Tag Archives: dog mountain

Snowshoeing with a Baby

New Years Day 2017 Snowshoe

We celebrated New Year’s Day by taking Astrid on her first snowshoeing trip. She’s only 6 months old and she handled it like a champ. We chose to go up to Mount Seymour and do the First Lake loop (half way to Dog Mountain), because it’s a pretty easy trail. And we weren’t the only ones. There were dozens of other families with babies and small children hiking along the trail with us.

New Years Day 2017 Snowshoe

We were a bit worried about squeezing the snowshoe into Astrid’s nap schedule. She only stays awake for 1.5-2 hours between naps right now. Luckily, she fell asleep on the car ride up and again in the ErgoBaby on the return part of our hike.

Breast Feeding in the Snow

We probably should have fed Astrid at the lodge before we started our snowshoe, but we forgot. So Emily had to find a nice sheltered spot in the trees and breastfeed her in the sub-zero temperatures. A real Canadian moment.

Pulling Trees

Backcountry Parking at Mount Seymour

End of the Snowshoe
For those heading up to Mount Seymour to snowshoe the Dog Mountain or First Pump trails, it’s valuable to know about new parking rules. It’s still free to park, but backcountry users have been restricted from using the main parking lots.

Winter visitors (Nov to Apr) who are not using the CRA but wish to enjoy the backcountry have access to Dog Mountain, First Lake Trail and the Mt. Seymour Main Trail and are required to park in parking lots 1 and 5. Overnight parking is permitted in parking lot 1 and in the designated area of parking lot 2.

Mount Seymour Winter ParkingLot 1 is at the group camp site, a 1.5 km hike from the start of snowshoeing trails with a 500 meter elevation gain. Lot 5 is along the side of the road. On nice weekends, both lots fill up quickly. Check the Mt_Seymour Twitter feed for updates about road conditions and full parking lots.

On Saturday morning at 10:45 AM they tweeted about the parking lots being full, and suggested using shuttle from the base of the mountain. The shuttle is $6/person each way, so it’s not worth it for large groups. Luckily, when we showed up at 1:00 PM, enough people had left that we had no problems finding a spot.

The hike up from parking Lot 1 adds another 20 minutes to your hike, so plan ahead.
Parking Lot 1 Hiking up from the parking lot

Greater Vancouver Snowshoe – Dog Mountain

Vancouver From Dog Mountain
Date:March 30, 2014, January 13, 2013, December 26, 2010, January 3, 2010, and March 10, 2009

Location: Mount Seymour Provincial Park (map)

Description: Dog Mountain is the best introductory snowshoe in the Vancouver area. Suitable for all ability levels, it’s a great trail to take friends and family who have no snowshoeing experience. The trail is a series of gentle ups and downs ending at the Dog Mountain viewpoint which overlooks all of Vancouver, Burnaby, and Howe Sound.

Like Hollyburn Mountain at Cypress, Dog Mountain is a free trail to snowshoe. It starts at the Mount Seymour Ski Resort parking lot, but is separate from the paid trails. That said, you can still use the ski resort lodge, which is an ideal spot to rest, warmup, and eat after your snowshoe. You can also rent snowshoes if you need an extra pair.

The Dog Mountain trail starts at the far, west end of the ski resort parking lot and heads away from the ski runs. The half way point is First Lake, a great spot to stop for a rest. The trail is popular with families, dog walkers (how apropos), and snowshoe runners. It’s well marked, often well-packed, and easy to follow. I always think it’s a “flat” trail, but there are a few ups and downs that will give less fit hikers a challenge and provide good crazy carpet runs on your return hike. Although the trail is pretty safe, you should always check the avalanche risk before you start your hike.

Here’s my GPS map of the hike, including the walk from the parking lot, plus an elevation chart. More detailed trail description can be found here and here. If you’re looking for a longer, more strenuous hike, you can follow the Mount Seymour Trail up to the peak.

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
To Dog Mountain: 1 hour (First Lake is the halfway point)
Break at the Viewpoint: 30 minutes
Return Snowshoe: 1 hour

Transportation: There is a $6 Seymour Shuttle that will take you to the top of Mount Seymour from Lonsdale Quay or Parkgate Village. If you drive, make sure you check the road conditions (sometimes winter tires or chains are required). Directions from Google Maps.

Parking Update: In the winter, parking is free but controlled by the ski resort, which has recently limited access to backcountry users. Backountry users are asked to park along the road (P5) or at the group campground (P1), which is 1500 meters down the road from the trail head. The extra hike isn’t a big deal, as along as you budget the time. A bigger problem is the parking lots often fill up on nice weekend mornings. Check the Mt_Seymour Twitter feed for road and parking lot updates. On Saturday morning at 10:45 AM they tweeted “Backcountry Parking Lots 1 & 5 are full. Backcountry users can use our shuttle bus from Parkgate Community Centre.” But by 1:00 PM people had started to leave and there was lots of room in the parking lots.

Pictures: March 2014 January 2013 December 2010, January 2010, and March 2009
Ready to Snowshoe Snowshoeing Dog Mountain Blustery View from Dog Mountain Dog Mountain Peak in the Snow Huddled Snow Lunch Seymour Snowshoe Whiskey Jack Extremely Crazy Carpeting Mountain Girl BC Winter Hiking Jumping Beans Crazy Carpet Sliding Snow Shoeing Mosaic Snow Sliding Mosaic Not Easy Jumping in Snowshoes High Road or Load Road Wander Schneien Trail to Dog Mountain Wintry Sunset Snow Shoe Me Snowshoers Snowshoeing Break Snowshoes as Art Top of Dog Mountain Snowy Trees First Lake Ice Wipeout Ships in the Mist At the top of Dog Mountain Christopher + Emily End of the Snowshoe Wintry Snowshoeing Frosted Dog Mountain On Dog Mountain Emily and the Snowman Snowman