6 Hikes Less Than an Hour From Vancouver

Hiking is a great summertime hobby. It’s an invigorating physical activity that will help you stay in great shape while spending time outdoors, enjoying nature. Never been on a hike before? That’s ok. There’s always time to start a new tradition. At New Tradition Homes, our focus is on creating new memories and life experiences for our clients. Let us take you on a tour of six hikes less than an hour from Vancouver. If you’re an avid hiker, you might just learn about a hike you never knew about before. If you’ve never before been hiking, you might just be convinced to start this new tradition.

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Cape Horn Trail is a Gorge trail, conveniently situated near the Vancouver metropolitan area. The hike is a loop offered year-round, though the lower part of the loop is closed between February 1st and July 15th. The trail is moderately difficult, so it would be a good trail for experienced hikers or those who are relatively new, but in good physical shape. The trail is 7-miles long with an elevation gain of 1,350 feet.

Along your hike, you’ll encounter streams, gorgeous river views, and two waterfalls. Sights you’re likely to spot include Hamilton Mountain, Beacon Rock, and the Columbia River. This trail offers a good amount of physical exertion combined with stunning nature views.

Speaking of Hamilton Mountain, once you’ve viewed it from the Cape Horn Trail, you may decide you want to hike it. It’s a bit longer than the Cape Horn Trail hike, at 7.5 miles long. It has an elevation gain of 2000 feet. This moderately difficult trail is located within Beacon Rock State Park. Along its scenic route, you’re likely to see Douglas fir trees, wildflowers, and even some wild strawberries in the spring.

This is a true nature lover’s trail. You’ll see exquisite sites along the way, including the Pool of the Winds. This geologic formation features a small, cascading waterfall and a whirlpool surrounded by bedrock. Water from the whirlpool flows down to form a second cascade known as Rodney Falls. The Pool of the Winds can be viewed from an observation deck, while Rodney Falls is visible via a wooden footbridge along its base. In addition to cascading waterfalls, you’ll also be treated to forest walks, craggy cliffs, and breathtaking views.

Next up is the Oaks to Wetlands trail located in the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. At just 2 miles long and an elevation gain of 100 feet, it may not sound like much. But it’s the perfect trail for beginners looking to ease their way into hiking. More experienced hikers who enjoy bird-watching will also want to try this trail.

The 5,000 acres of land is home to more than a hundred species of birds, fish, and waterfowl. Unlike the other two recommended hikes, this trail is family-friendly and makes for a great outing with the kids. The trail can be walked in an hour, even at a leisurely pace. This is the perfect trail to test-drive if hiking is a new tradition for your family.

Another great trail to hit with the family is the Moulton Falls Trail along the Lewis River. This 5.6-mile round-trip trail is an out-and-back hike. The trail has a mostly flat surface, making it convenient for all ages to traverse. As you embark on your hike, you’ll come across red alder, bigleaf maple, and Douglas fir. Continue on along a wooden footbridge featuring picturesque views of the water below. Just after crossing the footbridge, you’ll reach a picnic area. This is a great spot to take a break for lunch. Or alternatively, you can picnic along the lake at the trail’s turnaround point. You’ll also have the option to tackle the Bells Mountain Trail should you be in the mood for something more adventurous. The eight-mile trail has an elevation gain of 535 feet. Should you opt to stay on course with the Moulton Falls Trail, be sure to follow the footpath along Lucia Falls Road and take the trail to Big Tree Falls, a two-tier waterfall.

Up until this point, we’ve discussed low- to moderate-difficulty trails. But we’ve got something for avid hikers as well. The Silver Star Mountain trail is great for those looking for more of a challenge. It is a 5.6-mile out-and-back hike with an elevation gain of 1,240 feet. And your effort will be well worth it. Be sure to bring your camera along for this trek. The view from the mountain is absolutely stunning.

On your journey to the top you’ll see beautiful wildflower meadows in the springtime. Choose from one of three trails as you make your way up the mountain. If it’s a clear day and you make your way to the summit, you’ll have a 360 panoramic view that overlooks five Cascade volcanoes. The downside of the trail is that the road leading you there can be difficult to access with a low clearance vehicle. While it’s not the easiest road to traverse, the difficult journey is worth it once you reach the mountain.

If you’re looking for a more easily accessible trail, try the Salmon Creek trail. This is the perfect trail for those looking to enjoy a nice nature walk. It’s five miles long round-trip with an elevation gain of 30 feet. You’ll make your way through wetlands and around ponds. You’re likely to spot heron, ducks, and some other birds along your way. This is a great trail for those looking to enjoy a leisurely walk on a quiet summer day.

Whether you’ve been hiking for years or you’re looking to start a new tradition, we hope you’ll use these hikes to create new memories and experiences. At New Tradition Homes, we’re about living life to its fullest and enjoying special moments with family and friends, so why not embark on a new adventure this summer? It’s never too late to start a new tradition.