If you’re going to be spending even a little time on the Sunshine Coast, I highly recommend checking out Soames Hill. Jutting out just on the border of Gibsons, it offers fantastic views you wouldn’t expect for being such a short little hike.
The stairs are pretty killer, but the best thing about them is that they’re near the beginning so everything after is easy.
There are two viewpoints, one directly after the stairs and another at the very top. Don’t skip the first viewpoint, which is nothing to sniff at.
The entire hill is full of my favourite tree, the arbutus (or Arbutus menziesii, sometimes known as madrone). It’s Canada’s only native broadleaf evergreen.
There’s a short scramble near the top. It can be a bit slippery if it’s been raining, but overall it’s not treacherous.
The entire hike takes about 45 minutes. One of the great things about a short hike like this is that you can head up to enjoy the start of a sunset and still make it back before dark.
If you need more convincing, here’s another shot of the sunset with a view of Keats Island and one of the smaller islands behind that.
Soames is perfect to hike year-round, and it’s especially good if you can’t dedicate a huge amount of time to hiking but still want to see some great scenery.