Winter hikes in Vancouver can be few and far between if you don’t own a pair of snowshoes. And we get it, not everybody loves snowshoes. They can be cumbersome, really loud, and a lot of the time you don’t even NEED them. Especially these days in Vancouver. But, if you still want to hike in the winter in Vancouver, it’s pretty hard not to have a pair (or microspikes) if you want to make it into the mountains.

So, to save your budget, and your sanity (man, snowshoes are loud), we’ve compiled a few ideas for some great winter hikes in Vancouver that don’t require you to buy a pair of $150 snowshoes (or rent them for $25). But, we still recommend having a pair of microspikes… just in case.

These 5 hikes have lower terrain, but still have some great views / end goals to make the trip worth it!

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1. Kennedy Falls Trail

Located in North Vancouver, this hike takes you through a peaceful, forest setting to an epic waterfall (which is also cool when it’s frozen). It’s a rugged hike, so you’ll need some good boots, but shouldn’t be too tough for experienced hikers. Note: there are some creek crossings, which may require getting a little wet.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 5 hours or so
Distance: 10km (round-trip)
Dog Friendly: Yes!
Directions/more info

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2. Jug Island Beach

A fun little hike that takes you to an isolated beach that faces a cute little island just off the tip of Belcarra Regional Park. If you’re feeling brave, maybe try swimming out to it? Nope, that sounds like a horrible idea. The island makes for a nice Instagram picture though.

Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 5.5km (round-trip)
Dog Friendly: Yes
Directions / More Info

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3. Mount Gardner Hike (Bowen Island)

How about a cruise then a hike? Get yourself over to Bowen Island for a fun full-day hike and an adventure in the laid-back island community. This hike starts off from the ferry terminal, so you won’t have to worry about bringing your car over. There’s a great view from the top and less threat of snow (but plan ahead, just in case).

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 7 hours
Distance: 17km (round-trip) + ferry ride
Dog Friendly: Yes
Directions / More Info

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4. Burnaby Mountain

If you thought Burnaby Mountain was only known as the place with SFU at the top, you’d be missing most of the story. Burnaby Mountain is well-known in the mountain biking community and has a great series of connected trails. Hikers are also welcome and the trails provide a great opportunity for a fun climb up to the fortress of SFU.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 3 hours +
Distance: 7km, but can increase/decrease depending on your plan
Dog Friendly: Yes (but leashed is a good idea)
Directions / More Info

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5. Norvan Falls

This is a nice cruiser hike that can also be turned into a trail running experience if you’re up to it. The trail is nice and flat in most sections (although it is very long) and in the morning it’s very quiet, so you’ll have the forest to yourself. There’s also an impressive waterfall at the end to make the trip worthwhile. Bonus: if you have extra time, try exploring past the falls

Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Time: 5 hours
Distance: 14km (round-trip)
Dog Friendly: Yes
Directions / More Info

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