By Arianna Siebert-Timmer (Contributor) – Email

If you’re ever looking for a hike that will serve as a not-so-gentle reminder of just how out of — or in — shape you are, Lynn Peak is where it’s at. Sitting pretty right on the edge of North Vancouver, this little trek is short enough to only take a small part of your day (three to four hours, round trip), but challenging enough to get your legs feeling like a pile of jello.

Surrounded by the typical BC terrain, the trail actually starts by hiking up a riverbed — don’t worry, you’re not lost. As you continue to climb your way up and around the steep and rocky terrain, the trail will eventually give way to the typical compact dirt path lined with tree roots. On both counts, watch your step! The rocks are not always as sturdy as they appear and the dirt paths can get very slippery when they’re dry. (Plus, roots always have an uncanny knack for tripping you up when you least expect it.) This being said, if you take a moment to look away from your feet and catch your breath, you’ll notice that the trail itself is gorgeous, although at this point you may be second-guessing just what exactly brought you up here in the first place.

But don’t lose hope! While the trail is mostly quite steep, it does flatten out for a bit at the halfway point, allowing you to stretch out your legs before you begin the second part. There are also a few resting spots with a good view of Mt. Seymour at various points up the mountain. If you’re paying attention, there is also a slightly hidden lookout point just before you reach the top where you can sometimes see Grouse Mountain, depending on the weather. The top itself is a rather small clearing, which is a nice place to sit and soak in some sun as you take in the landscape below.

It’s also important to mention that Lynn Peak is Fido-friendly. Technically, the trail is a leash required area, but you will find that this rule is largely ignored by the general population. So feel free to bring your furry companion along, but don’t forget to bring them water! The riverbed sometimes has a small trickle going down it at the beginning of the hike, but that’s it.

Once you’ve finally reached the end of the hike, it’s often refreshing to take a dip in the Lynn Headwaters. There are many rocks which make for perfect sitting areas as you splash your feet around — or, for the more adventurous, there are sections where it’s deep (and slow) enough to wade, or even swim. There are also a few picnic benches for a nice place to eat a packed lunch, and outhouses for all that water you chugged on your way up (and down) the mountain. Ultimately, it’s the perfect place to sit back, relax, and feel pretty proud of yourself for making it all the way up and down. After all, you earned it.