Mt. Harvey

Everyone you talk to - I mean EVERYONE - has hiked Garibaldi Lake, Joffre Lakes, Quarry Rock, the Stawamus Chief, and Lynn Canyon. These trails are so well hiked that it is more of a surprise when someone hasn’t done one of them. However, the best hikes in Vancouver are in plain sight...people just don’t think to do them.

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Mt. Harvey - One of the Best Hikes in Vancouver!

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Come on, the Lions are AMAZING! Coincidentally, off that same trail head, is another amazing hike that sees relatively little traffic. That is the hike to the summit of Mt. Harvey. Mount who? What? Who is this Harvey fellow? Why wouldn’t anyone name a mountain after him?

Well, apparently Wikipedia actually has the answer to that question - and to a level of detail that surprised us.

“the mountain was named in association with the marine battle of 1794 known as the Glorious First of June. Such names were conferred by Captain Richards of HMS Plumper during his survey of the region in 1859. John Harvey (1740–1794) was the captain of HMS Brunswick and lost a limb in that battle, dying from complications from it soon afterwards.”

Anyway, we aren’t here to talk about the history of a mountain. We are here to tell you about the amazing view you will get when you are standing far above the world - and how much your legs will hate you the day after. And maybe even the day after that.

*Disclaimer - we did this hike in the middle of June, after having quite a bit of hot, dry weather, so there was almost no snow at the top of the hike. We do not advise doing this hike in the winter, as there have been some fatalities from a collapsing cornice.*

Trail Map & Photo Stops

The Journey to the Top

Seeing as the trail head to Mount Harvey is the same one you use for hiking up to the Lions, you can park at the same parking lot. Be warned that the parking lot is small and costs money. The lot holds about a total of 10 cars and costs 2 dollars per hour - maxing out at 16 dollars for the day. Plan to arrive early if you want a spot, otherwise you are left to park a bit further away on a residential street. Be mindful not to park in front of anyone’s house or driveway!

The first half of the trail is the exact same as the trail heading to the Lions. In fact, you will see signs telling you how to get to Brunswick, Harvey and the Lions. These signs are pretty obvious, so we just followed them. HOWEVER, we did get a little caught up looking at our feet while hiking and made a bit of a mistake. We missed the turnoff to Harvey. IF YOU REACH THE WATERFALL AND HAVE TO CROSS A RUINED BRIDGE, YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR. I mean...the waterfall is pretty nice to look at, and if you drink lots of water, you can always refill here (be safe and filter/tablet your water).

Chris looking at a waterfall on the trail
Chris hiking up the steep trail to Mt. Harvey
View of the Howe Sound from an opening in the trees

Once you make the proper turnoff to head up Harvey, you will realize that you just doing the Grouse Grind, but with no stairs. The rest of the hike is pretty much vertical. ALL THAT ELEVATION GAIN. There are a couple of decent viewpoints on the way up, which act as a good place to sit down, drink some water, stuff food into your face, and catch a break.

The trail to Mt. Harvey has a considerable amount of wildlife on the trail. Countless times on the trail, you would hear the bush beside you rustle, and a chipmunk would be darting up a tree, or the low rumblings of a grouse. In fact...Chris got in a bit of a standoff with a grouse that was blocking the trail to protect its young. Make yourself look big and intimidating, right? That is how you are supposed to scare away ALL animals...right?  

Chris intimidating a wild grouse
Chris showing off the bottle of whiskey he found while hiking

If you like scotch… this hike also has a pretty cool geocache sitting near the top. We actually found it by accident. For those of you who don’t know what geocaching is, it is like a global treasure hunt that uses GPS coordinates. (Checking online now, the cache isn’t actually on - the site we normally use). This was probably the highlight of the trip for Chris.  

Chris on top of Mt. Harvey looking at the Lions


The hike was hard. We mean really hard. It is essentially doing the Grouse Grind twice - and then having to go back down. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS ON YOUR KNEES? The trail condition was good - we actually bumped into a group of Lion’s Bay residents who build/maintain all of the trails - nice people. The view was spectacular - like the Lions, it looks out towards Howe Sound to the North, but the view to the south is the Lions in all their glory. It took us about 7 hours to complete - which we consider a little slow. We should be able to shave an hour off that time.  

Would we do it again? Yes? At the top, Chris said “I will never do Brunswick Mountain considering it looks uglier than Harvey and is higher in elevation”, however, he has since come around to the idea now that his legs don’t hurt anymore. If we had friends who wanted to do Harvey, we would probably do it again. The scotch at the top would also be a large incentive for him ;)

Table of Contents


Wedgemount Lake
Hike to a Glacier-Fed Lake
West Coast Trail
Day 3 - Michigan Creek to Pachena Bay
West Coast Trail
Day 2 - Tsusiat Falls to Michigan Creek
West Coast Trail
Day 1 - Nitinat Village to Tsusiat Falls
West Coast Trail Access
Getting to/from WCT
West Coast Trail Packing List
WCT Essential Food & Equipment
West Coast Trail Booking
WCT Trip Planning
Panorama Ridge
Overnight Hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park
Lower Myra Falls
A Must-See Waterfall in Strathcona
Elfin Lakes & Opal Cone
Overnight hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park
Ladner Creek Trestle
Picturesque Train Bridge in Hope
Mount Gardner
Day Hike on Bowen Island
Qualicum Beach Trestle
A Local Favourite Attraction