animation (5).gif
  • Cheryl Cole

10 of the best dog-friendly winter hikes near Vancouver

These awesome winter hikes are the perfect way to get active outdoors with your pup in 2021.

Hiking is a great way to safely keep fit this new year and who better to explore the beautiful outdoors with than your dog?


For Vancouverites, we're spoilt for choice with some incredible winter trails right on our doorstep.


Whether it's some snowshoeing inspo you're looking for, or snow-free trails you can visit for a short after-work hike, we've got you covered.



So, if you're ready to get active with your pup, here are 10 of the best dog-friendly winter hikes near Vancouver.

And If you need some extra motivation to get outdoors this January, make sure to check out PawSwap's Hikes & Trails Challenge, giving dog owners a chance to win a huge prize worth over $1700 for exploring B.C hikes.

(Remember to stay safe, stay close to home, and plan ahead before hiking in snowy conditions.)

North Shore


Bowen Lookout


If you want a quick, short snowshoe trail that will work up a sweat, Bowen Lookout is the perfect choice. Located in West Vancouver, near the Cypress Mountain ski area and overlooking Howe Sound, the spectacular views are well worth the steep climb.


The hike is free but requires a BAC-access tag from the Black Mountain Lodge first during winter months, so don't forget to pick it up being setting off to explore with your pup.


Level: Easy

Time: 1.5 hours

Length: 4km

Dogs Allowed: On Leash

Dog Mountain


This short hike from Mount Seymour is a firm favourite with Vancouver doggos and one of the city's most popular snowshoeing trails in winter months.


Due to its short distance and minimal elevation gain, this relatively easy hike is suitable for beginner snowshoers and smaller dogs, and for only 2 hours of hiking, the views of Vancouver on a clear day are some of the best you'll get.

Time: 2 hours

Level: Easy

Length: 5km

Dogs Allowed: On Leash

Hollyburn Mountain


Located in Cypress Provincial Park, Hollyburn Mountain is one of the most popular winter trails near Vancouver, and it's no surprise as the peak offers a stunning scenic view of Vancouver, Burrard Inlet, and the Lions in the distance.

You can snowshoe next to the cross-country ski, surrounded by snow-drenched trees while your pup (if well-behaved!) gets to explore off-leash.

Level: Intermediate

Time: 3.5 hours

Length: 7km

Dogs Allowed: Off Leash



Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls

Another North Shore classic year-round, this is a rugged hike into the backcountry along the east side of Mount Fromme and to the west of Lynn Creek.


The trail normally remains snow-free, and although there's minimal elevation gain, the terrain is rugged with roots and slippery creek crossings which may be a little more challenging for you than for your pup.


After about 1 hour and 30 minutes, you'll reach the enormous, almost 600-year-old tree known as Big Cedar - one of the only trees not to be logged in the area.


Then, if you're up for the challenge, continue on the trail for a few hours and you'll be rewarded with an amazing view of Kennedy Falls.

Level: Intermediate

Time: 5 hours

Length: 10km

Dogs Allowed: Off Leash


Whyte Lake


Whyte Lake is a small, peaceful lake in the hills of West Vancouver above Horseshoe Bay, and the The Whyte Lake Trail is a fantastic choice during the winter months.

This popular short hike is particular great for those cloudy or rainy days as there's no viewpoint to worry about. Instead you and your pup can enjoy the scenic forest on the way to the beautiful lake, knowing the pay off will be worth it regardless!

Level: Easy

Time: 2 hours

Length: 5km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash (Permitted off-leash on the Trans Canada Trail section of this hike only) This hike is currently worth Triple Points for those taking part in PawSwap's Hikes & Trails Challenge this month.


ALSO READ: Get active with your dog this new year with this fun Vancouver hiking challenge


Mount Seymour - Pump Peak


If you've mastered Dog Mountain and you're looking for breath-taking winter wonderland-style scenery and a bit more of a challenging snowshoe trail, then Pump Peak will not disappoint.


The hike is steep but ask anyone who has done it and they'll tell you - the views from the summit are well worth the workout.


On a clear day, you can take in views of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley as far as the eye can see and if you're got an active pup, they will love this snowy trail.


Level: Intermediate

Time: 4 hours

Length: 7km

Dogs Allowed: On Leash




Burnaby


Velodrome Trail


If you and your pup like a challenge and are looking for a snow-free winter hike, then this one's for you.


Known as the 'Burnaby Grind' hikers climb more than 500 wooden steps before the trail joins with the Pandora Trail for the rest of the route to the top.


Once at the summit, you're met with panoramic views of Indian Arm, Burrard Inlet, Burnaby, downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and the Lion’s Gate Bridge.


Level: Intermediate

Time: 1 hour

Length: 3km

Dogs Allowed: On Leash

Fraser Valley

Elk Mountain


This Chilliwack favourite can be enjoyed year-round and provides unbeatable views of the Fraser and Chilliwack River Valleys. Undoubtedly the most popular snowshoeing trail in Fraser Valley, your pup can roam off leash and explore, as long as they are kept under control!


Once at the top, you'll be treated to a beautiful view of the Border Peaks, Chilliwack River below and even the United States off in the distance.

Level: Intermediate

Time: 4-6 hours

Length: 7km

Dogs Allowed: Off Leash


Falls Lake Trail


Falls Lake is a beautiful subalpine lake in the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area and this short and easy hike offers an extremely rewarding view across the expansive lake.


The trail is well-marked, and should be suitable, and enjoyable, for active dogs of all sizes.


Level: Easy

Time: 1.5 hours

Length: 2km

Dogs Allowed: On Leash

Lightning Lake Loop

Lightning Lake is a very popular hike year-round in Manning Park, but in winter months it acts as an amazing starter snowshoe option as it is almost entirely flat. Your pup can join you on leash for this 9km loop which is peaceful, scenic and offers the opportunity to see the picturesque Rainbow Bridge.


Level: Easy

Time: 4 hours

Length: 9km

Dogs Allowed: On Leash