by Ryan Slater & Zach Berman | December is one of the best months for adventure in Vancouver. While the masses trek through shopping malls and take retail strolls down Robson, up South Granville and through various pop up holiday markets, the parks and trails are quiet, private playgrounds. Here are three favourites, plus three for those who just can’t break away…
1. LYNN VALLY HEADWATERS | Just like some sweaters always feel good no matter how long you’ve had them, this park is our year round go to. Between the Lynn Loop, Rice Lake, Norvan Falls and Lynn Canyon, the headwaters region offers multiple adventure routes. The directions and signs are well laid out throughout the trails and it’s accessible year long. It’s about a 20 minute drive from Vancouver and there’s lots of parking. Our favourite trail is the Lynn Loop, which finishes at the headwaters. It’s the perfect combo of postcard forest views and rambling river trails. It’s also a very easy trail with minimal altitude gains. Lastly, it’s dog friendly, so bring your four legged friends if you have them.
2. WINTER PICNIC AT WHYTECLIFF PARK | Pack a thermos of warm apple cider or hot cocoa and bring a couple of blankets to wrap up in. The scenes at Whytecliff Park always bring to mind the poem Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. This is a popular spot year round but it takes about 10 minutes to find your own spot along the shoreline rocks. Once set up, cozy up and stare off to the endless ebb and flow of ocean waves with no neighbouring lands in site. On a slightly foggy morning, this is the best place to be!
3. SNOWSHOEING AT MOUNT SEYMOUR | By the end of December, most mountain trails are snow covered. Cypress Mountain is great, but Mt. Seymour takes the cake. If you don’t have the gear you can rent up on the mountain (for a cheaper deal, head to MEC’s rental section). Another sneaky tip: there’s an admission price for most of the trails on Seymour but if you head to the end of the parking lot and walk towards a sign that reads Dog Mountain and Dinkey Peak, these trails are all free…and also the most rewarding. Head up to First Pump for Instagram-worthy mountain and city views!
Can’t get away? That’s totally understandable at this time of year! But your sense of adventure can still be tingled…
1) Watch the documentary 180 Degrees South on Netflix. It’s one of the most inspiring travel movies ever made. The film follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins through Patagonia.
2) Give indoor climbing a try at Cliffhanger or The Hive. Both are located on Industrial just off of Main Street. They’re equally awesome. If you’ve never been, they offer really great introductory courses. Even though you’re indoors, the adrenaline gets raised!
3) Read J.B MacKinnon’s The Once and Future World – one of Canada’s most exciting writers and ecological thinkers. This book will change the way you see and think about nature!
Ryan Slater and Zach Berman are the co-owners of The Juice Truck. What began as a couple of dudes with a strong sense of wanderlust and a dream of making juice has blossomed into a company that is slowly but surely becoming a local hub of health and wellness. Maybe they’ll travel the world again and see what else they can dream up, but until then they’ll be cracking wise and making stuff here.