Deep Cove is a small inlet in the Indian Arm of the Burrard Inlet. Despite being only 30 minutes out of Vancouver, it has a small-town, beachy feel. Throngs of tourists visit on hot summer weekends, but there are a few ways to enjoy it despite the crowds.

The Quarry Rock is an easy grade 1.5 hour hike. The trail begins from the north side of the cove. It then winds up behind some houses and into the forest. The track meanders up and down through the trees until you reach the rock. The views are spectacular. The track does continue past the rock, but there isn’t much to see (although we did come across some wild goats only a few minutes past the viewpoint).

Deep Cove is a great place to soak up some rays, but it is best explored by kayak. Kayaks can be hired from a local store on the waterfront. You will need to book early and be willing to pay a small fortune if you want a day trip. Despite having to part with an arm and a leg, it is worth it. The water is still, clear, and kayaking is a great way to get some exercise and escape the city life.

Depending on your fitness, you can kayak to Jug Island and have a look around. For this trip you would only need the 2 hour hire ($39 for a single kayak, $59 for a double). For a longer full-day trip you can visit several of the islands in the Indian Arm and also head down to see Granite Falls ($85 for a single, $109 for a double). The journey to the falls is much more interesting than the destination (who hasn’t seen a waterfall before?). You kayak past a power station feeding from Buntzen Lake and past a variety of wildlife.

If you are more adventurous you can camp on the north island of Twin Islands for the night, but the kayak rental becomes more expensive. Most of the beaches along the water edge of Indian Arm are either privately owned or inaccessible, so there aren’t many beaches to stop. You may need to eat your lunch from your kayak.

As you have spent all your money on your kayak rental, you probably have to take the bus home. Conveniently, bus number 212 will take you to/from Deep Cove and Phibbs Exchange in North Vancouver.