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16 Stunning Winter Hikes in Vancouver

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The Best Vancouver Winter Hikes

Vancouver is a great part of the world all-year-round for hiking. In most other places, hiking is only a Summer and potentially shoulder season activity. In Vancouver the hiking does not stop in Winter.

There are loads of Winter hikes in Vancouver to choose from and they are all equally magical!

Vancouver’s Winters are pretty mild compared to other places in Canada and so the Winter hiking here is actually really enjoyable. There are even some snow-free hikes in Vancouver!

One of the great things about hiking in Vancouver in Winter, is that the hiking trails up in the mountains completely transform so it will feel like you are doing the trail for the very first time, even if you have done it multiple times before.

We have been ticking off more and more Winter hikes in Vancouver every year and so I would love to share our list of the very best and most beautiful Winter hikes in Vancouver.

Couple hugging in front of the view during sunset on Hollyburn Peak in Winter

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❄ Can you Hike in Vancouver in Winter?

Vancouver has some of the best winter hikes around! You can absolutely hike in Vancouver in Winter, however you will need to change some of your gear such as adding micro spikes or snow shoes to your gear list.

⛄ Leave No Trace

Whenever you are enjoying the the beautiful nature that our world has to offer, remember to leave no trace (LNT)! Respect the beautiful places that make British Columbia beautiful and take out everything that you take in, take only photos and respect the wildlife and other people. You can read more on the 7 LNT principles here.

⛷ Hiking Gear – What to Wear in Winter

For hiking in Vancouver in Winter, you will need to swap out some of your Summer gear for Winter gear. These are some of our favourite Winter items for hiking in Vancouver.

☃ Things to Know Before Going on a Winter Hike in Vancouver

Avalanche training: Check Avalanche Canada before going out on your Winter hike to ensure that you are not hiking in Avalanche territory and that if you are, you are well aware of what to do to stay safe.

Trail Conditions: Check trail conditions on All trails before going out on your Winter hike to make sure the snow isn’t too deep and that you have the right gear to stay safe.

Weather Conditions: There’s nothing worse than going on a hike in the snow when it is raining and/or storming. Make sure you check the weathers conditions before leaving so that you stay dry on your hike.

Gear Checklist: Make sure you have all the right winter gear with you such as micro spikes and warm clothing.

Plan for additional hiking time: Hiking in the snow always takes longer than normal Summer hiking, so make sure you plan for additional time so that you don’t run out and have to rush back.
Tell someone where you are going: As on any hike, you should make sure that a friend knows where you are going and when you plan on returning.

🥾 Best Vancouver Winter Hikes

Hollyburn Peak – Cypress Mountain

Distance: 6.9km / 4.2 miles
Time: 2.5-3.5 hours
Elevation: 415m / 1,361 ft
From Vancouver: 30 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at the Hollyburn Nordic Centre
Snow Free? No

Couple standing at Hollyburn Peak at sunset in Winter

Hollyburn Peak is one of the most magical Winter hikes in Vancouver! We caught the sunset up there and it was so colourful!

Hollyburn Peak is very steep and so I recommend micro spikes over snowshoes. We saw a few people in snowshoes struggling to hike up the steep incline. Not impossible, but micro spikes will make your life easier!

As you climb, you will be able to see views of Vancouver behind you. Coming back down the trail after sunset, we could see the twinkling lights of the city which was very distracting when you are hiking down a steep slippery slope but it made the hike in the dark that much more enjoyable.

The Hollyburn Peak trail is snowy all through Winter as it is located up on Cypress Mountain.

Dog Mountain – Mount Seymour

Distance: 5km / 3.1 miles 
Time: 2 – 2.5 hours
Elevation: 150metres / 492 ft
From Vancouver: 40 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes There are toilets located near the end of the parking lot by the North Shore Search and Rescue office
Snow Free?: No

couple standing looking up at mountains

Dog Mountain is a great short Winter hike. It is also a great Vancouver snow shoe trail for those of you who are wanting to try out or practice your snowshoeing skills.

The hike is quite easy with a little elevation but not too much and the views from Dog Mountain are gorgeous!

The Dog Mountain trail is snowy all through Winter as it is located up on Mount Seymour.

Pump Peak – Mount Seymour

Distance: 7.1km / 4.4 miles
Time: 3-4 hours
Elevation: 474m / 1,555ft
From Vancouver: 30-40 mins
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at Mt Seymour Resort
Snow Free? No

girl hiking up the Pump Peak trail in the snow

Pump Peak will take you into a true Winter wonderland! This Winter trail is moderate in difficulty and is a great trail for snowshoeing.

The view at the end is from a little “peak” where you should be able to see almost 360 degree views!

We are yet to see the views from Pump Peak as it was a bit of a white out when we did this hike last Winter, however, we still really enjoyed it as the trail was a total Winter Wonderland and extremely magical.

I was obsessed with the snow covered trees near the viewpoint that I thought looked like they could have come out of a Doctor Suess book!

The Pump Peak trail is snowy all through Winter as it is located up on Mount Seymour.

Bowen Lookout – Cypress Mountain

Distance: 4km / 2.5 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation: 110m / 360 ft
From Vancouver: 30 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at the Cypress Mountain Resort
Snow Free? No

couple sitting at Bowen Lookout looking out at Howe Sound

Bowen Lookout is Cypress Mountain’s version of Dog Mountain. Out of the 2 trails as Winter hikes, I prefer Dog Mountain as the views feel less obstructed but Bowen Lookout is also very beautiful!

Watch out for squirrels at the lookout trying to steal your food!

The Bowen Lookout trail is snowy all through Winter as it is located up on Cypress Mountain.

Tunnel Bluffs – Lions Bay

Distance: 11.5km / 7.15 miles
Time: 4hrs 
Elevation: 470 metres / 1,541 ft
From Vancouver: 30 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, pit toilet at the trailhead
Snow Free? Sometimes, but this depends on the snow forecast

Tent camping at Tunnel Bluffs in Lions Bay

Tunnel Bluffs is one of my favourite hikes near Vancouver to do all-year-round and it is one of the best sunset hikes near Vancouver. The viewpoint looks out towards Bowen Island and the Sea to Sky Highway!

Most of the trail is easy in difficulty except for the start which is where most of the elevation is and also the end where you will find a very small scramble.

Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs – Cypress Mountain

Distance: 8km / 5 miles
Time: 3-4 hours 
Elevation: 350m / 1,148 ft
From Vancouver: 30 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at the trailhead
Snow Free? No

This Winter trail takes you to both Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs. The views from Eagle Bluffs are better so I recommend going all of the way.

From Eagle Bluffs, you will get awesome views of Howe Sound and Horseshoe Bay. This trail is a shared skier and hiker trail on the way up to Black Mountain.

The Black Mountain and Eagle Bluffs trail is snowy all through Winter as it is located up on Cypress Mountain.

Quercus Viewpoint – Murrin Loop Trail

Distance: 1.8km / 1.11 miles
Time: 1-1.5 hours
Elevation: 160m / 525 ft
From Vancouver: 45 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, in the parking lot
Snow Free? Sometimes, but this depends on the snow forecast

Couple standing at viewpoint overlooking Howe Sound along Murrin Loop Trail

Quercus Viewpoint on the Murrin Loop Trail is a short and easy hike that is great to do in Winter.

The parking lot is extremely busy during Summer because there are not only trails but also a lake and picnic area but in Winter, this area becomes very quiet.

This area does not get snow all Winter and so you could potentially be hiking without any snow at all, but I recommend bringing along some micro spikes just in case.

Quarry Rock Lookout – Deep Cove

Distance: 3.8 km / 2.4 miles
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation: 100m / 328 ft
From Vancouver: 
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at the Deep Cove beach area
Snow Free? Yes! Unless it has snowed in Vancouver

couple standing at Quarry Rock Lookout in British Columbia at sunset

Quarry Rock Lookout is located in Deep Cove in North Vancouver and the viewpoint gives you stunning views over the water. From the lookout, you can see over Deep Cove and even sometimes spot some crazy people swimming in the middle of Winter!

This trail is usually snow-free all through Winter, unless it has snowed recently in Vancouver and then you will need micro spikes so that you do not slip on the trail.

Kennedy Falls

Distance: 10km / 6.2 miles 
Time: 4-5 hours
Elevation: 150 metres / 492 ft 
From Vancouver: 30 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at the trailhead
Snow Free? Usually, but sometimes the trail will have snow on it if it has snowed in North Vancouver.

couple standing at Kennedy Falls in North Vancouver

Kennedy Falls is a beautiful waterfall hike in North Vancouver.

Kennedy Falls is located on the other side of the creek to Norvan Falls which is another great Vancouver Winter hike.

Kennedy Falls is usually snow-free in Winter unless it has snowed down in North Vancouver.

Norvan Falls

Distance: 14km / 8.7 miles
Time: 3.5-5 hours 
Elevation: 195metres / 640ft
From Vancouver: 35 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, just past the parking lot
Snow Free? Usually, but sometimes the trail will have snow on it

girl standing at waterfall base on log

Norvan Falls is a great Winter waterfall hike in Vancouver! We did this hike in Winter after it had snowed and the trail was extremely slippery.

I highly recommend bringing along a pair of micro spikes for the Norvan Falls hike even if you don’t think it has snowed recently. The cold temperatures tend to freeze the trail as it runs along next to a creek.

Norvan Falls itself is a beautiful waterfall and if you get to see it frozen, you will be blown away by its Wintery beauty!

Elfin Lakes – Garibaldi Provincial Park

Distance: 22km / 13.7 miles 
Time: 6-8 hours
Elevation: 600m / 1,968 ft
From Vancouver: 
Dog Friendly: No
Toilets: Yes, located in a few different places such as the parking lot, past the Red Heather Meadows Shelter and at Elfin Lakes.
Snow Free? No

Elfin Lakes is a famous Winter hike located in Garibaldi Provincial Park. It is also a popular hike and backpacking trip to do during Summer. This is a long hike so I don’t recommend doing it if you are not used to hiking in the snow and the cold.

You will need snowshoes for hiking to Elfin Lakes in the Winter. The trail is well-marked and you can sleep in the Elfin Lakes, however you will be sharing it with others.

The Elfin Lakes trail is snowy all through Winter as it is located up in the mountains.

Garibaldi Lake – Garibaldi Provincial Park

Distance: 18km / 11.2 miles
Time: 6-8 hours
Elevation: 820m / 2,690 ft 
From Vancouver: 1.5 hours
Dog Friendly: No
Toilets: Yes, located at the trailhead, halfway along the trail and at Garibaldi Lake
Snow Free? No

girl standing at Garibaldi Lake at sunset

Garibaldi Lake is a really popular Summer hike, also located in Garibaldi Provincial Park. You can camp by the lake during Summer, but you can also do this hike in the Winter.

It is a challenging long Winter hike with a large elevation gain and you will need snowshoes to do it.

During Winter, Garibaldi Lake freezes over completely and is no longer that bright turquoise colour that we all know and love.

The Garibaldi Lake trail is snowy all through Winter as it is located up in the mountains.

Diez Vistas – Buntzen Lake

Distance: 15km /9.3 miles
Time: 7-8 hours
Elevation: 460m /1,509 ft  
From Vancouver: 1 hour
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes, at Buntzen Lake
Snow Free? Usually, but can also have snow depending on the weather.

Girl in pink jacket standing at viewpoint along the Diez Vistas Hike

The Diez Vistas Hike is located at Buntzen Lake in Anmore, about a 1 hour drive from Vancouver.

Known for its 10 views (vistas), Buntzen Lake is a popular hike to do in Summer, however it can also be done in Winter.

There is not normally any snow at Buntzen Lake, however make sure you check the forecast as it is definitely possible.

Hunter Trail – Mission

Distance: 8km /5 miles
Time: 2-3 hours
Elevation: 250 / 820 ft
From Vancouver: 1.5 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes  
Toilets: None
Snow Free? This trail can have snow during Winter.

couple standing at lookout overlooking lake and mountains

The Hunter Trail, located in Mission is about a 1.5 hour drive from Vancouver. The trail itself is a logging road so well maintained and also popular.

The area does tend to get snow during Winter so pack your snowshoes and/or micro spikes so that you are ready to hike in Winter conditions!

The view from the top is awesome and we love it so much that we have done this hike a few times now.

If you decide to do the Hunter Trail, you should also check out Cascade Falls in Mission which is a waterfall located at a suspension bridge. The trail to the waterfall is very short but a bit steep so again, bring those micro spikes.

Lynn Canyon Loop – North Vancouver

Distance: 2.6km / 1.6 miles
Time: 45 mins – 1hour 
Elevation: 108m / 354 ft
From Vancouver: 20 minutes
Dog Friendly: Yes  
Toilets: Yes, at the trailhead
Snow Free? Yes! Unless it has snowed in Vancouver

Girl standing on the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

The Lynn Canyon hike takes you in a loop around the beautiful mossy and very often foggy forest. This trail gives me strong Twilight vibes. There swimming hole called 30 Foot Pool which is popular not only in Summer, but also during Winter for cold plunges!

On the trail, you will also pass the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (pictured above) and Twin Falls.

Gold Creek Falls – Golden Ears Provincial Park

Distance: 5.6km / 3.5 miles
Time: 2 hours
Elevation: 80 metres / 262ft
From Vancouver: 1 hour 10 mins
Dog Friendly: Yes  
Toilets: Yes, in the parking lot
Snow Free? Yes, unless it has snowed in the park recently which is not usual.

Gold Creek Falls

Gold Creek Falls is located in Golden Ears Provincial Park which is usually a snow free park at the lower elevation levels.

The Gold Creek Falls trail is very family friendly and stroller and wheelchair friendly as it is well maintained and quite a flat and wide trail. It takes you through the forest along the creek all the way to the falls along a wide flat path.

❓ Commonly Asked Questions about hiking in Vancouver in Winter

Can you hike in Vancouver in November?

Yes, you can hike in Vancouver in November, however the weather in November is unpredictable. Vancouver can have loads of rain or even see snow in November so it might be a better idea to choose a hike from our rainy day hikes in Vancouver list.

Can you hike in Vancouver in December?

Winter in Vancouver is great for doing Winter hikes like Dog Mountain or Hollyburn Peak. Just make sure you have some good Winter gear to stay warm and safe on your hike.

Can you hike in Vancouver in March?

You can still hike in Vancouver in March, however some of the hikes in the mountains do get shut down when the Avalanche risk is too high due to the melting snow. This can happen anytime from March – June depending on the year.

Do I need snowshoes to hike in Vancouver in Winter?

You do not need snowshoes to hike every single trail in Vancouver during Winter, however they will help with some of them.

We find that micro spikes tend to be better for hiking in Vancouver during Winter as a lot of the trails are really popular and therefore the snow is already packed down nicely from all of the foot traffic.

Our Thoughts

We absolutely love that you can hike in Vancouver all-year-round. It’s amazing to watch the snowy trails completely transform so that you sometimes don’t recognise them at all.

We had only done Dog Mountain in the Winter up until very recently, so when we saw the trail in the Summer we were shocked at how rooty and steep in sections it was!

If you are looking to plan a Winter adventure to Vancouver, you might also enjoy:

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