Date: January 22, 2011
Location: Mount Seymour Provincial Park (map)
Description: There are two free, marked snowshoe trails starting at the Mount Seymour parking lot. Dog Mountain is a short, easy, and mostly flat hike. The The Mount Seymour Trail is a longer, steeper, and more strenuous hike that ascends 400 meters up the mountain to First Pump Peak (and beyond if you’re feeling adventurous). On clear days, the views from the top of Mount Seymour are breath-taking. But even on cloudy days (like we had) the hike is a great workout, lots of fun, and a fabulous opportunity to play in the snow.
The snowshoe up to First Pump Peak is a lot like snowshoeing up Hollyburn Mountain at Cypress. Both trails are free, start at a ski resort, have significant elevation gain, offer great views of the city, and have opportunities to crazy carpet on the way down. The only difference is the Hollyburn Trail takes 4 hours, while the Mount Seymour Trail takes 3 hours to the First Pump Peak, and can be extended longer if you want to go to the second and third peaks.
The Mount Seymour Trail does go through potential avalanche terrain, so you should check South Coast avalanche conditions before heading up. If the conditions are low or moderate the trail should be safe.
More trail descriptions can be found here and here. You can also check out the map and elevation profile from the GPS on my phone.
Total Time: 3 hours
Ascent to First Pump Peak: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Lunch Break at First Pump Peak: 30 minutes
Descent to Parking Lot: 1 hour
Transportation: There is a $10 Seymour Shuttle that will take you to the top of Mount Seymour from Lonsdale Quay or Parkgate Village. If you drive, make sure you check the road conditions (sometimes winter tires or chains are required). Directions from Google Maps.
Parking Update: In the winter, parking is free but controlled by the ski resort, which has recently limited access to backcountry users. Backountry users are asked to park along the road (P5) or at the group campground (P1), which is 1500 meters down the road from the trail head. The extra hike isn’t a big deal, as along as you budget the time. A bigger problem is the parking lots often fill up on nice weekend mornings. Check the Mt_Seymour Twitter feed for road and parking lot updates. On Saturday morning at 10:45 AM they tweeted “Backcountry Parking Lots 1 & 5 are full. Backcountry users can use our shuttle bus from Parkgate Community Centre.” But by 1:00 PM people had started to leave and there was lots of room in the parking lots.
Pictures: Mount Seymour Snowshoeing 2011
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[…] trip we’ve done this winter on the North Shore of Vancouver. Much like Hollyburn Mountain and Mount Seymour, Black Mountain is easy to access, free to hike, and offers lots of snow to play in. The biggest […]
Hey, I was wondering how much the snowshoes rental were? Thanks!
MEC will rent snowshoes for $12/day. There are snowshoes available at Seymour Mountain, but I think they are only rented as part of a guided tour package.
Just wondering – we have a 120lb newfoundland dog – can we snowshoe up 1st peak with her? Would that be the best snowshoe route for a dog?
I’ve never snowshoed with a dog, so I’m not certain, but it will likely depend on your dogs ability to climb – there are some steep sections.
I don’t remember seeing many dogs on the First Pump Peak trail, but aptly named Dog Mountain is usually very popular with dogs of all sizes, and I’ve seen a few dogs heading up Hollyburn.
We’re planning a team full moon snowshoe outing and were trying to decide between Hollyburn, Dog Mtn and First Pump. Thanks for the write-ups on your snowshoeing adventures, we got all the info about time, effort and views to make a call. Now we just need the weather to cooperate!
Have fun. I’m going snowshoeing on the sunshine coast this weekend (an overnight trip). I’ll have a new writeup next week.
[…] those heading up to Mount Seymour to snowshoe the Dog Mountain or First Pump trails, it’s valuable to know about new parking rules. It’s still free to park, but […]
I came across this post on Mount Seymour the other day and I absolutely loved the trees on the top, so out of this world. I was wondering, would you happen to know if there is a snowshoe trail that leads all the way up there? Or is it just for the skiers? We are planning a family trip in February and would love to go up there. Thanks!
The area within the ski boundaries is restricted to people who buy a ski pass, but that’s a relatively small area. The snowshoe trail heads to the peak of Mount Seymour and isn’t in the ski resort area but within the provincial park. The views are similar, assuming you get a clear day. The maps above should give you a good idea of where the ski resort is and where the snowshoeing trails are, especially if you use the satellite view.
I will check out the maps first. I wouldn’t want to get into someone’s way while they storm down the slope! Hope we’ll be lucky to get a nice day once we’re up there!
Thanks a lot for the advice!
This was super helpful, thanks!!
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