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Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)

Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)

  • Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)
  • Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)
  • Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)
  • Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)
  • Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)
  • Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)
  • Snowshoeing in Vancouver Part Two (Cypress Mountain)

This winter, I have discovered the wonders of snowshoeing and winter hiking. Admittedly, this is the first time in my almost 5 years of living in BC that I have actually explored the mountains and trails in the winter. I’m so glad that I have!


Here is part two in a three part series of my favourite places to go snowshoeing in the Vancouver area.



Read part one (Grouse Mountain) and part three (Mount Seymour)



Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain has a variety of free and paid trails ($10 per person). I haven’t done any of the paid trails, but from what I have heard they are a little boring. Read more about those trails here. The trails I have listed below are all free to use.


Hollyburn Mountain Peak

Hollyburn Mountain is one of my favourite hikes in the city for 360 degrees views, especially on a clear day. I have hiked Hollyburn Mountain in the summer several times, but this winter was my first time doing it in the snow. The winter route is also slightly different than the summer trail. I have done the winter hike in spikes and snowshoes and generally found spikes easier. The 7 km roundtrip trail is clearly marked and a good challenge with a steady ascent. You definitely want a garbage bag to slide down parts of the trail! Find more directions here.

Black Mountain

While Hollyburn Mountain trail starts from the Cypress Mountain Nordic Area, Black Mountain and Bowen Island Lookout trails start from the Downhill Ski and Alpine Area (further up the road). Black Mountain rivals Hollyburn Mountain Peak for its stunning 360 degree views. The hike is also shorter, somewhat easier and less crowded than Hollyburn.

Be sure you pick up a free backcountry orange tag from the Brown Bag Room in the Black Mountain Lodge before you start. When I was at Cypress, they had someone checking to make sure you had a tag before you could proceed to the trail. From there, you can follow the marked pole route through the downhill ski area to the winter trails and the start of Black Mountain trail.

Pro tip: when you get to the top, there is a loop you can follow. If you want the long way and more time in the forest, go left. If you go right, you reach the summit and views much faster!

Bowen Island Lookout

Like Black Mountain, the trail to Bowen Island Lookout requires a free backcountry orange tag. The trail is quite short, but the views of Bowen Island and Howe Sound are lovely. When I was at Cypress, we did Black Mountain first and then Bowen Island Lookout before heading home (approximately 3.5-4 hours total). Read more about the Bowen Island trail here.

What is your favourite outdoor winter activity to do? 


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