5 Ways to Enjoy Winter in Vancouver

by Cameron Wears,

Although the winter season brings lots of rain and grey skies, the temperate rainforest that surrounds Vancouver keeps the snow on the mountains and the temperatures surprisingly mild. With countless outdoor activities located within a short drive of the city centre, Vancouver is a winter enthusiast’s playground.

Here are five ways we like to enjoy winter in Vancouver.

1. Ice skating on the peak of Vancouver

Take an aerial tram ride to the peak of Grouse Mountain for an afternoon of ice skating. The 8, 000-square-foot skating pond is free with your aerial tickets but there is a small fee to rent skates if you don’t have your own. After some fun on the ice, head indoors to warm up and take in the fantastic panoramic views of Vancouver from Altitudes Bistro.


2. Snowboarding down an Olympic venue

Since receiving its facelift for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Cypress Mountain has been transformed into a destination of its own. Not only do skiers and snowboarders get 53 runs ranging from beginner to black diamond, adventure seekers looking for something a little different can go sliding down the tube park.

3. Evening snowshoeing and fondue

From mid-December to the end of March, Seymour Mountain offers fondue snowshoe tours every Saturday night. The evening starts at 7:00 p.m., so snowshoers can experience the mountain trails while under the sparkling winter stars. A guide takes guests to a hand-carved snow lounge where they enjoy chocolate fondue with fresh fruit.


4. Attend a live hockey game

No visit to Vancouver in winter is complete without experiencing a live hockey game. Vancouverites are passionate about their hockey and there’s nothing quite like watching a live Vancouver Canucks game at Rogers Arena, especially when the team is playing a divisional rival.

5. Hike to Elfin Lake and spend the night at the cabin

For the more adventurous type, take the picturesque hike to Elfin Lake. There is no place to rent snowshoes, so you’ll need a pair of your own or cross-country skis. Shelter capacity is 33 people and fills up quickly, so hit the trail early if you plan to spend the night. It’s best to bring a snow tent just in case. Keep in mind, the road to Diamond Head requires winter tires and snow chains during the winter months.