The trail from Lions Bay The Lions and back via the ridge of Mount Unnecessary is an extraordinary loop, with inspiring views of Howe Sound, moving from steep dense forest into the rugged Coast Range Alpine. This is a big day hike with a lot of vertical gain, so not for the timid. Bring lots of food, water, clothes for changing weather that comes quickly to the the coast, and a spare set of lungs.
Starting on the New Lions trail it begins with a gravel road that seems a lot easier to drive up. Follow this gravel road up and up keeping right at all intersections. You come to a fork in the road where the left leads to Brunswick and Hat Mountains, and the right leads you to The Lions. Take the right road.
The hike then flattens out and has great views of Howe Sound. You pass a big waterfall which is a great place to have lunch or a rest stop. The hike rises again along big rocks that are quite loose and difficult to walk up. Turn right when you see a sign pointing right to The Lions on the new bridge.
You descend steeply walking across a wooden bridge over a big creek. The trail ascends sharply into thick wooded forest. Be careful about five minutes after the creek because of some wasps nests. ( I got bitten three times my last time up the lions)
Keep on going up the steep path. To the right about another hour after the bridge is an awesome view of the West Llion. After another 45 minutes you are into the alpine where you're right at front with the West Lion. The views here are the best yet and seem that you are in another world. Stopping for lunch is a good idea here.
Follow the Lions Trail, ascending across east maintaining elevation. Once the trail goes up, fork to the east to the Howe Sound Crest Trail. The trail follows the ridge having unbelievable views of The Llions and Howe Sound.
An hour after following the ridge, you will reach Unnecessary Mountain. It's all downhill from here. Turn right down off the Howe Sound crest trail down unnecessary mountain trail. You follow down the trail with the steep rock face, into some meadow, here, falling down below the tree line, you reach darker woods. Keep on following the trail down the mountain. It will take about three hours from the top of unnecessary to the bottom.
After this knee knackering accent, you finally reach a gravel road. Follow this road and ignore the left turn on a washed out road. After walking down for ten minutes, you reach Oceanview Road, on the left side of Lions Bay. Follow down this road, and turn left onto Crosscreek Road, right up the hill again onto Mountain Drive. Follow this road past the school, and up past Stewart Road. Turn right on Sunset Drive, and a final left hand turn to where your car is.
from Vancouver's north shore, follow the Sea to Sky Highway (Hwy 99) to Oceanview Rd
turn left onto Crosscreek Road
turn right up the steep hill
turn left up on Mountain drive, going past the school
turn left on sunset drive
go left at a fork at the road to the trail head
The trail head is the gate to the gravel road. Even if it is open, do not drive up it. If there are no parking spaces available on Sunset Drive, you will have to park at the school, a kilometre from the trail head.
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