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17 places in the Vancouver area to take epic winter Instagram shots (VIDEO)

Graham Cox Jan 22, 2019 9:00 am

It might not feel like it, but winter is here.

Although it has been above freezing and snow-less in the City of Vancouver, you don’t have to look very far in order to find those picturesque winter views.

Whether it is driving to a lookout, hiking along a snowshoe trail, or simply skating in the heart of downtown, here are 17 of the best spots in the Vancouver-area to give your Insta-feed a seasonal touch.

For your own safety, please make sure you are well prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe whilst out hiking is available from North Shore Rescue and AdventureSmart.

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Robson Square Ice Rink


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You don’t need to go hunting for frozen lake to skate on when there is an outdoor rink right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Up until the end of February, Robson Square is converted into a skating rink, making it a prime location for photos with winter vibes. The best part is it’s free if you have your own skates. For those that don’t, rentals are available onsite as well.

Grouse Mountain


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There is just something very photo-worthy about a tunnel of vibrant lights. Up on Grouse, there is a great snowshoeing trail that heads under one of these, making the surroundings glow. On top of that, once up the mountain you can get the million dollar views of the city from the lodge.

Stanley Park


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A list like this has to include the “crown jewel” of Vancouver attractions. Stanley Park has multiple views of the North Shore mountains that differ depending on the time of day. The odd morning you might even find frost on the ground or dustings of snow, giving the park a coveted winter feel.

Sea to Sky Gondola


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Just a 45-minute drive from Vancouver you will find the Sea to Sky Gondola. Rising high above the Squamish valley and offering sweeping views of the Howe Sound, this gem is sure to make people double-tap your photos. Add in the combination of viewing platforms, snow-covered trails and a suspension bridge, what more could you want?

Capilano Suspension Bridge


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Speaking of suspension bridges, Capilano’s Canyon Lights remain up until January 27th. The entire park is pure magic in the evening as every pathway is draped in lights, illuminating the surrounding nature, making it hard to stop snapping.

Jones Lake


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Jones Lake is a little bit of a further trek out past Chilliwack, in the Fraser Valley, but is worth the drive. Snow-covered mountains tower over the lake and provide an unparalleled view of the Cheam Range. Pro tip: Bring a canoe or kayak.

Cypress Lookout


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One of the best vantage points of the City of Vancouver is up at the Cypress Lookout. Although it might not get snow, Vancouver occasionally does see the fog roll in throughout the winter months and if you’re lucky enough to catch it at the right time, it can be a photographer’s dream.

Queen Elizabeth Park


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Another great vantage point can be found at Queen Elizabeth Park. You won’t find winter in the park necessarily, but your view of Vancouver with the North Shore mountains rising up behind it is stunning and surely will make for a nice addition to your feed.

Mount Seymour


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Skiing, tubing, snowshoeing – when it comes to winter activities with an extremely scenic backdrop, then Mount Seymour’s got you covered.

Brandywine Falls


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A lot can be said about scenery from the tops of mountains, but views down in the bottom of valleys aren’t so bad either. Another highlight along the Sea to Sky Highway is Brandywine Falls. Just a short walk from the parking lot is a platform that overlooks the falls from up top, but if you continue following the trail down into the valley you can get a more majestic view at the base of Brandywine.

Whistler Village


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The hub of Whistler offers BC’s winter at its finest. Whether it’s the chalet-style shops, the scenic village stroll, or simply a plate of aprés ski nachos, there is something for everyone’s feed in Whistler Village.

Scandinave Spa


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Just north of Whistler Village sits the Scandinave Spa. The heated baths, contrasted with the surrounding snow, along with the outdoor mountain views make this a spot you won’t want to miss. One thing to note that inside the spa is a tech-free zone, but photos can be shot from the vantage points in the lobby, overlooking the area.

Nita Lake Lodge


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Over near the Creekside Gondola, Nita Lake Lodge is one of the most picturesque mountain resorts in Whistler. Everything from the architecture to its marquee sign is worthy of an Instagram post.

Lost Lake


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The area surrounding Whistler village is also loaded with photo opportunities – one of the best being at Lost Lake. With well-mapped, flat trails, Lost Lake is extremely easy to get to, but at the same time feels extremely remote. You can trek around the entire lake as well offering a variety of different shots of the surrounding mountain peaks.

Peak of Whistler Blackcomb


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As beautiful as Whistler Village is, it is pretty hard to beat the sights you will find on the peaks of both Whistler and Blackcomb. From the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola to the views of Black Tusk to the Olympic rings to the inukshuk, you cannot go wrong.

Joffre Lakes


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The Joffre Lakes hike is well-known as a summer destination, but is just as picturesque at this time of year. There is just something special about the turquoise lakes covered in snow. If you plan on hiking to all three, though, make sure you are prepared with the proper gear because the climb becomes a little more difficult in snowy conditions.

Keyhole Hotsprings


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There are countless hot springs throughout British Columbia, but one of the more iconic natural springs has been built into the side of the rock along the Lillooet River. The area is closed for most of the year in order to support the recovery of grizzly bears in the area, so winter is the only time to visit, but it is also the most beautiful time of year. Nothing beats taking a dip in hot water while immersed in winter.


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Graham Cox
Sport fan, photographer, and travel enthusiast.

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