Vancouver, British Columbia, has numerous year-round activities, including ice fishing, skiing, and hiking. Whether you prefer a cleared trail or a snowy backcountry path that requires snowshoes, Vancouver’s got it.
Below, we outline the 10 best winter hikes in Vancouver to help you figure out where to head this winter so you can make winter trip plans.
Quarry Rock is one of the most popular year-round hiking spots, making it great for summer and winter hikes in Vancouver. This is a hike for all experience levels, but it caters to beginners with its relatively easy trails and lack of rugged terrain. Plus, at the end of the hike, you’re rewarded with outstanding viewpoints from the top of Quarry Rock via the Deep Cove trail.
After taking in the view, you can head back down Deep Cove and over to Belcarra across the water.
This hike takes about 1.5 hours to complete, so you need only an afternoon to finish it.
This 10 km trail has mild elevation changes but is still an easy winter hike that beginners and experienced hikers alike can enjoy. The trail follows right along the water’s edge, and you’ll find a handful of beaches and platforms to get great views of the lake.
At the trail's northern end is a picnic area and a small dock where you can relax and take in the scenery. This is one of the best winter hikes in Vancouver and a must-hike trail this winter if you have about three hours to spare.
The Lighthouse Park loop trail is a 6 km hike that’ll take about two hours to complete. This relatively easy hike is perfect for beginners and advanced hikers who aren’t looking for anything overly challenging. The highlight of this trail is the viewpoint that overlooks the lighthouse, downtown Vancouver, and Stanley Park, but there are many other viewpoints to enjoy along the way.
This trail mostly treks through the forest but ends on the water, giving you access to the beach and climbing rocks. If you have children, this is the perfect winter hike in Vancouver because it has minimal elevation changes.
If you’ve got one to two hours to kill and want an easy hike, Pacific Spirit Regional Park is one of the best winter hikes in Vancouver. It’s a great spot to head out and enjoy winter in Canada and features a dense forest full of flat trails. You can easily lose hours trekking through this old-growth forest.
You may find the numerous trails a little muddy during Vancouver’s rainy winters, so you might want to bring extra shoes and socks.
This secluded lake is tucked within the hills of West Vancouver. Don’t let its size fool you, it’s still one of the best winter hikes in Vancouver. The initial section of this hike can be a bit of a challenge because it’s steep, but it levels out after that, making this an easy hike.
While Whyte Lake has a lot to offer, its highlight is the serene view from the wooden dock that overlooks this lake hidden nestled within the trees.
Expect to spend about 1.5 hours checking out this wonderful hidden gem.
Want to see some of the most incredible views in Canada this winter? Then you’ll want to check out the viewpoint at Tunnel Bluffs in Lions Bay. You may encounter snow on this hike, so check the conditions before heading out. Typically, though, Tunnel Bluffs is snow-free.
Keep in mind that this is one of Vancouver’s most popular hikes, so parking near the trailhead can be a challenge. Because you may find out there’s nowhere to park when you arrive, always come with a backup hike in mind.
Heading to the top can be a slog, especially the moderately steep incline in the first half. Fortunately, the trail flattens out quickly, leaving the rest of the hike fairly simple. Still, that first incline is significant, so this hike is best reserved for those with a little more experience.
Upon reaching the main viewpoint, you’ll enjoy stellar views of Howe Sound and the islands below.
Expect to spend about four hours hiking Tunnel Bluffs.
Murrin Loop is a stunning and fairly easy trail near Vancouver that rewards your efforts with a stellar view. You’ll trek past Browning Lake then head through the forest to Quercus Viewpoint. Here, you’ll get a fantastic panoramic view of Howe Sound. You’ll spend only about 1.5 hours on this hike, making it a great spot to come in the late afternoon and watch the sunset.
If you stop by Murran Loop Trail, you may also want to check out Jurassic Ridge. Here, you’ll find fun, more technical sections. Few people come up this far, meaning you may have this section all to yourself.
If you prefer snowshoeing, a great winter hike is Dog Mountain at Mount Seymour.
Dog Mountain’s trail meanders throughout the forest and has a gentle climb most of the way. However, you'll want to keep in mind that there are a few short, steeper sections.
You’ll enjoy amazing views down to the city and out over the water on a clear day. However, even if the weather isn’t great, you’ll still enjoy a fun hike through the beautiful forest.
Dog Mountain trail is well-trafficked, and you can easily complete it with microspikes or snowshoes.
Sticking to the snowshoe trails, you’ll find a hiking trail heading up Hollyburn Mountain at Cypress Mountain. This is not for a beginner, as it’s a fairly steep and gruelling trail that’ll put those leg muscles to work. The beginning of the trail is relatively easy, but the tough second half with significant elevation gain makes up for you having an easy start.
Despite its difficulty, this is still one of the best winter hikes in Vancouver.
When you reach the end of the nordic ski area at Cypress, the steep ascent to the top begins with you passing various false summits along the way. The trail's steepest section is the final climb up to Hollyburn’s peak. This section is about as close to vertical as you can get without the aid of ropes and other assistance.
Your reward? an amazing view from atop the summit on clear winter days.
You can expect to spend about 3.5 hours on this trail.
Some call it Burnaby’s Grind, others call it Velodrome Trail. Whatever you call it, this short hike lives up to its namesake as a grind. It includes a climb of more than 500 stairs to reach the pinnacle of Burnaby Mountain. At the top, you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of Vancouver and the Kamui Mintara sculpture.
This British Columbia hike is popular with hikers and mountain bikers because it includes many trails.
You can adapt a hike at Burnaby Mountain for any age group or fitness level, making it a family favourite. You’ll also find an abundance of wildlife on Burnaby Mountain.
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