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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!