Mount Seymour - Second Pump Peak

November 25, 2007

The season for this hike is usually July to October but with the right equipment it is possible to hike in November. The easy access make Mount Seymour one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Lower Mainland, for that reason, expect lots of company on the trail.

To reach the trailhead, take the Mount Seymour exit off the Upper Level Highway (the third exit on the North Vancouver side of the Second Narrows bridge) and bear right to turn onto the Mount Seymour Parkway. At Mount Seymour Road, turn left and follow it to the very top.

A BC Parks sign at the northwest corner of the parking lot is the starting point.

Trailhead and Mount Seymour First Peak

At the trail junction, go straight to take the narrowish trail that runs to the left of the chairlift. For about 40 minutes, the trail runs through subalpine meadows dotted with pondlets, alpine fir and wildflowers.

Early hikers used to start at sea level to climb Seymour. The first ascent of Seymour wasn't made until 1908 when members of the BC Mountaineering Club reached its 1455-metre summit.

Sugar Bowl Pond

From Sugar Bowl Pond the trail clambers up a steepish section to reach the first real viewpoint of the hike at Brockton Point. From this point there is a side-trail leading to the summit of first Peak (also known as Pump Peak) but I recommend to follow the main trail.

In 1929, the Alpine Club of Canada made the first ski trip of the area and became involved in seeing Seymour preserved as parkland.

The trail crosses a couple of small creeks as it twists and turns. Be sure to follow the bright orange diamonds to stay on track. Soon, you will come to a junction, go left otherwise you will end on Elsay Lake. The trail clambers into a rocky pass with views of first Peak dead ahead.

This park is home to a variety of wildlife including coyotes, deer, black bears, bobcats and cougars.  Birdlife consists of ravens, Canadian jays, Steller’s jays (the official bird of B.C.), chickadees, kinglets, sapsuckers, grouse and siskins.  During the fall, several species of hawk migrate to the area.

Junction, left for First Peak, right for Second Peak

From the junction, there is a 10 to 15 minutes scramble to the Second Peak. From there you can have views to the east of the greeny-blue waters of Indian Arm and the forest slopes of Eagle Ridge.

Third Peak (Top) - Indian Arm on the east (Bottom)

Personally I think you have better views from the First Peak but I did Second Peak just for the sake of exercise. As many other hikers lazy to reach the Third Peak I start my return with a quick stop on the First Peak.

First Peak

The mountain, as wll as the river, an inlet, a lake arm and a city are all named after Frederick Seymour, who was the governor of BC from 1864 to 1869. His term of office came to an ignominious end when he died to acute alcoholism aboard HMS Sparrowhawk.

Mount Seymour has three weather stations: one at the bottom of the Mystery Peak Chairlift, one near tower 9 of the Mystery Peak Chairlift, and one just below Brockton Point which is the top lift station of the Brockton Chairlift. Except for the unusually warm winter of 2004-2005, there is usually a snow depth of 500 cm or more at the Brockton weather station.

Third Peak (Top) - Indian Arm on the east (Bottom)

The mountain opened for skiing in 1937 under the ownership of Harold Enquist, with a cafeteria and ski rental. A few years later, in 1949, the Government of British Columbia bought the ski area. The Government did not have the experience to run a ski area, so, they issued Mr. Enquist the first Park Use Permit to operate the area.

When the permit expired in 1951, the government found a concessionaire, who was put in charge of running the lifts, ski school and cafeteria. The government retained overall ownership until 1984, when it privatized its operation as part of a cost cutting measure.

Resort one week before the start of the season

Download Video of the Hike - 0:32 minutes
Windows - WMV File - 1.48 MB

1. N 49.3671 W 122.9488 Elev: 1014m Trailhead
2. N 49.3904 W 122.9436 Elev: 1428m Second Peak

Roundtrip length: 7.47 km (4.66 miles)
Time: 3 hours
Elevation gain: 414 m (1358 ft)

Download route in GTM format available for free at
Download route in plain text

Driving distance from Vancouver: 29 kilometers / 18 miles (0.75 hours)

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