Cypress Mountain is Metro Vancouver’s largest ski hill and it features fantastic downhill slopes, cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails and a tubing park.
Cypress Ski Hill
Cypress Mountain opened for the downhill ski season on November 10th in 2017, which was one of the earliest starting dates in decades. In 2018 the resort opened on Monday, December 3rd (which made it the first of the North Shore Mountains to begin operations this season).
NOTE: Cypress Mountain ended the season last year on April 16, 2018. As of mid-December, 2018, it has had 71 cm of snow to date for the 2018/19 season and a present base of 50 cm. Let’s hope it keeps snowing!
About Cypress & Other Mountains
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.
Cypress Mountain Ski Season
The ski season at Cypress typically runs from late November until mid to late April. Last year the resort opened on November 10th, which was considerably earlier than most years. In 2016 the season ended in mid-April, but in 2015 operations continued until a far bit later. A lot depends on the weather and winter temperatures.
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 2018/19 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).
2018 and 2019 Cross-Country Ski Rates
As of the start of the 2018/19 season, cross-country rates at Cypress are the following (excluding GST):
- Adults (ages 19-64): $25 for a full day and $20 from 3 pm until closing
- Seniors (ages 65+): $15 for a full day or $12 for half
- Youth (ages 13-18): $15 for a full day or $12 for half
- Child (ages 6-12): $12 for a full day or $9 for half
- Skooter (ages 0-5): $5 any time
When open for the season, full-day cross-country skiing runs from 9 am until closing and evening rates apply between 3 pm and closing.
Cypress Mountain is home to 19 km of cross-country ski terrain (of which 7.5 km of trails are lit up at night).
2018 & 2019 Snowshoeing Rates
In the 2018/19 season, the snowshoe trail at Cypress costs the following (which are the same prices pretty much as last year):
- Adults (ages 19-64): $12 plus GST
- Seniors (ages 65+): $8 plus GST
- Youth (ages 13-18): $8 plus GST
- Children (ages 6-12): $5 plus GST
- Skooter (ages 5 & under): $2 plus GST
When operating, snowshoe trails are open from 9 am until dusk. There is no lighting on the snowshoe trails, which is why they close early.
2018/19 Tubing Rates
For the 2018/19 season a tube park ticket costs about $25 for two hours for everyone over age 5.
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: New for 2018 and 2019 season, tubing has to be reserved in advance, online and for set times.
2018/19 Downhill Day Tickets
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 Gold Medal Card which gives you an additional 20% discount.
Regular Full-Day Downhill Rates
Regular full-day rates for downhill skiing in 2018/19 are the following (but various forms of discounts are typically available):
- Adults (ages 19-64): $79 plus GST (which compares with $75 last year)
- Seniors (ages 65+): $56 plus GST
- Youth (ages 13-18): $56 plus GST
- Children (ages 6-12): $36 plus GST
- Children ages 5 and under: $8 (whereas last year they were free)
Regular Half-Day Downhill Rates
Full price half-day rates for downhill skiing in 2018/19 are listed below. As you can see, the ticket cost for skiing from 2 pm until closing is only between $2 and $12 less than a full day’s pass.
- Adults (ages 19-64): $67 plus GST
- Seniors (ages 65+): $51 plus GST
- Youth (ages 13-18): $51 plus GST
- Children (ages 6-12): $33 plus GST
- Children ages 5 and under: $6
The above rates are without additional discounts which 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.
- Gold Medal Card Discounts – Buy a Gold Medal Card for only about $5 or so more than the cost of a regular full-priced one-day ticket and you get your first day free and then all additional days at up to 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 sometimes fireworks. There are also fireworks on one or two evenings over the Family Day Long Weekend in February, plus discounted ski rates then too.
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 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 Gold Medal Card. It costs about $7 or so more than a regular single day ticket (so around $80), but then covers you for the first day’s skiing and provides you with up to 20% off every subsequent day. Nordic Gold Medal Cards are also available.
TIP #2: Want a fun cycling ride in the summer and got 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, which makes it popular for people testing out their fast cars! 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 offers free skiing day passes to people on their birthdays. 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
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.
Click Cypress Mountain for the ski hill’s website.
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)
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