It’s getting warmer, so I went for (probably) the last snowshoe of the season last weekend in Callaghan Valley. Tickets cost $16.50 for adults, but it’s worth it to enjoy a beautiful hike through mild hills with a stunning view of Alexander Falls.
Distance from Vancouver: About 120 km (2 hours)
View Ski Callaghan‘s map of snowshoeing trails.
I have tried this trail three times in the three years I’ve lived in Vancouver. The first time in 2019, Rachel and I came just a couple weeks too late. The snow was incredibly soft, and unless you kept to the exact middle of the path where the snow was most packed, our snowshoes would fall through the drift, leaving us stuck with one leg buried up to the hip. One particularly memorable time, we both fell through. We had to roll our way to safety after nearly dying of laughter at our absurd circumstances.
The second time in 2020 was nearly the exact opposite. We went just after a huge dump of snow, and almost no one had gone before us to break it in. We had a friend’s dog with us who gleefully bounded through the snowdrifts, which helped a little. But we used so much energy stomping down the snow that we didn’t get far before admitting defeat and turning around.
This past weekend was the third time I attempted Callaghan Valley, and it was nearly perfect. The snow was just starting to melt, but the paths were passable and well-trod. We got to the parking lot by 9:00, which was a good call, because by the time our hike was over it was packed full of cars. However, the trail was pretty empty until maybe the last hour (around noon).
Note: I highly recommend taking the Real Life road trail out and the Finger Lakes trail back (rather than the opposite). This was the first time I went in that direction, and I felt like it was a lot less exhausting.
Alexander Falls Explorer & Finger Lakes Trail
Length: 11,7 km
Elevation Gain: 210 m
Route Type: Loop