A Day Hike to St. Mark’s Summit

A few days ago I went on a hike to St. Mark’s Summit, a part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail located in Cypress Provincial Park.

I’ve loved hiking since I was a kid and my parents brought us camping and hiking each summer. I remember it being pretty easy as a kid, but that could be because I had the youthful energy, or maybe they just took us on easy ones. I’m not sure.

Since moving to Vancouver I’ve tried to take advantage of this beautiful landscape and go on a few hikes when I could find someone to go with. I don’t own a car, but being able to more easily go on hikes would be the number one reason I would get one. This summer I hadn’t done any very challenging hikes, so I was glad when my friend invited me on this one.

Both of the websites I looked at said it was 11km total and would take 4-5 hours, but the elevation gain was less than other hikes I had done so I knew I could do it.


Fog at Howe Sound Crest Trail -Cypress Mountain
Fog along the Howe Sound Crest Trail

I had an app that tracked our hike and calculated that it took us an hour on the way up, totally 3.5km. I’m guessing this was inaccurate, but since none of us remember to check the time at the top we don’t actually know how long it took us. (My friend’s app said 1.5 hrs to the summit)

It was fairly overcast day and the fog was thick on the way up, so we were afraid we might not get the views we were looking for.


View of Howe Sound from St. Mark's Summit
First view at the top
Fog at St.Mark's Summit
Thick fog at the summit

Luckily once we sat down for lunch the clouds and fog started moving and we got this AMAZING view.

St. Mark's Summit with person at the second peak
My friend at the second lookout
View of Howe Sound from St. Mark's Summit
The view of Howe Sound

You can see in this picture there is another lookout point at the summit. The one where I took this picture was right before the small pond (and I’m sure would be fairly obvious on a clear day). The other is just past the pond on a path to the right, it seemed like there were a few different ways to get to this point and unfortunately we took the most difficult way which involved climbing down a large rock (and me getting my hands dirty). If you do this hike I’d recommend asking someone around if they know the easiest way.


Second Lookout St. Mark's Summit
View from the second lookout

One of the best parts of the hike ended up being the chipmunks at the top. They were SO cute and ate right from our hands. We spend almost as much
time up hear playing with these little ones as it took us to hike up.

Feeding chimpunks out of my hand at St. Mark's Summit

Overall it was an amazing day a hike I wish I knew about before. I find most of my information for hikes and paths around Vancouver at the Vancouver Trails website, but I also found Outdoor Vancouver to be a helpful website to since it had an elevation profile for the hike, and I was able to compare it to ones I’ve done before. This way I could mental prepare myself knowing it wouldn’t be as difficult as ones I have done before.

I love that going hiking challenge you both physically and mentally. You have to push yourself to get over the difficult part knowing that there’s an easier path ahead. Then sometimes you realize the path isn’t easier, or the summit isn’t as close as you thought and you have to re-adjust your thinking to move from disappointment to motivation.

St. Mark's Summit

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