Snowshoeing is one of Pemberton's most underrated winter
pastimes. The huge backcountry surrounding the Valley is perfect
for winter hikes and it allows you to take advantage of trails
typically busy in the summer. There's nothing more serene than
breaking trail through a quiet, snow draped forest as you explore
some of British Columbia's beautiful backcountry.
What You'll Need
The great thing about snowshoeing is that almost anybody can do
it, the equipment is minimal and the cost is affordable. Even the
coldest of days require you to wear little more than a base layer
under your clothes, a set of winter boots, and a winter jacket.
Gear is pretty simple - hat, gloves, jacket, water, and snowshoes.
Depending on your trip you may want to bring snacks or pack a lunch
for the longer trails.
*Tip bring some ski poles for extra balance*
Don't own your own snowshoes? Don't worry Pemberton Bike Co. has
you covered! Head over to them, located right beside The Pony
Restaurant, and rent yourself a pair of snowshoes. Give them a call
right now at 604-894-6625
For a much more in-depth review of the gear you'll need check
Snowshoeing: First Steps
Snowshoe Spots in Pemberton
Basically anywhere with snow is snowshoeing country but people
typically like to use the local bike trails and dyke system when
they strap on their snow stompers. Popular areas in town to
snowshoe are behind the Water Tower on top of Snob Hill, Nairn
Falls, and One Mile. These easily accessible local trails can be
done by pretty much everybody and don't require much of drive to
get to. Check out the map below to find out some great snowshoeing
Shadow Lake Interpretive Forest
Midway between Pemberton and Whistler lays Shadow Lake. Shadow Lake isn't so much of a lake but a river with lake like switchbacks but the forest does have a network of trails that take visitors through old- and second-growth forest in one of the area's original interpretative forests. This is a great place to explore for a couple hours or the whole day.
Farm Road East (The Plateau)
Known by locals simply as, The Plateau, Farm Road East is the first road you come once you cross the Lillooet River traveling from Pemberton to Mt. Currie. Turn left, travel to the end of the road, hang a left onto an old gravel road and park at the first pullout. This is great beginner terrain with spectacular valley views. Also at the end of Farm Road is the gravel pit. Cross the gravel path to the north and follow the path along the Festival Grounds - a lovely, treed route that's magnificent on a sunny day.
Duffy Lake Road Spots
On Highway 99, north from Pemberton heading towards Lillooet is The Duffy Lake Road. The Duffy climbs steeply from the Pemberton valley, gaining about 3500 feet of altitude over 16 km and provides people with some of the best hiking and backcountry adventuring possible. Check out the Duffy Lake Road map below for some backcountry snowshoeing spots.
More adventurous snowshoers can tackle the Joffre Lakes trail, which climbs past three lakes right to the alpine. Get out from under the branches and enjoy some wide-open spaces - the picturesque frozen lakes of Joffre are perfect. Take advantage of the slow winter season at Joffre and enjoy on of the best snowshoeing experiences around.
Only a half-hour drive from Pemberton, the Cayoosh Pass has old logging roads that reach into the side valleys, providing gentle open spaces that are ideal for snowshoe routes. Snowshoeing the Cayoosh is possibly the most interesting and picturesque snowshoe experience you might ever have. As one of Pemberton's most popular snowshoeing spot there's plenty of people who have done the winter trek. If you want to do the Cayoosh I suggest you read this guide first, it's always better to know what you're getting yourself into.
There's plenty of other spots around the Pemberton Valley to go snowshoeing but we don't wanna spoil all the secrets. Don't be afraid to ask around for people's suggestions on where you should go!