Your Vancouver Outdoors Bucket List for Winter 2021/22

Skiing at Grouse Mountain near Vancouver

Skiing at Grouse Mountain Tourism Vancouver / Kazutoshi Yoshimura

Winter is coming! In Vancouver, that means snow in the mountains, skiing, snowshoeing, and lots more. Here are our picks for Vancouver outdoor activities you’ll want to add to your winter bucket list for winter 2021/22.

Ski or Snowboard the North Shore Mountains

Vancouver has three ski hills in the local North Shore Mountains: Mount Seymour, Grouse Mountain, and Cypress Mountain. They each have tons of terrain ranging from easy to expert and terrain parks if you want to channel your inner X-games athlete. With lighted runs, you can ski at night too. And if you’re a beginner, sign-up for lessons.

Skier at Grouse Mountain near Vancouver

Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Dave Delnea Images


Go for a Hike

While the tops of the mountains are blanketed in snow, the forest is still green closer to the ocean. Vancouverites love to hike all year. Use our list of snow-free Vancouver hikes to plan your winter hiking trip.

The dock at Whyte Lake in West Vancouver, an easy hike

Whyte Lake in West Vancouver. Photo: Taryn Eyton/


Brave a Polar Bear Swim

For over 100 years, Vancouver celebrated the New Year with a frigid plunge into the ocean at English Bay on January 1. There are several other celebrations in the Vancouver area too.

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

Photo: City of Vancouver


Go Sledding and Snow-Tubing

Vancouver’s climate is too warm to get much snow in the city, but our mountains get lots of the white stuff. Make sure you slide down the slopes at one of Vancouver’s snow tube parks this winter.

Family sledding at Grouse Mountain in Vancouver

Family sledding at Grouse Mountain. Photo: Tourism Vancouver/Grouse Mountain


Zipline Through the Snow

Zip-lining isn’t just a summer activity! Bundle up warm, then strap into a harness and fly through the snowflakes at one of three Vancouver-area zip-line parks. In North Vancouver, book a zip-line tour with Grouse Mountain. If you’re heading to Whistler Superfly Ziplines or Ziptrek can get you flying.

Riding the Superfly Ziplines near Whistler

Zip lines in winter. Photo: Superfly Ziplines


Ice Skate Outdoors

Feel the snowflakes land on your cheeks as you twirl around the ice at an outdoor rink this winter. Vancouver has a few different outdoor skating locations to choose from.

Mountain top ice skating on a pond at Grouse Mountain near Vancouver

Photo: Grouse Mountain


Go Snowshoeing

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. Try one of our picks for beginner-friendly snowshoe trails, or sign up for unique snowshoe tours where you can combine snowshoeing with fondue or snowshoe at night.

Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain

Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain. Photo: Tourism Vancouver/Rishad Daroowala


Ride a Gondola to a Winter Wonderland

Step onto the Grouse Mountain Gondola or the Sea to Sky Gondola and let it whisk you up the mountain to a winter wonderland. At the top, you’ll find snowy scenes perfect for photos, easy walks through the forest to beautiful views, snowshoe tours, and lots of holiday fun.

Sea to Sky gondola

Photo: Sky Gondola/Paul Bride


Hang Out With Hundreds of Eagles

Did you know that Squamish is home to one of the world’s largest populations of wintering bald eagles? Each year over 1000 eagles spend December and January hanging out along the Squamish River. Pack your binoculars, then use our list of the best places to spot eagles.

The view from Eagle Run dyke in Squamish, BC

The view from Eagle Run Dyke in Squamish. Photo: Ian Robertson/Tourism Squamish


Try Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is a great way to explore the winter landscape. You can get a full-body workout or go for a casual cruise with friends. There are four cross-country ski areas near Vancouver to choose from.

Cross country skiing at Cypress Mountain near Vancouver

Cross country skiing at Cypress Mountain’s Nordic Area. Photo: Cypress Mountain (Facebook)

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