Where to snowshoe with your dog near Vancouver

Feb 18 2021, 5:57 pm

Please note: As recommended by BC’s provincial health officials, gatherings of any kind and unessential travel in the province is not recommended at this time. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home. 

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

With winter winding down, there is still a bit of time to squeeze in some quality snow-filled outdoor time with your pup.

It’s a great way to explore the great outdoors while giving you both a great workout. This low-impact sport is growing in popularity, and luckily for Vancouverites, there are great trails just a short drive away that are perfect for bringing Fido along.

These are trails that are close to home, as non-essential travel around BC is not currently recommended by the BC government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note, these routes require your dogs to be on a leash at all times. 

Happy snowshoeing!

Dog Mountain – Mount Seymour

With a name like Dog Mountain, you just know it’s dog-friendly! This easy trail is perfect for the snowshoe beginner and families with children. It’s an easy four-kilometre round trip with minimal elevation. Starting from the parking lot in Mount Seymour Provincial Park, you’ll wind your way through the trees until you get to the snow-covered First Lake. It’s a great place to stop and take photos and catch your breath. Head up the final ascent to reach the stunning viewpoint where, on a clear day, you’ll take in sweeping vistas of Mount Baker, Vancouver, and nearby North Shore mountains.

How to get there: Take Highway 1 to exit 22 – Mount Seymour Parkway. Follow the road for 10 minutes before turning left and following signs for Mount Seymour Provincial Park. Turn left at Mt. Seymour Road and keep driving all the way up to the parking lot. The trailhead is at the northern-most point of the lot, near the bottom of the Mystery Express Chair.

Hollyburn Mountain

Technically part of Cypress Mountain, expect about three to four hours of snowshoeing and sweeping views of the Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, and the Lions. The first part of this journey is straight uphill – about 15 minutes – but levels out for a while as you pass Fourth Lake. To get to Hollyburn Mountain, watch for a sign to turn left and stay on the trailhead. After about 20 minutes, a rocky outcrop welcomes you to Hollyburn Mountain, where you’re rewarded with amazing views of BC’s Gulf Islands and the Georgia Strait.

How to get there: Take Highway 1 and exit at Cypress Provincial Park (Exit #8). Follow the road to the junction and turn right. Parking is just before the map board, before the ski rental building. The trailhead starts near the map and will follow under the power lines for the first little while.

Tips for snowshoeing with your dog

Want to hit the snowshoe trails with your pooch but still have a few questions? Here are some general guidelines for taking your pooch snowshoeing:

  • Before you head out on any trail, make sure your canine is properly equipped for the cold. Some smaller dogs and short-haired breeds, like pit bulls, may benefit from wearing a jacket for an extra layer of warmth, and make sure the trail you pick is appropriate for their stamina and fitness level.
  • Keep dogs on leash and under control in parking areas.
  • Scoop that poop! And pack it out with you.
  • Pack an extra towel and cozy blanket for après-shoeing. Once the snow on their fur melts, it can get chilly.
  • Consider packing a small waterproof mat for you and your pup to sit on for a break.
  • Bring extra water.

This article was first published in December 2016 and has been updated with the most current information.