May 28

Your Summer Hiking Trail Guide for the Fraser Valley

Estimated Read Time: 6 min 24 sec

If you have yet to explore the Fraser Valley’s outstanding network of summer hiking paths, then this is your cue to hit the trail! The spring and summer months are the ideal times to venture out from your den and immerse yourself in the lush greenery our nature destinations offer. These park and backcountry routes will scratch any adventurous itch you’ve built up over winter, no matter your skill level. Before you set out into the treeline, though, be sure you’re well prepared to spend time safely and responsibly in nature. A quick list of essentials before you go: water, sunscreen, weather-appropriate clothing/footwear, and most importantly, only head out if you’ve told someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Finally, always remember to take the path MOST travelled, and leave NO trace!

Now that you’re ready for the outdoors, the only thing left is to decide which direction to go! These are a handful of our favourite hikes across the Fraser Valley.

Summer Hiking in Langley

1. Houston Trail in Derby Reach Regional Park

Open year-round and beautiful to visit anytime, Houston Trail is wonderful to explore, whether by foot, bike, or horseback. The peacefully scenic path offers wide gravel trails that weave through shaded areas and marshlands, so staying cool is easy even during the hotter months. Some sections have steeper inclines, so walking counterclockwise is generally recommended for a more comfortable experience. The whole circuit usually takes just under an hour, but always account for extra time admiring the views and taking in the wildlife.

2. Campbell Valley Regional Park

Another lovely year-round park, this accessible network of footpaths also includes campsites if you decide to extend your stay in nature. The park itself is interwoven with sprawling farmland, so you’re likely to see a few barnyard animals going about their day, making for a unique mix of rural and backwoods atmosphere. The trails and park are easy to navigate and feature minimal elevation, so it’s a great option for family outings or class field trips. There’s even an equestrian centre nearby where you can watch horses proudly trot around their enclosures!

Summer Hiking in Abbotsford

3. McKee Peak from Lower Sumas Mountain

There are several ways up to gorgeous McKee Peak, so this is one trail where it helps to know which direction you’re heading. Be sure your phone is fully charged so you know the turns to take at the numerous junctions you’ll encounter. With that said, the estimated 2:39 hike time is well worth it, as at the peak, you’ll get panoramic views stretching to the Fraser Valley’s far corners! It’s a moderately challenging climb that passes by interesting caves and rock formations that make for great photo breaks. There are a few spots where you’ll be walking through overgrown brush, so wearing pants or protective clothing is recommended for added comfort.

4. Discovery Trail – Fishtrap Creek Park Trail

An easier route with a longer run time, this 2:35 hike (on average) is a connected 12.4-kilometre loop. Popular for birding and mountain biking, this is another social option, but there are quieter parts of the day where you can always zen out on a bench. It’s considered an urban trail as some of the paths are paved, and you’ll cross a few streets along the way (in addition to passing through a pedestrian tunnel). Be sure to stop at the covered rest point on the water— perfect for a snack break while enjoying the scenic views!

Summer Hiking in Chilliwack

5. Cheam Lake Wetlands

This rich wetland habitat is home to countless wildlife species, and every step along the way offers opportunities to view them all! An accessible and low-impact route, this path is a leisurely option if you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon in nature. The boardwalk and viewing platforms will take you through quaint scenes worthy of a watercolour painting. The whole walk can be completed in about an hour, so it’s a great spot to remember if you ever need a quick, fresh-air reset. But heads up, bikes and dogs aren’t permitted.

6. Thaletal Trail

One of the newest trails in Chilliwack, you can finish this moderately challenging route in about 2 hours. Thaletel is a Halq’emeylem word meaning ‘always lots of moss,’ and you’ll see how fitting the name is as you walk through the lush greenery and towering trees. With a mild elevation level, this hike is ideal for anyone interested in levelling up their walks from a purely flat path. It’s a popular hike, so there’s also a nice social aspect to the experience, as you’ll no doubt encounter other friendly nature-seekers, including birders and mountain bikers. You’re welcome to bring your furry companions, but they must be on a leash!

Summer Hiking in Harrison River Valley

7. Bear Mountain

You’re now entering a bit tougher terrain! This trail climbs the entire way, so expect a bit of a grind throughout the estimated 5-hour completion time. If you decide to put in the work, you’ll be well rewarded with a spectacular view of both Harrison Lake and the Fraser River—the Insta-worthy selfie at the summit will last a lifetime.

8. Hicks Lake Trail

A waterside hike around Hicks Lake, this family-friendly loop is easy to navigate with well-marked trail signs. One of the perks of this trail is that about halfway through your walk, you can cool off with a dip in the lake at a charming little beach—perfect for a picnic. The whole route should take about an hour and a half, which is excellent for a day trip. And if the nearby watersports are enticing you to spend more time, there are onsite camping grounds so you can stay a little longer.

Fraser Valley Bird Trail 

For anyone taking even a casual interest in local wildlife, the Fraser Valley Bird Trail offers an unparalleled experience, as this area is one of the province’s richest birding regions! The path connects the waterside habitat between Harrison Lake, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and the Township of Langley. You’ll explore wetlands, marshes, lakes, and streams, meeting birds journeying along the Pacific Flyaway. You can expect to see everything from herons and owls to woodpeckers and even some bald eagles! With over 200 distinct species reported in the area, there’s no shortage of sites to marvel at.

Summer Hiking in Mission

9. Steelhead Falls

A quick 1km hike, this little route packs a lot into its brief length. You’ll pass bridges and waterways and finish standing in the mist of a gorgeous waterfall! This is an outstanding hike for families, as little feet can easily handle the terrain, and there’s plenty of natural beauty to admire along the way. Once you reach the top, you can make your way to a wooden viewing platform to get a spectacular look at the thundering water.

10. The 79 Grind Trail – Stave West

Considered a challenging hike, this route builds to a pretty steep incline, so be sure you know what you’re getting into! You’ll be climbing about 610 meters in elevation before you reach the top, with a total distance of 6.5km— so consider this your workout for the day. But if you’re up for it, the grind yields a fantastic view from the top of Rockwell Peak. You’ll immediately know why you put in the work, with a spellbinding view of Stave West and Devils Lake!

Summer Hiking in Hope, Cascades, & Canyons

11. Tikwalus Heritage Trail

Another challenging option, this 10.8-km loop takes an average of 5 hours to complete. The trail is a bit longer and fantastic for backpacking and camping. Why not spend as much time in the vibrant green as you can? The first half of the hike is a pretty steady climb, so your heart will definitely be going! But not to fear, it levels out a bit after that point. A unique feature of this entry is that you can learn all about the area’s history as you climb. Various boards along the route share all about the Nlaka’pamux First Nation and the Fraser Valley, giving a deeper appreciation of the experience.

12. HBC Trail from Peers Creek

Here’s one for you full-time adventurers! This beautiful 74 km long trail traverses the Cascade Mountains between Hope and Tulameen. It’s a serious outing that will take several days (typically between 5-8), so you should only consider partaking if you’re serious about the outdoors (and you have strong hiking boots)! 

The HBC trail has actually been closed since 2021 due to severe weather events, but after three years of path renewal by the Hope Mountain Centre trail team, it’s set to officially reopen on June 1! Visitors are welcome to join the opening ceremony from 9-10 am, where various guest speakers will mark the occasion, including their Trails Director Kelly Pearce, various fur trade and HBC Trail historians, and local First Nations representatives.

The terrain of the trail is rough and rugged and is best broken up into smaller sections as day hikes or overnights. With all that in perspective, this is a completely immersive nature experience that has the potential to change how you view your limits! Well regarded for a reason, it’s a lot of work, but you’ll never forget checking it off your to-do list!