From the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay to the town of Squamish, thousands of motorists pass by Howe Sound daily along the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway. The Stawamus Chief hike outside the village Squamish in British Columbia, Canada is one of the most popular hikes near the city of Vancouver, only about an hours drive away.The Stawamus Chief is named by the first nations people after their village on the Squamish River. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! Smoke Bluffs Park is a local favourite and always worth a visit, any time of year. Written by: Cherie Baxter Being recognized as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” there is no question why locals and world travellers would make Squamish their destination of choice. There are so many amazing hikes Squamish that it can be hard to choose which one to do! Note: For a more challenging adventure, continue past Beth Lake for another 8 km or so (and another 600 metres of elevation gain) to reach Capilano Mountain and a stunning 360-degree panorama. Alice Lake Provincial Park is comprised of four lakes, Stump, Fawn and Edith Lake as well as the much larger Alice Lake. This whole zone is one of the most remote hiking areas in Squamish and features expansive viewpoints looking towards the snaking Squamish River. Forest road, cut-blocks, old-growth and alpine meadows all feature in this varied and beautiful hike. The most accessible hiking terrain in Squamish starts right in its downtown core. If you keep on trekking, you'll end up at Elfin Lakes. It should take most walkers about an hour to complete. Weather in Squamish can shift pretty quickly, so wear layers in order to adjust to changing conditions on any hike. One of the Squamish hikes, it is located just beside Squamish in a cozy neighborhood called Valleycliffe. Four Lakes Trail in Alice Lake Provincial Park. The trail is steep and scrambly in sections. Roots, rocks and a solid uphill climb make this short hike challenging, but the granite playground and panoramic views at the top make it worthwhile. The most accessible hiking terrain in Squamish starts right in its downtown core. The HSCT can be completed in either direction. Both are fairly steep, but short hiking trails, so can be done in an afternoon. Many hikes in Squamish start right in town. Located only an hour from Vancouver and about 45 minutes from Whistler, the journey along the Sea-to-Sky highway provides magnificent … Some people opt to take a mountain bike up this portion for a speedier descent. The Skyline trail begins from the Backcountry Access Road at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola. Squamish has gone from pit stop to popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and panoramic views. In Squamish, some great October hikes would be the Upper Shannon Falls Trail or the amazing Stawamus Chief Trail. Set out on one of the countless hiking trails that will take you through and along ancient alpine forests, vast mountain terrain, verdant rainforests, crystal-clear lakes and peaceful, bubbling rivers. The trail clocks in at about 2.5 kilometers, but the climbs and descents - including lots of stairs - will get your heart beating quickly. 13 Top-Rated Things to Do in Vancouver in Winter. Across from downtown Squamish is a large residential neighborhood called Valleycliffe. Length: 6.5 km (loop)Duration: 2-3 hours Elevation gain: Negligible Difficulty: Easy. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest as you make your way along the six-kilometer trail. This trail ascends gently from the Summit Lodge to the base of Sky Pilot, offering much more intimate views of both mountains than lodge visitors enjoy. At about the halfway point on the hike up First Peak there is an obvious rock bluff which affords excellent views. The Sea to Summit trail’s mossy evergreens, granite lookouts and steep climbs will feel very familiar to hikers who have hiked the Chief. Squamish wants you to TAKE A HIKE! And presiding over it all, the weather-streaked monolith of the Chief. The cool weather makes the uphill climb more forgiving, and although you’re bound to see a few other nature enthusiasts on the trail, you’ll avoid the crowds that flock there in summer. Since it is just a short drive from the city, this town is one of several popular day trips from Vancouver. Where is the Slhanay trailhead? As the name suggests, the trail passes by all four lakes in the park: Stump, Edith, Fawn, and Alice. Extend your stay for rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, windsurfing, river rafting or any of the other outdoor activities Squamish has to offer. Many of Squamish's hiking trails are perfectly suitable for complete beginners. Read more about this trail: exploresquamish.com, Length: 8.5 km Duration: 4-6 hoursElevation gain: 650 metresDifficulty: Moderate. Stunning view from the Murrin Park Loop Trail. Where can I find the Four Lakes Loop Trail trailhead? The Sigurd Trail reaches Crooked Falls at around 490 m elevation. Here are 10 of our favourite trails to get you started. Though the gondola offers several hikes suited to beginners, this trail is considered one of the more difficult options and is best enjoyed by those who are in good physical condition. After another short bridge, you'll have made it to the trailhead for the Sigurd Trail, which is the same trail that leads you towards Crooked Falls. This is a family-friendly trail that is lots of fun to explore on its own, but you can also extend your day at Alice Lake Provincial Park by adding on a few more adventures. View of Howe Sound from Al's Habrich Trail. Stopped by The Ledge Community Coffee shop for a really tasty Decaf Mocha. Can't decide? Squamish Dyke Trails . Just as some top-rated hiking trails are present, Squamish is home to some of the hidden gems. Where is the Tunnel Bluffs Lookout trailhead? So lace up your boots and plan your adventures with our list of the best hikes in Squamish. From the top of the gondola, climb upwards among big, widely-spaced trees before topping out on the bare granite slab that characterizes many Squamish hikes, and enjoying a view of the town, the river, and the impressive mountain ranges behind it. Coordinates for your GPS: 49.957282, -123.120304 The … Luckily, from the junction, you don't have much farther to go. A great Squamish-based hike into the park is the trail to Elfin Lakes. Walk to the end of the Brandywine Falls lookout path and keep going once the trail ends. Hiking Boots - Men's Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX, Hiking Boots - Women's Oboz Sypes Mid Leather B-Dry, Backpack - Women's Patagonia Nine Trails 18L. The view of Howe Sound from the bluff is a stunning piece of eye candy, and well-worth the effort. Squamish is a great base for hiking near Vancouver. EASY Murrin Park: Murrin Park Loop trail is one of my favourite easy hikes Squamish. It’s easy to reach, well signed and offers plenty of viewpoints over Squamish, the Stawamus Chief and Howe Sound. This trail follows a logging road for about 7 kilometers before ducking up into the trees past Beth Creek. Some have partial on-leash restrictions, but all of these routes are perennial favourites where locals and visitors alike hit the trails with their pup in tow. Dykes run beside the Stawamus, Mamquam and Squamish Rivers, each offers a flat walk with riverside beauty and a bounty of wildlife viewing opportunities. © Copyright 2020 PlanetWare Inc. All rights reserved. Let your little one's imagination run wild and create priceless moments in the great outdoors on a fun hike … This loop also makes a great trail run. While the first portion of the Tunnel Bluff hike is an uphill battle akin to the Chief trail, it eventually evens out along a pleasant old logging road flanked with deciduous trees. Leave time to explore the other connecting trails, many of which offer evidence of the logging industry that historically drove Squamish's economy. The total elevation gain is 138 meters. The views are breathtaking as you make your way along the forests and meadows. If you’re seeking outdoor adventure on foot, we have compiled a list of spectacular Squamish hikes as well as local food and beer pairings that come recommended by Squamish … You'll hear the falls before you see them, and as you get to the lookout, the mist from the falls will help cool you down. The Squamish Estuary Trails have several access points from downtown, including at the end of Vancouver Street or Main Street. Beware of bear activity and be extra mindful of leaving food along the trail. Continue hiking. You'll first pass through Red Heather Meadows, which features a hut (a popular stop for snowshoers and backcountry skiers in the winter). The Four Lakes Trail is a picturesque, family-friendly experience that offers a taste of what Squamish is famous for, and the option of a dip in any of the lakes to cool off. Squamish is a small town 63 km north of Vancouver, immersed in stunning nature it is famous for adventure activities with plenty of spots for awesome rock climbing, kite surfing, mountain biking and hiking. Be prepared to do some navigation as the trail is poorly marked in some spots. Tunnel Bluffs: The Tunnel Bluffs hike has become one of the most popular hikes in … The trail leads to three different peaks. 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Habrich and Sky Pilot. As you get into more technical territory (Squamish is notorious for its rooty, rocky terrain), hiking boots are preferred to regular running shoes, and you are well-advised to bring a backpack with essential safety gear, including a first aid kit. Length: 8.4 km (return)Duration: 3-4 hours Elevation gain: 354 mDifficulty: Moderate. From top to bottom, the entire trail is just shy of 2.5 kilometers one way and follows the course of the Stawamus River. We have an incredible outdoor playground here in BC and the Sea to Sky area is home to some of the best scenery in the world. 11 Top-Rated Hikes in Squamish, BC. All Rights Reserved, When you purchase something via the links in our articles, we may earn a small affiliate commission. The hut is a two story building with kitchen and common area on the ground floor and bunk beds on the top floor (no privacy). Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the beautiful and desolate, by comparison, Callaghan Valley to the north. For the wilderness-lover, Squamish has it all: mountains, rivers, lakes, endless trails and good coffee. Read more about this hike: seatoskygondola.com, Length: 29 km (one way) Duration: 1-2 days Elevation gain: 610 mDifficulty: Very Difficult. The trailhead is at the Chief parking lot. Copyright © Explore Magazine. The steep, rugged terrain along Howe Sound offers several hikes with breathtaking views of the surrounding area while trails north of Howe Sound explore the Squamish Valley area.. Cross creeks, wander among the trees and stop to take in the lakes. The local flora and fauna are on full display, too - bird-watchers tend to flock (pun intended) to the estuary to catch a glimpse of the 200-plus bird species. It’s surrounded by mountains of which the Stawamus Chief, a huge granite monolith is the most famous. Hikes Near Squamish. 1. Just as it is impossible to ignore the imposing granite monolith on the Squamish horizon (i.e., the Stawamus Chief), it would be impossible to leave "The Chief" off a list of Squamish's best hikes. Head up, up, and up the main street - Westway Avenue - until it intersects at Plateau Drive. These places are best for hiking trails in Squamish: Garibaldi Provincial Park; Smoke Bluffs Park; Crooked Falls; Squamish Oceanfront Interpretive Trail; High Falls Creek Trail; See more hiking trails in Squamish … But this hike is longer and more varied, with flatter sections and patches of deciduous trees. The slope is generally downhill and easily accessible. If you're feeling more adventurous, try the hike to the base. As you approach Sky Pilot, look out for waterfalls — but don’t go past the end of the marked trail, as the terrain beyond should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers with the appropriate gear. Squamish dykes provide flat, scenic riverside walks, with wildlife viewing opportunities. Though it shares the same trailhead as the Chief (and the same gruelling sets of stairs in the first stretch), the Sea to Summit trail is a distinct trail that is absolutely worth a visit. The main appeal of this hike is its proximity to downtown and its relatively short length. 9 Top-Rated Things to Do in Vancouver with Kids. If you’re seeking outdoor adventure on foot, we have compiled a list of spectacular Squamish hikes as well as local food and beer pairings that come recommended by Squamish … But, despite its popularity, the Chief can be a demanding hike, so be prepared with the right footwear, food and water. The difficult Sea to Summit trail spans 7.5 kilometers one way and climbs over 900 meters - most people opt to take the gondola down after enjoying some time at the top. 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