I had the pleasure of running this network of trails the day after my Spartan Race at Mt. Seymour in Vancouver BC.
The whole loop is 18 miles and climbs 4,300 feet.
I started at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, parking was easy. You can also take the bus to get here.
Start by crossing the bridge and running North on Lynn Loop trail. It’s more of a gravel road.
At the Cedar Mills Trail Junction go straight on Cedar Mills Trail
At the gravel chute take a right and run up about 50m to find the trail again. It turns into Headwaters trail around here.
Follow this past the Coliseum Mountain trail (don’t go up) and continue on to the Norvan Falls Trail junction. If you want to see the little water fall it’s only 200m up the trail.
Back at the junction take the trail towards Grouse Mountain across the metal bridge.
This is where the trail gets tricky. Follow the yellow squares posted on the trees. At the “backcountry sign” turn left onto Hanes Valley Trail. If you see a cave, you went to far.
Follow the Hanes Valley trail by using the yellow squares posted on the trees again. Where there are no trees they have tied orange ribbon around rocks to navigate.
Once you get your first panoramic views you have reached the helipad, and the end of the easiest part of the trail. The rest of the trail is a steep climb up crown pass over boulders.
Follow the orange ribbon across the boulders and take your time so you do not send large rocks tumbling down the mountain. This trail has other traffic.
At the top of the pass you have the option to turn right and go up Crown Mountain. I didn’t do it because the previous climb had kicked my ass. Took me almost an hour. Go left to Grouse Mountain for yet another uphill climb with 2 chain assisted sections. You are almost there.
At the top Follow the Alpine Trail down to the resort area where you can use the bathroom, refill water, or call it quits and find a ride home.
If you’re not done yet, run through the festival area until you find a gravel road heading south east. Run down this road for about 9 miles. You will know you are on the right road if you see dozens of MTB trails dipping off it, and MTB’ers.
The road is marked with “km” signs for the last 5k so you can countdown. At the end of the road you will see a water spicket/fountain on the right side. Drink some water you deserve it, then turn around and get on the Baden-Powell Juntion for an easy 1k run back to the parking lot at Lynn Headwaters Park.
Here’s my link from Strava
Enjoy, I brought 3 liters of water and a small bag of trail mix. There are plenty of spots to fill up on water and you could do this with a bottle in hand. The only difficult area is the scramble up the boulder field which took me about an hour.