Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Cypress Falls hike is a picturesque short hike in West Vancouver

By Keith and Heather Nicol
    For a Father’s Day hike on June 19 we had decided to hike the Sea to Sky Summit trail in Squamish but the cloud deck was quite low and the web cam showed fog at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola so we opted to do a lower elevation hike closer to Vancouver.  We chose the Cypress Falls trail which seemed to meet our criteria of being scenic, not too far away and one that we hadn’t been on before. In checking the reviews of the trail we noted that many people said it was not marked and that although it had been rated as easy was more difficult than it appeared to be. But since it was only 3 km return we thought we should at least be able to find the upper falls. 
The trail starts off well defined and easy to walk
To get to the start of the Cypress Falls Trail, head westbound toward Horseshoe Bay on Highway 99 and take exit #4 to Woodgreen Drive.  Turn right onto Woodgreen Drive and continue along the road as it bends to the left and heads up a hill. Turn right on Woodgreen Place. Follow the gravel driveway at the end of the street which leads to the parking lot. The trailhead (GPS coordinates are: 10 U 0482490 E and 5466683 N). When we were there on Sunday, June 19 the small parking lot was just about full and we headed off on a wide well defined trail. We remembered that one on line comment about the trail was that you should avoid the temptation of following the main trail across a small bridge about ten minutes from the start.  Instead follow the less distinct trail up the hill to the left of the stream. From the bridge the left hand trail certainly was more difficult but still clearly defined. Although the trail crossed over many areas of roots and the occasional log, it would still be appropriate for a variety of ages and the trail wasn’t too muddy given the heavy rain of the day before. 
The main falls is impressive after a rain

 Along this section you get nice views of the rushing stream on your right and the subdued shades of  various greens made the trail visually attractive. Keep your eye out for a gate and the falls viewpoint is just ahead in a small clearing. Certainly use care around the falls since when we were there the ground was quite wet and the sheer cliff drops to the river are significant. It is tempting to get lower and closer to the falls but it is very slippery in wet conditions.  We returned via the same trail. Allow about an hour to 90 minutes for the return trip and be sure to bring a camera. There seem to be lots of other trails in this area but without a map and no signs it is difficult to know where they go. We recommend this trail for the views of stream and waterfall but since it is not marked pay attention to where you are going. For more information see:

We loved the various shades of green

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