by Steve Holliday aka @Hiker_Steve
Dog Mountain is a very popular hike during the summer, and if you thought going up to snowshoe it would be quieter, you might be in for a surprise especially on a weekend. Even with the crowds if you can find a clear day, you will not be disappointed. The destination has a remarkable view, overlooking the entire city of Vancouver and seeing beyond to Vancouver Island.
The Parking can be the biggest issue with this hike, during the winter; the parking lot fills up with Skiers, snowboarders, and snowshoers. If you don’t make an effort to get up the hill early, you could be spending most of your day in a line up, just for the opportunity to make it up to the parking lot only be frustrated in attempting to find a parking spot.
If you are able to get a parking spot, you’ll find the start of the trail at the end of parking lot, you’ll follow along one the ski hills for a short while. A sign post will direct you into the forest, and you’ll follow the very obvious trail, it will be packed down from all the other people. Yes, this is a popular trail and you will be constantly moving out of the way of many other people.
When you reach a clearing (This is first lake), you will be directed by a sign into two different directions, pay special attention here, as the signs are not very well done. They might direct you to the right, around the frozen lake (Hard to tell it’s a lake as its completely covered with snow), and if you don’t pay attention you’ll end up following the wrong markers and end up going up the hill towards the top of the ski run. This is what you do not want to do if you wanting to see Dog Mountain. The best way I can describe the correct direction is too go straight across the lake and you should see the markers leading you away from the lake.
You’ll know when you reach the end as you’ll be greeted by some amazing views.
Just watch out for the ravens, as I have seen them take food right out of peoples backpacks.
You can do this trail without snowshoes and just put some micro-spikes on.
You might think I am trying to discourage this trail, by the comments on parking and overcrowded trail. These are merely warnings, if you adjust your thoughts around these warnings and prepare for them, you’ll be rewarded with a great hike and awesome views.
You can find all the trail information at https://www.outdoorvancouver.ca/winter-trail-guide-dog-mountain/