Now that there’s actually snow to snowshoe on this year, we get a chance to dust off our snowshoes (or rent a pair from MEC) and head to the hills! But, if you’re not keen on spending money to walk around on snow, check out the list below of a few areas with free snowshoeing in Vancouver:

snowshoeing cypress mountain

Dog Mountain on Mount Seymour

Mt Seymour has a few trails that require a snowshoe trail pass ($10 for adults), but if you’d rather do it for free, you can head up to Dog Mountain that is a fairly easy hike that’s an easy to follow trail and 5K roundtrip. It’s a very popular hike and dogs are welcome. It’s also got great views and is a cool place to check out the sunset (but bring a headlamp!)

Rating: Easy
Length: 5 km round trip
How to get there: Drive up Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. Park in the day lot 1 (or 5), and walk to the end of the parking lot section to get to the BC Parks information board. Find your trail map from there. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Obviously! Where’d you think the name comes from?
More info: www.outdoorvancouver.ca

free snowshoeing in vancouver

First Peak on Mount Seymour

If you’re looking for more of a challenge than what Dog Mountain offers, check out First Peak on Mount Seymour. An uphill grind that turns into a winter wonderland on snowy days. The trail is usually easy to follow, but make sure you pack emergency supplies just in case.

Rating: Difficult
Length: 10 km round trip
How to get there: Find the BC Parks Information map at the end of Mount Seymour parking lot. Follow the signs and stay off the ski run. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Yes, but on leash. Be careful around steep sections.
More info: www.trailpeak.com

free snowshoeing in vancouver

Hollyburn Peak on Cypress Mountain

Although this route starts off in the same area as the paid snowshoeing section on Cypress, Hollyburn Peak is located in Cypress Provincial Park, so it’s free! It’s a well-trodden trail and fairly easy to find. Hint: keep going up.

Rating: Moderate
Length: 7 km round trip
How to get there: Route starts at kosk just before the XC ski shack area where people start skiing. Your route avoids this paid area of groomed trails and snakes up the mountain. You start off under the power lines. The route is marked by orange poles. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Yes, but on leash.
More info: www.trailpeak.com

free snowshoeing vancouver

Black Mountain Plateau Winter Trail

Rating: Moderate
Length: 7 km round trip
How to get there: Located on Cypress Mountain in the downhill ski area. Signposts located 30 m west of the lower terminal of Eagle Express Quad Chairlift. The trail is marked to the south summit of Black Mountain and loops on the plateau. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Yes, but on leash.
More info: www.en.gov.bc.ca

free snowshoeing in vancouver

Bowen Lookout Winter Trail (Howe Sound Crest Trail)

Rating: Easy-ish
Length: 3 km round trip
How to get there: Located on Cypress Mountain in the same area as the Black Mountain Plateau trail. The trail starts 20 m West of the Eagle Express Quad chairlift in the alpine ski area. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Yes, but on leash.
More info: www.en.gov.bc.ca

Not in Vancouver but worth the drive

elfin lakes snowshoeing

Elfin Lakes

Make sure you get an early start or are planning an overnight trip in the big warming hut (sleeps 33!) located at Elfin Lakes because this journey is very long. Very worth it though!

Rating: Moderate
Length: 22 km round trip
How to get there: Trailhead located 30 mins east of Squamish at the Diamond Head trailhead. Trail is well marked and often tracked out. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Not allowed
More info: www.squamishhiatus.com

free snowshoeing near vancouver

Garibaldi Lake

A great hike in the summer is completely different in the winter. Again, because of the length of the trail you should start really early or plan to camp at Garibaldi Lake.

Rating: Difficult
Length: 25 km round trip
How to get there: Trailhead located 25 mins east of Squamish at Rubble Creek. Trail is well marked. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Not allowed
More info: www.squamishhiatus.com

Train Wreck Whistler

Train Wreck in Whistler

A train derailment graveyard that has been covered in artistic spray paint. Super easy snowshoe if you are feeling like resting the legs.

Rating: Easy (may not even need snowshoes)
Length: 5 km round trip
How to get there: Trail is not well marked, but there should be some path of where people have gone before you. Trailhead starts in Function Junction. More detailed instructions in the link below.
Dog friendly: Yes, on leash or under control.
More info: Our Train Wreck Listing

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