Just because there is snow, doesn't mean it isn't hiking season! So grab your snow shoes, your camera, and your best pals. You can save the Netflix and chill for later!
You know that awe-struck feeling you get when you get to the end of your hike up one of the local mountains, and see the city, surrounding mountains, nature, etc. Think about that, but with snow-capped peaks on a blue-bird day.
Not only are these hikes totally Instagram-worthy, but you're also checking out some of the tourist hot-spots during the off-season. This means you'll skip out on the usual crowds, and wait-times to get your photo taken with the most picture-perfect backdrop.
So here are the top 3 B.C. hiking trails to hit before the snow melts!
1. Joffre Lakes
If you've had the pleasure of making it out to Joffre Lakes in the summer, you know what a sight it is to behold – and it becomes a winter wonderland once the snow hits.
Located only 2.5 hours outside of Vancouver, you can make this hike work for you. If you're really just looking for the photo opp, you can head to the first lake. Only 5 minutes from the parking lot, you don't even need to head up an incline.
If you're feeling adventurous, grab a pair of snowshoes and head up to the second and third lakes. With a 370 m elevation, you're on a steep incline until the second lake.
Expect to take 4+ hours roundtrip. So bring snacks, and wear removeable layers for your way up!
Important: unless you're an experienced hiker, only do this during the daylight. So start your hike no later than 11 a.m. to account for any breaks, or possible mishaps along the way... oh and to save time for photo opps!
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A post shared by Julian DeSchutter (@deshoots) on
2. Dog Mountain at Mount Seymour
One of the easier hikes along the North Shore, Dog Mountain is also one of the most popular snow shoeing trails. With a lower elevation, and shorter distance to the peak, this is even suitable for your hygge-enthusiast friends.
As the name eludes, you can also bring along your favourite non-human pals, provided they stay on-leash.
The real payoff comes when you hit the peak, with views of North Vancouver, the Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver.
Another benefit to snowshoeing at Dog Mountain is that you can rent snowshoes directly from their rental shops, along with a trail pass. This is especially helpful on those sunny Vancouver days when MEC runs out of their snowshoes!
Photo courtesy of Julian DeSchutter
3. Hollyburn at Cypress Mountain
You can skip leg-day with this hike! For the most-part, you're heading straight upward, meaning you'll get a nice booty burn.
Located at Cypress Mountain, the Hollyburn trail is well-marked, and offers stunning views of the city for those who make it to the very top, with the two Lions making a scenic backdrop. It's also one of the more night-safe trails for those looking to see the city in all its lit-up glory (just make sure to have a headlamp and backup light).
At 7km round-trip, this is a great snowshoe for a long afternoon with friends, or if you just want to take in beautiful sights without a long drive out!