Where to Try Snowshoeing Near Vancouver: 5  Beginner-Friendly Places to Go

A group of snowshoers at Grouse Mountain near Vancouver

Photo credit: Grouse Mountain

Snowshoeing is one of the easiest winter sports you can try. If you can walk, you can snowshoe! Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains are a great place to try snowshoeing for the first time. Bundle up in some warm clothes and head to one of these five beginner-friendly snowshoeing trails.

Safety First: When you go snowshoeing, you’re heading into the wilderness, even if you start at a popular ski resort. North Shore Rescue recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. If you are new to snowshoeing, stick to easy beginner-friendly trails. More challenging trails can head into avalanche territory. 


Discovery Snowshoe Trails, Mount Seymour

If you’re just starting out, you’ll love the easy trails at Mount Seymour’s Discovery Snowshoe Area. You’ll walk through rolling terrain around several small frozen lakes. Mount Seymour Resort rents snowshoes and passes to the Discovery Snowshoe Trails are included with your rental. If you’d rather have someone else show you around, sign up for their Intro to Snowshoeing classes. A guide will teach you the basics, and there’s hot chocolate at the end.

Trail Stats: Up to 5.5km of trails, 50m elevation gain, 1-3 hours

A group of snowshoers at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver

Photo credit: Mount Seymour


Blue Grouse Loop, Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain’s Blue Grouse Loop is the most beginner-friendly snowshoe trail in Vancouver. The trail is almost completely flat and wanders through the beautiful snow-covered forest. It also passes by a small pond on a bridge. Snowshoeing at Grouse is free with a Skyride ticket up to the top of the mountain and they have snowshoe rentals. Newbies may want to sign up for Grouse’s Beginner Snowshoe Clinics. You’ll learn snowshoeing fundamentals over four separate sessions.

Trail Stats: 1.5km loop, 20m elevation gain, 30-45 minutes


Nordic Area Snowshoe Trails, Cypress Mountain

Snowshoers will love the huge network of snowshoe trails that crisscross the nordic ski area at Cypress Mountain. Beginners should stick to the easier trails lower down the mountain as the ones higher up are pretty hilly. You can make a great loop by combining the Hollyburn Meadows, Ancient Giants, Marr Creek, and Burfield Forest trails. You can rent snowshoes at the Nordic Area base and trail passes are included in the rental. If you’d prefer to go with a guide, sign-up for the beginner-friendly Hollyburn Meadows Tour. It includes a hot chocolate stop at the historic Hollyburn Lodge.

Trail Stats: Up to 11km of trails, up to 150m elevation gain, 1-5 hours


Dog Mountain, Mount Seymour Provincial Park

This BC Parks trail is one of the most popular places to go snowshoeing near Vancouver. The trail meanders through the forest, climbing a few hills and passing a frozen pond. It ends at the top of Dog Mountain, which has spectacular views of Burrard Inlet and downtown Vancouver. Since it’s a BC Parks trail there are no fees for snowshoeing. You can rent snowshoes from Mount Seymour ski resort or at outdoor stores in Vancouver and North Vancouver.

Trail Stats: 4.5km round trip, 30m elevation gain, 2-2.5 hours


Bowen Lookout, Cypress Provincial Park

The first half of this Provincial Park trail is flat as it meanders through meadows beside Yew Lake. In the second half, the trail really starts to climb steeply up some switchbacks. However, since the climbing is fairly brief, this is still a great choice for beginners. The trail ends at a spectacular viewpoint over Howe Sound and Bowen Island. There’s no fee to use this trail but you do need to pick up a free backcountry permit at the Black Mountain day-use lodge at Cypress Mountain ski resort. You also need to bring your own snowshoes. While Cypress Mountain rents snowshoes, you are only allowed to use them on their groomed trails, That means if you want to go to Bowen Lookout you’ll need to rent snowshoes at an outdoor store in Vancouver or North Vancouver.

Trail Stats: 3.5km return, 100m elevation gain, 1.5-2 hours

Bowen Lookout near Vancouver

The view from Bowen Lookout at sunset. Photo credit: HappiestOutdoors.ca

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