Howe Sound from St. Mark's Lookout


The North Shore Mountains have many hiking trails for those people seeking exercise with excellent scenery. This image was taken from St. Mark's Lookout at 1360m , a stop on the Howe Sound Crest Trail to the "Lions" in Cypress Provincial Park. It takes about two hours from the parking lot at the Cypress Ski lift - longer if you stop to eat the blueberries.

There are the scars of clearcut forestry in this image of the Coast Mountains rising from the sea. The Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar taken from these forests often started with a cycle of forest fire. The forest industry would clear a section (a clearcut) and then burn the remainder (a slash burn) to simulate a natural fire cycle. However on the steep slopes erosion is huge problem as the burn damages plant binding the soil. The practice of clearcutting is falling into disfavour.

The following view of the "Lions" is reached after perhaps a half hour into the hike. These two peaks are familiar landmarks to Vancouverites as they are clearly visible from much of the city.


The view south from St. Mark's includes the villiage of Lion's Bay, Bowen Island, Georgia Strait and (in the distance) Vancouver Island.

St. Mark's Lookout is at the top a of very steep slope. The lookout itself juts out of the mountain at a spot where a creek has carved a channel into the rock. There is a drop of several hundred metres just below the two main vantage points.

The city of Vancouver proper is around the corner, to the left of this image. The highway following the shoreline is "The Sea to Sky" highway connecting Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and Lillooet. It is listed among the world's most beautiful drives.

Vancouver itself is not visible from the trail until you near the Lions. However the following view of the city is from a stop along the road at the south end of Cyprus Mountain Park. By the way, there are several mountains in this park besides Cyprus, some of which are Hollyburn Mountain, Mount Strachan, Harvey Mountain and Black Mountain.