Snowshoeing — the sport of walking on snow-covered trails in snowshoes that you strap to your own boots — is one of the best winter activities in Vancouver. Not only is snowshoeing fantastic exercise (it burns 1,000 calories an hour) it also lets you explore some of the most scenic mountain vistas around Vancouver and can be done by anyone at any skill level, even someone who has never worn a snowshoe.
Like skiing and snowboarding, Vancouver's Top Snow Sport Resorts offer a wide range of snowshoeing options; many snowshoe trails are just a short drive away from downtown Vancouver and accessible via public transit. Some are slightly further afield but still within easy reach of the city via well-maintained highways and ferries.
Want to combine a snowshoeing adventure with a weekend getaway? Check out the top-rated resort in Sun Peaks, BC.
Snowshoeing on Mount Seymour: Beginner, Intermediate & Expert Trails
Located just a half-hour drive from downtown Vancouver, Mount Seymour is a local favorite for snowshoeing in Vancouver. Not only are Mount Seymour's trails scenic — passing by picture-perfect lakes and old-growth forests — they're historic, too: Mount Seymour created their Discovery Trails system from trails originally used by the Alpine Club of Canada in the 1920s.
For beginners, Mount Seymour is the top spot for snowshoeing. The Dog Mountain trail is an ideal starter, offering an easy, clearly-marked trail that runs from the Mount Seymour parking lot to a mountain viewpoint that overlooks all of Vancouver. There are more challenging trails, too, for intermediate and expert athletes.
Mount Seymour also offers a variety of guided snowshoe tours, including Baby & Me (parent must be able to carry the baby for at least 90 minutes), Group Tours, and Twilight Tours.
Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain: Beginner & Intermediate Trails
Located just 15 minutes north of downtown Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is a year-round resort that offers lots of snow sports in the winter months, including snowshoeing. Grouse Mountain's Munday Alpine Snowshoe Park has four groomed snowshoe trails for beginner and intermediate-level snowshoeing. There is also a beautiful scenic trail for intermediates that circles Dam Mountain and Thunder Ridge.
Snowshoeing on Cypress Mountain: Intermediate & Expert Trails
West Vancouver's Cypress Mountain is home to some of the most challenging snowshoeing in Vancouver; there are self-guided snowshoeing trails for other skill levels at Cypress, but beginners would be better off at Mount Seymour (see above). For serious athletes, Hollyburn Mountain's snowshoeing trails offer an uphill workout that skirts the edges of the cross-country ski area and boasts fabulous city and mountain views.
Snowshoeing in Squamish: Beginner, Intermediate & Expert Trails
Located just a 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, Squamish is a hub for adventurous activities and winter brings numerous snowshoeing opportunities. Whilst there are many intermediate and expert trails within Garibaldi Provincial Park, such as the Elfin Lake trail or Red Heather Hut trail, you'll also find more beginner-friendly options closer to town. The Sea-to-Sky Gondola has a dog-friendly Sea-to-Summit trail that includes a trek up the mountain with a ride on the gondola back down. The short Panorama trail loop at the top of the mountain is an easy way to see the stunning views of Howe Sound, without having to make the grind to get there.
Snowshoeing in Whistler: Beginner, Intermediate & Expert Trails
As Vancouver's famous neighbor to the north, Whistler is well known for its skiing and snowboarding, but it's also a great destination for snowshoeing, too. There are trails for all skill levels at Whistler, as well as guided tours and snowshoeing tours that combine a snowshoe adventure with other winter activities, like snowmobiling. Do it as a day trip or make a weekend of it and stay in Whistler to enjoy all of the apres ski (and snowshoe) opportunities from boutique shopping to fine dining and lively bars.
Snowshoeing in the Sunshine Coast: Beginner, Intermediate & Expert Trails
Take a 40-minute ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast to visit Dakota Ridge, where there are snowshoe trails that range from beginner to more advanced. Book a B'n'B on the coast for a cozy winter getaway that is close to the city but away from the crowds, during winter you'll find cheaper rates at hotels and lodges but plenty of winter activities to enjoy.