||10.0 km (return)
||Linear - Return
From the city of Vancouver, cross either the Lions Gate Bridge or the Ironworker's Memorial (Second Narrows) Bridge. Follow Highway #1/#99 west to exit #8, signed as "Cypress". Follow Cypress Bowl Road north as it winds it's way up the mountain to the ski hill area. Park in the main parking lot at the end of the road, near the park information sign.
You are in Cypress Bowl. There are three mountains (Black, Strachan and Hollyburn) that can be ascended from here (Cypress Mtn. refers to the name of the ski operation). Also the Howe Sound Crest Trail goes from here towards St. Marks, Unnecessary Mtn., the Lions and beyond. A trailmap is located near where ski lift passes are sold.
Strachan can be done in a few ways:
1. Head up ski runs/gravel road on the southeast side of the mountain and follow it to the top of south peak. Or cut onto trail mentioned below near the plane crash site when the road heads westward by a chair lift.
2. Start off on the Baden Powel Trail in a easterly direction. After half an hour at a junction go left onto the old Strachan trail (staying right will head towards Hollyburn). There should be a metal info tag on a tree. Follow this route (red markers) as it winds its way up to near the ski run mentioned above. It will go around it and eventually through a meadow and then past an old plane wreckage. From here it gets steeper (and wetter sometimes) as it parallels a ski run to top out on South Peak.
To continue on to the higher north peak, follow the track down to a col and then up to the north summit.
3. From the parking area follow the a gravel road (off to the left) towards the Howe Sound Crest Trail. From here you will cut into a trail taking you to another point along the road, then eventually on to the main trail heading for St. Marks. The trail has been recently maintained, allowing for one to maintain a better pace. After about 40 minutes you will come out into an open area (Strachan Meadows). The HSCT crosses a small broken bridge and continues into trees. You want to turn right just after the bridge (maybe boggy if its been raining recently) and start angling to the right.
Looking up you should see a prominent gully (Christmas Gully) with two peaks (Strachan north and south). Start up the ~300m gully (note: snow stays late given its protection from the sun). There may be flagging here and there and a faint track. When the gully starts to steepen, keep an eye out for a track and flagging to your left. A trail heads up into the trees to avoid the steeper areas (only a couple big step ups). About 100m vertical from the col, the trail comes back out into the gully of rock and grass. Once at the col, the north peak is on your left, south peak on your right. Head up the north peak to enjoy panoramic views including the city and the St. Mark's, Unnecessary and Lions chain. To return, follow #1 or 2 above to make a loop trip. Note that if you do this as a loop and intend to take route #2, keep a sharp eye out for the re-entry back into the forest - it can be difficult to spot. If you have reached the ski-lift on the south summit, you have missed it and should backtrack.
|Main Cypress trailhead
||10U 485310 5471428
|Hollyburn / Strachan trail junction
||10U 486366 5472324
|Edge of meadows
||10U 486151 5472453
|Top of ski lift
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|Airplane crash ruins
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|Start of Strachan summit area
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|Strachan - South Peak
||10U 485838 5473144
|Strachan - North Peak
||10U 485996 5473402
|HSCT / Christmas Gully trail junction
||10U 485208 5473464