Location: Cypress Provincial Park (map)
Description: As much as I love hiking in the summer, there is something special about snowshoeing in the winter. The views are crisper, the trees are frosted, and nothing beats the thrill of sliding back down the mountain on a crazy carpet. And if you have a choice, going up with 4 lovely ladies is highly recommended.
Hollyburn Mountain is a great local spot to go snowshoeing. The hike up is pretty strenuous, but from the peak you have great views in every direction. The hike starts at the Cypress Mountain cross-country parking lot, but unlike snowshoe trails within the cross-country area (which cost $10 to access), the Hollyburn Peak trail is free to access.
The hike starts off with a steep section, then flattens out as it goes through the forest along the edge of the cross-country area, and then ends with a final steep ascent to the peak. With lots of fluffy snow, both steep sections make for excellent crazy-carpeting runs on the way down – just be mindful of the other people coming up and down on snowshoes and skis.
More detailed trail description here.
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Ascent: 1 hours 30 minutes
Lunch Break: 1 hour
Descent: 1 hour 45 minutes (with extra time spent crazy carpeting)
Transportation: There is no Translink bus service to Cypress Mountain, but there is a private Cypress Coach that will take you up from Vancouver for $23 round trip. As long as you are not going alone, it probably makes more sense to drive. The drive will only take 45 minutes and parking at the top is free, just head to the cross-country/nordic area to start the hike. Directions from Google Maps.
Pictures: Hollyburn Snowshoeing 2012