The Mt.Unnecessary Trail is a great workout. This is a steep hillside hike through 2nd growth conifers. It joins the ridge trail trail that comes in from Cypress Bowl. Views are ten times better than the Grouse Grind and there are few people too.
This is a climb of roughly 3 km, roughly 1250m, and, as you can see from the topo map, steep.
Bring plenty of water, and, be prepared. Once up top, you may elect to continue to the Lions, however, that extends your hike by a few kilometers. You'll have fantastic views of Howe Sound.
Access the trail from Lions Bay, by following Highway 99 from Vancouver to Lions Bay. As the map points out, zig-zag yourself to the top of the small community, and park near the trail-head. Accompanying GPS data shows the parking area near Waypoint #1 (set a GOTO and watch your progress as you approach Lion's Bay and wind your way up to the trailhead! 10U 483331e 5477943n Nad27Can).
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Posted By: sillybluecreature
- Wed May 25 22:37:56 UTC 2016
Upside-To-the-point going up up up, you climb quickly without getting bored. Several variations and views start coming quickly. -Very quiet- we saw literally no one on a long weekend Downside-Coming back down is almost as slow on a dry day as you need to watch your steps CommentStill lots of snow on top so we couldn't make it all the way, more details and lots of pictures here http://vizslawhiskeygirl.blogspot.ca/2016/05/mt-unnecessary-hike.html
Posted By: Vee
- Mon Aug 25 13:08:21 UTC 2014
UpsideFantastic summit area with great views. DownsideExtreme uphill slog. CommentWe took an inadvertent detour on a loop south over Lone Tree Creek. No regrets because this was a fun (rope sections and log bridges) and beautiful part of the hike, but it added substantially to the length of the trip. It took us 4 hours to reach the top (we are both fit hikers) and have lunch, but just two hours to scramble down without passing through the detour. Bring lots of water. There is none on the direct trail to the mountain.
Posted By: coeurk
- Tue Sep 10 04:11:21 UTC 2013
UpsideFrom Cypress, follow the signs for The Lions and Howe Sound Crest Trail (East). It's not difficult to follow if you do that and then also follow the orange diamond trail markers (not the ribbons). It's a lovely hike and they're currently fixing up the trail and making it smoother. You summit St. Mark's first and then Mt. Unnecessary. Not too buggy right now either! Really beautiful views from St. Marks with a view of the lions and of the Sea to Sky. Definitely worth it!!! DownsideIt's about a 7-8hr hike if you're going at a steady pace. We thought it would take 5 hrs via hike, but I believe that's by mountain bike!
Posted By: kitchenbachelor
- Mon Aug 16 15:18:05 UTC 2010
QuestionTried to hike Mt. Unnecessary this weekend but struggled to find the trail head. We parked and walked past the water tower, up a road, and noticed a turn-off road to the right that had a caterpillar parked on the side (nothing there). We went back and continued up the road to a fence that was locked, with a sign past the sign that says "warning". We sneaked under the fence and walked right to the end where there's a railing and a shed and still did not see any markers for a trail head.
Anyone have any luck recently? Or did we totally miss the markers?ANSWERS are in this forum: Anyone find the trail head recently?
Posted By: trailrunner
- Tue Aug 04 01:56:27 UTC 2009
Upside Awesome views. Quite rooty but generally decent trail. Nice feeling to be on the crest. Relatively low traffic for near the metro. Downside Dangerous; â??dead endâ?? trails at the ridges. Stray trails especially few minutes south of the First(South) peak as you head to Cypress. Confusing make sift sign at the very beginning. Comment
(82mins from new Cypress lodge parking lot to First(South peak) Mt. Unnecessary Peak, First peak to parking lot 72mins. Total time go & return took 154mins. No stopping in between including at St Marks peak. There are two more Mt. Unnecessary peaks and they were all within 15min run from the first peak) The trail starts from the new Cypress ski hill lodge. There was a make shift professional looking sign indicating where to go to get to Howe Sound crest trail. But following those signs caused me to get lose twice - lost 45mins before starting the hike - ended up going to the dead end road. I suggest simply climb on gravel road which starts right in front of the new Cypress lodge so you wonâ??t get lost. You go past starting station of a chair lift on your right and climb(run) about 5mins. Then you will see the permanent sign which accurately points out where to go. The trail surface changes significantly at the beginning from a narrow trail to gravel road to well conditioned national park like trail then settles a permanent wide somewhat â??stoneyâ?? and quite rooty trail. The trailâ??s incline/decline is rather moderate, it goes through short height old growth to quite small young old growth stands at the crest. It is a great feeling to carry on the ridge the whole time, although until St Marks peak trail takes 10-30m to the ocean side from the ridge most of the time. There were several minor peaks along the way. First somewhat major climb is before St Marks, the good trail continues until the foot of the first(South) peak of Unnecessary Mountain. You will see an old sign â??end of improved trailâ??, then suddenly trail is full of debris and much more felled trees etc. - from here incline gets much steeper like Grouse Grind often & you will need to walk or crawl from time to time. As you carry on you will be on exposed white rocks most of the time, and you know the peak is almost there. Word of caution; there are quite a few trails diverge and get back together, but some donâ??t. When you are going back from the 1st(South) Mt Unnecessary peak, make sure to take the white rock ridge for first few minutes - there is a section a trail diverges & keeps going down straight to the wooded area and it is quite easy to miss the real trail which goes over the white rocks. I lost in woods running around going nowhere for a while- and had to come back all the way to the South peak. Some trails also literally comes to â??dead endâ?? like if you keep going you will fall off the 100m+ cliff. Recommended only on sunny days otherwise too dangerous for amateur hiker-runner like me. I carried on to the 3rd peak but I got lost & strayed so many times I didnâ??t time the run. It is rather rocky with little soil and vegetation after the 1st peak. Also there is a mini cliff you need to go down with a rope to get to the second peak. I planned to go to the West Lions but turned back at the 3rd peak due to too much lost time.
Posted By: mordred_r
- Tue Aug 05 18:44:40 UTC 2008
UpsideBeautiful View from the top not as travelled as the rest of the howe sound crest trail. DownsideVery steep hard climb the trail is not always well marked so be careful CommentWe hiked the howe sound crest trail to mount unnecesary for a total in and out hike 0f about 18-20 km. This mountain was grueling after hiking the other two mountains. The whole trail is up to the top of a mountain and down in to the valley. It was definetly a challenge but a great hike all and all the Howe sound crest trail is amazing.
Posted By: stretch
- Wed Sep 08 06:08:25 UTC 2004
CommentDirections: From Vancouver, drive North on Highway 99 towards Lions Bay, take Oceanview Rd exit which is the second exit into Lions Bay. Stay on Oceanview Road until it ends at a gate by a water tower. There is parking by the gate, enough for 3 cars only. Walk up the road where the gate is to the No Trespassing sign. The trailhead is on the right side of the sign marked with orange squares.
Posted By: ashisharunsharma
- Sat May 01 19:31:26 UTC 2004
UpsideChallenging. On the absolute top, there is a 360 degree view of snow mountains all around you. We could also see Howe Sound. Excellent view. DownsideVery steep, which makes it very hard to come down the same way. CommentI went in early April and once the snow starts to come there seems to be no end of it.
Posted By: ginayes
- Thu Jan 30 17:29:04 UTC 2003
UpsideThis is a challenging trail that gets your heart pumping. It's really close to the Van so you can zip over after work in the summer, if you're in need of trees. Because the trail is so steep, you can really notice the changes in flora as the elevtion increases. DownsideBring first aid because wipe outs are inevitable. No water anywhere! Comment This trail is not as pretty as many oher, similar trails in the North shore Mountains (like the steep route to Deeks Lake with ferns, moss and water galore).
Posted By: drcwright
- Wed Dec 18 18:59:53 UTC 2002
UpsideExcellent workout. Awesome views from the top in every direction. Nearly zero traffic on trail. DownsideDark cover for first hour or so. Dangerous in parts - steep coming down, loose rocks, etc for long periods on trail. CommentLots of scrambling and climbing in parts. Challenging hike. We only saw one other person on the trail. We went in late July - insane amount of bugs.