The holiday season might be over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Living in beautiful British Columbia means you have your pick of local winter wonderlands to explore. So, let’s wonder! Grab your waterproof clothing, jump in your car and make your way to one of these 5 stunning locations.
Fall back in love with winter.
Cypress is just 30 minutes from the heart of downtown Vancouver and just 64 minutes from Richmond. It’s packed with fun winter activities for the entire family. If you’re looking for a winter walk or ski/snowboard day on the slopes, Cypress is your spot. It offers 11km of self-guided snowshoe trails that will take you past frozen lakes and through alpine meadows. You can also rent snowshoes on the mountain or pay for a tour if you’d prefer a guided experience.
Grouse Mountain offers skiing, ice-skating and beautiful snowshoeing trails and is only a 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. The Munday Alpine Park has something for beginners and intermediates. And, for those looking to stay fit in the winter, there is the Snowshoe Grind that is 4.3 km - it’s a timed uphill trail that gains 240 meters of elevation. The trail will get you back to your January fitness goals in no time. Grouse truly is a natural winter playground.
Seymour might require a slightly longer drive of 81 minutes, but it’s well worth it. The drive is a winding road that crawls through a beautifully frosted forest. Snowshoe Magazine rates Seymour the number one resort for snowshoeing in North America in 2012. The mountain has tours for all appetites from beginners to athletes. The most popular hike is a 4.5 km hike to Dog Mountain. On Seymour, you are witness to frozen lakes and deep forest trails. Rentals are available on the mountain along with guided tours. Seymour really is a nature lovers’ paradise.
Get ready for a beautiful 1 h 52 min drive on the infamous sea-to-sky highway. If you are looking for a slightly more intense winter adventure, this is it. Elfin Lakes is a long 11 km trail in the Garibaldi Provincial Park. It’s six to eight hours of amazing views of snowy mountains. And if you beat the crowds you can book a bunk in the cabin or for the braver characters there’s snow camping too. You will need to bring all your gear to the mountain, as facilities are limited.
This is an easy hike to a beautiful waterfall. The drive is roughly 1 h 21 minutes and is just outside of Squamish. Brandywine Falls Provincial Park has the amazing, Sea to Sky Trail running right through it. The trail to Brandywine Falls trail is one for the entire family, it’s easy and flat and doable without snowshoes if you’re willing to get a little wet.
Enjoy the outdoors this winter season and always remember that driving in winter conditions is different. Before you go on a search for your winter wonderland make sure your vehicle has winter tires, good visibility, and a winter emergency kit.