Andy McKay

Aug 04, 2023

Trip report - Lynn Lake

A one day hike isn’t much of a trip, but this hike is a bit unusual for me. Let’s go back in time to 2020 and the height of the pandemic. My friends were looking for a hike that’s longer, but is still nearby, but without many people.

We run and hike to Norvan falls a lot and leading off from there are three main trails:

At that time I’d heard of the others, but not Lynn Lake, it looked easier than the others and it would be cool to see the lake that feeds the river Lynn. It is not easier than the others.

First attempt: 2020

It was raining a bit and cloudy, typical North Vancouver summer. But we aren’t the kind to be slowed down by weather, so we went for it. After Norvan falls you get to a very steep section, that heads up about 200m. Really steep.

Then the trail kinda vanishes and gets close to the river. Then the trail basically is the river and bushes. And at his point you realise hiking up a river bed might be easier when its not raining (so you are wet), the river is full of water (so you are really wet), and it’s cold.

So at about 9km (and a few hours into the hike) as a bunch of thoroughly miserable humans, we abandoned the hike.

Second attempt: 2021

That pandemic thing is still happening so a different friend and I tried it. This time we did it when the river was low and it was not raining. I was prepared…

However it was not sunny and the river still had water in it and most of the rocks were slippy due to the low clouds. We got further than last time, but the river got narrower and things got really slippy. We were getting worried about hurting ourselves, and eventually called it quits. Does this bloody lake even exist?

Third attempt: 2023

I’m trying to do all the trails on the North Shore, so I decided to give it one last try. British Columbia has been in the worst drought ever and it hasn’t rained for months. The river will never be as low, so I tried one more time.

Finally, I made it after 3 hours of hiking. Turns out that when we abandoned our second attempt, we were a couple of hundred metres away from turning off the river and back into the bush. We would have been off the slippy rocks that caused us problems.

There then follows another 200m elevation gain up to the lake, which is honestly just a pond and not really worth the trip. But I did it.


You will be hiking up a river bed, seriously. So if it’s got a lot of water in it, it’s going to vary between deadly (during floods) and getting you wet. Just do it in the summer when there’s not much water in it.

When you get to the spot where you follow the river bed, it’s best not to try going into the bushes, just stick to the river bed for a while. It does eventually veer off into the forest, but just going straight up the river is good.

You won’t have cell phone service for most of this one and allow yourself a good 7+ hours for this.