A 30-minute drive from the city, the mountain-framed North Shore is a glittering winter playground for snow fans complete with three lodge-equipped hotspots. But while skiing and snowboarding are de rigueur at Grouse Mountain (33 runs; five lifts), Mount Seymour (40 runs; four lifts), and Cypress Mountain (53 runs; six lifts), each offers additional reasons to gear up and head on over.
Snowshoeing at Grouse (rentals available) includes well-marked trails, fondue packages, and magical moonlit tours. You can also skate on a frozen pond, ride on a huge sleigh between the trees, or soar on lofty ziplines through the snow-draped wonderland (screaming at the top of your lungs is optional).
Over at Seymour, snowshoeing is also popular –– newbies should book their excellent Intro to Snowshoeing tour. But if you’ve ever thought about hurtling downhill on a custom-made inflatable, the snow tubing program here is a family-friendly must-do. There’s also a toboggan park where you can fire up your adrenaline with a speedy run (or three).
Cypress also offers snowshoeing and tubing, plus the North Shore’s largest ski and snowboard area, including beautifully illuminated night skiing terrain. But it’s the tranquil cross-country skiing that really stands out here: There are 19km of groomed trails, lessons for beginners, and a lakeside lodge that’s the perfect reward after a couple of hours of ski-swishing exertion.