mountain crest the chief’s daughters can be seen wrapped in the suns, the snows, the stars of all seasons, for they have stood in this high place for thousands of years, and will stand for thousands of years to come, guarding the peace of the Pacific Coast and the quiet of the Capilano Canyon.”

And due to this, these mountains are generally known as The Two Sisters or The Chief’s Daughters.

The full story, as informed by Chief Joe Capilano, is captured in E. Pauline Johnson’s e-book, Legends of Vancouver.

Instructions and Parking

Take the Sea to Sky Freeway (BC-99) north from Horseshoe Bay in the direction of Lions Bay.

Take the Lions Bay Ave exit. Merge onto Oceanview Street and take a left onto Crosscreek Street. Take a right onto Middle Street and a left onto Bayview Street. Comply with Bayview Street all the method up to its end and turn left onto Sunset Drive. At the end of Sundown drive one can find a restricted variety of pay parking spots.

If parking is full, you’ll have to drive back down the street until you discover a suitable parking spot. On the weekend the Lions Bay Elementary Faculty could also be a very good choice.

Google Map directions are here.

Outside Vancouver and Reader’s Hike Score

  • Variety of the terrain – 85%
  • Views and surroundings – 95%
  • Not too crowded – 75%
  • General ‘fun factor’ – 90%



The Lions are certainly one of the hardest hikes round Vancouver. It’s additionally one in every of the most well-known hike, on account of the prominence of The Lions from the city. This a must-do hike for any hiker in Vancouver, nevertheless, should not be carried out by inexperienced hikers.

Depart your score using the stars, or the feedback section under:


Unimaginable views
Potential to level to The Lions from the metropolis and tell your good friend ‘I’ve been there’


Logging street for the first 1/3
Summiting very dangerous

Consumer Evaluation

four (2 votes)

Other great hikes on this area

  1. Brunswick Mountain (troublesome)
  2. Howe Sound Crest Trail (troublesome)
  3. St. Mark’s Summit (average)
  4. View all mountaineering guides right here

Obtain the PDF model of this guide for offline use

Enter your e mail to obtain the free PDF model of this information. You will obtain the file instantly in your e-mail, and also will achieve entry to the monthly Outside Vancouver publication.

Outside Vancouver Apparel

The Lions are an iconic natural landmark in Vancouver, easily spotted from many parts of the city. A hike to the Lions provides one of the most scenic vantage points of any hike around Vancouver.

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