Eagle Bluffs on Cypress Mountain is a very popular summer hiking trail, but it is completely underrated in the winter. It is much more quiet compared to the popular Dog Mountain and Hollyburn trails, which can get as crowded as a summer’s afternoon even in winter. I think Eagle Bluffs often gets left off many best-snowshoe-hikes-in-Vancouver lists as it is considered backcountry. However, the trail is still very well marked and relatively well-travelled.
***Update March 3, 2020: According to Parks BC, the Eagle Bluffs trail beyond Black Mountain Plateau is NOT RECOMMENDED***
I organized a photo hike with a bunch of my photographer friends and we ventured out to Eagle Bluffs in early March. I don’t often hike with many other photographers, so it was great to share our knowledge and collaborate together on this outing. We even lucked out with a bit of blue skies!
Remembering how steep the first incline is from the summer trail, we kept the cameras in our packs until it levelled out a bit. Once it did, it was a beautiful trek through winter wonderland. When we reached the Black Mountain Loop, we decided to head right (or in a counter-clockwise direction) at the sign. We followed the red pole markers and stopped at a look out which we assumed to be the peak of Black Mountain to snap some photos.
Black Mountain Look-Out photo by Tara Stamnes.
We were looking for another sign to lead us towards Eagle Bluffs, but we believe it was buried in snow. We decided to venture across a frozen lake (potentially Owen Lake) to explore and found the trail to Eagle Bluffs by fluke. If we didn’t decide to explore across the lake, we would’ve doubled all the way back completing the Loop without ever finding the mark off. At this point, we followed orange reflector markers on the trees.
It was beautiful through the snow-covered trees. We also practiced our sliding skills down hills. Just make sure you don’t get stuck under a tree like Tara did!
We eventually made it to the Eagle Bluffs look out. The rime on the trees at the peak were crazy! The clouds parted for us to take some photos and the eagles decided to model for us.
Rey & Josie photo by Nickolai Zarchukoff.
Eagles at Play photo by Dexter McMillan.
I highly recommend Eagle Bluffs as a snowshoe hike. You get amazing views without the crowds of people in the summer. Plus it’s fun to play in snow! Make sure you pick up your Backcountry Access Corridor tag at the Black Mountain Lodge in the Cypress Mountain parking lot, and keep a copy of the winter trail map handy. Remember to check the weather as well as trail conditions on the Cypress Provincial Park site before your trip.
Camera Specs: My photos were shot with: Canon 70d + Sigma 10-20mm lens and Canon 50mm lens