For my most recent hiking adventure, we decided to keep it local and hike the Sendero Diez Vistas trail, which begins on the Buntzen Lake trail. This 15 km hike, which reaches an elevation of 460 ft., passes through 10 viewpoints (hence "diez vistas") that overlook the gorgeous Buntzen Lake area and Indian Arm. I also enjoy visiting Buntzen Lake as it's a beautiful area that has been so constantly filmed in movies and TV shows-- for instance, The X Files and the laughable Lake Placid both shot some scenes at that particular lake. Yep, I'm a huge movie and TV nerd.
On a gorgeous Friday morning, my dear friend Eva and I drove to the Buntzen Lake parking lot, meandered our way to the Diez Vistas trailhead, and began our five-hour-long conversation that pretty much went non-stop for the entire hike. While I'm not sure if this holds true for everyone, we found that we could continue talking even through the steeper areas (then again, we both regularly engage in cardio like running and spin class). The scenic woods were lovely as they shaded us from the hot sun and provided some peaceful eye candy.
While the woods were lovely, we were a little disappointed that there wasn't a real summit on which we could sit and eat our lunch. We discovered that the third viewpoint was the most open and scenic of the ten views (according to fellow hikers and the Vancouver Trails website); therefore, due to time restraints, we only ended up hiking the first five and a half viewpoints before turning back (which made our hike time a total of five hours).
I also recommend bringing insect repellent on this hike as the viewpoints also feature lovely hordes of black flies intent on biting as much of you as possible.