The Sunshine Coast is an amazing place to enjoy winter. A lot of people consider the best time to visit the Sunshine Coast to be the summer season, but you should not forget about the winter too!

If you have the idea of a winter escape without worrying about harsh weather, the Sunshine Coast could be your next stop. It’s well known for its great natural and outdoor lifestyle and so many things to do with what a mild climate can offer. Winter on the Sunshine Coast brings wetter weather and some dark, moody days, but it’s rarely too cold which makes it an idea to get out and explore the city.

If it’s too rainy for a walk on the trail there are fabulous public libraries in Gibsons and Sechelt and cozy cafés, shops and galleries where you can stay warm and comfy while soaking up the Coast’s wintertime vibes. Some snowfall can happen in December or February and bring 3 inches of snow every year with an average of 10 days of snow with some quantity of snow but by no means it is a typical Canadian winter full of snow and ice. So when those snowflakes start falling, take advantage of the winter activities.

You should consider enjoying outdoor activities like skiing, snowshoeing, walking, hiking or visiting markets and fairs in this paradise-like place. We would like to share the best things to do on the Sunshine Coast to know what is going on traditionally there.

  1. Festival of Lights
    Checking out some awesome light displays is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit! Usually, this favourite traditional event includes the parade of lights and holiday craft market where kids can make their crafts and take them home.
  2. The Sunshine Coast Christmas Market and Craft Fairs
    Christmas markets and craft fairs usually happen in late November and December on the Sunshine Coast. It is the best way to spend your time and enjoy sweets, treats and treasures.
  3. Go Hiking
    When on the Sunshine Coast, do as the locals do and get outside! Hiking (year-round) is a popular outdoor activity in and around the city, and is a great option to explore some of the natural beauty while getting exercise!

Dakota Ridge is a winter paradise-like recreation near Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. It has a 1,532-acre plateau featuring 20 kilometres of world-class groomed and track-set cross-country ski trails (classic and skate) and 7 kilometres of snowshoe with a network of trails through the forest. For more information including how to get there, trail pass information, trail map & more, please visit the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s website.

  1. Go snowshoeing
    Snowshoeing has grown in popularity over the last few years. People enjoy it because you get to re-experience your favourite trails in a fresh way in the winter. It also gives you a new challenge on your favourite hike route with the added difficulty of snow. If you love to hike then there is an awesome option for you to enjoy it. Well, that same love for hiking can easily carry over into the winter with snowshoeing!
    There are three main snowshoe trails at Dakota Ridge: Balsam Loop, Ridge Walker and Eagle Lookout Loop.

Balsam Loop
Length & Difficulty: 2.7 km | easy
Balsam Loop is a 2.7 km snowshoe trail for beginners with open wide gorgeous vistas. On a clear day, you can even glimpse Mount Baker and Vancouver Island with plenty of ocean views. More details you can find here:

Ridge Walker
Length & Difficulty: 5 km | moderate
Ridge Walker Trail connects with the Balsam Loop. This trail is a great five-kilometre snowshoe trail. It heads uphill through the forest and frozen ponds and marshes. If you would like to get in a few additional hours of snow, with some uphill sections you can get it. This trail branches off from the Balsam Ridge trail at two points, so you can combine it into one. More details you can find here:

Eagle Lookout Loop
Length & Difficulty: 2.1 km | moderate
Eagle Lookout Loop is a 2.1-kilometre trail through the forest that leads to a small lookout at the top of the route. Nevertheless, the views are supposed to be promising on the top, sometimes they can be hidden. To get more details you can here:

  1. Cross – Country skiing
    Cross-country skiing attracts a wide cross-section of people, including hikers looking for a way to get outdoors in the winter. It demands sustained physical exertion, making it the perfect activity for keeping warm and a low-impact way to maintain physical fitness.

There are more than 20 kilometres of cross-country ski trails, set for both classic and skate, spread across 12 trails at Dakota Ridge.
There, along with lots of loop options, you can find a good mix of green, blue, and black trails depending on their complexity. If you are a cross-country skier beginner, you need to follow green-listed Wren, Chickadee and Grouse trails. A kids’ learning area is located along this trail, too.

More experienced skiers can explore the blue Squamish Loop and Yellow Cedar Trails or Blueberry and Hemlock Trails.
Nevertheless, all trails are well-marked, so it would be a good idea to have a copy of the trail map with you.

Know Before You Go: Winter Safety
Snowshoeing and hiking in winter conditions can be hazardous. Find out how to prepare for a day of snowshoeing here:
and cross-country skiing here: