B.C. Bucket List: Hike Cypress Mountain’s Backcountry

From must-see attractions to outdoor adventures and more, discover and explore the best B.C. has to offer

From must-see attractions to outdoor adventures and more, discover and explore the best B.C. has to offer

Whether you grew up on the West Coast, have recently moved here, or are just planning to visit, there’s no doubt you’ve got a bunch of adventures you can’t wait to cross off your bucket list. To help you prioritize, we’re sharing some of our must-do B.C. experiences so you don’t miss out.Facebook/Cypress MountainFacebook/Cypress Mountain

Experience: Winter hiking at Cypress Mountain

Cost: Free

Location: 6000 Cypress Bowl Rd, West Vancouver

Bucket list factor: Leave the skis at home and tackle Vancouver’s largest winter resort on foot this season (we promise it’s not as daunting as it sounds). For the nature-lovers, outdoor explorers, and all those in between, discovering Cypress Provincial Park’s popular winter trails makes for a relatively easy, accessible and truly breathtaking day out.

There are three winter backcountry trails on Cypress Mountain: Hollyburn Peak, Black Mountain Plateau and Bowen Lookout. They all are marked with brightly coloured plastic or bamboo poles and all vary in levels of difficulty. The Black Mountain Plateau winter trail is the longest and hardest of the three hikes (7 km round trip); followed by the Hollyburn Peak trail (6 km); with Bowen Lookout being the easiest (3.5km).

If you’re looking to challenge yourself, Hollyburn Peak and Black Mountain are sure to get the calves burning and pulse racingand you’ll be rewarded with incredible views. However, the family-friendly Bowen Lookout tops our list, as it offers stunning alpine scenes as well as beautiful views over Howe Sound and Bowen Island. The snowy path begins next to the Eagle Express chairlift before winding through the winter wonderland forest and climbing slightly at the end to reach the lookout. The well-trafficked trail makes for compact snow, meaning you can complete the hike in your walking boots (or using microspikes) in just a couple of hours. 

Things to note

  • Backcountry Access Corridor (BAC) tags are required for access to Bowen Lookout and the Black Mountain Plateau winter trails—these are free and can be picked up at the Black Mountain Lodge backcountry self-registration area, and displayed at the Cypress Mountain Resort ticket checking gate before proceeding.
  • Remember that all trails are in a backcountry setting outside of the alpine ski area and are not patrolled, so it’s important to prepare and research in advance to stay safe. Make sure you check the weather, dress appropriately and always stay on the trails.
  • Cypress Mountain is accessible via car and just a short drive from downtown Vancouver. However if you don’t have access to a car, Cypress coach lines offer pickup and drop-off to various locations within Vancouver.

For more information and hiking tips, visit the Cypress Mountain website.