The Lions, or the twin sisters, is a popular day hike in Vancouver. It is located near Lions Bay, about a 40-45 minute drive from Vancouver. The views from the top are simply breath-taking and out of this world. Pictures definitely do not do justice. The peak offers amazing panoramic views of Capilano lake, Howe Sound, and the city of Vancouver.
We left our apartment at around 7am, picked up breakfast at Tim Hortons and were on our way to the trailhead. For directions of the hike, see below this blog. We arrived a bit late to get a parking spot at the trailhead so we had to settle for the elementary school parking lot which was 1 km (or 15 min. walk) away from the trailhead. The trail starts on a logging road and then goes steadily up for about 35-40 minutes until you see a “cute” sign to turn right. After this, you will go through some flat areas and even pass a water fall on your left. After a slight incline you will see another sign to turn right where you will be a short decent to the bridge at Harvey Creek. Coming here will take you about 1.5 hours or so.
After the bridge, the bulk of the elevation is ahead of you and this is where the strenuous climb begins for about 2.5 to 3 hours. There are several viewpoints along the way overlooking Howe Sound and Lions Bay. The trail is well-marked by orange or pink ribbons so it’s hard to get lost. However, if you are not sure where to go, just stay to the right of the trail and you’ll be fine. Around the 3 hour mark or so, you will come across a nice little area where there is a beautiful view of the mountains and your first glimpse of the Lions. We stopped here for a necessary break.
After the break, we came across a huge section of snow that we had to hike through. This was a tough section. Hiking in the snow is definitely tiring, especially when you are going uphill! The good thing about hiking in the snow is that when it gets hot you can just lie down and let the snow cool you off!
We reached the base of the Lions in about 4 hours and 45 minutes and to reach the view top of the West Lion it took us an additional 45 minutes. In total, it took us about 5.5 hours in total to reach the summit of the West Lions from the parking lot including breaks. We could have done this hike a lot faster if it weren’t for my friend Johnson who slowed us down.
The views from the top are simply breath-taking. We were on the top for about an hour enjoying our lunch and taking crazy pictures. The hike down took us about the same time, 5.5 hours back to the parking lot.
As for our traditional epic meal, we decided to go to Fatburger on Denman. I had the double fat burger which is basically two big fat juicy patties and double cheese. I didn’t order any additional toppings but I kinda wish I need. There’s always next time! That burger definitely hit the spot and I would definitely recommend it.
Click HERE to view all pictures of The Lions
The uphill section of the snow
The Lions or Twin Sisters
View from the top – You can see Capilano Lake and city of Vancouver out in the distance
On top of the world – The peak of the West Lion
Reflection – Overlooking Howe Sound
View for the top
The East Lion
Enchantment Lake – the other side of The Lions
Unnessessary Mountain and Howe sound
Howe Sound overlooking Bowen Island
Three buddha’s and a lion!
Distance: About 15Km
Elevation: 1646 m (West Lion), 1606 m (East Lion)
Time to hike: About 7-9 hours
Rating: Intermediate to difficult (in some snow and steep rocky areas)
Directions to the Lions
From Vancouver, drive north to Lions Bay on Hwy 99 (the highway heading to Whistler). You will take the Lions Bay exit. I’m not sure what exit number it is but there should be signs telling you to exit at Lions Bay. We missed this exit and had to drive back! Please note that other blogs and trail posts tell you to turn right on Oceanview Road. However, there will not be signs from the highway to turn right on Oceanview Road! Also, you don’t really turn right on Oceanview Road. Once you exit into Lions Bay, the road will automatically will turn into Lions Bay Ave (slight right). At the intersection, turn left on Cross Creek Road. Do not turn right on Oceanview Road! Follow Cross Creek for a bit and then turn right on Centre Road. Go left on Bayview and drive for a few km and then left on Mountain Drive. Once you reach Sunset Drive, turn left and you will see the parking lot for the trailhead. This parking lots gets full fast so my advice is to head very early in the morning to get a spot. We had to park 1km down at the Lions Bay Elementary School on Bayview Road. It’s not much of a walk but after a long day of hiking, the last thing you want to do is hike back in the hot pavement back to your car!