Mount Strachan hike is steep and fun in Cypress Provincial Park

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      On a clear day, the view from Mount Strachan extends far beyond the Lions and Howe Sound. Atop this 1,454-metre-high mountain in Cypress Provincial Park, you can make out Mount Garibaldi to the north and Golden Ears to the east. It's an immensely satisfying panorama.

      Getting there is super fun too, if you go around the back and climb up Christmas Gully. You can make this West Vancouver day hike a loop by descending via the Old Strachan Trail.

      The short hike starts at the parking lot for the alpine ski area. Follow the Howe Sound Crest Trail to Strachan Meadows. In between two bridges, a path on the right strikes off toward Christmas Gully. The steep route goes right up the gully—ducking into the trees for part of the ascent—to emerge at the col between Strachan's north and south peaks.

      After soaking in the sweet views from the north and highest summit, head back to the col and up the south peak. The trail down the mountain stays east of the ski runs, visits the site of a 1963 plane crash, and runs through a meadow to the dank col between Strachan and Hollyburn Mountain.

      Continuing down, you'll come to a trail junction marked by pink flagging tape. Going right takes you more quickly to the Baden-Powell Trail, where you again turn right to return to the parking lot.

      With an elevation gain of over 500 metres, this enjoyable hike takes 4.5 hours or so to complete.

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