quarry rock family hike

Location: Deep Cove, Vancouver, BC. From Vancouver take the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 W. Take MT Seymour Pkwy W to Deep Cove Road which is in North Vancouver. Take a left on Deep Cove road until you reach deep cove. Turn left of Panarama Drive. The Trail is located on Panarama Drive. When looking at the ocean in Deep cove walk to your left along Panarama Drive. Keep walking along the sidewalk beside the houses until you reach a sign on the left side of the street. This is located just beyond the park. You then walk up a driveway to some stairs that start the hike of the Baden Powell Trail.

Distance & Elevation Gain: 3.8 km round trip, 100 m

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Difficulty: Easy-Moderate, moderate due to climb up at the beginning. This would be a difficult hike for a toddler but I know a 3 year old who completed the hike.

Child Carrier Accessible: Backpack carrier

Facilities: Flush toilets with change table, picnic tables on grass in front of the ocean, restaurants and convenience store within walking distance.

Extra Tip: A must is hitting up Honey’s Doughnuts. On a busy day order your doughnuts before the hike for pick up when you are done or you might just miss out! This only happened to us once.

Trail Description: The trail is open year round. It rarely has snow or ice on the trail but can be wet and muddy in the winter months. The trail starts up a steep incline for about  20 minutes. After 20 minutes it is a steady up and down as you traverse bridges and hike through the dense BC forest. After about 45 minutes of hiking you will come to a fork in the hike. Veer to the left and you will come out onto a huge rock which is the end of the hike and Quarry Rock. We have stopped here many times to have lunch on the big rock enjoying sunny days. There is an amazing view of Deep Cove and the beginning of the Indian Arm. When you are done enjoying the view hike back on the same trail to get back down.

Note: There is a cliff so take care if you have a wandering toddler.

Our Adventure: 

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This has to be one of my favourite hikes with a baby post-partum in Vancouver. Quarry Rock in Deep Cove Vancouver is the perfect hike for parents with new babies and for young children to do on their own. We know of a tough 3 year old who did the hike!! Even better is that at the end of your hike you can get homemade delicious doughnuts at Honeys Doughnuts right in Deep Cove. I also love that the hike has some incline and that I get a good leg work out without being too difficult. The view at the end is spectacular for being so short hike and the facilities make for easy diaper changes.

We have done this hike many times… both with kids and without. Sometimes we do the hike quickly so that our baby has slept the whole time and other times we have enjoyed a nice lunch at the lookout. The first time the 1-2 hour hike turned into a full day affair. As our daughters have gotten older, hiking has become more efficient and easy going. In fact, recently we went with both our daughters and completed the hike similarly to how we would have hiked before they were born.

Here is a contrast of what hiking was like before we had any kids vs. what it was like hiking the first time we went with a 6 week old. Read on for a good laugh.

Getting Ready for Hiking

Before kids:
Getting ready for the hike before having kids took roughly 20 minutes. Wake up, change, brush teeth, put on runners, pack some snacks, pack water and off we went! We left at about 10 am because we of course would sleep in till 940 am.

With  a newborn:
Since sleeping was no longer an option we had planned to leave shortly after our 6 week old woke up….. around 7:30 am. Our goal was to leave by 8:30 am. At 10 am we finally were out the door after breastfeeding (which for my first born took a good 30-45 minutes), changing, taking turns eating breakfast, packing food and water, changing another diaper, putting on sneakers, breastfeeding again (I was having to breastfeed her every 2-3 hours at this point), keep breastfeeding …… as it took 30-45 minutes. Finally another needed diaper change and we were off!
…….Then we turned back around because we forgot some much needed diapers and our 8:30 departure turned into a 10:00 am departure. Off we go again!!!

Start the Hike

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Deep Cove is a beautiful area. The hike starts between houses as you ascend stairs into the rain forest. The amazing thing as well about this hike is that if you have forgotten anything you can literally buy it ~200 metres from the trail head.

Before kids
This would take roughly 5 minutes unless we needed to use the bathroom. We would put on our packs, take a sip of water and off we would go!

With a newborn
This ended up taking us 1 1/2 hours!!!! We did not start the hike until 1pm!!
Two things delayed us:
1. An explosion
– By the time we got to Deep Cove it was 10:30 am. This is what happened: My husband went to go get a snack at a nearby shop. As I pulled our daughter out of the car seat my worst fears came to be……

Poop everywhere!!!

All over the car seat and her clothes. Our daughter was crying as I was trying to hold her away from me while trying to wipe her down. All I was thinking is that she at least had a change of clothes and I did not! After a good 30 minutes of damage control, poopy clothes and diapers sprawled on the parking lot pavement. My husband finally returns with snacks with a big smile. Somehow he managed to avoid the whole disaster.

2. Breastfeeding
– Nobody told me that a newborn baby would need to eat so often and that it would take such a long time. Another 45 minutes past as I was sitting in the car breastfeeding my daughter passing the time listening to some Van Morrison. I continuously tried to keep her awake so that it did not turn into a sleep session as well so that we could get on with the hike.

The Hike
Quarry Rock is a really nice hike. The first 10 minutes are  steep and then it levels off going up and down, across bridges until you get to the look out, Quarry Rock. It is an easy short hike.

Before kids
This took us roughly 11/2 to 2 hours depending on how long you want to hang out on the rock. If you choose to run the trail instead it is considerable shorter.

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With a newborn
This surprisingly also took us 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When we got to the view point we took a few quick photos and off we headed down. I did not want to stop and breastfeed my daughter in the brisk air for 30 to 45 minutes, then have to change her and then head down. Since she was still asleep we decided to book it down back to the car.

Post Hike

Before kids
Normally we would head out for a nice cold brew and nachos after the hike. This was usually with friends who also did the hike with us.

With a newborn
By the time we finished the hike it was 3 pm. We got lunch at Honey’s Doughnuts while I breastfed our daughter. I had never been so exhausted after an easy hike. Hiking along with breastfeeding took it out of me more than I could have ever thought. Our daughter and I both slept during the car ride home.

One last note:  Recently we have done the hike many more times. We even have done it with our toddler and our new daughter and in a similar amount we would have done the hike pre-kids. It does get easier!!!

By Annika
By Annika

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