NTS Map: 92G11. St. Mark's is a great interim destination for those on their way to the Lions from the Cypress Bowl Ski area. It makes for a nice destination for those who want a view of the Lions, as well as some great views back towards Howe Sound. The Howe Sound Crest Trail is very well maintained, and apart from finding the start of it, it is almost self-guiding. Our GPS waypoints should get you set right, but also refer to our directions.
The terrain is gradually up, with some steep and rolling sections, and follows a crest adjacent to Howe Sound, and deep valleys on the other side. The GPS points attached get to you St. Mark's Summit, which would still leave you well short of the Lions, i.e. Mt. Unnecessary still to go.
There is GPS data attached to this trail (see "download GPS"), which if loaded into your GPS can help you find route points.
To get to the Howe Sound Crest Trail, take Hwy 99 in West Vancouver to the Cypress Bowl Exit, and drive all the way up to the Downhill Ski area, parking just in front of the ski purchase pass area (obviously closed for the summer). You'll see in the GPS ramblings two ways to the start of the trail. Either loop along the Yew Lake interpretive trail until you see signs for Howe Sound Crest Trail (black posts with signs), or for the easier way, do the following; walk in between the shacks where downhill ski passes are sold, and walk towards the 'Sunshine' Chair lift, and keep walking along this gravel road as it climbs along the side of the mountain, staying above the Yew Lake area. Basically follow a straight line behind the ski lifts. If you have a GPS, use the waypoints attached, to hone in on the trailhead! Have fun.
(a) Click Wiki Edit This Page to get placed in edit mode
(b) When finished, your update is available to view as draft (click wiki update pending in trail to see draft)
* note: editors are notified and must approve the change
Posted By: PhotoKaz
- Mon Sep 26 05:24:57 UTC 2016
UpsideWent Sept 25, 2016. Summit totally socked in with clouds, no view. Trail is wet and muddy. Still a good day out. DownsideNo view on the day we went. CommentPhotos and more info about the hike available here: http://photokaz.com/blog/2016/09/25/hike-to-saint-marks-summit/
Posted By: Biggles76
- Thu Aug 25 23:50:41 UTC 2016
UpsideReasonable trail with great views at the summit. DownsideCan get busy at certain points near the top. CommentConfusing to start with at Cypress. Initially we set of in the "right " direction only to discover we were climbing Black Mountain! Go to the Olympic Rings side of the slopes and look for the Lions Express lift. Walk up past this and look for the Pump House Road sign. Follow this past the storage tank and you are on the trail!
Posted By: LucasL
- Wed Jul 03 22:34:48 UTC 2013
UpsideBeautiful reward at the end. Not too tough but enough for a workout. Well marked. DownsideThere was just some snow on top and mud but nothing major. Mosquitos were bad to start but went away as the day came on. CommentWanted to go to Mount unnecessary but the north side of St mark's summit looked like quite a bit of snow and slippery, will wait for August at least to get to the lions. Hopefully one day do the howe sound crest trail completely.
Posted By: scottwilliamson
- Sat Mar 27 18:12:29 UTC 2010
CommentI did this trail back in October 2009, it was a great walk with a fantastic view at the end. Has anyone been up recently? I want to go but would love to avoid snow.
Posted By: rasperin
- Tue May 20 18:37:05 UTC 2008
Questionwould this trail be okay to do now(May 20th)? Or is there too much snow still?ANSWERS are in this forum: when?
Posted By: vpigeon
- Mon Dec 31 06:44:22 UTC 2007
UpsideExcellent as a snowshoeing trail in winter. Rooty, rocky, muddy in other seasons. Great snowshoeing in wonderful snow on Dec 30, 2007. DownsideBecause we had to do a lot of trail blaizing, a 7 hr snowshoe to St Marks and back. 2 avalanche areas on the Howe Sound Crest trail beyond the sign. Be extra cautious going across them. NEVER go across as a group, go 1 person at a time only. Comment5.5 k from parking lot to St Marks Summit, up approx 425 m, I would say it's easier on snowshoes because the trail is much smoother, but too much snow also makes for hard work.
Posted By: zenzany
- Wed Aug 09 21:17:19 UTC 2006
UpsideGreat views, all kinds of landscape variety and very few hikers between the Lions and Deeks Lake. DownsideBusy around the Lions. Not much water between between the Lions and Magnesia Meadows. CommentThe full Crest Trail actually runs from Cypress to Deeks Lake and down to Highway 99--a total of 29 kms. It's an overnighter unless you're a masochistic madman.
Posted By: brantcarter
- Sat Aug 13 17:14:32 UTC 2005
UpsideGreat views from the top. DownsideBugs were bad (August). CommentI don't concur that this is an "easy" trail; also the 4 hours posted seems very optimistic. I went at a decent pace and it took nearly 5 hours to complete. The hike up to the summit is strenous (but worth it).
Posted By: trishkaka
- Wed Aug 20 15:53:06 UTC 2003
UpsideVery accessible, great view! DownsideLots of roots, they're everywhere... waiting to grab your ankles. Also lots of people traffic - don't expect any peace here. CommentIt's a good hike to do if you're all by yourself, like I find myself frequently. You won't really ever be alone, so many people come trudging up this trail. Don't worry about any bears either, all those people certainly make a racket. Good trail but come on a weekday, if you can.
Posted By: badger
- Mon Jun 30 06:31:07 UTC 2003
UpsideLots of great view points. DownsideRoots and rocks. Lots of them. CommentStill a bit of snow at the summit.
Posted By: Urban trekker
- Mon Jun 09 02:24:17 UTC 2003
UpsideGreat cardio workout, views of the Lions and Howe Sound DownsideTrail is rutty and rocky after it leaves Strachan Meadows where it switchbacks up to the summit - a little hard on the knees coming down. CommentSome snow in Strachan meadows as June 8, 2003 otherwise dry to the summit and beyond.
Posted By: rmaz
- Tue Dec 03 22:51:29 UTC 2002
UpsideGreat view, easy trail, with nice exposure for good weather. DownsideTrail can be hard to follow in the switchback section, near the end. CommentBring a camera, and safeguard your lunch from the birds at the viewpoint.