Explore the most popular snowshoeing trails near West Vancouver with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Did the trick for being local and easy to access. Was not overly scenic but was still a few nice hours in the outdoors.

I did this hike August 4th-5th, 2018 with my friend. We’re both in our 20’s, no significant pre-existing injuries and both physically active. It’s one of the most beautiful hikes with breathtaking views of the tops of the North Shore Mountains, but the most technically difficult, physically demanding hike I have ever done. (And I am avid hiker, have done the West Coast Trail, Tour du Mont Blanc, and most major hikes in the Vancouver and Whistler areas)

Advice and Safety Tips:
- Recommended (by us and everyone we met) as a 2 night, 3 day hike (Contrary to trail info and reviews that it can be a SINGLE overnight...Heck NO! Not if you want to be able to walk the next day!)
- Magnificent (but gruelling) first day ~9-11 hours
- VERY steep and technical ascents and descents *careful of your footing when wearing a heavy pack!*
- Would be extremely dangerous pre, post, or during a storm (DO NOT CONTINUE)
- On your first day, there is no water until you reach Magnesia Meadows (recommended to camp earlier) after you ascend and partially descend:
1. St. Mark’s Summit (1371m)
2. Unnecessary Mtn (South&North Peaks)(1548m)
3. The Lions Ridge (~1520m)
4. Thomas Peak (1430m)
5. Enchantment Pass (~1380m)
6. James Peak (1466m)
*We camped in the meadow after James Peak*
7. David Peak (1496m)
8. Harvey Pass (~1460m)
- PACK SNOW WHEN YOU SEE IT (treat snowmelt water with Aquatabs)
- James Peak signage is easy to miss (and many people did) *just before the top, look for markers to exit down to the LEFT to save yourself time and effort*
- As a single overnight, option to take Mount Brunswick Trail down to Lions Bay (as we did) 1480m down to 220m over 3-4hrs. Tough on the knees!

- GEAR MUST HAVES:
- North Shore Trail Map (SAVED US!)
- Bear Spray (hikers saw a black bear near our trail)
- Satellite Phone (would be VERY easy to slip and get injured and be in a dangerous spot fast)
- Hiking poles (NECESSARY for the knees on downhills)
- Hiking boots (especially to protect toes and ankles with weight of a camping pack)
- 5L of water (replenish at EVERY opportunity! Many groups had to hike 2-3 more hours in order to get water, when they were physically DONE)
- Bug spray/bug shirt/bug hat (very buggy in the shade)
- Trip plan! (Especially wherever you park your car: appropriate lot or leave a note!)
- 10 Essentials & proper food, clothing, etc

*In some areas the flagging is inconsistent and you have to keep your eyes peeled for the next marker (mostly after the Lions and on James Peak), for the most part the trail is obvious.
*I have e-mailed BC Parks to address the flagging issues.

crazy view. cabin lake is awsome

quite steep and difficult on the way up, but the lake at the end is so worth it!!! bring a bathing suit and towel, and enjoy! also, right off this trail is the yew lake Lookout, and that's quite breathtaking. would highly recommend this hike if you're up for a hit of a challenge.

Nothing to see on a cloudy day. Just a very steep and crowded hike to a small and crowded (though pretty) lake. Also there is very loud construction happening nearby which you can hear throughout the hike.

hiking
14 days ago

The trail starts with a pretty steep path. 80% of the elevation gain is right from the beginning it lasts for the first 1.9km. It would become a pleasant trek with fairly rock and mud along the way. Beautiful small lakes and a huge lake for swimming with a couple of small cliffs to jump from. Stunning view from the top over the horseshoe bay and Vancouver. Definitely bring bug spray with you, or you'll get eaten alive.

We went here a few months ago and there was some snow on the ground, which made it a bit more adventurous with the slip and sliding around. Even with the snow, I thoroughly enjoyed the hike for its lush environment, the lake you’ll see on the way, and the gorgeous view at the top! On a clear day, it truly is spectacular - you’ll see Vancouver, UBC, the islands, and so much more! Of note, the upfront work during the initial incline is challenging, but go at your own pace and you’ll enjoy it a lot more. Take in the view when you take a break and enjoy that well deserved sip of water. Happy hiking!

Completed Jul 28-29 with a short distance of manageable snow on one sketchy slope after the Lions. Challenging and absolutely beautiful. Must do but please be prepared for a hard hike.

FYI This hike is inaccurately described - the entire HSCT is 29km and continues over Unnecessary, over the Lions, over the saddle of Mount Harvey, around Brunswick, and descends past several beautiful lakes spitting you out in Porteau Cove. The elevation change is 3400m or 14500ft. Only the beginning section to St Mark’s is busy. This gps map cuts out the most isolated and challenging part of the hike so please be prepared and do your research on other hiking sites. Best done as an overnighter, camping in Magnesia Meadows after Mt Harvey, which will be your first source of water. (Or if you could push through to Brunswick, that would be gorgeous too.) Most first-timers who are recreational hikers complete the first day in a gruelling 11-12 hours - repeatedly cresting mountains (hence the name of the hike?). The second day is more relaxed, mostly downhill and with lots of water sources. Even with deet, we were eaten alive. A bug net would help if you don’t the mental fortitude to do battle with thousands of black flies and mozzies.

First part very steep but doable even for beginners. The rest of the trail is moderate and very scenic. Different terrain throughout. Lakes ponds forests and meadows. Very beautiful. One of my favourite hikes in Vancouver to date

Fun hike with a refreshing dip to cool off.

hiking
17 days ago

That’s was fun! It’s correctly rated as moderate. And it’s well marked. A great few hours!

More people than a mall at Christmas

hiking
1 month ago

First part of trail was quite steep with loose rocks so can be somewhat slippery going downhill on the return trip. No snow left on trail but some parts are muddy. It was a cloudy, rainy day and we didn’t think we would have a view but we were lucky because the clouds parted as we reached the bluff. Nice hike with a beautiful view. There was a raven and a couple of chipmunks on the bluff waiting for food. Took us about 3 hours return.

Beautiful views BUT too early in the year. I did it last week (last week of June) and there is still too much snow. Up until the Lions is okay, but after that steep snow gullies and snow bridges need proper snow hiking gear (ice pick, crampons, etc).
Also, this is not really a loop...you can leave a car at Porteau Cove and then come back to start the hike from Cypress Mountain, it's 28km one way and hard, not moderate.

hiking
1 month ago

It was raining and foggy but a beautiful hike nonetheless! Steep to start but then fairly relaxed but a decent amount of mud and rocks along the way

Pretty easily to follow. Much more scenic than anticipated.

Really nice hike for novices. Challenging! The first 1/2 hour is a bit grueling and uphill, but after that its fairly well varied. On a clear day, you can see Garibaldi from the peak, as well as an awesome view of the lions and Cypress ski area. Mid June, there was still a considerable amount of snow and sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. Cabin lake looks like it would be a great spot to take a dip but it was still ice-covered. Maybe in August!

Quick hike up the green ski runs with great viewpoints at the top of sky chair. Great with snow or in summer.

hiking
2 months ago

A little difficult to find parking at the bottom of the trail. The hike was nice, we added on the lost lake trail at the top and came down on the Baden Powell trail. I would definitely recommend doing the same to get some better views!

hiking
2 months ago

Did the hike today. Still quiet a bit of snow. The northern trail that summits black mountain has much less snow and better views then the cabin lake trail.

I went hike last year. It was quite hard to find the starting point. It is quite steep but the view is a beautiful

I went on a hike last summer the view is stunning

backpacking
2 months ago

Great first half to Magnesia Meadows. Beautiful campsites and lake to refill the water bags. Difficult and technical trail up to Magnesia Meadows. Long trudge down to Deaks Lake and out. Worth it for the first half tho! Completed August 2017.

The trail is in great condition and easy to maneuver across the creek as the bridge is washed out. Make sure you take the 10 minutes to walk to the lake before crossing the bridge. Pay attention to the trail markings as there are many different trails, you could get sidetracked easily.

We got a bit lost not taking the right turn and didn't manage to do a loop just went up and back because the time we spent lost. Beautiful view, still well covered in snow.

hiking
3 months ago

Still lots of snow, micro spikes are recommended with hiking boots

Rookie mistake on my part to not wear hiking boots. Still tons of snow but melting away. Good pair of boots still needed.

We hiked this on May 2, 2018 and the trail is still covered in snow but it’s all compact and hard so i didn’t even use my snowshoes or crampons. My hiking shoes was enough. I brought my 9 year old little 12 pounder shihtzu as well and he handled it like a superstar. Cypress is closed for the season now so we used the ski hill to slide down on our asses to the lodge. It was super fun. (Though i advise you to stay on the trail). It was a great day hike. Short but good workout. ❤️

snowshoeing
3 months ago

snowshoeing
4 months ago

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