Peace of Mind

Intelligent Deterrence

Car-Free Seymour Mountain

Heard across a street. Highly intelligent. A bike alarm like no other! $210 CAD. Direct from manufacturer: $120 CAD.

This is not a how-to; rather, it is a record of my own practices–often unsuitable for most people.

Some notes on accessing Seymour Mountain, on the north shore of Vancouver, without owning a car. It is, overall, the easiest to access of the three main, north shore mountains; Grouse is easier, but you can’t quite ride to the top.


Depending upon your starting position, there are various busses which go to near the base of Mount Seymour. As of 2021, bus 211 is the one which goes to Park Gate Shopping Centre, which should be where you’ll get off. There is also a community shuttle (215?), whose number seems to have changed recently. The latter may be one’s only option after about 4:30 pm, on the weekends.

The 211 either starts from downtown, or may be to/from the bus loop at Phibbs Exchange, depending upon the day/time.

I’d expect that there are busses going east/west along the North Shore as well, though 211, or the shuttle, will be for your final leg. provides details.

Be aware that, in the evenings (eg after 4:30 pm), returning from Park Gate may necessitate waits of over half an hour, for a bus. Head out early, so you finish before/by late afternoon.

The bus option takes a long, long time. If you’re lucky, catching a direct 211 would be the best option. If you have to transfer, the trip will take long– the more transfers, the longer it will take. This particularly affects me during the return trip: up to 3 transfers to South Vancouver, taking 2+ hours in the cattle cars that Translink busses often become.


This option depends upon your origin. I’ve not lived on the north shore, so I’ve rarely biked east-west. There is a lot of car traffic, and the routes are long.

Mainly, I’ve biked from downtown, and South Vancouver, to Seymour. To avoid riding in North Vancouver, the Second Narrows bridge (aka Ironworkers’) is best, especially now that its bike paths are opened and proper.

To get to the bridge, the best option is Adanac. It does get hilly as you approach the bridge, but it ain’t gonna get better once you reach Seymour anyway! 😉

There is a bit of spaghetti-junction navigating on the north end of the bridge. But, once you eventually, somehow, find your way to Seymour Parkway, there is a proper bike-path, and often other cyclists. The route is popular with roadies as they do their hill-work on Seymour.

By the time you approach Park Gate, you’d be good and warmed-up for the climb! There are food and drinks at the shopping centre, though that may be a bit too late for food unless if you want to buy to pig-out at the top, or need liquids.

This is also the base for entering the downhill area of Seymour (see, so the cafes are frequented by single-track riders and their trucks, especially in non-winter seasons.

Single-Track Mountain Bike

Coming from downtown, I put the bike on the rack of the 210 or 211 busses. With the 210, I’ll have to transfer to 211, or to the 215 shuttle, at Phibbs Exchange. If it is the time of day at which there may be a direct 211 bus from downtown to Park Gate, then I’ll just take that.

The stop for Park Gate is Roach (lane, court or something), at Mount Seymour Parkway. You’ll have to go along Mount Seymour Road, towards the mountain, till Anne MacDonald Way, at which you turn left. Pretty much at the corner is the parking lot that is a main entrance to the trail network. Old Buck trail is one climb option, though you ought to be checking for your pick.

Climb to Seymour (Bike)

Of the three main climbs on the north shore (Seymour, Fromme/Grouse, and Cypress), I prefer Seymour: I like the ride towards it, and the climb itself is more shaded, often has less traffic, and I’ve gotten to like its gradient profile as well. The view at the top is often nice, and there might even be a cafe open–depending upon the season.

The Seymour ski/snowboarding resort is at the top. It gets quite popular, but the area attracts a lot of hikers in other seasons as well.

You’d definitely want a road bike for the climb, though that does not stop the few brave souls who ride their Enduro/DH MTBs to the top, for single-track runs such as CBC. Others simply shuttle using trucks etc.

The descent is basically a 20-minute coasting in a wind tunnel. I’ve even seen downhill skaters there. It’s often a quiet road, so it attracts…unpleasant surprises, occasionally. Do beware!

Climb to Seymour (Hike)

I’ve had a lot of fun with this. For me, the hiking route from the base to the top (well, to the ski resort, after which there’ll be the hike to the peaks) starts on the Old Buck trail. For many, this’ll be a very long hike, as it slowly climbs the mountain (elevation gain of under 900 meters), with a few sections as it crosses the asphalt road to the top. Each section has its own look to me.

In addition to hiking, or trail-running, I use this for hike+ski (carrying skis to the top, then skiing down any available slopes, or through the trees) or hike+snowboard (carrying a snowboard, for the same). This gets quite tricky, not just for the extra bulk and weight, but for the route itself. It all depends on the snow-line and the snow-pack. Up to 13 meters of snow can fall on top of Seymour; so, as you approach higher elevations, and especially in early Spring when the snow-pack has reached its maximum, crossings become an adventure. Ground-level creeks, at lower elevations, may be flooded with water. At higher elevations, a creek may be two meters below the trail, with a flimsy snow-bridge atop which you’ll have to climb down towards, somehow carefully cross, then climb out of towards the trail. If you’re carrying skis, well, it’d be even more of an adventure! 😉

As well, depending on the temperature, there may well be rain at lower elevations, and snow above the snow-line. I carry a hiking umbrella for the former.

The descent is a long hike, demanding good knees, especially if you’re carrying gear. If you’re skiing, do note that it’s not proper tree-skiing! The tree density is too high, and it is, well, a hiking trail. Unless if you’re interested in the adventure, or the learning opportunity, I would not recommend it to even people used to hike+ski. Needless to say, don’t try to snowboard down through the trees!

The Seymour Peaks

Once you reach the ski resort, there are parking lots for the people who drove up. In winters, most go to the downhill area; many go for snowshoeing in side-country. Access to the latter is easy and free, year-round. People often hike to First Peak/Pump, then to Second and Third Peak. There is some ‘back-country’ ski/boarding opportunity here, though I’ve mainly practised beginner mountaineering. It’s a small, densely-packed area, not suitable for sweeping lines. And it’s very rolling terrain! really, it’s just the hiking trail that people sort-of use to ski on; primarily, it’s for hiking and, so, snowshoeing!

Seymour’s peaks are a nice, but tricky area: Lots of small peaks and troughs, with low-lying clouds frequently rolling through, making it very easy to get lost in. Very easy!! The main snowshoeing area before the peaks, e.g. Dog Mountain, may be more pleasant for some.

Mount Seymour Ski/Snowboarding

In winters, the ski resort operates a shuttle to the top. For a very reasonable fee, you can take this from Park Gate to the top, and back. At particular times, the shuttle operates from Rupert SkyTrain station as well, which saves a large chunk of time: You don’t have to deal with the 210/211 busses, or Phibbs Exchange; it takes you over the bridge, directly to the resort. Keep in mind that the cause for the bus option taking long is all the transfers; the Rupert shuttle avoids all that.

You can purchase daily tickets, but there is also a season’s pass. I don’t recall if you can purchase the shuttle pass without a downhill pass; check

An old trip report, on a hike to above the snow-line, on Seymour Mountain.

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