Searching for that iconic “Vancouver Selfie” for your Instagram feed? Look no further than Quarry Rock in North Vancouver. Arguably, this natural, rocky outcrop has become a destination of choice for those seeking a relatively easy day hike through dappled, lush west coast rain forest to a scenic viewpoint. In truth, scenic viewpoint doesn’t adequately describe the panoramic views of Indian Arm and Deep Cove that are the rewards for those who complete the climb. Spectacular, breathtaking, awe-inspiring and quintessentially Vancouver comes to mind when describing the Quarry Rock views. However, in my opinion, this little hike is so much more than an opportunity to snap a selfie. Be sure to slow down and absorb all of the sights, smells and sounds along the route!
The trail to Quarry Rock begins in the quaint and scenic town of Deep Cove. Regardless of the season or the weather, I always thoroughly enjoy a visit to Deep Cove. Although only minutes from downtown Vancouver, upon arrival in Deep Cove you immediately feel miles away from big city living. Locals are attracted to this gorgeous North Vancouver waterfront community for the hiking, paddling, sailing, boating, and cycling. Of course strolling the village, visiting one of the many restaurants and coffee shops or simply sitting on a bench and watching the day go by are always options for those not wanting to exert energy. I must confess, I have been known to delay exertion to enjoy a cup of coffee on the beach.
West Coast fall hiking is often a wet and muddy experience. However, on my recent visit to Quarry Rock I had the great fortune of exploring the trail on a brilliant, sunny day. Thank you, Mother Nature! Rich in history, the route to the Quarry Rock lookout follows a section of the Baden Powell Trail. Built in 1971 by Boy Scouts and Girl Guides from the lower mainland, the Baden Powell Trail links Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay. That is 48 km of majestic and a wonderful legacy for our Scouts and Guides. Speaking of legacy, look closely and you will notice a marker acknowledging the trail maintenance work completed in 1981 by Capilano University students. It’s inspiring to learn that today’s students continue to volunteer their time, muscle and knowledge to build and maintain North Shore trails.
Well marked and maintained the route to Quarry Rock features stairs, bridges, boardwalks and stream crossings. At times the underbrush is quite thin affording views deep into the forest. Stopping on one of the bridges to snap a few pictures of the stream below, I reflected on the number of people I had encountered on the trail that day. I had lost count of the number of different languages I had heard spoken. As I soaked up the scenery, I found it comforting to think that a shared joy of nature and the outdoors brought so many strangers together at Quarry Rock. Now go ahead – snap that selfie!
After crossing the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, follow Seymour Parkway to Deep Cove Road. Arrive early. Parking in Deep Cove is limited. Deep Cove is also readily accessible by Public Transit.
Map and Route Tips:
The trail head is located on Panorama Drive, just north from the parking lot. Remember, fall weather on the North Shore Mountains is usually unsettled. Conditions change quickly. Be prepared and be wilderness safe!