Day Hiking Vancouver Area

Most Instagrammed Hikes in Vancouver in 2020

The most Instagrammed Hikes in Vancouver. The best hikes in Vancouver for Instagram photos. (Or the hikes to avoid if you want solitude!)

This list of the most Instagrammed hikes in Vancouver was first published in February 2017. I’ve run the numbers fresh for 2020… (drumroll please)… and we have a new most Instagrammed hike in Vancouver, besting the Grouse Grind for the first time since I started keeping track. (But you’ll have to read the whole post to see which hike is the new number 1!)

The other hikes on the list are the same have changed order a little bit too. I’ve updated the post to reflect the new stats. 

Tons of people location tag their photos when they go hiking and post them to Instagram. (I know I do!)  So it’s a great way to figure out which Vancouver hikes are the most popular. I scrolled through a lot of hashtags before coming up with this list of the most Instagrammed hikes in Vancouver. If you’re looking to up your ‘gram game this is the list you need. And if you like solitude, here are the top 10 hikes you should avoid! 

Before you scroll down and read the list, can you guess which hikes made the top 10?

Looking for some Instagram inspiration? Check out this huge list of adventure quotes that make great Instagram captions.

HEADS UP: The hikes on this list are popular and will be really busy. If you visit, be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the environment and ensure everyone gets a chance to experience these beautiful places. Bring the 10 essentials and go through this hiking pre-trip checklist to make sure you are prepared. If you aren’t into busy trails, check out my tips for avoiding crowded hiking trails.

 

10. Black Tusk

Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park near Vancouver, BC

The view of Black Tusk from Panorama Ridge

Trail Info: Black Tusk is an iconic Sea to Sky landmark. (It’s one of the best hikes in Whistler too.) There are 33.7k photos hashtagged #BlackTusk on Instagram (up from 29.9k in 2019). The trailhead for Black Tusk is the same as for Garibaldi Lake. But instead of going right to the lake, you go left through Taylor Meadows campground and then ascend on loose volcanic rocks above treeline. (Climbing to the top of Black Tusk is technically a scramble or a rock climb, so most people should stop at the base. Get directions and more info on Vancouver Trails or Outdoor Vancouver.

Stats: Black Tusk is a long, hard hike. It is 29km round trip with 1750m of elevation gain. It takes most people 11 or 12 hours (or you can camp overnight at the Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake campgrounds.)

Where to Get the Shot: As you get close to the base of the Tusk there is a BC Parks sign indicating that you have reached the end of the marked trail. It is not crazy steep in that area so its a popular place to sit down for a snack and take some photos of the incredible view.

 

9. Stawamus Chief

Hikers at the top of the Stawamus Chief in Squamish

Hikers at the top of the Stawamus Chief. Photo: Destination BC/Ben Girardi

Trail Info: Between #StawamusChief and #SquamishChief, the Chief (as it is sometimes known) has 34.1k hashtagged photos on Instagram (up from 27.9k as of early 2019). Located next door to the Sea to Sky Gondola, it is Squamish’s steepest hike. (It’s the steepest hike on my list of Grouse Grind Alternatives.) You’ll climb up stairs, ladders and even use chains to reach the top where you can look down the sheer cliff face. Get directions and more info on the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park website.

Stats: This steep hike has three peaks to choose from: First Peak 3km round trip with 540m elevation gain; Second Peak 3.4km round trip with 590m elevation gain; Third Peak 1.8km 3.6km round trip with 630m elevation gain. It takes about 3.5 hours to do the first peak, and 5 or 6 hours if you want to do all three.

Where to Get the Shot: You’ll find great locations for photos at the tops of each of the peaks. For the most dramatic shots head to third peak where you can get shots of the other two peaks (and all the tiny hikers on them).

 

8. Garibaldi Lake

Hikers swimming in Garibaldi Lake near Vancouver, BC

Swimming in Garibaldi Lake

Trail Info: #GaribaldiLake is one of the best hikes in Whistler and has been drawing Vancouver hikers for years, so it’s no surprise it has 39.8k hashtagged photos on Instagram (up from 33k in 2019). The first half of the trail switchback steadily uphill through the forest, then passes by the Barrier and two smaller lakes before finally emerging on the shores of the massive Garibaldi Lake. Get directions and more info on the Garibaldi Provincial Park website.

Stats: It’s an 18km round trip hike with about 900m of elevation gain so allow 6 or 7 hours for the trip.

Where to Get the Shot: Many people take shots on the beach where the trail first enters the campground. However, you can get some more spectacular photos by continuing along the shore past the campground to the ranger’s boat dock.

 

6. Golden Ears (Tie)

Camping on Golden Ears Peak

Camping on Golden Ears Peak. Photo: Glen Jackson on Unsplash

Trail Info: There are tons of short and hikes in Golden Ears Provincial Park and the 44k photos on the #GoldenEars hashtag reflects that. (Up from 38.7k in 2019.) But if you want the real deal, you need to summit Golden Ears. It’s a long hike with a steep climb towards the peak. You’ll pass the emergency shelter on Panorama Ridge before crossing a snowfield to the true summit. Get directions and more info on the Golden Ears Provincial Park website.

Stats: It’s a 24km round trip with 1700m of elevation gain. Allow 12 hours (or consider staying overnight at Alder Flats or Panorama Ridge campgrounds).

Where to Get the Shot: On a clear day the summit and the area around the emergency shelter have great views.

 

6. Lighthouse Park (Tie)

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver

The view of the Lighthouse from West Beach. Photo: Destination BC/Tom Ryan

Trail Info: There are lots of trails at Lighthouse park, from a simple 10 minute walk on an old road to the lighthouse to longer routes. It’s a popular place, with 44k photos hashtagged #LighthousePark. (It was 39.3k in 2019.) My favourite route involves a loop around the perimeter of the park that visits lots of bluffs with ocean views. You can find a map and directions for this route on my Coastal Hiking in Vancouver post.

Stats: The loop around the park is only 6km but there are plenty of side trails to viewpoints to distract you. And even though there is no real elevation gain, there are many short, steep hills. Allow 3 hours for this hike.

Where to Get the Shot: It depends what you want shots of, as you are spoiled for choice here. For iconic shots of the Lighthouse take the West Beach Trail. For beautiful city shots, go to East Beach. And for views of Howe Sound and Bowen Island go to Juniper Point or Shorepine Point.

 

5. Panorama Ridge

Panorama Ridge at Garibaldi Lake, one of the most Instagrammed hikes in Vancouver

Trail Info: At 45.9k hashtagged photos, the success of #PanoramaRidge on Instagram can probably be explained by its particularly epic view. (It had 29.8k in 2019 and was ranked 9th most Instagrammed hike in Vancouver.) It’s a long and difficult hike to get there but I think everyone who’s been would agree it’s worth the slog.  Try to time your visit for late July or early August to see the wildflower meadows in bloom along the way. If the trail is too much for you to tackle in one day, stay overnight at Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake campgrounds. Get directions and more info on Vancouver Trails. (Panorama Ridge is one of my favourite trails, and my pick for the top 10 hikes near Vancouver.)

Stats: The 30km round trip to the viewpoint gains about 1520m. Most people hike it in 11-12 hours.

Where to Get the Shot: For views of the lake, head to the very top. If you take the trail to the left along the ridge, you’ll have fewer people trying to get the same shot. For pics of Black Tusk, take them on the way up or at the top.

 

Hey! Do you want every single hike on this list in one easy to navigate google map? AND do you want to know the exact magic Instagrammable spots on each trail? Well guess what? I made a custom map for you! Sign up and I’ll email you the secret link.

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4. Quarry Rock

Quarry Rock in Deep Cove near Vancouver, BC

The view from Quarry Rock

Trail Info: The hike to Quarry Rock is relatively short but has a huge payoff, so it’s no surprise that is fairly popular on Instagram with 57.9k photos hashtagged #QuarryRock. (It had 51.5k hashtagged photos in 2019.) The trail heads through the forest and crosses several bridges over fern festooned streams. At the end it emerges on to a big granite bluff with great views of Deep Cove and Belcarra. Get directions and more info on Vancouver Trails and Outdoor Vancouver.

Stats: It’s a short 4km round trip hike with just 100m of elevation gain (although it feels like more). It only takes about 1.5 hours to do the hike.

Where to Get the Shot: The money shot is of course on the granite bluffs of Quarry Rock at the end of the hike. However, there are lots of beautiful forest scenes on the mossy wooden bridges throughout the hike.

 

3. Lynn Canyon

Lynn Canyon suspension bridge near Vancouver, BC

The famous suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon

Trail Info: If you just want to see the famous Lynn Canyon suspension bridge, it’s only about 100m from the parking lot. Most of the 69.5k photos with the hashtag #LynnCanyon are of the bridge (up from 62.5k last year). But there is lots to see in the area so it’s worth heading out on a short hike. A popular loop route crosses the suspension bridge then heads downstream to the bridge at Twin Falls. Get more info and directions on Vancouver Trails. There are lots of trail options: bring a copy of the trail map and choose your own adventure.

Stats: The short Twin Falls loop is just 1.5km long with less than 100m of elevation gain. It takes about an hour to hike.

Where to Get the Shot: The classic shot is of the suspension bridge, of course. But you can also get great shots at Twin Falls and 30 Foot Pool.

 

2. Grouse Grind

Hikers on the Grouse Grind in Vancouver

Hikers on the Grouse Grind. Photo: Destination BC

Trail Info: For three years running, the #GrouseGrind was the most Instagrammed hike in Vancouver. But this year it has finally been unseated. It has, 72.2k hashtagged photos (compared to 66.7k in 2019). Many people hike it weekly to stay in shape. It climbs steeply up through the forest on stairs and rocks. (In fact it is often called Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.) There are no views until you emerge from the trees just below the Grouse Mountain Lodge. You are not permitted to hike down the Grind. Instead you can pay $15 to take the gondola down (and save your knees!) You can find more information on the Grouse Mountain Regional Park website.

Stats: It’s a brutally steep 2.9km hike with over 800m of elevation gain. It takes most people 1.5 to 2 hours to hike. The fittest people run it in under an hour and the all-time record is just 25 minutes!

Where to Get the Shot: The viewpoint just below the lodge is a popular place for sweaty and triumphant selfies. There are also some cheeky motivational signs along the way that make cute photos. (The one that says “Legs, you got this!” is my fave.)

 

1. Joffre Lakes

A hiker balances on a log at Joffre Lakes near Vancouver

The famous log at Middle Joffre Lake

Trail Info: It’s no surprise that Joffre Lakes has topped the mosti Instagrammed hikes in Vancouver rankings for 2020 as it seems like most of Vancouver is up there on long weekends (with the parking chaos that goes with it). There are now 78.4k photos hashtagged #JoffreLakes. (In 2019 there were 63.3k. In 2018 there were 43.7k photos. And in 2017 there were 25.6k photos. Those are some huge jumps.) Joffre Lakes is actually just outside of Pemberton, a good 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver. But the three incredible turquoise lakes and glacier views are extremely popular with Vancouver hikers. The first lake is just 10 minutes from the parking lot. The second lake is a steep uphill hike, and the hike finishes at the third lake where there is a campground. Get more directions and more information on the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park website, VancouverTrails.com, or OutdoorVancouver.ca.

Stats: It’s a moderate 11km round trip hike to the Upper Lake with about 400m of elevation gain. Allow 4 hours for the hike (but lots more for photos).

Where to Get the Shot: The best views of the glaciers are a short spur trail across the rocks where the main trail first reaches Upper Joffre Lake. Another popular location for photos is the floating log along the shore of the Middle Lake. On sunny weekends there is often a line up of people waiting to walk out on to the log to take photos. (Many people up the difficulty factor by striking a yoga pose).

 

Don’t miss the shot! I’ve got a custom map that shows you EXACTLY where to get the best Instagram shots on  every single hike on this list. I made it just for you! Sign up to get access to the custom map.

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So there’s the list of the Top 10 Most Instagrammed Hikes in Vancouver as of early 2020. Were there any surprises on the list for you? Which ones did you guess right? Personally I’m surprised St. Mark’s Summit (still!) didn’t make the top 10.

 

More Awesome Hikes Near Vancouver:

 

 

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Agness of aTukTuk
    June 27, 2017 at 8:42 am

    These hikes definitely need to be captured! Excellent and motivational post!

  • Reply
    Cassandra
    July 27, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    These are all so awesome, definitely just added a few must’s to my list next time I’m in Vancouver! I’ve only done the Grouse Grind on this list, but I really think Cypress Falls should be on the list such a great view of the ocean and Vancouver!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Josy A
    July 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    I guess it makes sense that the grind is the most instagrammed hike on this list, I mean, especially as it is the second most climbed mountain in the world… but I think it might be the least interesting of the places you’ve listed!

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      July 19, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      The list isn’t called “most beautiful hikes in Vancouver” or even “most photogenic hikes in Vancouver” 😉 Honestly I’m baffled by the popularity of the Grouse Grind, but lot so people seem to love it!

  • Reply
    Carie Neal
    November 20, 2018 at 7:50 am

    hello! I am making a trip to Vancouver December the beginning of December. It is my husband’s and I’s first trip. We are staying at the Kingston Hotel. We will not have a car. Are there any hikes we could get to that are relatively close to our hotel? I would really like to go on a hike while we are there. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      November 20, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Since you’ll be based in downtown Vancouver, it’s pretty easy to get most places on public transit. Have a look at my list of easy hikes for visitors to Vancouver: https://happiestoutdoors.ca/easy-hikes-in-vancouver/ Most of them are accessible on public transit. Stanley Park would also be within walking distance for you if you’re staying downtown

  • Reply
    Kathy@DavesTravelCorner
    March 21, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Wonderful photos! Truly, these are instagramable hikes. Thank you for sharing your impressive shots, Taryn.

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