Here we are smack dab in the middle of December and you’re itching to get out there and go for a hike. Here’s the good news for those of you living (or visiting) the Greater Vancouver area at this time of the year – you can actually hike the region with the right winter preparedness plan in place. But where exactly can and should you go to satisfy your need for an off the beaten path adventure? Once again, the crew at Grindaholic has you covered.
5 Great Hikes to Do in the Month of December When in the Greater Vancouver Area
GROUSE GRIND – NORTH VANCOUVER
No need to build suspense here. Yes, you can now hike the Grouse Grind in December. After some discussion between the local Parks Board and community figureheads (our own Gerry Rahn included) the Grouse Grind is now open when weather permits through the month of December and the winter season, as long as everyone complies with the law of the land. If the Parks Board deems any given day to be too hazardous to go, don’t go. Otherwise you could be looking at a hefty fine (which is sure to spoil your holiday shopping plans) and could be the one to serve as the straw that broke the Parks Board’s back and have them reverse the recent decision. Simply check in on the Parks Board website on the day of your planned hike and when all systems are a go, go on a head and enjoy one of the best hikes in the world. View directions here.
STAWAMUS CHIEF – SQUAMISH
At this time of the year the Chief isn’t for the faint of heart, but the breathtaking payoff (the view) makes it worth it for many. That’s a good thing, given that the foot traffic can help clear any light snow that may have fallen, making the vertical trail more accessible en route to one of the largest granite monoliths on the planet. If snowfall is heavy on any given December day, you may want to save this one for the melt. Otherwise, strap on your crampons and get your hike on. View directions here.
KENNEDY FALLS TRAIL – NORTH VANCOUVER
We’re easing up on the elevation with this one, but this North Vancouver trail is still a challenge. The rugged hike ventures into beautiful backcountry along the east side of Mount Fromme and to the west of Lynn Creek. The trail is made notable by an oh-so Instagrammable old-growth cedar tree that has many other smaller trees growing out of it, creating quite the spectacle when snow falls in the month of December. The biggest payoff however, is the Kennedy Falls waterfall. When the temperature remains well below zero through the season, you will be treated to an incredible site as the falls become shards of ice that have been frozen in time. View directions here.
DOG MOUNTAIN TRAIL – SEYMOUR PROVINCIAL PARK
Dog Mountain Trail is a super scenic, short (about 2.2 km one-way) and all around fun hike that is near to the heart of Vancouver. It starts from the lot of Mount Seymour Resort and concludes with an amazing view of the urban oasis below. The hiking terrain is relatively flat, making Dog Mountain Trail a great option for beginners and intermediates alike, although you’ll still enjoy a bit of a challenge on December days as the gnarled tree roots, snow, and icy patches put a few obstacles in your way. View directions here.
LIGHTHOUSE PARK TRAIL – WEST VANCOUVER
Even though it’s December you should not rob yourself of a crisp sea breeze and one of Greater Vancouver’s best ocean views. One that can found at the climax of a relatively easy hike in winter is the Point Atkinson Lighthouse Park Trail in West Vancouver BC. With a few different trails in the park, you can turn a 45 minute hike into a few hours if you want to venture on accordingly. The large granite boulders found along the coastal conclusions of the park’s trails serve as perfect podiums to enjoy views of the Grebe Islets, Passage Island, Bowen Island, passing watercraft and so much more. Located just off of Marine Drive, you can knock out an AM hike and head on over to finish your Christmas shopping at Park Royal. View directions here.
Of course, there are numerous other Greater Vancouver area hikes to enjoy this month. Follow Grindaholic on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with our adventures all year long and you’ll discover other prime hiking destinations, local (BC) and beyond.