Pacific Spirit Park, Vancouver

Forest running with ocean views

Trail / Hike

Beginner-friendly

Half day

Craving forested trails with a dash of coastal air? The run-friendly trails in Pacific Spirit Park give you lots of classic circuits close to the city. The park has mostly gentle trails with some steep ravines and hillsides dropping to surrounding beaches that are great for a barefoot break. And there’s no better place to catch the sunset.

Pacific Spirit Park, Vancouver

Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Trails to explore

73km+

Beaches nearby

5

Trailheads

At least 30

Planning your run

Tips for finding your way around the park

Get the guidebook

Vancouver Trail Running is the definitive guidebook for local trails. It details 44 trail running circuits around Vancouver, including four routes in Pacific Spirit designed to help you tour the park. With full-colour contour maps, GPS coordinates for the best trailheads, detailed route descriptions and icons to help describe each run, this guide is an excellent tool for runners keen to explore the park.

One thing that makes Pacific Spirit a great place for running is just how close it is to the city – but it feels much more remote. It’s also transit accessible, and if you take the bus over you have the option of ending in a different place than when you started.

Get out and explore

In Pacific Spirit, you can combine several trails into one circuit. With so many to choose from, coming up with a good loop can be a little tricky. For a shaded forest rip with fabulous views and beach access, try the Admiralty, East and West canyon trails out by Spanish Banks. For a fast, fun, sub-10K rip on easy-to-follow paths, give the Iva Mann Loop a go. Once you master a few short circuits, you’ll be exploring with your run buddy in no time. Bring a map to plan your route and keep yourself oriented.

Choose the right gear

Pacific Spirit offers a proper trail running experience without being in the mountains. You can practice your uphill and downhill running on the steep trails that rise up from the Spanish Bank beach side, or choose some mellow boardwalks that weave through the neat Camosun Bog.

Road running shoes will be fine for many of the trails, but you may want to consider some trail running shoes if you find you’re liking the forest. Of course, clothing that wicks away moisture is key, and since this is Vancouver you should check the forecast and be prepared for rain.

Trail etiquette 101

On multi-use trails, be courteous and friendly to other users. Other runners, dog walkers, bikers and even people riding horses use these trails. Rule of thumb for runners? Yield to walkers and horses, and listen for mountain bikers. Always remember to stay on the main trail, as cutting switchbacks creates erosion and creates unwanted braiding. Respect all posted closures and be sure to pack out your gel packets.

Want more trails?

If you’d like to meet other Vancouver trail runners and get to know more routes in the region, check out the free MEC run crews. Some of the trail run crew locations include Pacific Spirit, while other take place on the North Shore trails. The race series is another way to check out new trail running routes, since they’re well-marked and come with the bonus of aid stations (along with free bananas at the finish line). Pacific Spirit Park is just one of the places these trail races happen.

Essential gear

Get prepped to explore local Vancouver trails.

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