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  • Cheryl Cole

11 dog-friendly winter trails near Vancouver perfect for small dogs

These Vancouver trails are ideal for small breeds and are even more beautiful in the winter months.

If your favourite hiking companion happens to be on the smaller side, we've got you covered. Just because a dog is small doesn't mean they can't make amazing adventure buddies. In fact, there are many smaller breeds that love nothing more than spending hours outdoors exploring.


If you don't want to wait for the summer to get out on the trails with your dog, then these 11 dog-friendly trails near Vancouver are for you.



Not only are these trails all suitable for smaller breeds, but they also are just as beautiful in the winter months as they are in summer!


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


Lighthouse Park


Nature, views, water and history, Lighthouse Park has them all and even better - you can enjoy it with your dog as small breeds will love the trails here.


Located in West Vancouver at the entrance of the Burrard Inlet, Lighthouse Park offers a large network of trails winding through beautiful old-growth forest down to the historic lighthouse on the water.

You can chill out with your pup on one of the rocky outcrops on the ocean shore and take in the stunning views of the Salish Sea, downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park before heading back. The trails are mostly easy and are extremely enjoyable for humans and pups all year round, with lots of great photo opportunities too.


Time: 2 hours (Varies depending on trails)

Length: 3.3 km Dogs Allowed: Off-Leash

Norvan Falls


If your pup loves a long walk but has little legs that don't deal well with steep climbs, then Norvan Falls is a great trail to check out. It may be lengthy, but with only 195m elevation gain and the promise of a cascading waterfall at the end, it's definitely worth the time – especially as small dogs will enjoy it just as much as you do.

Lush green forests and a stunning waterfall surrounded by mossy rocks will keep your pup happy for hours, and there’s plenty of water opportunities along the way too.


Time: 5 hours

Length: 14 km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash

Lynn Loop


This relatively easy hike is the most popular trail in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver, and is a favourite with local dog owners looking for a quick outing with their pup.


The lower portion of the trail follows Lynn Creek and makes for an easy, flat walk suitable for little legs, but if your small dog is active and enjoys a little more of a challenge, the upper portion of the trail carries you through the forest of Lynn Headwaters.

The hike may not have an epic viewpoint, but the scenic and peaceful forest makes it well worth the trip, and you'll see plenty of dogs of all sizes having a great time on this trail.


Time: 1.5 hours

Length: 5.1km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash


Pacific Spirit Regional Park


Situated next to UBC, in the Point Grey neighbourhood, just a 10-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver, Pacific Regional Park has over 55km of trails to walk through beautiful, peaceful woods – and smaller dogs will enjoy any of them.

Not all these trails are leash-optional, but a lot of them are, so check out this map to help you plan your route. Accessible all year round, the area is very well equipped for dog owners with poop bag stations and red ‘poop’ bins around the trails.


With so many trails to choose from, this is a perfect place to let your dog explore while you enjoy the relaxation of escaping the city for a few hours.


Time: 3 hours

Length: 10km

Dogs Allowed: Off-Leash


This hike is currently worth Triple Points for those taking part in PawSwap’s Hikes & Trails Challenge this month. Find more information about the challenge here.

Cypress Falls


This quick and easy hike in West Vancouver offers an escape into nature through dense forest, old Cedar and Douglas Fir trees and makes for a great experience all year round. It’s also enjoyable for dogs of all sizes so is a great choice if you have a smaller breed.

There’s two beautiful waterfalls for you to enjoy while your pups can explore off-leash, as long as they're kept under control.

Time: 1.5 hours

Length: 3km

Dogs Allowed: Off-Leash

Dog Mountain


If your small pup is active and loves running in the snow, they'll love Dog Mountain in winter.

This short hike from Mount Seymour is one of the city's most popular snowshoeing trails in the winter months, and for only 2 hours of hiking, the views of Vancouver on a clear day are some of the best you'll get. Due to its short distance and minimal elevation gain, this relatively easy hike is fantastic for smaller dogs who love getting active, and is suitable for beginner snowshoers.

Time: 2 hours

Length: 5km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash

Mystery Lake


This short hike located in Mount Seymour Provincial Park is great for swimming in the summer, but is equally beautiful in the winter months. You’ll climb about 150m but the overall distance is short and suitable for little legs. Not hiked with your pup before? This is a perfect introduction!

Time: 1.25 hours

Length: 3km

Dog Allowed: On-Leash

Bowen Lookout


You've probably completed this trail many times in the summer, but if you haven't taken your pup in the winter, you're missing out.


If you want a quick, short snowshoe trail that will work up a bit of a sweat without being too much for your small dog, then 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, and your pup will love every minute of it – just be sure to keep them on leash!

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 before setting off.

Time: 1.5 hours

Length: 4km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash


Queen Elizabeth Park


If you want a nice, easy walk that even the smallest dog can enjoy, then Queen Elizabeth Park should be on your list. At 152m above sea level, the highest point of the city, Queen Elizabeth Park has some amazing views of Vancouver, and although your dogs won't care much about the views, they'll love being by your side as you explore the gardens and walking trails.


There's also a large off-leash area next to the tennis courts on 37th Avenue if your pup wants to burn off some extra energy!


Time: Up to an hour

Length: 1.4 km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash


Deer Lake


Located in Burnaby, this is the perfect trail to do with any sized dog all year round, and is a particularly popular choice for smaller dogs as it stays nice and flat. The trail offers an easy walk that circles the lake and passes by a beach area, a viewing tower, and pier – all offering great scenery that looks just as beautiful on a winter day than in the height of the summer.


Time:1 hour

Length: 5km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash

Whyte Lake

Whyte Lake is a small, peaceful lake in the hills of West Vancouver above Horseshoe Bay, and The Whyte Lake Trail leading there is perfect for an easy hike with your smaller pup in the winter months.

Want to go for a short hike on a rainy or cloudy day? The Whyte Lake Trail is perfect as there's no viewpoint to worry about. You and your pup can simply enjoy the scenic forest, knowing the pay off will be worth it, wind, rain or shine.

Time: 2 hours

Length: 5km

Dogs Allowed: On-Leash (Permitted off-leash on the Trans Canada Trail section of this hike only)




Want to find more small dog-friendly hikes near you? PawSwap Premium Members can unlock access to all the hikes and trails in their area, along with dog-friendly details including if they are small dog-friendly, if there are swimming spots, any off-leash areas, and more.


Also be sure to check out PawSwap's Hikes & Trails Challenge, running through January where dog owners have a chance to win a huge prize worth over $1700 for exploring B.C hikes.