Hiking the Binkert Trail To The Lions
The Lions are two very familiar peaks that can be seen from Vancouver. I have hiked most of the mountains in the immediate Vancouver area but the Lions always looked down on me with a smug look. Every time I looked to the North Shore I could see the twin peaks and I knew I had to get up there one day. On August 18th, five of us decided to make the trek and I was the only Lions virgin in the group.
The trail starts in Lions Bay and is a 16km round trip journey. The elevation gain is 1280m (4200′) with some very steep sections you will feel in your legs. This is a strenuous hike and of the hikes I have completed may be second only to Black Tusk in terms of effort. I would not bring your dog on this trail, there are sections that would not be easy for your four-legged friend and there are some very steep cliffs. The hike took us about 3.5 hours in each direction, with a one hour break at the top to enjoy the view, eat lunch, and take photos. For more detail on the trail feel free to check out these links (some include updates on conditions): Vancouver Trails, Club Tread, Trail Peak, Live Trails.
Some photos from the hike. First, the motley crew ventures out at the start of the day. The trail is fairly flat and everyone is feeling good.
Things begin to get steeper, everyone is still having a good time and chatting.
One of the only waterfalls along the route. Not much rain in the area lately and the snow pack is almost gone so it’s really just a trickle at this point. Harvey Creek is much bigger with pools large enough for a dip. There is a well built bridge over this creek so you will certainly know when you are there.
It is possible to climb to the top of the West Lion, but only for those with some experience with this type of activity should even attempt it. It is a high consequence climb with no room for error. If you decide to do it, you need to descend down a small cliff (a rope is provided). People here are waiting to climb down.
On the way down, your knees will take a serious beating. The trail through the forest and the gravel road seem to stretch on forever. At the end of the day though, it’s an amazing climb and worth the effort for anyone who wants to make the journey.