Kids love waterfalls! We’ve got five awesome, family-friendly hikes with rewarding waterfall destinations. The best part? They’re relatively easy, local, and can be done in an afternoon!
Five easy, local hikes to waterfalls the kids will love
Twin Falls (Lynn Canyon), North Vancouver
Get your heart pumping! Cross the suspension bridge (it’s free!) and turn right to follow the Twin Falls Loop (approx. 1 hour). Well-maintained trails and boardwalks meander through the tranquil forest to a wooden bridge that straddles the falls. You can turn back at this point, or continue to follow the trail across the bridge and up the stairs, stairs, and more stairs to loop back to the parking lot and ecology centre for a well-deserved treat at the café.
Gold Creek Falls (Golden Ears Provincial Park), Maple Ridge
Lower Falls Trail (approx. 2 hours) is a wide, stroller-friendly path running alongside Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park. This is a great summer hike for kids as the trail is lined with berries! There is a brief, steep incline to reach the falls (and an optional higher path if you’d like to see the top of the falls). The rush and roar of the waterfall is impressive, as is the refreshing spray of mist before turning back.
Crystal Falls, Coquitlam
Crystal Falls trail (approx. 2 hours) parallels the Upper Coquitlam River as you stroll beneath a beautiful canopy of trees. The trailhead can be accessed from Karley Crescent (limited residential parking). Minimal incline with some small streams, roots, logs and stones to cross. The trail can be muddy in the off season, but it’s a lovely hike during the summer and it offers a great view of the falls (with a small pool to dip your feet).
Kanaka Creek Regional Park, Maple Ridge
Cliff Falls trail (approx. 1.5 hours) in Kanaka Creek Regional Park showcases the stunning beauty of our west coast forests. This partial-loop trail begins from the sports field gravel path, crosses a bridge to a large picnic area near the falls, and ends at the Bell-Irving Salmon Hatchery (info center open weekends 1-3 pm). During the summer, you can see the sandstone formations of the canyon and swim in the creek!
Shannon Falls, Squamish
Towering 335 meters above Hwy 99, Shannon Falls is the third highest waterfall in BC! With a concession, picnic area, and several hiking trails (including Stawamus Chief Provincial Park), this easy-access waterfall is worth the one-hour drive! Bonus: The falls are only a few minutes from the parking lot, leaving you lots of time to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola and cross the spectacular Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge!
Longer hikes with big rewards include Norvan Falls in North Vancouver’s Lynn Headwaters (approx. 5 hours) or Sawblade Falls in Coquitlam (approx. 3 hours). Got time for a drive? Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park in Chilliwack or Cascade Falls Regional Park in Mission are both remarkable. And we can’t forget Whistler and Pemberton have some awesome waterfalls too, particularly Brandywine Falls and Nairn Falls! Be safe and have fun!
Jeanine is a teacher, writer, and mom to two active and curious toddler boys. She has a passion for education and outdoor adventures. She loves to discover and share the best hidden parks, playgrounds, and beaches in Greater Vancouver. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her and her boys playing in the dirt or peeking under logs in the forest.