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Free day-use vehicle passes required to visit Mount Seymour Provincial Park this winter

A skier on Mount Seymour, where day passes will once again be required over the winter season. (Rafferty Baker/CBC - image credit)
A skier on Mount Seymour, where day passes will once again be required over the winter season. (Rafferty Baker/CBC - image credit)

Visitors to the popular North Shore recreation site of Mount Seymour Provincial Park will once again require a vehicle day pass starting Dec. 14.

Since 2020, B.C. Parks has implemented seasonal day passes as a way to manage traffic congestion at sites like Mount Seymour.

The park, about a 30-kilometre drive from downtown Vancouver, is popular year-round for its backcountry hiking and its views, as well as for backcountry skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

Starting Dec. 14, visitors will have to obtain a free pass online to bring their vehicle into the park.

Two options are available: a morning pass valid from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and an afternoon pass valid from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Passes are not required after 4 p.m.

Passes, which are limited in number, are available starting at 7 a.m. PT two days prior to a planned visit.

The passes will be required daily until Jan. 8, 2024, and then on weekends and holidays only until March 31, 2024.

"Cancelling passes is encouraged if people don't intend to use them so that others can," said the province in a release.

Park pass not needed for Mt. Seymour ski area

Simon Whitehead, the marketing and communications manager for the Mt. Seymour ski area, said a B.C. Parks pass is not required for anyone going to the ski resort to take part in activities there.

The ski area, which has has operated within the provincial park since 1984, has its own four-hour time slots for visitors coming to the area to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, or go tubing or tobogganing in an effort to stagger the amount of vehicles coming in and out.

"On those weekend bluebird sunny days, everybody wants to come skiing and enjoy the snow," Whitehead said.

"By managing those numbers, because there is only limited parking, we have completely reduced the congestion on the road, which was sometimes four kilometres long with an hour-and-a-half wait."

Mt. Seymour resort also operates a shuttle service for visitors to come to the ski area without a vehicle.

The B.C. Parks passes aren't required at nearby Grouse Mountain ski area, which is not located in a provincial park.

They are also not required for Cypress Provincial Park, where skiers and snowboarders can access Cypress Mountain Resort.

The province encourages visitors to Cypress Mountain to use a shuttle service, or carpool to help reduce traffic congestion.