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Hiking near Portland, Oregon is an incredibly easy feat, thanks to the dozens of parks, national forests, and recreation areas that surround the city. Whether you are into skiing, kayaking, or hiking, this city has everything for outdoor lovers. The hikes near Portland range in difficulty from short 1-milers through the city park, to epic mountain summits, offering a wide range of options for everybody. Check out our list of some of the best hikes near Portland, Oregon!

Easy Hikes near Portland

Hoyt Arboretum Trail

  • Distance: 1.3 mile loop
  • Location: Hoyt Arboretum

A free park located a couple of minutes from downtown, the Hoyt Arboretum is a sanctuary for trees. The trail is short and sweet, but can be combined with the multitude of other nearby trails to lengthen it (including the epic, nearby wildwood trail). You’ll see magnificent redwoods, spruce, and fir trees along the path. Situated so close to the city, every Portlander should check out this beautiful park.

Springwater on the Willamette

  • Distance: Varies
  • Location: Eastern bank of the Willamette River

This paved riverfront trail will give you lost of options for an urban adventure. Commonly used by bikers and runners, the trail offers sights of the gorgeous Willamette river and the downtown Portland area. The trail is open all year round and is pet friendly. You can extend your trek into the nearby North Woodland and Bluff trails to circle back around Oaks Bottom Lake and catch some ospreys nesting nearby.

Photo credit: Mt. Hood Territory (Flickr CC)

Trillium Lake Loop

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Location: Mt Hood National Forest

Trillium Lake is a classic PNW experience. The lake offers scenic views of nearby Mt. Hood and is easily accessible by car. The lake loop is an excellent hike for beginners and families. The path is made of gravel but is well marked. It will take you through the edge of the woods surrounding Trillium lake, offering a different perspective of this iconic body of water. The area costs $5 to enter, or you can get in with your NW Forest Pass.

Haystack Rock Trail

  • Distance: 8.2 miles
  • Location: Cannon Beach

You’ve probably seen it in pictures before: Haystack Rock is a series of rocky, tall islands located right off the coastline that look imposing and bold up close. Although there are several of these types of rocky islands along Oregon’s coast, the rock near Cannon Beach is the most accessible one. You won’t need to hike the whole 8 mile trail to see the rock. The trail is on the beach, so ensure you have the proper footwear. Birdwatchers should bring their binoculars on them as the area is a bird and wildlife reservation.

Photo credit: Bonnie Moreland (Flickr CC)

Tamolitch Blue Pool

  • Distance: 3.7 miles
  • Location: Willamette National Forest

This gentle trail will take you through old fir trees to a beautiful turquoise colored lake. This trail is actually the site of some interesting geological formations. The Blue Pool is formed from a river that descends into a submerged lava tube. At the beginning of the trail, you’ll see the source of the pool, the McKenzie River. If you hike this trail after a particularly rainy season (or after heavy snow-melt), the submerged river will overflow over the lava tube and created a waterfall that flows into the Blue Pool. This is a great option for beginner level hiking near Portland, Oregon!

Moderate Hikes near Portland

Photo credit: gstewart83 (Flickr CC)

Ramona Falls Loop

  • Distance: 8.2 miles
  • Location: Mt. Hood National Forest

Ramona Falls is a gentle 120 ft tall waterfall near Mt. Hood. The waterfall is unique in that the water trails off and cascades into a hundred different fingers over basalt columns. The trails leading up to it is lollipop shaped and moderate in difficulty. The path is relatively well maintained, but does require a stream crossing over logs. You’ll start and end your trek at the base of the towering Mt. Hood, and it’s one of the most spectacular outdoor day trips from Portland that you can find!

Tamanawas Falls

  • Distance: 3.3 miles
  • Location: Mt. Hood National Forest

The Tamanawas Falls trail will take you a short distance into the woods to find a large waterfall covering a dry alcove. The trail is technically an easy hike in terms of difficulty, but ice and rain can make the rocks very slippery. If you are going in the cold, crampons/spikes are a must if you want to avoid injury. Despite this, the most magical time to go is winter as the snow and iced over waterfall will give the whole place a fairy-tale-like atmosphere (plus the crowds tend to be smaller).

Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain

  • Distance: 9 miles round trip
  • Location: Mt Hood

Take a walk up a mountain to get breathtaking views of Mt. Hood at the Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain trail. This hike will have you ascend 1,700 ft through moderately steep terrain. Somewhere near the halfway point, you’ll encounter Mirror Lake, a tranquil alpine lake that offers a good place to rest. Depending on the climate and snowfall levels, snowshoes or spikes may be required after the lake. Northwest Forest Passes are needed to access the trail during the summer time. Be sure to buy this in advance as you cannot buy them at the trailhead.

Photo credit: Rene Rivers (Flickr CC)

Cape Lookout

  • Distance: 4.7 miles round trip
  • Location: Cape Lookout State Park

If you’re looking for jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean, this is the place to go. This moderate hike will take you out on the cliffs of a peninsula overlooking the sea. The trail has a few moderate ascents and descents, and it will take you through a wooded scene on top of a 400 foot tall cliff in some parts. The views at the end of the trail are gorgeous, however, and the sunset on a clear day is something that’s unrivaled anywhere else. If you’re lucky, you’ll see whales and sea lions below, making this one of the most unique experiences you can get hiking near Portland!

Tryon Creek Loop

  • Distance: 3.5 miles
  • Location: Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Inside a suburban park south of Portland, the Tyron Creek loop will take you on a short adventure inside a lush PNW rainforest. You’ll cross several small bridges that offer great views and great picture spots. The highlight of the trek is a green suspension bridge located in the Lewis and Clark Loop within the park. Trail-finding can be a little difficult here, so we recommend using either a GPS or obtaining a trail map at the information center.

Difficult Hikes near Portland

Salmonberry Trail

  • Distance: 12.5 mile round trip
  • Location: Clatsop State Forest

A trail for those seeking hikes that are truly off-the-beaten path, the Salmonberry Trail is a secluded trek deep within the Clatsop State Forest. Most of the hike follows an old abandoned railroad track, full of wild overgrowth. Make sure to wear long-sleeves and pants on this hike as you’ll constantly be rubbing up against thick bushes and plants. Some would even recommend a machete to chop your way through the dense bush.

The trail has a steep elevation gain of 1,600 feet over 6 miles. The path will take you through tunnels and over truss bridges. The abandoned nature of the tracks along with the dense foliage adds a spooky feel to the whole experience.

If you’re planning on doing this trek, drive up to the eastern trailhead off of Cochran rd and NOT the Beaver Slide road trailhead. The road on Beaver Slide is narrow, steep, and full of potholes. Low clearance cars without 4WD may get stuck.

Photo credit: David Prasad (Flickr CC)

Wildwood Trail

  • Distance: 29.6 miles
  • Location: Trailheads near Oregon zoo and Newberry road at the edge of Linnton Park

You don’t have to go far at all to get multi-day hiking near Portland. The Wildwood trail is an almost 30 mile path that zig-zags its way through Forest Park. Most runners and beginner hikers will stay within the first few miles of the trailhead near the zoo and arboretum. Most of the northern part of the trail is relatively flat. The difficulty progressively picks up the further south you go, with most of the elevation gain happening in the 5 miles closest to the arboretum. Near the southern trailhead, there is an optional quarter mile detour to the Pittock Mansion. Visitors can tour the mansion for a small fee. The rest of the trail is mostly dense redwoods, without many other epic sights. What the trail offers, however, is tranquility and peacefulness in an extremely close location to the city. This is a superb option for urban hiking near Portland.

Dog Mountain

  • Distance: 6 mile loop
  • Location: Columbia River Gorge

Easily accessible right off Highway 14, Dog Mountain summit offers a scenic overlook of the Columbia River and is well known for its wildflower blooms during Spring. This is a very popular hike and the parking lot can sometimes fill up. Be sure to arrive early and bring $5 cash to pay for passes per hiker. There’s a fork in the path a little less than a mile in where the trail splits into two paths that converge at a later point. The left is labeled “More difficult” and the right “Less difficult.” We recommend sticking to the “Less difficult” route as it is better maintained, less steep, and offers great views of the valley below. Be prepared to work out the calves; you’ll climb over 2,800 feet during this trek, making this one of the more difficult hikes near Portland.

Mt. Hood

  • Distance: Varies depending on route
  • Location: Mt. Hood National Forest

Mt. Hood is the pinnacle of hiking in Oregon (sorry, I couldn’t resist). There are several approaches to the summit, but all, obviously, require quite a bit of training and endurance. Be prepared for unpredictable weather and snow. One of the shorter approaches is a the Timberline route from the south side. This is a 7 mile trek that ascends over 5,200 feet to reach the summit at 11,240 feet. Hikers must obtain a wilderness pass; the US Forest Service has some important information on their website for anyone attempting the climb. The views at the top are unparalleled and you’ll forever have bragging rights for having climbed the tallest peak in Oregon.

Additional Resources for Hikes near Portland, Oregon

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Enjoy Hiking near Portland, Oregon? Check out these Other Resources!

Urban hikers rejoice! Detroit has many amazing hikes and trails located within a short drive of the city. From skiing to running to hiking and biking, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors in and around the city! Hiking in Detroit is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to get some fresh air and learn more about this enduring city. Read on to see our picks of the best places to go hiking near Detroit.

Easy Hikes near Detroit

Dequindre Cut Greenway

  • Distance: 2 miles one way
  • Location: Downtown

The greenway is a short paved trail that follows along the old Grand Trunk Railroad line. Starting right next to the riverfront, the trail will take you straight northwest underneath dozens of underpasses decorated with colorful graffiti. Although it’s a short trail, the Dequindre Cut will take you through old abandoned parts of the city that have had new life breathed into them by local artists and muralists. For photographers looking for urban art, this hike in Detroit is a must.

Photo credit: Bryan Debus (Flickr CC)

Detroit Riverfront

  • Distance: 4 miles there and back
  • Location: Downtown

Located right at the heart of the city, the Detroit Riverfront is the most accessible and closest trail for easy urban hiking near Detroit. The path is entirely paved, making this an easy trail for all skill levels. Dogs are allowed if they are on a leash. While the path is right next to the bustling city center, it’s easy to tune out the noise and buildings and feel closer to nature here. On a clear day, you can see across the border into Canada.

Lake St. Clair Metropark Loop

  • Distance: 3.5 mile loop
  • Location: Harrison Township

An easy paved loop path, the Lake St. Clair Metropark is a small oasis of nature in the middle of the suburbs of Detroit. Those looking for hikes near Detroit can take a short drive up north along the coast line of Lake St. Clair to the park, where tranquil waters and the steady breeze from the lake will calm your senses. Bring your furry friends as dogs on leashes are allowed.

Belle Isle Lighthouse Trail

  • Distance: 2.2 mile loop
  • Location: Belle Isle

Situated inside city limits, Belle Isle offers a nearby escape from the bustle of city life on a tranquil little island in the Detroit River. The trail is a loop around the serene Blue Heron Lagoon, Gravel paths make up the trek. The park has recently been taken over by the state of Michigan and dogs are now allowed. We recommend doing the trail at sunrise to get grogeous views. When you finish with the trail, hop over to the conservatory and admire the thousands of different wildflowers blooming all year round.

Photo credit: Daniel Frei (Flickr CC)

Macomb Orchard Trail

  • Distance: 23.6 miles one way
  • Location: Trailheads near Richmond and Rochester

Green fields and dense trees as far as the eye can see make up the Macomb Orchard trail. Favored by many locals as a pristine biking trail, hikers can also take advantage of long distance hiking within a short drive from Denver. The entire length of the trail is paved, meaning the hike is stroller and wheelchair friendly. Local farmers sometimes set up fruit stands along different parts of the trail. There are frequent water fountains and bathroom stalls along the trail as well.

Moderate Hikes near Detroit

Proud Lake Marsh Trail

  • Distance: 5.6 mile loop
  • Location: Proud Lake Recreation Area

This trail is actually a combination of several trails within the Proud Lake area. It’s made up of two smaller loops connected by a bridge crossing over the river extending into Moss Lake. The trail will take you through a beautiful pine forest and features several camping sites to turn this trek into an overnight backpacking trip. The park is open in the winter time, letting hikers enjoy snowshoeing opportunities a short drive away from Detroit.

Photo credit: Jim Sorbie (Flickr CC)

Graham Lakes Trail

  • Distance: 3.4 mile loop
  • Location: Bald Mountain Recreation Area

Hikers looking for something slightly more challenging should look to Bald Mountain. Lots of rolling hills will give you some elevation gain to get your blood pumping. The park offers beautiful scenery in a secluded wooded area, with plenty of turns, roots, creeks, and rocks to keep the trek interesting. This trail is a 40 minute drive north of the city, making it a great spot to go hiking near Detroit.

Paint Creek Trail (Lake Orion)

  • Distance: 18.7 mile round trip
  • Location: Bloomer Park near Rochester, MI

Looking for a long distance hike near Detroit? Only 30 minutes outside of the city lies Bloomer Park, home to the Paint Creek Trail. A 19 mile trek, this trail will take you through densely wooded areas and allow you to get a taste of nature near Detroit. The two trailheads can sometimes get a bit crowded, but as you keep getting deeper into the trail the crowds disperse. The northward part of the trail is mostly uphill, giving hikers an extra challenge. Unfortunately, there aren’t any campgrounds on this trail. In fact, some parts of the trail will take you through some residential areas. We recommend the Paint Creek trail for hikers looking to train for long distance trips.

Chain of Lakes

  • Distance: 7.8 mile loop
  • Location: Pinckney Recreation Area

Drive for an hour outside of Detroit and you’ll soon be surrounded by forests and lakes. Silver Lake and Crooked Lake make up a system of small creeks, ponds, and lakes in Pinckney Recreation Area. The chain of lakes trail will take you along a serpentine patch around several gorgeous blue lakes. The trail is best enjoyed in the Autumn for the colorful leaf changes, but is open year round. Most of the trail is a boardwalk, though it’s often shared with mountain bikers.

Photo credit: E_Bass (Flickr CC)

Green Lake and Big Kame Loop

  • Distance: 9 mile loop
  • Location: Waterloo State Recreation Area

Just one hour outside of the city, this 9 mile trail is a secluded loop offering a great outdoors experience for hiking near Detroit. The trail is mostly gravel, and it is frequently shared by mountain bikers. You’ll walk through dense woods, offering the chance to see wildlife and wildflower blooms in the Spring. The trail does have a bit of elevation changes, making this a little more difficult, but the path is well-marked and well-maintained. The highlight of the trail is the scenic Green Lake shoreline.

Challenging Hikes near Detroit

North Country Trail: US 10 to County Line

  • Distance: 25.6 mile one way
  • Location: US-10 at Timber Creek Campground

A true backcountry experience, the North Country Trail, or NCT for short, is a gargantuan trek that spans from the eastern edge of New York to Montana. If you are looking for epic hikes near Detroit, this is it! This section of the NCT starts in a remote campsite located along the US-10 highway. You’ll hike through completely secluded dense woods, but the trail is relatively clean and well maintained. More serious hikers have the option of continuing the trek all the way up to the upper peninsula over several nights. The trail ends at E Riverside Dr right before the Little Manistee River.

Lakeshore Trail

  • Distance: 40.5 mile one way
  • Location: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Upper Peninsula

While not really close to Detroit, we’ve included this hike on the list because it was too epic not to share. The Lakeshore Trail, like its name suggests, runs along the northern coast of the upper peninsula along the shores of Lake Superior. This 40.5 mile trail follows sky-blue water bordered by rocky cliffs. You might forget you’re in the Midwest while hiking here.

We recommend this trail only to experienced hikers as the trail signage is not great and it requires at least 3-4 nights on the trail. You’ll have to register for backcountry permits at the National Park Service website and do some proper food and pack planning. The trail is part of the 4,600 mile North Country Trail, so you might meet a long distance hiker on the way! May and late July are the best times to go due to mosquitos and flies.

Photo credit: David Marvin (Flickr CC)

Additional Resources for Hiking near Detroit

What to Bring for Hiking in Detroit

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Articles

Despite what you may know about the city, Miami isn’t just high-rises and wetlands. This coastal city has hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and the best part is you don’t have to go far to get to them. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best places to go hiking near Miami, ranging from small city parks, to secluded treks along the 1,000 mile Florida trail. Read on to see our favorite hikes near Miami!

Shark Valley Trail

  • Trail Distance: 15.8 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Everglades National Park

An all-year round easy trail, the Shark Valley Trail will take you deep into the Everglades for a stunning escape into the natural wildlife of southern Florida. It’s entirely paved, making this trek accessible for everyone. Be mindful that bikers will share the road with you. There is a ton of wildlife here. Visitors frequently see dozens of alligators alone. Turtles, lizards, blue herons, and other tropical birds live in the area, making this prime wildlife territory. This is one of the best opportunities for long distance hiking near Miami.

At the halfway point of the trail is an observation tower that offers panoramic views. We recommend turning back after this point as the trail can get quite hot and there’s almost no shade past the tower. Those looking to get their miles in can continue for even more wildlife viewing. Visitors are also able to take airboat tours and see the trail from a different perspective.

Anhinga Trail

  • Trail Distance: 1.5 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Everglades National Park, four miles west of the main entrance

Named after the bird native to the region, Anhinga trail is the easiest and quickest way to immerse yourself inside the everglades. The hike is a short and easy trek that will expose you to all the wildlife and scenery the national park has to offer. You are practically guaranteed to see alligators along this trail. The wildlife is this area is used to human presence and will generally be easily photographed without the chance of you disturbing its natural habitat. Keep an eye out for the giant lizards and turtles as well!

The trail is one of the better maintained hikes near Miami and you’ll find yourself walking on a raised, boarded trail the entire length. The trek goes directly over the wetlands. Make sure to bring bug spray. We recommend going near the end of the day or early in the morning to get the best temperatures.

Photo credit: Siddarth Machado (Flickr CC)

Metheson Hammock Park Trail

  • Trail Distance: 1.4 miles out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Metheson Hammock Park, located near Coral Gables

In case you didn’t know, a Hammock in Florida refers to an island made up of hardwood trees. The short trail at Metheson Hammock Park allows you see the remnants of an old hammock that sat near modern day Miami. This trail is rarely crowded and will let you get deep into a tropical rainforest. You’ll see caves, sinkholes, and old limestone buildings along this hike. The trails aren’t well marked so take care to avoid getting lost. In general, the deeper into the forest you go, the more rugged the terrain will get. This hike near Miami is perfect for those wanting to completely escape the city and take in nature completely.

Hugh Birch State Park Loop Trail

  • Trail Distance: 1.9 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Hugh Birch State Park near Fort Lauderdale

Tropical woods, butterflies, and tiny lizards inhabit this cute little park located near Fort Lauderdale. Like many of the other state park trails on this list, this hike can be extended by taking some of the offshoot paths away from the main trail. Dogs are allowed here, so take your furry friends along with you!

The trail is a relatively easy trek. Visitors can stick to the main paved loop bath around the outside of the park or venture in deeper among the trees through dirt paths. It may feel easy to get lost in these trails given the dense concentration of trees and vegetation here, so be sure to pick up the trail maps at the park entrance. One of the most gorgeous parts of this trail is the natural archway created by the vegetation surrounding you as you walk along the main path, making this one of the most beautiful options for hiking near Miami.

Oleta River State Park

  • Trail Distance: 1.9 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Location: Oleta River State Park located North of Miami

Primarily used by mountain bikers, the trails at Oleta River State Park offer a moderate challenge for hikers looking to escape from the city. Although the official trail is measured at just shy of 2 miles, it’s possible to extend this by taking one of the various offshoot paths along the main trail. You’ll hike along a narrow dirt path surrounded by trees and cross over several bridges and boulders. It’s easy to forget you’re in the city when you’re here.

This trek does offer its share of challenges. The trail is shared by mountain bikers, meaning you’ll have to be alert at all times. Additionally, trail finding can be difficult if you veer off the main path, but the natural beauty of the place is worth it. This is one of the best places to get lost while hiking near Miami.

Photo credit: Jimmy Baikovicius (Flickr CC)

Black Creek Canal Trail

  • Trail Distance: 1.7 miles out and back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Biscayne National Park

An underrated and often overlooked trail, the BlacK Creek Canal trail takes you along the shore of Biscayne National Park. The trek stretches out to the Colonial Bird Protection Area, offering an excellent location to see wildlife and bird watch. You’ll start along a paved trail that will quickly transition into dirt and sand. Learn about the surrounding area through the many information panels along the hike.

Come here for an early sunrise hike to see the sun come out over the water. Make sure to bring bug spray as the mosquitos can get quite hungry during the cooler temperatures. Even though it’s located within a national park, Biscayne is completely free and open to the public! 95% of the park is actually underwater. The part that is above sea level is a mesmerizing mangrove forest. This makes this trail one of the most unique options for hiking near Miami.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Lighthouse Trail

  • Trail Distance: 3 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Take the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne. Continue onto Crandon Blvd all the way to the end. The trailhead starts here.

Take a stroll along the coastline of the beautiful Key Biscayne. This trail will take you through a secluded park not far from the city where you can see mangroves, sea grapes, and wildflowers. The hike is 3 miles and takes you around a loop, but it can be extended for up to 4 miles if you go down each branching path.

The trail itself is fairly easy with virtually no elevation change and is mostly dirt. You’ll see tranquil, clear, blue waters throughout most of the hike. At the northern most point of the trail, you’ll come across a lone, white lighthouse that has been standing for almost 200 years. Visitors can enter the lighthouse for free and experience panoramic views of Miami beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Locals recommend doing this hike before noon to take advantage of the shade. We also recommend bug spray if the weather is cooler. During the Fall and Spring, you can see thousands of migrating birds from this trail. As with any trail in South Florida, watch out for snakes and other wildlife. Since the trail is located inside a state park, there is an entrance fee, but it is relatively cheap and annual passes to all the state parks are available to purchase here.

FIU Nature Preserve

  • Trail Distance: 0.6 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Located inside Florida International University’s campus just north of the football stadium.

Located in the heart of the FIU campus in Miami, this 14 acre nature preserve is a perfect hidden recluse. It was originally established in the ’70s as an outdoor teaching lab for the biology department. It now hosts several endangered species of fauna inside its central pine rockland area. There’s a dirt jogging path along the outer perimeter of the preserve, but you can venture deep inside the park through the dirt nature trails. Although it’s a relatively small trail, you will see an incredible diversity of plants and animals here – over 450 in total!

Bear Cut Preserve Nature Trail

  • Trail Distance: 2.2 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Take the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne. The trailhead is near the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center.

Head out to Key Biscayne for an easy trek along the natural bay-front. A short hike in length, this trial will take you to the shoreline under the shade of tropical trees. You’ll be able to hear the waves of the ocean hitting the sandy beach nearby. This calming walk lets you cross through several beaches and see sandy dunes. The northern most point of the trail is a viewpoint of the fossilized reef, a collection of 6,000 year old mangrove tree fossils that have since formed a coral reef. We recommend this as one of the best closest options for hiking near Miami.

Photo credit: Giuseppe Milo (Flickr CC)

Florida Trail, at Big Cypress

  • Trail Distance: 29.5 miles, one-way
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Location: Big Cypress

The Florida trail is a 1,000 mile trek that starts in Big Cypress National Preserve at the southern tip of Florida and extends all the way up to Pensacola Beach. Most of the trail is undeveloped and unpaved. This is a must for serious backpackers and hikers. If you are looking for a little taste of the longer trail, start at the Tamiami Trail rest stop and head about 30 miles north to I-75.

This trail will take you through some truly secluded wilderness. Although most websites rate it as moderate in difficulty, we recommend that only experienced backpackers attempt overnight trips. Depending on the time of year, the trail can either be extremely hot and dry, or wet and muddy. Make sure you have proper gear including water proof boots. The trail will take you through untouched wetlands. Beware of poison ivy and snakes. This is your best option for long distance hiking near Miami.

Additional Resources for Hiking Near Miami

What to Bring Hiking in Miami

  • Hiking boots – You can’t hike without appropriate footwear, period. For most trails, we recommend an all-purpose waterproof boot with ankle support. We recommend Salomon hiking boots or Keen hiking boots for a comfortable hike.
  • Breathable hiking clothes – For warmer hikes, you’ll want to stay cool in a sweat-wicking shirt/tank top and breathable pants, like these PrAna hiking pants for men and women. For cold-weather hikes, we recommend dressing in layers, including merino wool baselayers, an insulated puffer jacket, and a waterproof outer shell. And don’t forget a pair of the best hiking socks in the world!
  • Trekking poles – You won’t need these for every single hike, but we recommend throwing them in your car anyway just in case. We recommend the Black Diamond foldable trekking poles, which are lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Water bottle – Having water available at all times is a huge must. To spare disposable plastic, we recommend bringing your own refillable water bottle. We’re obsessed with Hydro Flask bottles because they keep water cold for hours, but a good old Nalgene works very well too.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray – This should be self-explanatory, but sweatproof sunscreen and DEET bug spray can help you avoid sunburn and bug bites, two of hiking’s most annoying after-effects.
  • A brimmed hat or cap – The sun can be brutal in open hikes, so always pack a brimmed hat or cap for day hikes in the sunshine.
  • Emergency blanket and first aid kit – We’d strongly recommend bringing a first aid kit and a lightweight emergency blanket on every hike. Why? Because the unfathomable can happen, and it’s always best to play it safe.
  • Durable day pack – A durable day pack is the perfect spot to stash all your hiking gear. While any backpack will do, we recommend Osprey day packs because they’re comfortable and breathable for long hikes.

Wondering what exactly you should pack for your next hike? Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations.

Related Links

For a major city, there are a plethora of options to go skiing near Denver. This city makes it easy; fly into the international airport, rent a car, and in less than 2 hours, you can have world class skiing and snowboarding at your fingertips. There are dozens of options in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the country. There’s a reason why so many professionals train here. The snow is perfect, the runs are epic, and the après-ski is legendary. Check out our list below of the best places to go snowboarding and skiing near Denver!

Top Places to Go Snowboarding & Skiing Near Denver

Eldora Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 50 miles (~1 hour 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: All

Located in the Nederland area, Eldora is a smaller sized resort with a great variety of slopes. Filling 680 acres of skiable area, Eldora holds about 65 runs with about half rated as intermediate. The setup of the park is such that as you move ski lifts from left to right, the slopes get more difficult, making it difficult to get lost. These runs are shorter than some of the ones on other larger nearby resorts, but the smaller crowds make up for it. The resort prides itself on owning Colorado’s best snowmaking system. It claims that their system covers 100% of all the skiable areas in the park. The park is ideal for those living near Boulder but it’s close proximity to major highways makes it a great choice for those looking to ski near Denver.

How to get there: Take I-25N and exit onto US-36W. Turn left onto CO-119 and then turn right onto Eldora Ave. Continue for about 3 miles until you arrive at the resort.

Loveland Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 56 miles (~1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: All

Loveland is known as the local hidden gem. Its access right off the highway makes it extremely easy to get to. It’s also one of the cheapest resorts in Colorado: adult ski lift tickets for the 2020 season were $89 for a full day and $75 after 12 pm. Even with this pricing, the resort still has several restaurants, grills, bars, and a summit cafe. You’ll truly get the best bang for your buck here.

For the beginners, this park has you covered. The western annex of the park, accessible by shuttle or car, is made up of only beginner or intermediate runs. You can spend all day out at this area to sharpen your skills. The main part of the resort is still beginner friendly, and you can take several green slopes down from above the tree line. The whole resort is made up of about 94 runs with half rated at advanced or higher, offering something for every level of skier and snowboarder. If you are really seeking adventure, take lift 4 up to the top and hop on a snow cat to ski from the mountain ridge all the way back down.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W. The resort is immediately off the interstate at exit 216.

View of the black diamond slopes at Loveland

Echo Mountain

  • Distance from Denver: 36 miles (~50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: Mostly intermediate and beginner

Echo mountain prides itself on being the closest resort to Denver. There’s truth in that. With less than an hour’s drive from the city center, you could easily get some skiing in at the crack of dawn and be back in the city before lunch. This is probably the smallest ski resort you’ll see in Colorado: there’s only one ski lift and 9 runs. Most of the park is open in the evening for nighttime skiing and there’s a small terrain park on the main run. Beginners beware! Echo Mountain is mostly an intermediate mountain with only a handful of short beginner runs.

What Echo lacks in size it makes up for in affordability and charm. An advance purchase weekend ticket to Echo Mountain during the high season will only run you $62! This makes this resort one of the most affordable places to go skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W. Exit onto CO-74W and then turn right on Squaw Pass Rd and continue until the resort.

Arapahoe Basin

  • Distance from Denver: 64 miles (~1 hour 15 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: Mostly advanced to expert

Affectionately known as “The Beach” by its frequent fliers, Arapahoe Basin is famed for its laid back and local culture. It’s situated at 10,520 feet above sea level, making its base one of the highest in elevation. For comparison, Eldora’s summit sits at 10,600 feet! This resort also boasts the longest ski season in the state, running from October to early June.

There are 147 trails that make up the park, and the distribution skews towards difficult and expert level trails. Lift tickets will run you about $100 on a weekend during peak season. The park regularly offers discounted multi-day passes.

How to get there: Take US-60W to I-70W. Take exit 216 to US-6W and cross the Loveland summit. The resort will be a couple of miles after descending.

Keystone Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 69 miles (~1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

One of the larger resorts in Colorado, Keystone has something for everybody. With over 128 runs and 3000 acres of skiable area, you can spend your whole vacation here. The park encompasses three main peaks and a large ridge line. Highlights include an enormous A51 terrain park, night skiing, and snowcat skiing on the upper bowls. For advanced skiers, take the Outback Express Lift to access the North and South bowls, where there is a huge area for powder skiing and tree skiing. The resort has many of the common amenities including a nearby lodge, a ski village, and restaurants on the peaks. This is one of the closest destinations for big resort skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-60W to I-70W. Take exit 216 to US-6W and cross the Loveland summit. The resort will be a couple of miles after descending. You will pass Arapahoe Basin on the way there.

Keystone from the slopes

Winter Park Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 66 miles (~1 hour 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort, Winter Park has won numerous accolades and awards throughout its long history. Now, the park spans over 3,000 skiable acres and covers 7 territories, each with their own specific design and grooming schedules. Mary Jane mountain is the park’s prized peak. Known for its many bumps and tree skiing, snowboarders and skiers from around the globe come here for these slopes.

There are about 166 runs in Winter Park total, with a good distribution in difficulty, depending on what territory you are in. You can easily spend several days at this resort. The longest run is almost 5 miles in length, giving you a good run for your money. Choose from several different options in accommodations, including lofts, traditional hotel rooms, or a “platinum” lodging experience.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W. Take exit 232 onto US-40W and continue until Winter Park Dr.

Copper Mountain

  • Distance from Denver: 123 miles (~1 hours 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

Located a couple of miles past Keystone, Copper Mountain sits at the heart of the Colorado Rockies. 2,490 acres of skiable terrain make this one of the larger parks in the state. 140 marked trails make up slopes, with an even breakdown between difficulty levels. The resort is incredibly efficient. It has 24 chairlifts and can ferry around several tens of thousands of skiers up the mountain per hour. Even with this level of infrastructure and capacity, you’ll rarely deal with big crowds and the resort is known for having a friendly, laid back attitude.

For those preferring not to ski, Copper Mountain has several other activities in the resort including a tubing hill and mile long alpine coaster! For après-ski, you’ll have a huge selection of restaurants, cafes, bars, and dessert places to enjoy. For those wanting a large resort to go skiing near Denver, this is the closest one.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 195 to CO-91. The resort will be off Copper Rd.

Breckenridge Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 81 miles (~1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: Advanced

You’ve probably heard of it. Breckenridge is one of Colorado’s most famous ski resort. It sits right in the middle of the mountains next to a moderately sized ski town. 34 ski lifts and 2,908 acres make up this massive resort that brings in visitors from all over the world. Though the trails tend to skew more towards the advanced level skier, there’s something for everyone here looking to go skiing near Denver. The unique layout of this resort will have you skiing down the slope directly into the middle of town.

If you’re looking for terrain parks, this is the place to go. Four large terrain parks are located within the park and the crown jewel of it all is a massive 18 foot halfpipe. Many famous pro snowboarders and skiers have trained here. The terrain parks have won several awards, including several first place awards for best park. Even if you can’t do any jumps and spins, this part of the resort is worth coming to watch the pros ski.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 203 to CO-9. Turn right on Ski Hill Rd and continue to the resort.

Photo credit: Ben Onken (Flickr CC)

Vail Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 97 miles (~1 hour 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, in town
  • Ability Level: Advanced

5,317 acres of skiable terrain make up this massive ski resort. There are 195 runs spread out over the park, with many of the more difficult trails hidden in the park’s signature back bowls. The front side of the park is composed of mostly the beginner and intermediate runs, while the 7 back bowls and Blue Sky Basin offer unparalleled backcountry skiing. With so much variety to offer, Vail is truly one of the best places to go skiing near Denver.

After a busy day on the slopes, head back down to the village of Vail. Bells throughout the town will toll at the end of the ski day to signify the transition to the famed Vail après-ski. Take part in various happy hours across the village or take a dip in the hot tubs in several different lodges to relax and unwind.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 176. Turn left onto Vail Rd to go across the highway. The resort and ski town is on the south side of the interstate.

Granby Ranch

  • Distance from Denver: 86 miles (~1 hour 50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Privately owned vacation homes nearby
  • Ability Level: Beginner

Billed as one of the most beginner friendly resorts, Granby Ranch is the place to go to learn how to ski. The park prides itself on operating with families in mind, and so all trails lead back down to the same place so that no one gets lost from their families. The east mountain has all of the beginner and intermediate trails, while the west mountain is exclusively black diamonds and intermediate. This is a smaller resort with only 41 runs so don’t expect many crowds. The lift prices are on par with Loveland’s, meaning you’ll get one of the best deals to go skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and then take exit 232 towards US-40W. Then take a right on Village Rd and the ski area will be to your right.

Beaver Creek Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 109 miles (~2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

A great place to learn how to ski, Beaver Creek’s unique design is such that the terrain becomes progressively more difficult as you transition to different areas on the mountain. While some mountain limit their beginner slopes to the shortest hills on one shallow side of the mountain, Beaver Creek attempts to be inclusive. Several beginner trails snake their way down from the summit of the mountain and cross several different areas of the park, giving the skier a small taste of the many different types of terrains to come with increasing skill and difficulty.

150 runs make up the slopes in this resort, with the distribution skewed more towards beginner and intermediate runs. Sorry experts; there are only a handful of double black diamonds here. Regardless, this resort offer an excellent experience for those looking to go skiing near Denver. The quaint alpine village offers all amenities expected at a large resort. When you visit, be sure to try the famous fresh baked cookies!

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 167. Turn left onto Avon Rd and the resort is south of the interstate.

Photo credit: David Herholz (Flickr CC)

Ski Cooper

  • Distance from Denver: 109 miles (~2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: No. Lodging in nearby Leadville.
  • Ability Level: All

Priding itself on an authentic skiing experience, Ski Cooper is an old mountain park that dates back to the 1940s. 60 trails spread across 5 lifts means no crowds even during peak season. Take a snow cat up to the Chicago Ridge where you can ski down 2600 acres of completely open bowls made up of the finest and softest powder.

When you are finished for the day, head down to nearby Leadville, the nation’s highest city. Located at over 10,000 feet of elevation, this wild west mining town has lots of charm and culture. This is the perfect destination for those looking to go skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 195. Take this onto CO-91S and continue onto US-24N on the right. Take the right onto Tennessee Pass Rd and the ski area will be on your right.

Snow Mountain Ranch

  • Distance from Denver: 80 miles (~1 hour 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: Nordic – All

Snow Mountain Ranch isn’t a traditional ski resort. It’s run by the YMCA of the Rockies and is geared at providing fun for the whole entire family. You can rent cozy cabins with panoramic views of the Rockies. Any cabin, lodge, or yurt booking allows you free access ice-skating, tubing, and cross-country skiing, provided you have your own equipment.

Skiing here is made up entirely of Nordic and cross country trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. There’s no alpine/downhill skiing run by Snow Mountain Ranch. For that, you’ll have to take a short drive to either Granby Ranch or Winter Park. Regardless, a stay at Snow Mountain Ranch offers a perfect getaway from the bustle of the city.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and take exit 232 toward US-40W. Continue North past Winter Park until you get to CO-53. Turn left here and the ranch will be up ahead.

Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Distance from Denver: 67 miles (~1 hour 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Campgrounds, or stay in nearby Estes Park
  • Ability Level: Advanced (all backcountry)

While there are no formal ski trails in RMNP, this is the place for wild and epic backcountry skiing near Denver. In 1992, Hidden Valley, the park’s only operated ski area, closed its doors. The trails remain but have long since been groomed or maintained. The park’s main road, Trail Ridge, passes right next to Hidden Valley, making this place easily accessible. There are no lifts operating so you’ll have to hike your way up the hill.

There are many more areas that are easily accessible with a good pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis. Unfortunately, this means that beginner-level skiing is very limited here. If you do choose to head out to experience some true backcountry skiing, we recommend you hire a guide to ensure you are making safe decisions on the trail. Colorado Mountain School is highly recommended by locals and experienced skiers for guided backcountry ski trips.

One extra note: Trail Ridge road is closed during most of the Winter. This means you’ll either have to hike to your trails or wait until late May or June for the road to open up. Don’t worry though; because of the high elevation, snow still persists on the mountaintops well into summer.

How to get there: Start on I-25 heading north. Take exit 217A and continue onto US-36W, passing Boulder and going all the way up to Estes Park. Continue on this road to access the eastern park entrance.

Photo Credit: Mia & Steve Mestdagh (Flickr CC)

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

  • Distance from Denver: 77 miles (~1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: Nordic – All

Another Nordic skiing center, Devil’s Thumb Ranch is located in the private Ranch Creek valley right in the Continental Divide. The area was a historically important site for the Arapahoe and Ute tribes; It’s said that the area was a site of constant battles and feuds between the two tribes, and the name was created when the two tribes buried the Devil and left his thumb exposed as a reminder of the horrors of war.

If your are looking for good Nordic skiing near Denver, this is the place. It was named the best cross-country ski resort in the continent twice in a row! 120 kilometers of trails surround the ranch, ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. Stay at the lodge or rent a private cabin and enjoy the tranquility and seclusion that the area offers.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and take exit 232 toward US-40W. Continue North past Winter Park until you get to CO-83. Continue east to get to the resort.

Additional Resources for Skiing Near Denver

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

Related Links to Skiing Near Denver

You don’t have to go very far to go snowboarding or skiing near Vancouver. Located in the beautiful province of British Colombia, there are so many nearby ski resorts thanks to the city’s proximity to the mountains. The Canadian Rockies add a certain charm to the whole experience. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to snowboard and ski near Vancouver, including a few places a bit further out that we thought were worth a visit. From distant mountain villages to local city mountains, check out our guide on the best places to ski near Vancouver!

Best Places to Snowboard and Ski Near Vancouver, BC

Grouse Mountain

  • Distance from Vancouver: 12 kilometers (~25 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Known as the “peak of Vancouver,” Grouse Mountain is one of the more accessible ski resorts near Vancouver, at just 3 hours from the city. In fact, its most famous run, The Cut, was ranked as a top 100 run in the world by CNN Travel. Boasting spectacular views of Vancouver from its 33 runs and 6 terrain parks, it’s not only a fun resort, but also a scenic one. People especially love the night skiing, as it provides stunning views of the city’s twinkling lights.

For non-skiers, there’s ice skating, sleigh rides, a mountaintop cinema, and strolls through the Light Walk, a lit trail area on the property. People love how many different activities there are at the resort, making it a perfect family-friendly getaway spot!

How to Get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N. Take the Marine Drive E exit, Continue onto Nancy Greene Way to the mountain. If not driving, you can ride the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay, then take the #236 bus to Grouse Mountain (about a 25-minute ride). 

TIP: If you’re coming by SkyTrain or SeaBus and buying single-trip Compass tickets, buy your return ticket in advance at the SeaBus or SkyTrain station to cover your entire transit trip here and back. 

Cypress Mountain

  • Distance from Vancouver: 28 kilometers (~30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: not on site
  • Ability Level: all levels

Cypress mountain is located in the southern section of Cypress Provincial Park, which means you can sightsee on your trip up to the mountain. It’s a short drive from Vancouver, making it a very accessible destination for traveling skiers. The trails tend to be more beginner friendly, with a good mix of intermediate trails.

This resort has a lot of history, including being the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding competitions. The mountain also holds one of the oldest surviving commercial lodges in the North Shore Mountains. You can snowshoe through an LED lighted trail to the historic Hollyburn lodge while walking between ancient Cedar, Fir, and Hemlock trees.

How to Get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, Turn left (signs for Trans Canada Highway/BC-1 W/BC-99 N/Horseshoe Bay/Squamish/Whistler) and take the Ferry Terminal ramp on the left. After that, take exit 8 for Cypress Bowl Road toward Ski Area. If not driving, take Skytrain or Bus to Waterfront Station, connecting via Seabus to the private Cypress Mountain Express Bus at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. Visit www.cypresscoachlines.com for schedule and rate information

Mt. Seymour Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 28 kilometers (~40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: no
  • Ability Level: all levels

There are about 40 runs at Mt. Seymour spread across all difficulties – 40% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 20% advanced, offering experiences for every type of skier and snowboarder. Mt. Seymour is a favorite place to ski and snowboard near Vancouver for adrenaline seekers due to it curated terrain park. In fact, the terrain park won an award in 2013 by SBC Resort Guide as the no. 2 terrain park in Western Canada. Highlights of the mountain include snowshoeing and toboggan experiences. If you own your own snowshoes, you have free access to some treks on the mountain. The mountain is also famed for its all natural powder snow. Its groomers, Jay and Matt, were supposedly head hunted by the company at Seymour and are known to be some of the best in BC.

How to Get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, follow signs for British Columbia 1 W/Trans-Canada Highway, and merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 W. Continue straight onto Mt Seymour Pkwy W. If not driving, Mt Seymour operates a regular shuttle bus service during the winter months from Parkgate Community Centre and from opposite the Rupert Skytrrain Station in East Vancouver. Mt Seymour Unlimited Season Pass Holders can use the shuttle service for free.

Photo credit: GoToVan (Flickr CC)

Whistler Blackcomb

  • Distance from Vancouver: 121 kilometers (~1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

If you thought some of the other ski resorts near Vancouver are big, wait until you hear about Whistler Blackcomb. Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler Blackcomb offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the entire continent. As the biggest ski area in North America, the resort area spans two mountains (Whistler and Blackcomb) and has over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain. There are so many runs at Whistler (over 200!) that you could ski for several days without having to repeat any trails. For all these amenities, you do pay a premium; however, during the spring ski season, tickets can be up to 30% discounted.

For people who get bored easily, Whistler is a playground. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, there’s a town and an extensive luxury resort area to explore. With its huge variety and well-staffed center, Whistler is great for both beginners and expert-level skiers and riders. For non-skiers, the resort offers a tubing park, winter zip lining, and snowmobile tours.

How to Get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, Turn right onto Taylor Way/BC-1A/BC-99 (signs for Squamish/Whistler), and keep left to continue on BC-99 N to resort. If not driving, SkylynxEpic Rides, and Snowbus (winter only) offer daily, frequent shuttle transportation from Vancouver to Whistler. They usually pick up at the airport.

Mt. Baker Ski Area

  • Distance from Vancouver: 2 hr (141 km)
  • Accommodations Available: not on site
  • Ability Level: all levels (great for snowboarding)

With over 1,000 skiable acres, the Mount Baker Ski Area is a great resort to go and disconnect from city life in Vancouver. Frequented mostly by snowboarders, this winter sports area is perfect for adrenaline junkies. There’s a fairly even split of beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain here, with trails interlaced through the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. With a maximum elevation of over 5,000 feet and a vertical drop of 1,589 feet, this snowy resort is a great choice for a weekend winter getaway.

While the resort does attract a cult-like following, it’s important to note that it is also known to have avalanches. As it is located in one of the most snowy regions of Washington, the trails can be hazardous and are typically not groomed. There are resources for avalanche education at the resort, but it’s always good to check conditions before you go.

How to get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, and take exit 92 for USA Border toward British Columbia 11 S. Then, exit onto WA-542 and continue to the resort. If not driving, there are trains to Bellingham (closest town) but then it is an additional hour drive to the resort.

Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service- Pacific Northwest Region (Flickr CC)

Sasquatch Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 128 kilometers (~2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: not on site
  • Ability Level: all levels

Sasquatch Mountain is located within the Douglas Ranges near Chehalis, BC. The resort is between Mission and Agassiz towns. It has been around since the 1970’s, but back then it was called Hemlock Valley Resort. In 2017 the resort changed names to Sasquatch Mountain Resort. There are 36 runs, made up of 30% beginner trails; however, the resort is currently in negotiates with nearby First Nations for a potential expansion.

If you’re coming with a family, this is the resort to be at! All runs lead back to the lodge so you don’t have to worry about getting separated from your family. Additionally, on Tuesdays the resort offers a 2 for 1 lift ticket special. If you’re a complete newbie, you get a special deal: on Never Ever Days, ski lessons, rentals, and lift tickets are only CAD25 for those who have never skied before. This is truly one of the best deals for skiing near Vancouver!

How to Get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, then merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 E. Take exit 73 for 264 street/BC-13 S toward Aldergrov, and then exit toward BC-7 E/Agassiz/City Centre. Turn right onto BC-7 E (signs for Hope) to the resort. There is a bus to Agassiz, but then it is still a 40 min drive to the resort.

Manning Park Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 217 kilometers (~2 hours 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

Manning Park Resort is situated in a unique location. It’s located in a transition zone between the wet and dry parks of BC. On one side is the coastal rainforest, on the other lies the semi-arid Okanagan. The resort’s location lies near an old meeting ground of the Stó:lō and Similkameen First Nations. The presen-day Skyline Trail is actually an old travel route taken by the First Nations people!

The resort’s location further inland and its high elevation means it gets some of the best fresh powder in BC. The ski lift tickets are one of the cheapest in BC, making it one of the best family friendly options for skiing near Vancouver. In addition to the traditional downhill trails, Manning Park offers over 160 km of cross country skiing and backcountry hills.

How to Get There: If driving, head west on Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N. Take exit 177 for BC-3 E/Crowsnest Highway toward Princeton/Penticton. Turn right onto Gibson Pass Rd, and continue to the resort. If not driving, there is a bus leaving from Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station to Manning Park.

Sun Peaks Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 411 kilometers (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

Have you ever craved warm food after a long day on the slopes? At Sun Peaks Resort, you can indulge in a fondue dinner at twilight at the top of the mountain. This resort has tons of accolades, including the award for #1 in Mountain Trail Design in North American. Recent additions to the park brought the total skiable acreage to 4,270, putting it in the top three largest ski areas in Canada. The mountain has over 125 runs, including 13 glades. Although it’s an all-inclusive resort with all of the amenities of a large resort, it’s way cheaper than some of the other large resort in Canada, making this a great option for skiing near Vancouver.

How to Get There: If driving, head west on Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, and take exit 374 for BC-5 N toward Jasper. Turn right onto Old Highway 5, keep right to continue on Sun Peaks Rd. If not driving, there is a shuttle to the resort from the Vancouver airport.

Photo credit: Ruth Hartnup (Flickr CC)

Mount Washington Alpine Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 131 kilometers (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

Mt. Washington sites next to Strathcona Provincial Park, which is one of BC’s oldest provincial parks. It is the Island’s only full-service ski and summer resort. Here, you can cath breathtaking views of Comox Valley, the Strait of Georgia, and the Coast Mountains. On a sunny day, you can see across the San Juan islands all the way to Vancouver!

The resort features 1,700 acres of skiing, 55 km of cross-country skiing, and over 25 km of snowshoeing hikes. Although the park only has 14% beginner runs, it’s a great mountain to learn how to ski and snowboard downhill due to its excellent design and wide open spaces, making it difficult to get lost. For advanced skiers, the park offers glades and cut runs that bump up. The Outback zone is geared specifically towards expert level skiers.

How to Get There: If driving, head west on Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N. Take the ramp to W Vancouver, and then take the Trans-Canada Hwy ferry to Nanaimo. Turn right onto BC-19 N (signs for campbell R). Then, turn left onto Strathcona Pkwy (signs for Strathcona Parkway) to the resort. If not driving, there is a shuttle from Southern Vancouver Island to the resort, or can hire private buses to get to the resort.

Apex Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 388 kilometers (4 hours 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: no
  • Ability Level: all levels

As one of the few mountains that face the north, Apex Mountain Resort is less affected by the sunlight and so it features beautiful powder snow. The resort is famous for its light champagne powder due to a mixture of perfect weather conditions and light. Don’t let the perfect snow fool you into thinking this is an easy place to ski, however. Local’s affectionately call the place “Scrapex” as the higher altitude runs are very exposed, resulting in speedy and bumpy runs. The resort run distribution leans heavily on intermediate runs. This location is an idea destination for those looking for more of an “off-grid” and old-school ski area near Vancouver.

How to Get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, and take exit 177 for BC-3 E/Crowsnest Highway toward Princeton/Penticton. Then, continue onto Apex Mountain Rd. The resort is after a right turn onto Strayhorse Rd. If not driving, the best way to get there is to fly to Penticton Airport, and Apex Mountain has a shuttle to the resort,

Big White Ski Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 451 kilometers (~5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

As the third largest resort in British Columbia, Big White Ski Resort is named after the mountain it calls home – Big White Mountain, which is the highest summit in the Okanagan Highland. There are 119 trails on the property, with the majority rated as intermediate and above. It’s also the largest night skiing resort in Western Canada. If you’re looking for long, uninterrupted runs, the longest on-site is the Around the World Route, which runs from the top of the resort to Gem Lake.

Visitors like the resort’s focus on skiing and snowboarding and the outdoor experience. It’s not very commercial by design. There’s also snow tubing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and sleigh rides you can do during your down time from the slopes.

How to Get There: If driving, head west on Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N and take exit 286 for British Columbia 5A/BC-97C toward Merritt/Kelowna/BC-8/City Centr. Take the exit on the left onto Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N toward Westbank/Kelowna/Vernon, then turn left onto Big White Rd. If not driving, you can either fly to Kelowna and take a shuttle to the resort, or take a train to the Kelowna and then take the shuttle to the resort.

Photo credit: Christine Rondeau (Flickr CC)

SilverStar Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 485 kilometers (~5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

As one of the biggest resorts in British Columbia, Silver Star Ski Area has over 3,000 skiable acres with 132 trails in the Monashee Mountains. The snow here is 100% natural, as the region typically gets 23 feet of snowfall each year. Visitors mention that the front side of the mountain has some easier, more beginner-friendly runs, while the back side has more advanced slopes.

There’s a diverse array of winter sports activities outside of skiing and snowboarding, including ice skating, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking, and they have an all inclusive pass to take advantage of several activities the resort has to offer. Additionally, the nearby ski town has lifts right outside of its many shops, perfect for a mid-day ski siesta.

How to Get There: If driving, start by heading northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N. Take exit 286 for British Columbia 5A/BC-97C toward Merritt/Kelowna/BC-8/City Centre. Then take the exit on the left onto Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N toward Westbank/Kelowna/Vernon. After that, take the 3rd exit and stay on Pleasant Valley Rd, and continue until you arrive at the resort. If not driving, the best way to get there is by either flying or taking the train the Kelowna airport, and taking the shuttle to the resort.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 570 kilometers (~6 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels, mostly intermediate and advanced

Home to North America’s greatest vertical (1,713 meters/5,620 feet), Revelstoke Mountain is one of the more adrenaline-inducing ski resorts near Vancouver. The longest run on-site, The Last Spike, is a whopping 9.5 miles long, and there’s tons of opportunities for off-piste skiing/snowboarding as well.

While there are not very many runs for beginners, intermediate and advanced snowboarders and skiers will thrive here with the resort’s steep runs and powder snow. It’s a perfect place for experienced folks to learn more about navigating backcountry trails with lots of trees and challenging terrain. There’s also heli-skiing available for those looking for the experience of a lifetime!

How to Get There: If driving, head East on Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1, then turn right onto Victoria Rd (signs for City Centre). After that, turn right onto Camozzi Rd, and continue to the resort. If not driving, there is a bus that takes you to the resort (long trip), or you could fly to Kelowna and take the shuttle to the resort.

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 723 kilometers (~7 hours 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels, mostly advanced

While Kicking Horse Mountain Resort sits over 7 hours away from Vancouver, the drive is worth it if you are an advanced skier. While there are several trails accessible to beginner and intermediate-level skiers and riders, the resort prides itself on having the most accessible steep and challenging terrain in BC/Alberta. This is one of the few places in North America where both beginner skiers and advanced skiers can ski above the trees and clouds. Needless to say, this resort is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Kicking Horse has 120 runs over 3,400 skiable acres, 60% of which are rated as advanced. The Golden Eagle Express lift can take you straight from the resort entrance all the way up to the summit. Although it leans heavily on expert level trails, there is a single long beginner trail that extends from the summit of the mountain all the way to the front entrance of the park. For advanced skiers and snowboarders looking for adrenaline, Kicking Horse offers Purcell Heli-Skiing. Visitors love the stunning views of 6 surrounding national parks from the summit, as well as the secluded location of the resort.

How to Get There: If driving, start by heading east on Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1, then turn right onto BC-95 S (signs for Radium/Hot springs/Cranbrook). Continue onto Kicking Horse Trail all the way to the resort. If not driving, it is best to fly to either Kelowna or Calgary, and then take the bus to the resort.

Photo credit: Kevin Bernier (Flickr CC)

Red Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 614 kilometers (~7 hours)
  • Accommodations: Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

While it’s located far away from Vancouver, the resort town of Red Mountain is worth a trip alone if you are an experience skier. It was voted Canada’s #1 Outdoor Town by Explore magazine. The town offers ice skating, curling, and cat skiing.

Located along the famed Powder Highway, this resort has over 3,800 acres of skiing area. Most of the runs are in the intermediate to advanced level. The north side of the mountain features more of the advanced runs, while the south side has crowd-pleasing groomers. Advance adult tickets are just $57, making this one of the more affordable places to ski near Vancouver.

How to Get There: If driving, head west on Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, and take exit 177 for BC-3 E/Crowsnest Highway toward Princeton/Penticton. Turn right onto Red Mountain Rd and take this all the way to the resort. If not driving, it is best to fly to either Trail or Castlegar Airport ad then shuttle to the resort.

Whitewater Ski resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 659 kilometers (~7 hours 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: no
  • Ability Level: all levels

Also located on the famed Powder Highway, Whitewater is a ski resort famous for its easy backcountry access. This park caters mostly to the intermediate and advanced level skiers. The western most ridge has incredible front and backside skiing and is made up of just blue and black runs. The resort boasts of having 100% all natural snow.

Nearby lies the city of Nelson, BC, which is known for its counter-culture fame. There’s over 40 restaurants in the town with an abundance of art exhibits and a hopping culture scene! In the wintertime, be sure to check out the hot springs in the city.

How to Get There: If driving, head northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N, then take exit 177 for BC-3 E/Crowsnest Highway toward Princeton/Penticton. After that, take the BC-3A exit toward Nelson, and turn left onto Ward St/BC-3A S (signs for BC-3 Alt E/Kootenay Lake). Continue on this all the way to the resort. If not driving, you can fly to Trail Airport and then an hour ride to the resort.

Panorama Mountain resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 850 kilometers (~9 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: not on site
  • Ability Level: all levels

Panorama Mountain Village is a bit of a haul from the city, but it’s one of the best spots for skiing and snowboarding near Vancouver if you make the trip! This resort has 129 runs that are mostly intermediate and advanced, but there are plenty of areas for beginners and first-timers.

Known for long runs, big bowls, and beautiful views of the Canadian Rockies, Panorama really lives up to its name. Located near Kicking Horse, many people opt to pair the two resorts together in one trip. It’s one of the sunniest resorts in Canada, boasting 60 days of sun on average during the season. Plus, the on-site resort and lodge here is absolutely stunning, with opportunities for ski-in, ski-out rooms.

How to Get There: If driving, head south on BC-95 (signs for Radium/Hot springs/Cranbrook). Turn right onto Athalmer Rd (signs for Invermere/Panorama), and continue on that road to the resort. if not driving, it is best to fly to either Cranbook or Calgary and then a 2 hr ride to the resort.

Photo credit: Alex Berger (Flickr CC)

Kimberley Alpine Resort

  • Distance from Vancouver: 873 kilometers (~10 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: yes
  • Ability Level: all levels

Located in the Purcell Mountains, Kimberley Alpine Resort is a fantastic mid-sized resort that offers a variety of terrain across all levels. With 80 runs across beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, visitors love the resort for family or group trips, as there’s something for everyone here. The resort also boasts the longest night skiing runs in North America!

Beginners will enjoy the ski school and gentler slopes on the front side of the mountain, while advanced practitioners can fly down the tree glades in powder snow. With ample ski-in, ski-out accommodations, Kimberley is beloved by Vancouver and Calgary locals and visitors alike as a fantastic winter getaway destination.

How to Get There: If driving, start by heading northeast on Hornby St toward W Georgia St/BC-1A/BC-99 N. You’ll take exit 177 for BC-3 E/Crowsnest Highway toward Princeton/Penticton. Head towards the USA border on Creston-Rykerts Hwy/BC-21 S. Turn left onto Kimberley Hwy/BC-95A and continue all the way to the resort. If not driving, it is best to fly to Cranbook Airport then shuttle to the resort (25 min).

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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