The first time I went snowshoeing was with my then-ten-year-old-daughter, and while I was nervous about trying something new with a child in tow, it quickly became our winter activity of choice. Crunching through the snow, we stopped only to sneak sips from a thermos of hot chocolate, taking in our surroundings on the serene snow-covered trails that stretched before us.
Snowshoeing offered the perfect backdrop to bond. It was a great way to get outdoors and do something we could both enjoy together. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of snow here in BC and tons of trails to explore during the cooler months of the year. Here are five easily accessible snowshoeing trails that you can explore just outside of Vancouver—and you can get to them all without a vehicle.
Note: Check online for current restrictions, closures and COVID-19 measures before visiting.
Cypress Mountain Nordic Area on Hollyburn Ridge, North Vancouver
Whether you’re looking to take a guided snowshoe tour with your household or trek through the 11 kilometres of Nordic trails on your own, there are many exciting options available on this local mountain. Explore the snowy trails of Hollyburn Ridge, trudge through the towering trees of the old growth forest or wander your way to Gnarly’s Den for hot chocolate and s’mores on the guided Winter Wanderer S’Mores Tour.
Getting There: Public transit will take you straight to the slopes. From downtown Vancouver, make your way to Waterfront Station by bus or SkyTrain. A quick SeaBus ride will take you to the private Cypress Mountain Express Bus which departs from Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver and takes you right up the mountain. Visit the Cypress Coach Lines website for schedule and rates.
Tourism Vancouver Rishad Daroowala
Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
Head to Mundy Alpine Snowshoe Park for a mix of groomed and single-track snowshoeing trails and enjoy the natural winter playground only minutes from the city. From a beginner route around Blue Grouse Loop to a more daring detour to Dam Mountain, Grouse offers options fit for every skill level. For an added challenge, give the Snowshoe Grind a go: it's a heart-racing, hour-long trek that will get your grind times up for the return of the warmer season. Guided group tours are also a treat. Check out the Full Moon Snowshoe Tour which combines night sky sights with city views amongst the night-time mountain wilderness—sure to delight winter adventurers looking for a more unique snowshoe experience.
Getting There: From Downtown Vancouver, catch the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay, then take the #236 bus to Grouse Mountain (about a 25-minute ride). Grouse Mountain has also partnered with Lyft, offering three rideshare pickup spots on the mountain to catch your ride back home.
Tourism Vancouver Rishad Daroowala
Mount Seymour, North Vancouver
Find winter beauty and absolute solitude atop Mount Seymour—recognized as the top snowshoe-friendly ski resort by Snowshoe Magazine. The trails will take you to scenic lakes, through old growth forests and to viewpoints where you can see the city from the peak of the hill. Guided tours include a range of options such as the Chocolate Fondue Tour, Twilight Tour and the Baby and Me Tour.
Getting There: Regular shuttle service from Parkgate Community Centre and from opposite the Rupert SkyTrain Station in East Vancouver will take you to the top of the hill. Season pass holders can enjoy the shuttle service for free.
Sasquatch Mountain Resort, Agassiz
Beyond the local North Shore mountains, there are other snowshoeing options available for snow lovers coming from the Lower Mainland, too. Tucked between Mission and Agassiz, Sasquatch Mountain offers a range of snowshoeing trails that take you through snow-capped evergreens. From peaceful strolls that surround the village to lift-accessed backcountry hikes for the more advanced adventurer, this hidden gem has it all.
Getting There: On Saturdays and Sundays, catch the Sasquatch Mountain shuttle from Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack or the Sandpiper Golf course located at the bottom of the mountain. Visit the shuttles page for specific locations and rates.
Destination BC Insight Photography
Snowshoeing at Manning Provincial Park, Manning Park
A favourite amongst families, Manning Park offers a 300-kilometre network of snowshoe trails that lead you to the hidden corners of the Cascade Mountains. Choose your own adventure by following the flagged trails or get moving on a guided trek through the provincial park on day or evening excursions to suit all levels.
Getting There: On weekends, catch Mountain Man Mike’s Bus Service which runs return trips from Kaslo to Vancouver (with stops along the way) on Saturdays and Sundays. See the website to book your ride or for more information.