Cypress Mountain is Metro Vancouver’s largest ski hill and it features fantastic downhill slopes, cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails and a tubing park.
The resort is located in Cypress Provincial Park which also has hiking trails and backcountry camping opportunities.
This article contains the following information:
2021 Season | Ski Conditions | Resort Activities | Cross-Country Rates | Snowshoeing Rates | Tubing Rates | Downhill Skiing Rates | Special Events | Facts About Cypress | Ski Tips | Mountain Views | Stats from the Past | Other Information
Cypress Ski Resort in West Vancouver
Home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Cypress Mountain is the most advanced of Vancouver’s local ski hills, with the most vertical drop, terrain and lifts.
Located in West Vancouver, Cypress Mountain boasts 53 runs, 6 chairs, 600 acres (240 hectares) of terrain and 610 metres in vertical elevation.
This is more than either of its two neighbouring competitor ski hills, which are Mount Seymour (which some argue is the best ski hill for beginners and young families) and Grouse Mountain (which offers the most year-round activities and is the most accessible with its Skyride tram up the mountain).
All three of the North Shore’s ski hills are “best places” to ski for their own reasons, but, with “the most vertical drop, most terrain and most lifts,” Cypress is the local hill that Vancouverites tend to ski at after they outgrow Seymour and Grouse, and when they don’t want to drive all the way to Whistler.
Cypress also has some of the region’s best cross country ski terrain, as well as some of the most extensive artificial snow-making equipment in BC.
Click Lower Mainland Ski Hills for general information about all the region’s various ski resorts (including a comparison of the different mountains). Or continue reading for information specifically about Cypress.
2021 Cypress Mountain Ski Season
The ski season at Cypress typically runs from late November until mid to late April. Cypress Mountain opened on Saturday November 30th in 2019, which was around when Grouse Mountain opened for the season that year as well. In 2020 Cypress started up on November 13th (which was earlier than usual).
For the 2020/21 season, day pass tickets must be booked in advance online (although few if any were available on the day during the busy Christmas season). You can’t just buy tickets onsite at the ticket booth when you arrive, as one normally can in years without COVID-19. If you have a season’s pass though, you don’t have to pre-book your skiing time in advance (as is the case at some other ski hills this year).
Recent Ski Conditions
As of the morning of January 17th, 2021, it was cloudy at the ski hill with temperatures of around +2 degrees.
The mountain’s website reported 7 cm of snow in the previous 24 hours, 0 cm the day before and 21 cm of snow in the previous 7 days. It also reported 340 cm so far for the season. 170 cm remains at the Nordic base and 320 cm at the mid-mountain level.
Also as of the same date, the Eagle Express, Lions Express, Easy Rider, Sky, Midway and Raven Ridge chairs were all scheduled to be in operation for at least part of the day.
In addition to downhill trails being open for skiing, the resort’s tubing park has also been open seven days a week (or at least it was over the busy Christmas holiday season).
Cypress Ski Hill Activities
Not only does Cypress offer some of the best downhill skiing on the North Shore, but also some of the best cross-country trails.
The downhill skiing takes place on two mountains which face each other, which is why the resort is also called Cypress Bowl. The mountains that make up the downhill skiing area are Mount Strachan and Black Mountain. There is also Hollyburn Mountain where the cross-country, snowshoeing and tubing take place.
Cypress 2020 Ticket Prices
Below are ticket costs at Cypress for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing and downhill skiing. Also, parking at the resort is free, although at peak times there is sometimes a charge for the lots closest to the lodge and the ski hill base.
(Note: Rates and other details may change over time. See the Cypress Mountain website for exact details).
2020/2021 Cross-Country Ski Rates
As of late December 2020, full-day cross-country rates at Cypress were the following (excluding GST):
- Adults (ages 19-64): $23 for a full day
- Seniors (ages 65+): $14 for a full day
- Youth (ages 13-18): $14 for a full day
- Child (ages 6-12): $12 for a full day
- Skooter (ages 0-5): $5 any time
When open for the season, full-day cross-country skiing usually runs from 9 am until closing and evening rates apply after 3 pm.
Cypress Mountain is home to 19 km of cross-country ski terrain (of which 7.5 km of trails are lit up at night).
2020/21 Snowshoeing Rates
As of December 2020, the snowshoe trails at Cypress cost the following (with prices and other details subject to change):
- Adults (ages 19-64): $16 (or $36 with rentals)
- Seniors (ages 65+): $10 (or $26 with rentals)
- Youth (ages 13-18): $10 (or $26 with rentals)
- Children (ages 6-12): $6 (or $18 with rentals)
- Skooter (ages 5 & under): $4 (or $14 with rentals)
When operating, snowshoe trails are usually open from 9 am until dusk. There is no lighting on the snowshoe trails, which is why they close early.
2020/2021 Tubing Rates
For the 2020/21 season a tube park ticket cost about $26 or $28 (depending on your time slot) for everyone over age 5. It is valid for just under two hours.
To access the tubing park participants must be 105 cm (or 42 inches) in height or at least 6 years of age. For children ages 0-5 there is a sliding area instead and the cost is about $10 per little kid.
Tubing at Cypress is a blast! There is a lift, so you don’t need to hike up the hill with your tube. Tubes are also included in the ticket price, and you can fly down the hills on your own or in groups while hanging onto your friends.
Note: In the 2019/2020 season, similar to the previous year, tubing had to be reserved in advance, online and for set times. This is the same for the 2020/2021 season.
2020 Downhill Ski Ticket Rates
The cost of a day pass for downhill skiing depends on your age, when you ski, when and how you buy your ticket, and whether you have a Sky Card (formerly called a Gold Medal Card) which gives you an additional 20% discount.
We checked ticket prices in November of 2020. Note: Ticket prices are subject to change. Check the official Cypress Mountain website for more details. Rates for the 2020/2021 season are to be determined.
Regular Full-Day Downhill Rates
Regular full-day rates for downhill skiing in 2020/21 differ depending on the day. Average prices for tickets on a weekday in November if bought online when we checked were the following (but various forms of discounts were typically available):
- Adults (ages 19-64): $79 plus GST
- Seniors (ages 65+): $56 plus GST
- Youth (ages 13-18): $59 plus GST
- Children (ages 6-12): $38 plus GST
- Children ages 5 and under: $6
We checked ticket prices again in late December 2020. As expected, rates were quite a bit more expensive. A full-day ticket for downhill skiing on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020, cost the following:
- Adults (ages 19-64): $100 plus GST
- Seniors (ages 65+): $67 plus GST
- Youth (ages 13-18): $70 plus GST
- Children (ages 6-12): $45 plus GST
- Children ages 5 and under: $8
Note: in previous years, children under the age of 5 have been free. However, in 2019/20 and again in 2020/21, tickets for children ages 5 and under have cost anywhere from $6 to $8.
Regular Half-Day Downhill Rates
Full price half-day rates for downhill skiing on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020, are listed below:
- Adults (ages 19-64): $73 plus GST
- Seniors (ages 65+): $53 plus GST
- Youth (ages 13-18): $53 plus GST
- Children (ages 6-12): $35 plus GST
- Children ages 5 and under: $6
Night Skiing Downhill Rates
Night rates for downhill skiing at Cypress (as of Wednesday, December 30th, 2020) were roughly the following:
- Adults (ages 19-64): $57 plus GST
- Seniors (ages 65+): $42 plus GST
- Youth (ages 13-18): $42 plus GST
- Children (ages 6-12): $31 plus GST
- Children ages 5 and under: $6
The above rates are without additional discounts which can include the following:
- Online Discounts – Buy your tickets online in advance and you’ll save a few dollars, and the further in advance you buy and the less “prime time” your dates, the greater your savings will be.
- Sky Card Discounts – Buy a Sky Card (previously known as a Gold Medal Card) for about $27 or so more than the cost of a regular full-priced adult one-day ticket and you get your first day free and then all additional days at about 20% off.
Cypress Mountain Special Events
Special events sometimes take place up at Cypress Mountain. On New Year’s Eve, for example, there are usually fireworks. There are also fireworks on the Family Day Long Weekend in February, plus a variety of special family-friendly activities then too. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
Cypress hosts other special events from time to time as well. Brewski Fest, for example, takes place towards the end of the ski season. It doesn’t happen every year, but when it does it means free beer samples for pass holders ages 19+. On occasion the mountain also offers free outdoor barbecues!
Check out the ski hill’s Events Calendar to see if anything interesting is coming up soon!
Other Facts about Cypress
One of the great things about Cypress Mountain is its number of runs and the range of ski terrain offered. It’s not a mountain with limited choice for beginners, and it’s not a ski hill with little to offer advanced skiers. Cypress has it all.
Of the 53 ski runs at Cypress, close to 15% (or 7 runs) are marked as Green for beginners. Another 35% are Blue for intermediate skiers, slightly more than 35% are Black Diamonds for advanced skiers, and 4 runs (or 8%) are Double Black Diamond runs and so for alpine skiing experts.
The longest downhill skiing route at Cypress from top to bottom – from T33 into Collins – is a distance of over 4 km or 2.5 miles.
Other interesting bits of trivia about Cypress are the fact that it’s the highest of Metro Vancouver’s local mountains, features the largest amount of skiable terrain, has a lift capacity of 9000 skiers per hour, and offers the most runs of any of the North Shore’s three ski hills. Cypress also has Canada’s biggest night skiing operations west of Ontario.
Cypress Mountain Ski Tips
The following advice will help enhance your Cypress Mountain and general skiing experience.
TIP #1: If you plan to ski for more than a couple of days, then consider buying a Downhill Sky Card. It costs about $27 or so more than a regular single adult day ticket, but then covers you for the first day’s skiing plus 20% off every subsequent day. Nordic Sky Cards are also available.
TIP #2: Want a fun cycling ride in the summer and have a bike rack on your car? An amazing bike ride is from the parking lot of the mountain back down along the road to the bottom of the hill in West Vancouver. One person needs to drive the car back down. Just be careful though – it’s a very winding road. Only extremely serious cyclists ride in both directions.
TIP #3: Make sure to have good winter tires or chains – if you don’t, and the roads aren’t clear, then Grouse Mountain is the most accessible ski hill.
TIP #4: Check out the daily deals offered by the mountain at Cypress Mountain’s Coupons.
TIP #5: Day ski tickets are least expensive when you buy them in advance online. Generally the further in advance you buy them, the cheaper they get.
TIP #6: Cypress Mountain used to offer free skiing day passes to people on their birthdays. It might or might not still do. In case they do, just make sure to take photo ID, ask for the free pass before paying for a regular one, and hope for sunny weather on your actual birthday.
Views from Cypress Mountain
As do the other ski hills in the area, Cypress Mountain has some of the best views of Vancouver from the North Shore.
Looking for one of the best places to take a photo of Vancouver, then just drive three-quarters of the way up the hill to the main lookout at the side of the road. The view from there is arguably one of the finest in all of the Lower Mainland.
The views from the top of the ski hill are even more amazing. Try to be there just before dusk on a clear day to catch one of the most beautiful sunset views anywhere.
Season Stats from the Past
Below is information about what the ski conditions and seasons have looked like at Cypress in past recent years. For reference, the first day of skiing for the 2020/21 season was on November 13th.
- As of the end of the 2019/20 ski season (which was March 15th, 2020), total snowfall for the season had been about 690 cm (which was well below average). Around 385 cm remained at the base.
- First day of the 2018/19 season was December 3rd and the last day was April 14th. First day of the 2019/20 season was November 29th, 2019.
- As of the hill’s last day of the 2018/19 season the resort had 729 cm of snow for the year and a base of 290 cm. For comparison, total snowfall was 1168 cm for the 2017/18 season.
- The last day of night skiing in 2019 was Sunday March 31st. As well, the last day of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing was April 7th and the final day for the tubing park was March 31st.
- In 2016 the season ended in mid-April, but in 2015 operations continued until a far bit later. In 2018 it again ended in the middle of April. Last day of the season in the spring of 2019 was Sunday April 14th.
For information about the Lower Mainland’s other ski resorts, check out any of the following:
- Lower Mainland Ski Hills
- Grouse Mountain
- Mount Seymour
- Sasquatch Mountain Resort (in the Hemlock Valley near Harrison)
For ideas on other things to do in Metro Vancouver in winter, check out the following:
- Vancouver’s November, December, January, February or March calendars of events.
- Vancouver’s Best Winter Activities
- Best Christmas Activities