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BC Coast :: North Shore :: Dog Mtn/Suicide Bluffs

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Semi-frozen tarn on Suicide Bluffs looking towards Coliseum group

Trip Summary

August 3, 2012

This is one of best half-day trips in mid-Seymour.  First part to Dog Mountain is super popular year-round, but crowds can be dodged by picking up indistinct trail continuing north towards Suicide Bluffs, then looping back via main Mt. Seymour trail.  Views from the bluffs are much better than from over-hyped (and overcrowded) Dog Mountain.  Some parties are known to overnight on Suicide Bluffs in summer.  There is some route finding and sections of trail are quite steep.  Avalanche Danger sign is posted along main Seymour snowshoe artery to Brockton Point so do not venture off trail if you are have limited experience in off-trail back-country travel in winter conditions.

 

Dog mountain trail forks off on left (east) side of main Seymour trail few minutes past the parking.  Follow this well trodden path towards picturesque First Lake, then continue to Dog Mountain - less that 1hr from trailhead.  "Mountain" name is misleading - it is just a few rock bluffs that offer limited views (see gallery).  Just before trail exits to Dog bluffs, note narrow trail continuing north.  Immediately you leave crowds and trip becomes true North Shore wilderness experience.  Trail has solid footbed and climbs steadily for next 30-40 minutes before reaching final steep climb to Suicide Bluffs.  Fixed rope assists in most awkward part.  Fabulous views unfold; this is also perfect place to watch the Sunset.  Turn right and traverse the bluffs looking to pick up the trail heading east.  There are some ups and downs and trail eventually intercepts main Seymour artery some 10-15 minutes before Brockton Point.  Turn right and hike back to the parking lot.

Gallery

First Lake on Dog Mountain Trail
 
Burrard Inlet and metro Van from Dog Mountain
 
View north to Mamquam from Dog Mountain
 
Three peaks of Mt. Seymour from Suicide Bluffs
 
Suicide Bluffs Sunset

 

Abstract

Overall Difficulty D3/4 To Dog Mtn easy (D2) with some ups/downs and rooty sections.  More challenging with couple of steep parts & rope assisted scrambles up bluffs.  Some route-finding.  Icy sections in shoulder season
Snow Factor S3 Dog Mountain is popular winter snowshoe trip (D1).   Harder with likely trail breaking for Suicide Bluffs.  Moderate avalanche danger
Scenery Metro Van from Dog Mountain.  Terrific view of Lynn ridge, Coliseum/Burwell/Cathedral from Suicide Bluffs.  North Shore wilderness
Trail/Marking Good/Poor Excellent trail to Dog Mountain,  back-country route with occasional flags for Suicide Bluffs
Suggested Time 3-4hrs Return time for Suicide Bluffs and loop return.  ~2 hrs or less for Dog Mtn only
Elevation Start: 960m     Max: 1160m     Total: ~300m Round Trip: ~6.5 km (Suicide Bluffs loop)
Gear Day hikers or full boots.  Snowshoes in winter.  Micro-spikes often necessary in shoulder season
Water Seasonal tarns but no reliable source of water. Carry ~1.5L
Dog Friendly Yes Please keep pets on leash in consideration for other hikers.  Note that black bears frequent mid-Seymour in summer months