Vancouver’s Best Outdoor Activities

August 23, 2011

Hiking Try Best Hikes and Walks of Southwestern British Columbia by Dawn Hanna. Two local picks: Golden Ears Provincial Park (Canadatrails.ca/hiking/bc/golden­ears.html) and Grouse Mountain (604-980-9311. Grousemountain.com).

Mountain Biking The folks at Cove Bikes in North Vancouver (877-929-2683. Covebike.com) can set you up with gear, advice, and a trail map for North Shore (read: challenging) riding.

Golfing Stunning views of Howe Sound are Furry Creek’s greatest draw (Furry Creek Golf & Country Club, 150 Country Club Rd., 888-922-9462. Golfbc.com), though it’s out near Squamish. McCleery Golf Course, a local fave, recently redeveloped and is open year-round (7188 MacDonald St., 604-257-8191. Vancouver.ca/parks/golf/mccleery). A full listing of courses is at BCgolfguide.com.

Skiing & Snowboarding As one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Whistler Blackcomb (866-218-9690. Whistler­blackcomb.com) is blessed with more than 8,000 skiable acres, including 12 alpine bowls, three glaciers, over 200 trails, 38 lifts, and the highest drop of any ski hill on the continent. Closer to downtown, try Grouse (604-980-9311. Grousemountain.com), Cypress (604-926-5612. Cypressmountain.com), and Seymour (604-986-2261. Mountseymour.com).

Snowshoeing Cypress, Seymour, and Grouse mountains offer dozens of groomed snowshoe trails, varying in length and difficulty to match novices and pros. When on Cypress, your day can be capped by fondue and wine at Hollyburn Lodge (guide, rental, and fondue, $80). Check out the slim volume A Vancouver Guide to Snowshoeing by Devon Girard for maps and routes.

Fishing Join the Tyee Club at Painter’s Lodge (800-663-7090. Painterslodge.com), by landing a 30-pound salmon from a rowboat, a pursuit that hasn’t changed since the club’s inception in 1925. King Pacific Lodge (888-592-5464. Kingpacificlodge.com) is one of the choicest wilderness resorts on the continent. Locally, call Sewell’s Marina (604-921-3474. Sewellsmarina.com).

Paddling Rent a canoe from Mountain Equipment Co-op (604-872-7858. Mec.ca) and head an hour north of the city toward Squamish (Mysquamish.com) to paddle the Squamish River Estuary; or sea kayak at Deep Cove (604-929-2268. Deepcovekayak.com).

Sailing Tour the city’s shoreline, and the nearby Gulf Islands, via yacht cruise charters, boat rentals, and daylong or multiday sailing classes. It can all be booked at Granville Island through Cooper Boating (604-687-4110. Cooperboating.com).

Windsurfing Jericho Beach is a smart launch pad for beginners; the popular school there, Windsure Windsurfing School (604-224-0615. Windsure.com), has lessons for all levels. If a full day trip is in the cards, take yourself to Squamish (Squamishwindsports.com), which offers some of the best windsurfing in the country.

Check out our article on another great outdoor activity, Stand-up Paddleboarding.

For equipment and advice, hit West Broadway between Alberta and Ontario streets. As well as Mountain Equipment Co-op (130 W. Broadway, 604-872-7858. Mec.ca), there are a dozen outdoor-gear specialty stores and outfitters, including local producers Taiga Works (301 W. Broadway, 604-875-6647. Taigaworks.ca) and Eco Outdoor Sports (202 W. Broadway, 604-875-6767. Ecooutdoorsports.com).

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