Dog Mountain Hike on Mt. Seymour

by torontogirlwest on October 13, 2012

Confession time: I get nervous before nearly every hike; I have to keep on running to the washroom, both before we leave the Coastal Casa, and at the trailhead.

Trail to Dog Mountain

I could pretend that my fear is based on the fact that I’m a city girl from Toronto but the truth is I think it stems from the fact that I’m a big chicken about certain things, such as the potential of getting lost in the back country or encountering a ravenous beast.

In the woods

Still, I soldier on. Because those moments when I’m surrounded by a still untamed rainforest are worth all of the pre-hike nerves imaginable.

Man and dog in the forest\

And so it was that this past summer, my little family of three found themselves at the top of Mount Seymour for the appropriately named Dog Mountain hike.

Dog in car seat

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that one of our main criteria for hikes is that they be doggy friendly. Daisy loves hiking, she grew up in the Rockies after all, but some places don’t like dogs off leash and others encompass terrain that would require excessive scrambling.

Dog Mountain hike, however, is perfect for dogs of any size; provided that is, that they can handle a multi-hour treck.

First Lake

The hike itself is broken up into two sections, the first is full of ups and downs with a good amount of exposed roots. If you’re familiar with the hikes in the North Shore of Vancouver, you know that those roots often mimic stairs. Having said that, the first part is not very long at all.

At the halfway point you encounter First Lake, an idyllic little spot that would be great for a quick dip or a picnic by the water.

Tall Trees

The second part of the hike is slightly longer than the first, approximately 45 minutes, and is decidedly more steep. Some parts even required a bit of manoeuvring over large boulders. It may seem a tad difficult at times but keep with it – because before you know it, you’ll be rewarded with an absolutely stunning view of the Lower Mainland.

View from Mt. Seymour

Unfortunately, my picture doesn’t even begin to do the view justice but let me put it to you this way, on a clear day you’re surrounded by the Coastal Mountain Range to the North, Vancouver Island to the West, and Vancouver and the United States to the South.

Of all of the hikes that I’ve been on near Vancouver this one has the biggest reward payout in terms of magnificent sights.

Mt. Seymour

At the very top of the hike you’ll find a bunch of flat rocks, perfect for sitting a spell and catching your breath before the return trip. It’s a popular hike so you’re likely to see other people enjoying the view and you may even bump into someone you “know . . .”

When we went up, we were busy oooooing and aaaaaaing about the view when we were interrupted by a girl’s voice that asked “Excuse me, are you Karen!?!?” I took a look at hear and instantly I recognized her as the girl behind the now defunct blog, Run Sarah. Small world!!!

Crazy thing is, she said she actually recognized Daisy first (I promptly informed my puppy that she was famous) and that’s how she was able to guess it was me.

As I joked to the Husband afterward, I’m really happy she bumped into me while I was being active as opposed to when I was sitting somewhere stuffing my face! HA! :P

Family Picture in the Mountains

Once the excitement of the meet and greet was over, we attempted to take some impromptu family pictures before heading back down to our car.

Toronto Girl West

In total the hike took 2.5 hours round trip including our brief rest at the top to enjoy the view. I could, however, see future hike times varying a lot depending on the conditions of the trail and the amount of time spent at the viewpoint.

All in all we all enjoyed the hike and plan on returning next hiking season. My only caveat would be that it’s clear from the presence of wooden planks in certain parts of the trail that the hike can sometimes be very muddy; for that reason, I would recommend you take a pass on it if it’s recently rained in North Vancouver.

Question: If you write a blog, have you ever bumped into one of your readers or fellow bloggers? If you read blogs, have you ever bumped into a blogger? Did the blogger turn out to be as you imagined? I have to confess, Run Sarah was very similar to how she came across on her blog! 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

JMR October 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm

You gotta come on a scramble with me one time :-)


torontogirlwest October 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Maybe but I’ll have to get appropriate footwear first! I don’t have hiking boots! I actually need to get some because I’d like to go up the Chief!


Kelly October 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Haha, so funny! I was recognized when watching my sister run a race by a reader I didn’t know read my blog, it was pretty cool!

I am seriously amazed by the views in those photos. I thought Vancouver couldn’t possibly be any prettier than it already was, but it turns out it could be! Crazy!
Kelly recently posted..Crabby Moods to Happy Moods


Toronto Girl West October 15, 2012 at 11:31 am

Vancouver is all kinds of awesome – you need to come back and make one long trip of it! :)

And that’s cool that you were recognized! I figure the people who read our blogs are likely to enjoy the same things we do so it’s understandable that they might bump into you in places they also enjoy.
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Dog Mountain Hike on Mt. Seymour


Bela October 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Gorgeous area, I need to head out west one day soon!

I’ve bumped into a few bloggers at races, its pretty neat and everyone is always so nice!
Bela recently posted..Being Non-Traditional On Thanksgiving


Toronto Girl West October 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

That’s been my experience too – bloggers are genuinely nice people! At least the healthy living blogging community ones are! :)
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Dog Mountain Hike on Mt. Seymour


Samantha Angela October 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

I’ve never ever met a blogger i knew from the internet in real life. That’s so cool! And of course Daisy is famous, she’s adorable!

That hike looks really nice and it seems like it’s a pretty popular one. Was it difficult?


Toronto Girl West October 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

It wasn’t terribly difficult but I say that by West Coast standards. I know that had I done it when I first moved out here it would have seriously kicked my butt. But now I’m good! :)
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Dog Mountain Hike on Mt. Seymour


Ed October 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

Wow what a great looking trail…looks like your pooch was right into it!
Ed recently posted..Why you should attend a college football game!


Toronto Girl West October 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm

She was – she absolutely loves those types of hikes! :)
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Dog Mountain Hike on Mt. Seymour


Marianne October 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Have you done the Grind yet? Because the view is awesome from up on Grouse :) Alas, it is no longer Grind weather. We should go next season!
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Toronto Girl West October 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Nope, I somehow managed to avoid it this year! ;) lol The truth is, I’m not fond of the idea of endless stairs and neither are my knees.

I do, however, have an annual membership to Grouse so I have been up there for the view. And while Grouse has that patio that sells delightful adult bevies :P , Seymour is higher and gives a slightly more impressive view.

But yes . . . I promise to go up the Grind next season! :)
Toronto Girl West recently posted..Dog Mountain Hike on Mt. Seymour


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