Howe Sound Crest Trail: Cypress Mountain to Porteau Cove (3 days / 29 km)

A tourist visiting the Howe Sound Crest Trail

The Howe Sound Crest Trail is a difficult point-to-point trail that starts at the Cypress Mountain parking lot and finishes at Porteau Cove. You summit multiple mountains along the route and walk along ridgelines. It is beautiful, it is exhausting and it feels like a real accomplishment. This route is very exposed at some points (think large drop-offs on one or both sides of the trail) and requires some technical hiking. I would not recommend doing this hike as a beginner backpacker. There is very limited access to water along the first half of the route. 

There is some spotty cell service along the route, and there are a few options for exiting the trail early (I recommend doing the research before you start to know where these are). 

About us - our group was 3 pretty active women. I am from Ontario, definitely not used to the elevation gains. My friends both live in BC and have been hiking very actively in this terrain throughout the past year. I for sure slowed my friends down! We are all rock climbers and very comfortable on technical terrain. 

Trip Completed: August 2021

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Cypress Mountain Parking Lot (North of Vancouver)

Ending Point: Porteau Cove (20 minutes south of Squamish)

Total Distance: 29 km

Elevation Gain: Approx 1,830 m gain / 2,600 m descent

Duration: 3 days / 2 nights

Difficulty: Advanced

Location

North of Vancouver, BC

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Wautut, Coast Salish and Stó:lō (source). 

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: Outdoor Vancouver HSCT Guide

Map: AllTrails - Howe Sound Crest Trail

Campsite Reservations: No.

Permits: No.

Outfitters & Shuttles

We didn’t need an outfitter for this trip as we have all of our own gear. As the hike is very close to Vancouver and Squamish, there are endless options for acquiring proper gear in the area. 

Sh...

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