Ascend the peak that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics at this popular ski resort in West Vancouver.
A mere half-hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, this winter resort located in the southern end of Cypress Provincial Park provides adrenaline junkies with 240 hectares of perfect powdery slopes ideal for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and tubing. The park is split into two areas; Alpine and Nordic. The Alpine area boasts 53 ski runs that suit all abilities, from beginners to highly advanced skiers, accessible by nine lifts. Many runs are also open for night skiing. The Nordic area is ideal for cross country skiing and skate skiing while snow lovers slide down chutes in a snow tube at the Snowtube park. Snowshoe tours are also available here.
Boasting the highest vertical drop on the North Shore of 610 metres, Cypress Mountain also has one of the largest cross-country areas in North America, with nearly 19 kilometres of trails, making it one of North America's premier winter playground.
Comprising three mountains; Black Mountain, Mount Strachan, and Hollyburn Mountain, Cypress' namesake hails from the yellow cedar trees that dot the park, particularly between Mount Strachan and Black Mountain.
The official freestyle ski and snowboarding venue of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Cypress Mountain was upgraded extensively, making it perfect for experienced skiers and boarders. If you’re more of a novice, there are plenty of ski and snowboarding lessons at the resort for kids and adults alike. Skis can be hired on site if you are not bringing your own.
As the sun dips into the horizon, dust off the snow and head over to the Crazy Raven Bar & Grill located within the Cypress Creek Lodge for a warm, filling meal and snuggle up by the cosy fireplace. The main building in the Alpine Base Area also houses the casual Cypress Creek Grill, a 600-seat cafeteria. In the Nordic area, Hollyburn Lodge dishes up home-cooked food such as lasagne, freshly-made soups, and delicious baked goods.
Even if you're visiting outside of the ski season, Cypress Mountain is great day trip from the city for nature aficionados. Hike through beautiful forests and meadows, past magnificent mountain streams and lakes on an array of diverse trails suitable for all fitness levels. Cycle along paved roads or challenge yourself to the Cypress Bowl Road which stretches 15 kilometres with a steady climb of close to 732 metres.
Run-ins with the mountains' natural residents are not uncommon, so you may encounter black bears, deer, hares, and weasels during your trek. Eat at the designated picnic areas: one at The Quarry and the other on a small stretch of grass at the Highview day-use area. Remember to observe the strict rules and don’t be tempted to feed the wildlife.
If you’re not coming by car, catch the Cypress Mountain Express Bus, which stops at several places around Vancouver.