Beginner Friendly Hike Near Vancouver

When we first moved to Vancouver we were very eager to start hiking. The photos you see online from British Columbia Hiking Community are to die for and we wanted to get hiking as soon as possible. Its important to note, while hiking really gives you the beautiful views and YOLO feels, it can also be very dangerous and you need to take all necessary steps to ensure you are doing it safely. If you are interested in finding some tips on hiking, in my previous posts I discussed what to pack for a day of hiking & how to safely hike alone.

Hiking deep in the mountains can certainly be very dangerous this time of year. With the temperatures melting, its the start of the avalanche season and one wrong step can cause serious harm to you or other hikers in the area. Be very careful where you hike, review the provincial sites for warnings ahead of time, their avalanches status’, check the weather and let someone know where you are going and when are you expected to be back. It goes without saying, you should always stay on designated trails and don’t throw snow out into the open – you never know what damage one small movement can cause.

The hike I want to tell you about today is approximately 15 minutes drive from Vancouver and requires to book a free day pass for Mount Seymour Provincial Park in effect only until March 31st 2022 to manage the park’s parking availability throughout the day, you can book it up to 48 hours in advance and you can find it here. They offer two types of admissions: AM 7.00 – 12.00pm, or PM 12.00 – 4.00pm. (Don’t try going there without a pass, as you will be turned away, especially if you’re there on a weekend. We tried 😉 )

Once you get parking it is usually about 10-15 minutes walk uphill to the trailhead. Unfortunately hikers and snowshoers have to park the furthest away from their destination at Mount Seymour.

The trail head you are looking for is called the Dog Mountain Trail. The entrance to this trail is at the foot of the skiing track. It’s approximately 5km round trip trail, relatively flat with a beautiful lake about 1km into the trail, called the First Lake. Once you reach the First Lake, its only 1.5km to the Dog Mountain Trailhead. Overall, the hike shouldn’t take more than 2 hours in total.

This time of the year, you definitely need at least crampons (or some people call them spikes) or snowshoes. Snowshoes definitely help distribute the weight evenly and are safer during this time of year. Having one of these is key, as the trail is very slippery and can be icy in places. As the trail is amongst high trees, I need to stress to be careful as snow and ice is currently falling off the trees as the temperatures increase, therefore watch your head and listen out for the falling snow!

You can have a look at my spikes here and my boots here.

On a good day you should have a beautiful view of Vancouver, Richmond and even Surrey! This is a great beginner hike, both in winter and the summer.

If you ever wish to get a first hand opinion about trail conditions, as mentioned above – research the provincial park official site as the most reliable source and secondly you can review the most recent reviews on AllTrails app.

The AllTrails App, is a mobile phone app for hiking community, where hikers from all around the world review trails and parks. You will most likely find a very recent review of trail conditions, this is also a great resource for figuring out wild animals sightings in the summer. If you would like to sign up and be prepared, click here. It is completely free and I do not get any referral “bonus” for this, but guess what? If you sign up using my link, the people behind the app will plant a tree for me and for you! It’s a win win for both of us and we are doing our bit to help the planet.

I hope you enjoyed this post, as always stay safe and do your research before you set off on your next adventure and most importantly let someone know you’re going! Happy Hiking!

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