Lynn Canyon Park is probably the most extraordinarily beautiful, most accessible spot in the Greater Vancouver, if not the entire Lower Mainland. But it’s also relatively small and on summer week-ends, the crowd tends to get overwhelming. With Twin Falls downstream, the Suspension Bridge in the middle and 30 Ft. Pool upstream, all within a 20 minute walk, options are a bit limited and one must be willing to share the creek’s stunning emerald water with many others…

Surprisingly, the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park just above doesn’t seem to act as the overflow it should be. Much, much larger than Lynn Canyon, Headwaters stretches into the mountains for 10 to 20 km and offers serious hiking possibilities. The entrances to the two parks are located minutes from each other; they both share Lynn Creek as a center attraction, a guideline flowing down from the Coast Mountains into Burrard Inlet.  The major difference, apart from size, is the nature of the valley itself. Lynn Canyon, as the name implies, is a deep and narrow chasm, yielding many impressive waterfalls and stunning pools. Up by Headwaters, on the other hand, the river bed widens and the creek runs through the valley in the open, on a bed of large boulders and pebbles, its water still crystal-clear and singing softly as it flows past deep temperate rainforest on its shores.

While not as eventful as it would have been in the canyon, my walk up the Headwaters trails this Sunday soon put a comfortable distance between the mob and me and since the river was just nearby, it was easy to find spots to go play in the water with barely anybody around. A short hour walk (and we’re talking about photographic hours, here, which include some walking and a lot of shooting) from the parking lot, I came upon a very nice pool by a large boulder, begging me to dip in; but a few rain drops were falling and since it was already 5 or 6 pm, I headed back. There must remain many surprises further up. I will have to investigate with more time ahead of me.

The large color topo map at the park entrance also revealed  what could be a very nice and challenging trail run, from the Grouse Mountain Chalet, across to Crown Mountain, down to Norvan Falls and then all the way back to the Headwaters parking lot. 14 km in total, which I would do downhill the first time. I’ll need a cool week-end and to figure out what to do with my North Face Ultra 103, the crappiest trail running shoes I have ever bought, probably from choosing a size too big. Live and learn.