SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE FEATURED ARTICLE:

Top Four Vancouver, B.C. Snowshoeing Outings for Every Level of Ability

Often described as a premier playground destination for the outdoor enthusiast, the picturesque backdrop of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia lies less than a half-hour drive from the North Shore Mountains and the tony neighborhoods of West Vancouver. Known for its mild temperatures across Canada, Vancouver is a year-round haven for golfers and runners and, from November to April, is also ideal for those who enjoy winter sports such as snowshoeing.

At sea level, it’s easy to forget how close we are to a winter wonderland of snowcapped mountains which beckon to make it a day outing. Snowshoeing is an exhilarating experience enjoyed solo or with family and friends.  Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, here are four top places to go snowshoeing near the Vancouver area:

group snowshoeing in Grouse Mountain, BC - near Vancouver

Have fun snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain. Photo courtesy Grouse Mountain.


Whistler

About a two-hour drive from Vancouver, you’ll find Whistler, British Columbia. Here, the snowshoe enthusiast can enjoy a day trip or stay overnight and make it a mini-vacation.

Ski Callaghan 

Ski Callaghan provides access to Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures, two adjacent snowshoeing areas in Whistler. Purchase a daily pass for access to the combined trail network of over 120 km (75 mi) of trails in Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country.

At Whistler Olympic Park, explore over 30 km (18.6 mi) of trails on your own or book a two-hour tour via phone or email. Take in breathtaking viewpoints while you snowshoe and enjoy the photo opportunities of gorgeous Olympic monuments. An optional shuttle or biathlon experience can also be added to the tour.

Alternatively, snowshoe the wild backcountry at Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures or explore over 35 km of marked trails, ranging from easy to advanced, at Ski Callaghan. You can snowshoe a variety of landscapes, from a waterfall base to an Olympic ski jump to forests full of cedar trees.

For our furry friends, Whistler Olympic Park, Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures, and Ski Callaghan all offer dog-friendly trails as well.

Lost Lake Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe Trails

Joanne Clark, a coordinator with travel media in Whistler shares her recommendations. She says, “There is The Lost Lake Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Trails, which have more than 30km (18.6 mi) of ski trails and more than 10km (6.2 mi) of dedicated snowshoe trails. Beautiful, marked snowshoe trails wind through the forest of Lost Lake Park, accessing scenic viewpoints along the way. Visit the cozy log warming hut perched on the shores of Lost Lake.” These snowshoe trails are located near Lost Lake PassivHaus, which is a short walk from Whistler Village and the trails are suitable for all levels of abilities.

Whistler, BC- snowshoeing near Vancouver

The gorgeous mountains of Whistler, BC. Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

Guided Tours Near Whistler

For those interested in seeing the landscape with a guide, there are snowshoeing tours and self-guided walks that can be arranged, and all levels are welcomed. Clark notes that, “…Both the Adventure Group and Canadian Wilderness Adventures offer guided snowshoe tours which can be booked online.”

More Information on snowshoeing around Vancouver, visit Tourism Whistler.

Read More: BC Luxury Snowshoe Getaways


Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver

About a half-hour drive from downtown Vancouver, spend a day at Grouse Mountain. Participate in one of their many activities such as their Snowshoe Fondue, and Snowshoe and S’ mores tour. There are also drop-in nights on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you have never tried snowshoeing, there are trails for beginners and a beginner clinic.

Read More: No. 9 Snowshoe Friendly Ski Resort: Grouse Mountain, BC

Snowshoe Tours At Grouse Mountain

The Snowshoe fondue is a one hour guided tour, and one can experience snowshoeing with headlamps. Après snowshoe, enjoy some cheese, broth and chocolate fondues. Tour includes snowshoe and headlamp rentals.

There is also the Snowshoe S’mores tour. Enjoy the one km snowshoe tour and then continue onto the lookout of Vancouver, and then return to a campfire where you will enjoy S’mores and hot apple cider.

Alternatively, if you would like watching the night sky, watch it on the mountain and see the cityscape by participating in the Full Moon and New Moon guided snowshoe hike tours.

view of Vancouver from Grouse Mountain

View overlooking Vancouver from Grouse Mountain. Photo courtesy of Grouse Mountain.

Snowshoe Trails At Grouse Mountain

For those looking for a self-guided adventure, Grouse Mountain also offers 5 different snowshoe-specific trails. You may choose to snowshoe the easier 1.5 km Blue Grouse Loop or the more difficult 1.5 km (0.9 mi) Dam Mountain Loop, sitting at 4,500 feet (1372 m) on the mountain.

Then, for those interested in snowshoe races and athletes, try the Snowshoe Grind. Located on the mountain in Munday Alpine Snowshoe Park, this 4.3 km (2.7 mi) trail with 240 m (787 ft) of gain will provide all racers the opportunity to boost your athletic performance. As part of the Grind, you can track your times around the course to continue to challenge yourself. On average though, the track takes about one hour to complete for those who are reasonably fit.

Please keep in mind that all trails are included with a Mountain Admission Ticket. Visit Grouse Mountain 

Read More: Grouse Mountain Snowshoe Grind Delivers Fun & Fitness


Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

About a half-hour drive from downtown, Cypress Mountain offers varied terrain for both intermediate and beginners. Choose either guided and about 11 km (6.8 mi) self-guided trails at Cypress Mountain Nordic Area. Snowshoe rentals are offered as well.

Snowshoe Tours At Cypress Mountain

If you are new to snowshoeing the Hollyburn Meadows Tour is a two-hour tour and an excellent introduction to snowshoeing. Plus, you’ll get to learn the culture and history of the Hollyburn Ridge area.

Alternatively, for an apres experience, there are several options. On the cheese and chocolate fondue tour, enjoy snowshoeing with a headlamp at night, followed by a delicious fondue dinner.

All available tours can be found at Cypress Mountain Guided Snowshoe Tours.

Cypress Mountain, BC

Explore the beauty of Cypress Mountain. Photo courtesy of Cypress Mountain

Cypress Provincial Park

At Cypress Provincial Park, enjoy some spectacular views of the city of Vancouver and the surrounding area.

The moderate Hollyburn Ridge trail is a 6.9 kilometer (4.3 mi) out and back trail, which meanders among the ponds and old-growth cedars of the area, and is dog-friendly. Or for a leisurely stroll, the Yew Lake trail is a 10-15 min trail perfect for beginners. If you’re up for a challenge (and view of the city), take the Eagle Bluff trail for 2-3 hours to reach an elevation of 3500 feet (1067 m).


Mt Seymour, North Vancouver

About a half-hour drive from downtown, make it a day getaway that offers both guided and self-guided tours. Explore the variety offered as part of the 12 Mt. Seymour Discovery trails on your own or with a guide. Snowshoe rentals are available.

Read More: 7 Reasons To Snowshoe On Vancouver’s Mt. Seymour

Guided Snowshoe Tours At Mt. Seymour Ski

For those wanting a guide, choose from tours for all experience levels offered by Mt. Seymour. If you’re a newbie to snowshoeing, Mt. Seymour offers their 2-hour Intro to Snowshoeing Tour, which introduces the basic techniques, safety measures, and prime spots on the mountain.

Other offerings include the Chocolate Fondue Tour for the apres lover or the 2-hour Twilight Tour for the adventurous night explorer! All tours come with knowledgable guides and rental equipment. Find all tours available (even tours for you and your baby) on Mt. Seymour Snowshoe Tours. 

Read More: No 1 Snowshoe Friendly Ski Resort: Mt Seymour, BC

Mt Seymour Fondue Tour

Snowshoe and apres at the Mt Seymour Fondue Tour. Photo by Blake Rupert @exploreofcourse

Mt. Seymour Provincial Park

Mt. Seymour Ski area is located on 81 acres of Mount Seymour Provincial Park. The park itself is 3500 hectares of impressive views of the Lower Mainland, Mt. Baker, and Vancouver. The Provincial Park has 14 different trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. For example, easy 750 m (0.46 mi) trails, such as Dinky Peak, will offer a view of the Lower Mainland.

Other popular trails part of Mount Seymour Provincial Park and on the Mt. Seymour Ski area include the Dog Mountain trail, which takes about two to three hours to complete. The marked trail is moderate but is good for beginners, and is free to use and is also, of course, if dog-friendly. One can see the city from the summit and one can use Mt Seymour snowshoe rentals on the trail.

As an alternative to Dog Mountain, hike the Mt. Seymour Trail (accessible from the last parking lot in Mt. Seymour Ski area) to First Pump Peak. This trail will take about three and a half hours to complete and is a moderate to difficult trail. It is an out and back course and the trail isn’t marked. Strong backcountry and avalanche preparedness and knowledge are required. Dogs are allowed. If needed, Mt. Seymour offers snowshoe rentals on site.


Go Snowshoeing Near Vancouver!

No matter what your fitness level, each venue has something for everyone. If you have never snowshoed before it can be a magical time to see some wildlife, perhaps a snow rabbit.

Read More: North America’s Top 10 Snowshoe-Friendly Ski Resorts


Updated Jan 21, 2020, to include additional information about Ski Callaghan

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