Top Four Snowshoe Outings Near Vancouver, B.C.

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 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.

So, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, here are four top places to go snowshoeing near the Vancouver area.

view from Vancouver from Grouse Mountain

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

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Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver

About a half-hour drive from downtown Vancouver, spend a day at Grouse Mountain. Participate in one of their many tours, or go snowshoeing on your own! If you have never tried snowshoeing, there are trails for beginners and a beginner clinic.

Snowshoe Tours At Grouse Mountain

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

There is also the Snowshoe S’mores tour. Enjoy the one km (0.6 mi) 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 want to watch 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.

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

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 their 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.

Remember that all trails are included with a Mountain Admission Ticket.  

Read More: Grouse Mountain Snowshoe Grind Delivers Fun and Fitness

group snowshoeing in Grouse Mountain, BC - near Vancouver

You’ll have multiple snowshoe options to choose from at Grouse Mountain. Photo: Grouse Mountain.

Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver

About a half-hour drive from downtown, Cypress Mountain offers varied terrain for both intermediate and beginner snowshoers.

Cypress Provincial Park

At Cypress Provincial Park, enjoy some spectacular views of the city of Vancouver and the surrounding area. Please remember to follow park trail guidelines, including any preparedness for winter conditions. Three backcountry trails are maintained by BC Parks in the winter.

Hollyburn Peak is a 6km trail with marked areas to Hollyburn Peak. Or, you can take the Black Mountain Plateau or Bowen Lookout, both of which pass through the downhill skiing area and require a Backcountry Access Corridor tag.

Cypress Mountain Nordic Area

Choose from about 11 km (6.8 mi) of self-guided trails at Cypress Mountain Nordic Area. This nordic area is located in Cypress Provincial Park, and snowshoe rentals are available.

If you’re interested in a beginner apres experience, you can take their easy 1 km Lights to the Lodge trek. As you travel through the Old Growth Forest to the Hollyburn Lodge, the way is lit with LED lights. So,  you can venture throughout the day or night.

Read More: Hollyburn Ridge at Cypress Mountain

snowshoer on Cypress Mountain with view of Vancouver in background

Cypress Mountain, only a 30 min drive from downtown Vancouver offers spectacular views of the city. Photo: Marina Poushkina via Shutterstock

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 snowshoeing at Mt. Seymour on your own or with a guide. Snowshoe rentals are available.

Mt. Seymour Provincial Park

Mt. Seymour Ski area is located on 81 acres of Mount Seymour Provincial Park. The park has 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, is free to use, and is also, of course, 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 the 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.

Read More: 7 Reasons To Snowshoe 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 (including one where you can bring your baby) come with knowledgeable guides and rental equipment.

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

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 to access the combined trail network in Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country.

At Whistler Olympic Park and at Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures, explore on your own or book a two-hour tour via phone or email. You can snowshoe various landscapes, from a waterfall base to an Olympic ski jump to forests full of cedar trees. Take in breathtaking viewpoints while you snowshoe and enjoy the photo opportunities of gorgeous Olympic monuments.

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

Read More: Callaghan Valley Snowshoeing

Lost Lake Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Trails

In addition to Ski Callaghan, Whistler offers a few other snowshoe areas. 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 13km (8.0 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.

Read More: BC Luxury Snowshoe Getaways

snowshoeing near Vancouver: mountains near Whistler

The gorgeous mountains of Whistler. Photo: ArtTower from Pixabay

Go Snowshoeing Near Vancouver

No matter what your fitness level is, 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.

Have you been snowshoeing at any of these areas near Vancouver? What has your experience been? Do you have other recommendations? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

This article was first published on January 8, 2020. Ski Callaghan was added on January 21, 2020, and it was most recently updated on November 29, 2022.

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

Author

  • Christine Blanchette

    Christine is an avid runner, but also likes to strap on her racing snowshoes each season. When she is not working out, she is writing. Christine is a running columnist, lifestyle writer, speaker and TV host of Run With It, a monthly show on running, fitness and health. Find Christine at Twitter: @christineruns; Instagram: runwithit_christineblanchette; Facebook christineblanchette/runwithit; You Tube Channel

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