Tourists and locals alike know that Vancouver is home to a variety of mountain resorts. Therefore, if you want to hit the slopes this holiday season, you will find yourself in the midst of a tough choice. To assist your decision making, here is a rundown on the unique features each mountain has to offer and your complete guide to Vancouver ski hills:
1) Cypress Mountain
Just 25 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, Cypress gives visitors access to 4 terrain parks and 53 ski runs – the most runs and skiable terrain the North Shore has to offer!
It is also extremely accessible, thanks to Cypress Coach Lines’ round-trip tours! For only $23, travellers can be picked up and dropped off at a variety of locations in Richmond, Vancouver, and their new stops in Burnaby.
- Snowshoeing: Whether you take a guided tours or explore on your own, you’ll have access to a 10km trail network
- Snow Tube Park: Features 6, 100-metre long, tubing paths
2) Hollyburn Lodge:
Hollyburn Lodge has been entertaining guests of Cypress since 1926, and is the perfect place to socialize in-between your winter fun! Complete with a café serving home cooked meals and hot chocolate, visitors are encouraged to stop by to eat, or to simply take a peek inside this historical building.
The early season ticket rate for adults is $44, which jumps to $62 later in the season.
The best way to save is by purchasing a $69 Gold Medal Card, as cardholders receive over a 20% discount on day passes (So you pay $34 for an early season pass, or $49 for a late season pass).
For cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowtubing a Gold Medal Card is only $24, and even includes a free trail ticket!
3) Grouse Mountain
Situated in beautiful North Vancouver, Grouse Mountain hosts 26 ski and snowboard runs, and two terrain parks. Although Grouse doesn’t offer nearly as many runs as Cypress, it takes pride in its ability to provide guests with man-made snow. Thanks to the mountain’s $7,000,000 investment, in the top snow-making technology, skiers and snowboarders will never have a reason to complain about inadequate snow coverage!
Another feature of Grouse is that it is transit accessible from Phibbs Exchange, and only 15 minutes from Downtown Vancouver, making getting there quick and easy!
Hours: 9am-10pm (closing at 6pm on Christmas Eve)
- Snowshoeing: Travel along 10km worth of snowshoe trails, with 4 different routes, or enroll in a snowshoe clinic, to learn all about this winter sport!
- Sleigh Rides: Enjoy a ride around the mountaintop! (Weather permitting)
- Skyride: Giving you breathtaking views, the skyride at Grouse is the largest aerial tramway network in North America. Rides leave every 15 minutes until closing, giving you many opportunities to step aboard!
- Theatre in the Sky: At this time of year you can watch Christmas classics, and wildlife documentaries in Grouse’s high definition theatre.
- Mountain Ziplines: Did you know that you can zipline in the winter? Grouse has 5 different lines, which are open all-year round! This means, you can fly over snow-topped trees at up to 80km an hour!
- Snow-Limo: Be driven around the mountain by your own chauffeur, while you sit down, relax, and enjoy the scenery!
- The Peak of Christmas (until December 24th): Visit Santa at his workshop, meet one of his reindeer, make a snowman craft, and enjoy outdoor ice skating on an 8,000 square foot pond.
Adult winter lift tickets are $58, and include Grouse Mountain admission. For those who aren’t skiing or snowboarding, but want to enjoy the other features Grouse has to offer, adult Alpine Experience tickets can be purchased for just $39.95.
4) Mt. Seymour
A family-owned and operated organization, Mt. Seymour is known for its friendly atmosphere. With 80 hectares composed of 39 ski and snowboard trails, and 4 terrain parks, there are many areas to explore and build upon your skills!
Seymour is the furthest ski resort in Vancouver from downtown, being a 30-minute drive away. However, riders can access the mountain resort by taking the Mt. Seymour shuttle bus from Lonsdale Quay, for only $8 each way.
Hours: *Currently not open* 9am-10pm on weekends and holidays; 9:30am-10:00pm weekdays; (Open 9am-4:00pm on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
- Snowshoeing: With 11 trails, children as young as three can test out their snow-shoeing skills!
- Tubing: Slide down the mountainside on Seymour’s specially designed snow tubes! Afterwards, you can head to the new Enquist Lodge to warm up by the fireplace!
- Tobogganing: Have a toboggan, but lack snow? Visit The Toboggan Park! For those without their own toboggan, sliding mats can be purchased on-site for $8-$10.
Seymour gives Vancouverites, the lowest “late-season” pricing, with adult tickets priced at $53. Tubing and tobogganing rates are extremely affordable as well, priced at $10.
Written by: Kerri J
Featured image photo credit: Joffrey Koeman