The trail climbs through a number of different types of terrain. To start, the Baden Powell Trail
passes through the British Properties climbing quickly behind the houses. The lower forest section is rugged terrain, lots of roots and water crossings. Once you reach Hollyburn Lodge, the trail becomes more open and alpine. The views from the top of Hollyburn are quite spectacular.
The downhill run is quite technical and a bit of a burn on the legs. If you don't want to do a long descent, leave a second vehicle in the Cypress Bowl Parking Lots.
The trail described here starts at the Cleveland Dam where there is plenty of parking. For the first four kilometres or so follow the Baden Powell Trail
signs as the trail climbs through the British Properties, crossing roads and following the power line right of way between houses. There are three sets of steps through the residential area followed by street crossings, at the top of these climbs you enter Lower Hollyburn. At points, the trail signs will alternate between TCT (Trans Canada Trail) and BP (Baden Powell) at this point both are the same.
After you hit the tree line, the trail proceeds for another two kilometres. You'll cross two Fire Roads, at both continue to go uphill, and reenter the forest on the Baden Powell Trail
West Vancouver. At about the four kilometre mark you'll see a turnoff for the Brothers Creek Trail
. While you can continue up Baden-Powell, this trail is a worthwhile trip as it takes an alternate climbing route and is more scenic.
Climb the Brothers Creek Trail
for about 2 kilometres, and right before the bridge take the left turn up the Blue Gentian Lake Trail. This trail will take you across a few creeks and around Blue Gentian Lake before returning you to the Baden Powell Trail
. Climb the Baden Powell trail passing through a few clearings and you'll find yourself at the lower reaches of the cross country skiing area. Follow the Baden Powell trail past Hollyburn Lodge and the Cross Country Ski Chalet into the alpine area.
About two kilometres further along the trail, the Hollyburn Peak Trail
branches off to the right. The trail is a climb, at times steep, for 2 kilometres up to the peak. Enjoy the views, and then return to your car by following the Baden Powell Trail
West Vancouver for the full descent.
In total, this run is about 3850' or 1300 metres of elevation gain. If you don't want to complete the descent, either take Baden Powell trail west from the Hollyburn Peak turnoff to reach the downhill skiing lot, or return to Hollyburn Lodge and follow the signs from there to return to the Cross Country skiing parking lot.
As you climb through the forests on Hollyburn keep an eye out for the cabins in the trees. These cabins are privately owned (there are about 100 remaining) and were the original ski cabins in the area built by Vancouver families in the 1930s. The cabins are very rustic, with no power, running water or sanitation, but are used quite extensively in all seasons.