if you're looking to escape the daily grind and get out into the wilderness, there is no shortage of places to explore in and around Vancouver—but most of them are pretty packed.
If you don't mind going for a bit of a drive or overnight-ing, Manning Park offers a range of activities to enjoy at any time of the year.
During the winter, many people flock to Manning Park Resort's ski hills to enjoy downhill skiing and snowboarding. But the resort also offers some of the best terrains for cross-country skiing, with an impressive 64 kilometres of trails to explore. If you're new to cross-country or downhill skiing, the resort offers both group and private lessons.
Want to try something different?
For folks who are looking to really soak in the scenery, the resort also rents out snowshoes—and there are several different places to explore as you crunch your way across the wintry terrain. You can go at your own pace, which means that you can stop and snap some selfies in picturesque locations or share a snack with your partner, family, or pals.
Of course, snowshoeing can also give you a great workout if you choose spots with an incline. Anyone who is familiar with Grouse Mountain's "Snowshoe Grind" can attest to the delightful burn you get after pulling yourself up the slippery inclines to reach the summit.
Does that sound alarming?
Don't worry: modern snowshoes come equipped with claws on the bottom that help you dig into the packed surfaces, which stabilizes your climb. You'll still want to be wary of maintaining balance, however. There are some areas that may be icier than others. Also, some snowshoes are better equipped for steep or precarious terrain.
Manning Park offers a wide expanse of places to snowshoe across but there are also areas that are specifically for cross-country skiers. There are signs that spell out where not to go but it helps to familiarize yourself with the layout of the resort before you go.
I recently visited a frozen Lightning Lake in the heart of the park for a snowshoeing adventure. It was completely frozen and there were hardly any people on it, despite it being a gloriously sunny day. We passed the odd person throughout the day but compared to snowshoeing at a mountain near Vancouver, it was night and day. There were long stretches where the only thing we heard was the crunching of snow beneath our footfalls and the odd bird piercing the crisp winter air with its song.
A day-pass to enjoy the park is just over $10 and a snowshoe rental is $29.99. However, you need to get those rentals back to the resort by 4:30 p.m.—they are very hard on that rule and then the gate will close. Once again, a bit of preparation goes a long way. Always pack snacks, water, and plan your outing before you go. Dress warmly and wear waterproof snow boots. Stay on the trails.
Watch a video for a taste of the experience.
@vancouverisawesome This snowshoe wonderland is located close to Vancouver! That’s a frozen 🥶 lake called Lightning ⚡️ Lake in Manning Park. It’s a peaceful oasis ❄️🥰 #vancouverbc #explorebc #winterwonderland #snowyview #snowshoeing #traveltiktok #adventurevibes #manningpark ♬ Home (Option 1 - The Young Ebenezers