If you’re tired of all the rain and want a kid-friendly outdoor winter activity, snowshoeing might be just the thing you’re looking for. Snowshoeing is the fastest growing winter sport, and it’s easy to see why. Snowshoeing is a great workout, it’s easy to learn, and it’s fun to do as a family. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Snowshoe Rentals in Vancouver
Renting snowshoes is fairly inexpensive and easy, and there are a number of places to rent snowshoes from. The easiest – although slightly more expensive – option is to rent snowshoes at the ski hill where you want to go snowshoeing. Grouse Mountain, Mt. Seymour and Cypress Mountain all offer snowshoe rentals for around $20 per adult and $15 per child over six. If you’d like to save a little money or rent snowshoes for a longer time, MEC rents snowshoes for $12 per adult or child, and it’s just $8 to add an additional day.
Snowshoe Trails in Vancouver
Grouse Mountain, Mt Seymour and Cypress all have groomed snowshoe trails that you can pay admission for, and there are a few free snowshoe trails around too. The Dog Mountain trail on Mt. Seymour is free to access, and offers 5km of beautiful winding trails out to Dog Mountain Peak. On a clear day, the view from the peak is stunning. This trail has quite a few hills, and when the trail is hard packed you will want to have crampons (metal teeth that help grip on hard, icy snow) on your snowshoes. If you or your kids are not feeling up to the full 10k round trip, hiking to First Lake and back is a more do-able 2.2k.
Snowshoeing with Babies or Young Kids
The key to an enjoyable snowshoeing experience with babies and young kids is to make sure everyone has the clothing they need to be comfortable and warm. Babies and toddlers can be carried in a child carrier, but since they’re not generating body heat by moving around they need to be dressed extra warmly. Older kids can use child-sized snowshoes or just walk the trail with regular snow boots. And of course, remember to bring water and high-energy snacks like granola bars and chocolate.
Here in Vancouver we’re spoiled by having mountain resorts and trails so close to the city, so don’t let the skiiers have all the fun! In fact, Mt Seymour was voted North America’s Top Snowshoe Friendly Ski Resort because you can go from city to snow in 30 minutes. Plan to head out early in the morning on your snowshoeing adventure, bring lots of warm clothes, and stay on the marked trails for safety. Have fun!