Top 20 Best Winter Hikes Near Vancouver, BC

Hiking in the winter is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Vancouver during the colder months. Since Vancouver does not get much snow, our winter hikes and trails are more accessible year-round and the snow on the mountains is not as deep! This list is for those of you who are looking to get outdoors this winter and don’t know where to start. Lucky for you, I’ll be covering both hikes without snow and hikes with snow!

Hiking in Vancouver in the winter is still going to be different than in the summer, and some of the best hikes near Vancouver are not as accessible in the winter. Avalanche safety and researching conditions before you hike is important before heading out on your adventure. Making sure you pack good layers will be key to enjoying your hike, so keep reading to know more about hiking in the winter near Vancouver!

Preparing for Hiking in BC & Winter Gear You’ll Need

When you’re preparing for your winter hike, you must be prepared for winter conditions. I have a packing list on our “What to pack for your day-hike” blog, but I’d like to highlight additional considerations for hiking in the winter. You’ll need to make sure you’re wearing proper base layers, a fleece sweater, and an insulted jacket or shell jacket (depending on the weather, but you should bring BOTH with you)!

Proper hiking boots are necessary in the winter, and you’ll like want to bring microspikes and gaiters with you. Your micro spikes will help you grip the snowy, icy, ground and gaiters will keep the snow away from your pants. If you’re hiking without snow you won’t need these, however, it’s good to have just in case! As always, make sure to pack enough fuel for your hike and pack out what you pack in.

10 Best Snow Free Hikes near Vancouver

The hikes listed below are known to not get any snow during the winter months. However, nature can be unpredictable and you should always be prepared. These hikes will likely not have any snow during your visit and you’ll enjoy hiking an easier trail without having to trek through snow.

Quarry Rock

girl and dog standing at quarry rock overlooking deep cove vancouver

Distance: 4.2 KM, Elevation: 215 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: Deep Cove

Quarry Rock is one of our favourite short hikes close to home, and the view overlooking the water is amazing at sunset. This short hike should take you 30-minutes to complete and be prepared for slight elevation!

Norvan Falls

girl standing in front of Norvan Falls in North Vancouver

Distance: 13.8 KM, Elevation: 345 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: North Vancouver

Norvan Falls is an excellent hike in North Vancouver that rewards you with a beautiful waterfall at the end. This hike is difficult because of the long distance, but the elevation is steady and the trail is well-maintained. We love taking our dog off-leash on this trail.

Lighthouse Park

lighthouse park vancouver

Distance: 18.2 KM, Elevation: 972 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: West Vancouver

Another local hike located in West Vancouver is Lighthouse Park. There are multiple trails strung throughout this park and you’ll be able to pick one that suits your adventure! We enjoy hiking to the lighthouse and the shorter hikes closer to the entrance of the park.

Lynn Canyon

girl walking across the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge in North Vancouver

Distance: 18.2 KM, Elevation: 972 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: North Vancouver

Lynn Canyon park is a great option to enjoy the forest and check out this cool (and free) suspension bridge! There are multiple trails throughout this park as well, and our favourites are hiking to the 30ft pool and choosing our own path.

Tunnel Bluffs

girl and dog watching sunset at tunnel bluffs vancouver

Distance: 10.9 KM, Elevation: 519 M, Difficulty: Moderate, Location: Lions Bay

Tunnel Bluffs is our go-to hike in the winter because it never gets snow! This hike can become muddy, and the first 2KM are a brutal uphill slog, but the views are worth it. Enjoying this hike without snow is a great way to get outdoors in the winter.

Stawamus Chief

Distance: 6.0 KM, Elevation: 654 M, Difficulty: Hard, Location: Squamish

Stawamus Chief is a popular hike in Squamish, and you’ll have 3 options for the length of your hike. First peak is often our favourite in the winter, as you might start to see snow or slippery sections as you go higher to the second and third peak. A great option for a steep workout with a great view!

Murrin Loop

Distance: 2.4 KM, Elevation: 162 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: Squamish

Murrin Loop is another hike in Squamish that we go to when we’re avoiding hiking in snow. This hike is a short but steep climb to the lookout and makes for a great sunset spot.

Shlhaney Peak

Distance: 5.8 KM, Elevation: 676 M, Difficulty: Moderate, Location: Squamish

This is our 3rd favourite Squamish hike in the winter, but it’s definitely a steep climb! This hike is great in the winter for having no snow, except for maybe a small amount at the peak. The entire trail is in the forest which protects the ground from getting covered in snow.

Hunter Logging Road Trail

Distance: 7.7 KM, Elevation: 324 M, Difficulty: Moderate, Location: Mission

This trailhead is located in Mission, BC, and you’ll be hiking up an old, steep logging road until you reach the viewpoint. This hike is often snow-free and the mountain view at the end is an incredible hidden gem.

Spirea Trail @ Golden Ears

Distance: 0.8 KM, Elevation: 0.8 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: Mission

Golden Ears Provincial Park rarely gets snow and is only an hour away from the city! Spirea trail is our favourite in the park, and it brings you through the mossy green forest with the chance of seeing light rays in the winter.

10 Best Hikes with Snow near Vancouver

While hiking in the snow might not be for everyone, we found it so enjoyable to see these hikes in the winter and enjoy them covered it snow! Here are some of the easier trails to hike in the winter with snow, with the harder ones found at the bottom. Always make sure to check weather and trail reports before hiking in the snow!

Dog Mountain

Distance: 5.6 KM, Elevation: 165 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: Mount Seymour

This might be the top winter hike in our opinion. It’s shorter and easier than most during the winter and accessible for plenty of people. The view overlooking the city is fantastic and the view facing the mountains is stunning. Definitely a great choice in the winter, and the snow makes it even more magical.

Bowen Lookout

Distance: 4.3 KM KM, Elevation: 150 M, Difficulty: Easy, Location: Cypress Mountain

Bowen Lookout is one of the easiest hikes to catch a view of the Howe Sound from above. It’s even more magical in the winter, but the 150M elevation becomes slippery in the winter! Make sure to have your micro spikes for this one, and consider staying for the sunset.

Pump Peak

guy hiking down pump peak in the snow Mount Seymour trail vancouver

Distance: 7.1 KM, Elevation: 474 M, Difficulty: Moderate, Location: Cypress Mountain

This hike is an awesome challenge in the winter if you can make it to the peak! If not, don’t worry because the view from the first lookout point might be better (in our opinion). This hike can get slippery with plenty of backcountry ski routes on this trail.

Hollyburn Peak

girl walking in the snow at sunset at hollyburn peak

Distance: 6.9 KM, Elevation: 415 M, Difficulty: Moderate, Location: Cypress Mountain

We thought this hike was so much more fun in the winter and will definitely be doing it again this year! It’s a steep climb to the top, but once you make it you’re given crazy beautiful city views from above. We stayed here for sunset, and hiking back down with the views was the best part.

Elfin Lakes (Red Heather Hut)

Distance: 11.3 KM, Elevation: 540 M, Difficulty: Moderate, Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park

This trail is SO popular with backcountry skiers, but we enjoyed hiking to the Red Heather Hut just for the adventure! We hiked a little bit past the hut to get epic views of the mountains, but this winter option is a great way to explore Garibaldi’s backcountry.

Elk Mountain

Distance: 8.2 KM, Elevation: 746 M, Difficulty: Hard, Location: Chilliwack

Elk Mountain is one of our top winter hikes and we really enjoy it in the summer too. This hike will give you one of the best views in the winter overlooking the town of Chilliwack and Mount Baker with the Cascade Mountain Range in the distance.

Garibaldi Lake

Distance: 18.2 KM, Elevation: 972 M, Difficulty: Hard, Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park

Garibaldi Lake is an incredible option in the winter, but make sure to check trail reports and figure out if you’ll need snowshoes or not. The road to the trailhead will be tough, but it will be an epic adventure to hike to Garibaldi Lake covered in snow.

Lindemann Lake

Distance: 3.5KM, Elevation: 238 M, Difficulty: Moderate, Location: Chilliwack

You’ll definitely need micro spikes for this hike in the winter, but reaching Lindemann lake frozen over and covered in snow is a beautiful site to see. This short but steep hike will take you to one of the best alpine lakes close to the city.

Joffre Lakes

Distance: 7.4 KM, Elevation: 491 M, Difficulty: Hard, Location: Pemberton

You won’t need a reservation to visit here in the winter, and Joffre Lakes is a great hike/snowshoe in the winter! Make sure to check trail reports to see if you’ll need spikes or snowshoes, and enjoy the quiet hike with epic mountain views covered in snow.

Snowshoe Grind @ Grouse Mountain

Distance: 1.8 KM, Elevation: 777 M, Difficulty: Hard, Location: Grouse Mountain

Our final suggestion is to give the snowshoe grind at Grouse Mountain a try! This trail is open in the winter and the snow makes it even more interesting. Enjoy taking the free gondola down when you’ve reached the top and score epic views over Vancouver.

Final Thoughts on Winter hikes near Vancouver

Winter hiking is one of our favourite ways to experience Vancouver, and with the mild weather and little snowfall it can be a hikers paradise. Vancouver also gets a ton of snow in the mountains, so if you’re looking for snowy hikes we’ve got you covered, too. You’ll enjoy these hikes a lot more in the off-season due to less people on the trails and a chance of scenery! I hope this inspires you to hike in the winter this season!

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