Want to spot some bright and bold colours with your pup before winter sets in? Here are our top dog-friendly hikes for some autumnal snaps.
Crispy leaves, chilled air and bright, beautiful autumnal trees are just a few things that we love about fall.
The shoulder seasons can be some of the best times to visit your favourite spots around BC without the sweltering summer crowds - plus you can spot some amazing colour changes in the landscapes as the weather cools down.
With Vancouver mountains experiencing the first snow of the season this week, we've put together some beautiful dog-friendly fall hikes you can do with your pup so you don't miss out on seeing them before winter sets in.
1. Mount Strachan, Cypress
Mount Strachan is one of three peaks that make up the Cypress Ski Resort on the North Shore and is a fantastic spot for viewing the changing autumnal colours across the alpine meadows, with bushes and grass changing from green to vibrant oranges and reds. On the way up, you can also spot remnants of an historic plane crash site of a Royal Canadian Navy T-33 Jet. This on-leash hike will take you and your pup about 5.5 hours.
2. E.C. Manning Park
E.C. Manning Park is a favourite among fall-watchers for its abundance of ancient Larch trees that turn a bright golden colour come autumn. These trees are more than 2,000 years old, so it's incredibly important to respect the trail boundaries and keep your pup close. The best place to spot the Larches is on Frosty Mountain - but if you want to see them, you only have a short window as they start to drop their needles come mid-October. The loop trail is for experienced hikers, being rated as difficult on Vancouver Trails, and takes about 8 hours.
3. Golden Ears Provincial Park, Maple Ridge
A relatively easy hike with beautiful tree foliage is the route to Gold Creek Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park. One for the whole family, the trail doesn't gain much elevation at all and is about an hour each way. Along the trail, you can nip out onto the stony river banks where the water is crystal clear and, on a clear day, offers beautiful reflections of the trees and mountains above.
4. Brandywine Falls, Whistler
Further north of Vancouver is Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, a frequently trafficked waterfall route next to Highway 99 on the way to Whistler and Pemberton. A hugely popular summer attraction, it sees less visitors in fall but for no good reason. When the colours change, the green leaves on the trees change to rich reds and vivid yellows. Although it has a super short trail from the parking lot at just 30 minutes, you can extend your hike by trekking from Whistler Bungee Bridge which takes between 2 and 3 hours return.
5. Burnaby Mountain
A fantastic spot on Vancouver's doorstep is Burnaby Mountain. Not so much a mountain compared to it's towering cousins across the water, it's a great area for summer and fall hiking, especially for our four-legged friends. The Velodrome Trail is the park's most popular, leading hikers up steps to the top from the car park below, taking 30 minutes each way. Once at the top, you'll find huge piles of crispy brown, yellow and red leaves for your pooch to dive into along with beautiful views across the Lower Mainland and Indian Arm.
6. Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver
The Capilano Canyon hike in North Vancouver is a prime spot for a fall stroll, with huge mossy trees towering over secluded pathways in this beautiful rainforest. Chinook salmon can be spotted along the river from September to October along with a visit to the salmon hatchery on the way. At the top of the hike is the Capilano Dam, where beautiful trees cascade into bright yellows and oranges in October against a backdrop of Grouse Mountain and The Lions.