Vancouver, BC

Includes West Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver. See Also our Guide to Squamish

Lukasz Lawreszuk

Vancouver is one of world’s top running cities. This west coast seaport has a spectacular geographic setting on the Pacific Ocean, with a Hong Kong-esque downtown featuring huge skyscrapers, surrounded by ocean and mountains. Our guide to running in Vancouver takes full advantage of the large network of scenic parks and waterfront trails. This includes the downtown/central area and the cities of Richmond, Burnaby, and Surrey that are part of the 21 municipalities comprising Metro Vancouver.

In central Vancouver, the iconic runs are in the 1,000-acre Stanley Park, the 17-mile Seawall (the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path), and around False Creek. Head west to enjoy the posh Point Grey neighborhood, the spectacular UBC campus, and trail running in the Pacific Spirit Park. Run over the Lion’s Great Bridge to enjoy some scenic running in North Vancouver on the Capilano Beach Trail. In southern Vancouver/Richmond, there are scenic waterfront runs at Iona Beach Park and dyke trails in Steveston. In the eastern suburb of Burnaby, there’s nice running around Burnaby Lake & Central Park, and trails on the campus of Simon Fraser University. Further east in Surrey, there’s good trail running in Tynehead & Surrey Bend parks, a loop around Branson Island and waterfront trails along Boundary Bay, Crescent Beach & White Rock Beach.

Runners should note that Vancouver’s weather is damp and chilly in winter (like Seattle), though summers are wonderfully mild and sunny. For transport, there’s a good bus system and an expanding light rail system, including sky train.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Vancouver, BC

Stanley Park

At more than 1, 000 acres and surrounded by the waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay,... more...

The Seawall

The 17-mile Seawall is the world 's longest uninterrupted waterfront path. Highlights include the Stanley Park loop,... more...

See All Routes
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

The good news about Vancouver’s weather is that it is mild — especially compared to other Canadian cities. Temps rarely fall much below freezing in winter, and there is little snow. However, it’s cloudy and wet, averaging 20 days with measurable rainfall and 17% average sunshine in winter — similar to Seattle. So pack wet weather gear, and plan for runs away from the water on really stormy days.vancouver-climograph

Vancouver is quite compact. There are lots of hotels right downtown, most within 1–2 miles of Stanley Park, the Seawall, and the trails around False Creek and over the Burrard St. Bridge. There’s also a cluster of hotels near the airport, which is fairly close to the city. There is good access from hotels just east of the airport to trails along the Fraser River, starting at Cambie Rd. North 2nd Rd. and paralleling River Rd. Our maps below are a general Vancouver view and a more detailed downtown area/lower mainland/UBC view.
gr van staygr vancouver image 2

There are lots of running stores in Vancouver, which speaks to the city’s recreational culture and great running options. Running Room is a national chain in Canada with several locations in Vancouver. There are many group run opportunities each week. Group Run Calendar.

The Running Room. Right near Stanley Park. Group Runs Wed.: 6:00 p.m. & Sun.: 8:30 a.m.
New Balance. Heart of downtown. Great advice on running technique, apparel.
Lululemon Lab. Vancouver is the HQ location of this well-known yoga & running apparel chain. This store is their lab location, with a focus on new designs and concepts are

Kitsilano/UBC Area
Forerunners. Great local shop. Group Runs Wednesday 6:30 and Saturday 8am, $5 but lots of resources.
Distance Runwear. Great store. Also location in North Vancouver.
Running Room. Group Runs Wed. 6:00 p.m. & Sun.: 8:30 a.m.
Vanvouver Running Company. Near Kitsilano Beach. Group Runs Thursday 6:15 pm. Also special group runs and training. More info.

North Vancouver
Forerunners. Great local shop. Group Runs Wednesday 6:30 and Saturday 8am
Running Room. Group Runs Wed.: 6:00 p.m. & Sun.: 8:30 a.m
Distance Runwear. Great local running store. Thanks to Dave for his help!

East Vancouver (Burnaby)
Running Room. Group Runs Wed.: 6:00 p.m. & Sun.: 8:30 a.m.

Meetup Groups

BMO Vancouver Marathon. May. Marathon and other distances. A major event.

Vancouver Sun Run. April. Popular 10k, attracts 40,000 runners.

ScotiaBank Half Marathon & 5k. June. Great course, mainly along the water.

Seawheeze Half Marathon. August. “It’s over 10,000 Agents of Change descending on Vancouver to sweat it out over a summer weekend of yoga, running, and, of course, one hell of an awesome party”. Affiliated with Lululemon.

East Side 10k. September. Popular 10k in the eastern part of the city, a good ‘architectural’ tour. Part of the Canada Running Series

WestVanRun. March. Various length options.

Good Vancouver running calendar