Superb Snow-Free Winter Hikes around Vancouver

Even in winter, keen hikers have plenty of excellent options around Vancouver. Here are the best ones!

Hiking, Trail Running Moderate, Difficult

Deep Cove from atop Quarry Rock
Deep Cove from atop Quarry Rock Photo: Vancouver Trails

Description

When winter arrives in Vancouver it can be tricky to know where to go hiking. So many of the quality routes get up into the alpine, and with snow generally sitting at 700 metres of elevation, it can seem like the hiking season is over. Far from it.

There are numerous quality hikes in the Vancouver area that can be done every single day of the year, provided you have some good rain gear. Many, like Quarry Rock, the Baden Powell, Norvan Falls, Tunnel Mountain, and Mt Gardener are a short walk from Transit stops.

With much shorter days, and damp weather, hikers need to be well prepared. Leaving early, doing proper research, carrying to the Ten Essentials, and leaving a trip plan are strongly encouraged.

The Baden Powell is one of the easier routes to get to. In the summer it runs from Horseshoe Bay, up and down Cypress and then along the upper flanks of the North Shore. In Winter Cypress sections aren’t an option, but from Capilano Canyon all the way to Deep Cove the hiking is almost always snow free.

Tunnel Bluffs is a very popular hike, but in winter there is a chance to hike it in peace with few other people. It is one of the higher trails here, so there may be some snow on the trail. Microspikes might be necessary in January and February.

Jug Island and Quarry Rock are both shorter hikes, but they have incredible views. Being so close to the water they are almost never covered in snow, and easily the most reliable options. Norvan fall is a popular route, though in cold snaps you can expect snow further up the trail.

Mt Gardener’s routes are a little harder to get to, but they are in Howe Sound which is often a touch warmer and they just beneath the snow line, so only the summits get snow.

Routes included

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