Mount Seymour - First Pump Peak

May 4, 2008

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.

Snowshoeing Mount Seymour after the ski resort closing day gives you the chance to choose wherever route you feel more comfortable with. In our case we decided to ascend the Mystery Peak Chairlift.

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 retained overall ownership until 1984, when it privatized its operation as part of a cost cutting measure.

If you take the Mystery Peak route, you need to do a short descent on the left side, towards the route normally used by snowshoers and backcountry skiers during skiing season.

Top: Mystery Peak Chairlift
Middle Right: Mount Seymour - First Pump Peak

Bottom: Leaving Mystery Peak Chairlift

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.

Before starting the final ascent, feel free to have a break with the company of some feathered friends.

The Gray Jay is well-known for its bold, almost tame behavior around humans. In logging camps, at mountain resorts, and at backwoods cabins, the "Camp Robber" or "Whiskey Jack" will brazenly raid campsites or cabins, even taking food from human hands.

Perisoreus canadensis (grey jay)

Mount Seymour is a triple peak overlooking Greater Vancouver and Indian Arm. Although a well-marked trail runs along all three summits, many rescues have been performed on this mountain. The most common scenarios involve people slipping down snow-filled couloirs or getting lost during poor visibility.

Reaching First Pump Peak, one of Seymour's sub peaks

Mount Seymour is named in honour of Frederick Seymour, second governor of the Colony of British Columbia. Seymour made his last journey as governor to the Nass River, on the northwest coast of the province, to mediate a dispute between First Nations tribes. While returning, he became ill with dysentery and died at Bella Coola.

Top: Mount Seymour - Second Pump Peak
Middle: Fraser Valley covered by clouds
Bottom: Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park and Vancouver Island

Burrard Inlet has been home to the Indigenous peoples of the Skwxwúmesh and Tsleil-waututh, who have resided in this territory for thousands of years.

Bottom: Indian Arm

In 1791, the first European explorers in the region, Juan Carrasco and José María Narváez, sailing under orders of Francisco de Eliza, entered the western part of the inlet in their ship, the Santa Saturnina. They failed to find the Fraser River, mistaking the lowland of the river's delta as a major inlet of the sea, which they named Canal de Floridablanca.

Top Left: Eagle Ridge
Top Right: Port Moody
Bottom Right: Burrard Inlet, Stanley Park and Vancouver Island
Bottom Left: Mount Seymour Ski Hill Base

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1. N 49.3672 W 122.9492 Elev: 969m Parking Lot and Trailhead
2. N 49.3847 W 122.9411 Elev: 1298m Rest area
3. N 49.3872 W 122.9411 Elev: 1403m First Pump Peak

Roundtrip length: 5.4 km (3.35 miles)
Time: 3.0 hours
Elevation gain: 434 m (1423 ft)

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

Driving distance from Vancouver: 30.5 km / 18.95 mi

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