Dog Mountain Hike – Vancouver
Dog Mountain has absolutely gorgeous views, especially at sunrise and sunset overlooking downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and the Fraser Valley! For it’s level of insane views, the hike is surprisingly short and easy and one of the best Mount Seymour Hikes!
The Dog Mountain Hike is located in Mount Seymour Provincial Park and is family and dog friendly. It is one of the best hikes in Vancouver, and is also a great hike to do in Vancouver during Winter due to the level of difficulty.
The trail is relatively easy at 5km return with 150m elevation and takes approximately 2.5hrs to complete which includes some time spent at the viewpoint.
You will be pleased to know that the hike lives up to its name and you can indeed bring your dog along to hike “Dog Mountain” with you.
Being so close to Vancouver, you can do this hike any time, even after work which is what we have done on a couple of occasions. Enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate at the viewpoint and enjoying the sunset after work was a moment we will never forget!
This hiking guide provides everything you need to know hiking to Dog Mountain, including where the trailhead is located and how to reach it by both car and public transport, where to park and what to expect from the trail. We also provide information on where to book your shuttle bus tickets if needed and how to hike to Dog Mountain in Winter.
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Distance: 5km / 3.1 miles
Elevation: 150metres / 492 ft
From Vancouver: 40mins
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes There are toilets located near the end of the parking lot by the North Shore Search and Rescue office.
Where is the Dog Mountain Trail?
Dog Mountain is located in Mount Seymour Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. Not to be confused with the Dog Mountain trail in Washington State, this one is approximately a 30-40 minute drive from Downtown Vancouver to the Vancouver Dog Mountain trailhead. Alternatively, you can catch public transport using the below instructions.
Click here to open the map in Google Maps!
How to get to Dog Mountain from Vancouver
To reach the Dog Mountain trailhead from Vancouver, you can choose to drive or catch public transport.
Getting to the Dog Mountain Trail via public transport
From Downtown Vancouver, in Winter during the ski season, the only way to get to the trailhead other than driving is by catching the Mt Seymour Shuttle.
To reach the shuttle stop from downtown Vancouver, you will want to get the Expo Line from Waterfront Station to Commercial Broadway and then change to the Millennium Line. Get off at Rupert Station. This first part of the trip will take around 20 minutes.
Once you reach Rupert Station, you will need to transfer to the Mt Seymour Shuttle Bus. The shuttle costs $15 for a return trip and takes around 50 minutes to reach the resort.
If you choose to take public transport from downtown Vancouver, it will take you approximately 1hr 10mins in total to reach the Mount Seymour Ski Resort.
📌 Note that the shuttle bus only runs during the Winter and we recommend pre-booking tickets through their website. During Summer, you will need to drive to reach the trailhead.
Where to park for the Dog Mountain Trail
During Winter, while the ski resort is open, the resort parking is reserved for skiers and snowboarders, so you should park a little down from the ski resort parking lot.
The traffic controller staff will show you where to go. Right before you reach the tubing and tobogganing ticketing office, you will see a bunch of cars park on your left hand side as you drive up the mountain.
If you are doing the hike during Summer or while the resort is closed, you can keep driving all of the way up to the carpark and start the hike from trailhead 1 on the above map. This will cut off a little of your walking time.
Where is the Dog Mountain Trailhead?
There are two different trailheads that you can start the Dog Mountain Hike from. This will depend on whether you are driving or catching the Mount Seymour shuttle and then whether you are hiking whilst the Ski Resort is open.
If you take the shuttle, you will start the Dog Mountain Hike from Trailhead 1 in the map above. Once you arrive at the Ski Resort, walk up to the very top end of the parking lot.
You will find a B.C Parks sign with a map. From here, walk towards the Mystery Peak Express chairlift and you will see the trailhead on your left. Follow the sign for Dog Mountain and First Lake.
If you are driving to the trailhead during Winter while the Ski Resort is open, as you will be parking near the tubing and tobogganing ticketing office, you can start the hike from Trailhead 2 as shown on the map above, which is located opposite the ticketing office.
Alternatively, if you prefer, you can choose to walk up the road to Trailhead 1 which is the best trailhead to start from during Summer as you can park right next to it.
Things to know before doing the hike
- You can do the Dog Mountain Hike in all seasons and each season will provide a different and spectacular hiking experience!
- If you plan on doing this hike at sunrise or sunset to get an absolutely magical view, remember to bring along your headlamps. Ours are from Nitecore and they are awesome! We use them on every hike we do in the dark.
- Always tell someone where you are going when you go out on a hike, even if it is a short one.
- Pack enough water and snacks
- Wear layers! Sometimes it can get pretty cold at the Dog Mountain viewpoint and there’s nothing worse than not being able to enjoy the view because you are cold. If you need help choosing hiking gear, check out our hiking gear guide!
- Bring bug spray – The bugs are awful in Summer!
- Be bear aware. There are black bears in Mount Seymour Provincial Park and so you should carry bear spray with you on all hikes and make sure you are aware of what to do in the scenario that you come across a bear. For more information on bear safety, check out this website.
- Before hiking Dog Mountain you will need to book a backcountry day use pass which you can do here. If you are hiking in Winter and renting snowshoes from Mt Seymour, you must purchase a snowshoe trail pass/make a reservation in advance. You can find more information on this here.
- Pack out what you bring in and keep our hiking trails beautiful. Take only photos! You can read more on the 7 LNT principles here
Does Dog Mountain Require a Day Pass?
The Dog Mountain Trail is free to use, however, you will need to book a free day pass during the Winter months. The reason for this is to lessen the impacts to park environments and wildlife by staggering the crowds during the busiest season.
There is no pass required during the Summer months to hike the Dog Mountain Trail on Mount Seymour.
How Hard is the Dog Mountain Trail?
Dog Mountain is an easy, family friendly trail which only has 150m elevation and is 5km return. There are no crazy steep sections like Mount Seymour’s other popular Winter hike, Pump Peak.
Instead, the elevation on the trail is gentle. It could take you up to 2.5 hours to complete if you are taking it slow, but if you are a fast hiker, it might only take you 1-1.5 hours to complete.
When is the Best Time of the Day to Hike Dog Mountain?
The best time of the day to hike Dog Mountain is in the early morning while the light is soft and pretty and there are not too many other people on the trial, or in the evening at sunset.
Our favourite time to hike to Dog Mountain is at sunset as the hike back is not too far in the dark and the views at sunset are incredible!
Dog Mountain at Sunset
Our favourite time to do the Dog Mountain trail is to get to the viewpoint in time to watch the sunset as the sunset views are incredible from there! If you are lucky you might even get a cloud inversion!
If you do want to hike to Dog Mountain at sunset, make sure you are well prepared and don’t forget your headlamp, and some extra layer to keep warm when the temperatures drop at the viewpoint.
Dog Mountain Trail Description
The Dog Mountain Trail is family friendly and dog friendly and around 5km return in length and it will take you around 2.5hrs to complete. There is not too much elevation.
During Summer, when there is no longer any snow on the ground, the trail has loads of roots to navigate and personally, I found it a little harder than during winter.
During Winter, you will find yourself hiking up and down slopes quite a bit but nothing too crazy. We saw a lot of families with young kids doing this hike in Winter who all looked like they were having a blast!
Hiking to Dog Mountain in the Winter
Dog Mountain is one of Vancouver’s best winter hikes and one of Seymour Mountains easiest snow shoeing trails (great for learning to snowshoe).
You can choose to rent snow snowshoes from Mount Seymour Ski Resort and do the trail this as a snow shoe hike or you can just wear normal hiking boots or Winter hiking boots.
If you decide to rent snowshoes from Mt Seymour, you must purchase a snowshoe trail pass/make a reservation in advance. You can find more information on this here.
Are Snowshoes Needed for Dog Mountain?
We found that the few times we have hiked to Dog Mountain during Winter, we have not needed snow shoes due to the popularity of the trail. If you choose not to wear snow shoes like us, perhaps bring along a pair of micro spikes for any slippery sections.
We found that our Micro spikes were more than enough to stop us from sliding down the icy sections of the snow as the trail goes up and down a little.
What is the Dog Mountain Trail like in the Winter
In Winter, there are trail poles to help you navigate but it is easy to stick to the well worn in trail in the snow. The trail loops around the trees quite a bit and is fairly narrow which makes passing people a little tricky.
If you start the hike from trailhead 2, the first intersection you come to will be where the official trailhead from the ski resort meets up with the trail you have taken from the carpark. From here, take a left towards the Dog Mountain Trail.
We wore our micro spikes for the entire hike to stop us from slipping, except at the summit where there were exposed rocks. We did the Dog Mountain hike in early April 2022 and the trail was still snow covered. Our Micro spikes are from Black Diamond and Kahtoola which you can check out and purchase using the links below.
There is a small section where you will cross a snow-packed bridge over a potentially frozen lake. Watch your step here.
The rest of the trail is pretty straight forward and goes up and down a little but overall the elevation is only 150m. Eventually, you will see the trail sloping upwards in the distance and you will see the sky through the trees. You have reached the summit of Dog Mountain!
Keep walking up out of the trees and be greeted by beautiful views over Vancouver. This is also a great spot to eat your lunch whilst enjoying the gorgeous views and soaking up the hopefully present sun after being in the forest for the majority of your hike.
👚 Essential Items to Pack for Dog Mountain in Winter
When Winter hiking in Vancouver, you are going to want to dress in layers and make sure you wear waterproof outer layers. These are some of the things that you should bring along with you.
If you are looking to purchase your own snowshoes, you can get them online from MEC here. Alternatively, you can rent snowshoes from Mount Seymour Ski Resort by purchasing a snowshoe trail pass/make a reservation in advance. You can find more information on this here.
We loved Mount Seymour’s Dog Mountain Hike and are definitely adding it to our list of easy hikes with epic views near Vancouver! We don’t think snow shoes are necessary but if you are beginner and looking to try them out on a fun trail then go for it! For us, micro spikes were the easier option.
You might also enjoy:
- 24 Amazing Things to do in Vancouver in Winter
- How to Find the Magical Cypress Mountain Cabins
- 11 of the Best Vancouver Snowshoeing Trails
- 16 Stunning Winter Hikes in Vancouver
- Moody & Mystical Rainy Day Hikes Around Vancouver
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