Why You Should Hike After Work (Vancouver)

Why You Should Hike After Work (Vancouver)

One of the best ways to enjoy nature, get some exercise, and relieve stress is to hike. Did you know that hiking after work can give you many benefits to your health and happiness? Here are some reasons why you should lace up your boots and hit the trails in the evening, and some of the best hikes near Vancouver that can give you a 2-4 hour workout.

Benefits of Hiking After Work

Hiking after work can help you:

  • Boost your mood: Hiking in nature can reduce negative thoughts, increase self-esteem, and improve your mood. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful sunset views and the golden hour light.
  • Improve your sleep: Hiking can help you sleep better by exposing you to natural light, which regulates your circadian rhythm, and by tiring you out physically. A good night’s sleep can improve your memory, immunity, and mood.
  • Burn calories: Hiking can burn more calories than walking or running on flat terrain, because it involves more muscles and challenges your balance and coordination⁴. Depending on your weight, speed, and elevation gain, you can burn anywhere from 300 to 600 calories per hour of hiking.
  • Connect with others: Hiking with friends, family, or coworkers can strengthen your social bonds and make the experience more fun and rewarding. You can also join a hiking group or club to meet new people who share your passion for the outdoors.

Top 5 Close-to Vancouver Day Trip Hikes - 2-4 Hours

If you're looking for some great hikes near Vancouver that you can do after work, here are some of our top picks:

  • Quarry Rock Trail: This is a popular and easy hike that takes you to a scenic viewpoint over Deep Cove and Indian Arm. The trail is well-marked and mostly flat, with some stairs and bridges along the way. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete the 3.7-kilometer round-trip hike.
  • St. Mark’s Summit: This is a moderate to difficult hike that takes you to one of the peaks along the Howe Sound Crest Trail. The trail starts at the Cypress Mountain parking lot and follows ski runs before entering a forest. It then climbs up steep switchbacks to reach the summit, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Howe Sound and the islands. It takes about 4-5 hours to complete the 11-kilometer round-trip hike.
  • Eagle Bluffs: This is another moderate to difficult hike that starts at the Cypress Mountain parking lot. The trail follows the Baden-Powell Trail before branching off to Eagle Bluffs. The trail passes by Black Mountain Lake, also known as Cabin Lake, where you can take a dip if you’re feeling brave. The trail then continues to Eagle Bluffs, where you can see Vancouver, Bowen Island, and Georgia Strait. It takes about 3-4 hours to complete the 8-kilometer round-trip hike.
  • Lynn Loop Trail: This is an easy hike that takes you along Lynn Creek and then through a beautiful forest. The trail is well-maintained and mostly level, with some gentle slopes. You can extend your hike by continuing to Norvan Falls, a spectacular waterfall that adds another 10 kilometers to your trip. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete the 5.1-kilometer loop.

Packing List for Hikes 

Before you head out for your hike, make sure you pack the following items:

  • Hiking backpack: A 11-20 liter backpack with padded straps, a hip belt, and pockets.
  • Weather-appropriate clothing: Layered clothing that can wick, insulate, and protect. Avoid cotton. Bring extra clothes.
  • Hiking boots or shoes: Footwear that matches the terrain and your preference. Shoes for smooth trails, boots for rocky trails.
  • Plenty of food: High-energy snacks that are easy to eat and digest. Bring extra food.
  • Plenty of water: Half a liter per hour of moderate activity. Bring extra water. Bring a water filter or purifier.
  • Navigation tools: Map and compass. GPS device or smartphone as backup.
  • First-aid kit: Basic kit that can treat common injuries and illnesses. Customize your kit.
  • Knife or multi-tool: Useful for cutting, repairing, or making fire.
  • The rest of the Ten Essentials: Fire, light, shelter, sun protection, extra food, extra water, extra clothes.

Stories of Benefits from Hiking After Work

Hiking after work can also lead to some memorable adventures and stories. Here are some examples of people who have done it and loved it:

  • Mike, a teacher, wanted to challenge himself and hike St. Mark's Summit after work. He packed his headlamp and some snacks and headed to Cypress Mountain. He followed the 11-kilometer round-trip trail that climbed up to a rocky lookout over Howe Sound. He felt a sense of accomplishment and awe as he watched the sun set behind the mountains.
  • Jen, a graphic designer, decided to hike Quarry Rock Trail after a stressful day at work. She enjoyed the easy 3.7-kilometer hike through the forest and was rewarded with a stunning view of Deep Cove and Indian Arm. She snapped some photos and shared them on social media, inspiring her friends to join her next time.
  • Anna, also a teacher, took her friends to the Dog Mountain Trail after work. They had a blast chatting and laughing along the moderate 4.8-kilometer hike, which offered glimpses of Mount Seymour and Vancouver. They reached the summit just as the city lights started to sparkle, and shared some snacks and stories.
  • Lisa needed some fresh air and relaxation after a long shift. She chose to hike Lynn Loop Trail, a 5.1-kilometer loop that followed Lynn Creek and then ascended through a lush forest. She listened to the soothing sounds of the water and the birds and felt her worries melt away.

Hiking after work is a great way to enjoy nature, get some exercise, and have some fun. With so many amazing hikes near Vancouver, you have plenty of options to choose from. Just make sure you pack the right gear and follow the safety tips. Happy hiking!

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