Cypress-Mt. Unnecessary (Vancouver, BC)

St. Marks-Mt. Unnecessary (28)

Date: July 30, 2016

Location: Cypress Provincial Park, Vancouver, BC

Distance: 11 miles

Elevation gain: 2000 ft (3000 ft total climbing)

Highest elevation: 5000 ft

This is part of the 29k Howe Sound Crest trail.  This well marked trail started benignly right off the ski lodge.  Ongoing trail works has made its first portion smooth and wide.

St. Mark’s Summit is reached at 3.5 mile and 1500 feet of climbing.  The trail was popular and summit crowded on this sunny day.


My sister enjoyed an excellent Vietnamese sandwich before she turned back at St. Mark’s Summit, while I continued.

What followed caught me by surprised.  The trail, remained very well marked throughout, became a unkempt mess of rocks, tree roots and stumps and descend steeply for 500 ft, all of which had to be climbed back and doubled to the south summit of Mt. Unnecessary.  The ascending route was virtually straight up with no switchbacks to speak of.  Outside of rock face scrambling, this is the roughest trail I’ve hiked.

The view broke out spectacularly, but the trail continued upwards with little civility.

Panoramic view awaited at the knoll – above, Vancouver Northshore to the east.

Howe Sound to its west

I continued northward leaving the knoll behind climbing up the South Summit of Mt. Unnecessary.

North Summit and the Lions from South Summit

Unnecessary is so named because it was an “unnecessary” peak to ascent in order to reach the Lions. Due to time constraint, I did not proceed to North Summit.