The prize of this loop route is the ascent up Hanes Valley. Access this uniquely wild valley via an easy and fun first 8.5 km run along the Lynn Loop Trail
. After the slow trundle up the rubble field of the valley to Hanes Pass, there is some additional steep climbing on well-travelled and marked trail and expansive vistas of the largest of the north shore mountains. From the summit at Goat Ridge, descend more manageable terrain back to Lynn Valley via the Grouse Mountain Highway
This route is best attempted in late summer. There have been unfortunate fatal hiking accidents in the Hanes Valley due to snow avalanches or poor early season weather. Come prepared with the 10 essentials for this route.
In the early summer, the creek crossings shortly after Norvan Falls can be challenging because the creek will be full with spring run-off.
There is access to food and drink at the Grouse Mountain Lodge.
Water can be refilled at Norvan Falls and at the Grouse Mountain Lodge.
Begin the run from the Lower Seymour Conservation Area or Lynn Headwaters parking lots. Run 8 km to Norvan Falls on easy, mostly flat trails along Lynn Creek.
From Norvan Falls, take the suspension bridge across the first half of Lynn Creek, then a log bridge across the remainder. Continue following the trail west, avoiding the turn north which will take you to Lynn Lake. This section has a prevailing uphill grade but is mostly manageable.
The trail will emerge from the trees at a wooden helipad and rescue cache. This is a great place to snack and enjoy the first of many exceptional views to come.
Leaving the helipad, the route remains well-marked with cairns, flagging tape, and orange paint on larger boulders, but requires some attention to remain on course to the top of the pass. The climb to the pass is slowed by the challenging and sometimes loose footing. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the evolving and exceptional views as you climb out of the valley.
From the junction, consider turning north to bag Crown Mountain (there is a sign at this junction). Otherwise, turn south and continue climbing 200 m more to gain Goat Ridge, the high point of the route. From Little Goat Mountain, the beautiful views continue as you start descending on Alpine Trail
toward the Grouse Mountain Lodge and gondola.
Take a pit stop at the lodge for a bathroom or snack break, then head east of the lodge toward the helicopter pad, and the start of the long descent on the Grouse Mountain Highway
. The views aren't done yet! Enjoy one more look toward Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean as you cross from Grouse Mountain to Mt. Fromme, then enter the forest again for some long, gently graded switchbacks to the bottom of the old gravel highway. About 200-300 m after the parking lot at the foot of Grouse Mountain Highway
, join the Baden Powell Trail
and head east toward Lynn Valley.
From the foot of the stairs at Lynn Headwaters, take Varley Trail
back to the parking lot at Seymour Conservation Area.