With the Pacific Ocean to its west, Howe Sound to its north, and the majestic Sea-to-Sky corridor to its east, Squamish is surrounded by natural beauty. The town’s location also makes it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
From hiking to mountain biking and everything in between, Squamish offers many things to do outside. Look no further than this roundup if you’re looking for the best hikes in Squamish.
Parks in Squamish
If you live in or are visiting British Columbia, Canada, and you want to take a hike but aren’t sure which one to do, then look no further! Squamish is a town located on the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) that connects Vancouver to Whistler. It’s about 2 hours north of Vancouver.
Squamish has several parks with excellent hiking trails. The parks include:
- Fletcher Park
- Alice Lake Park
- D’Arcy Ranch Park
- Garibaldi Park
- Boston Bar/Gillies Bay
Each of these parks has its unique feel and vibe, so check out my blog post to learn more about each park!
Best hikes around Squamish
While Squamish is a great base for hiking, plenty of trails can be made just outside of town. A few of the best hikes around Squamish include:
The Stawmaus Chief
An iconic mountain in the Sea to Sky Corridor, accessible from town via several different trails. The Chief is popular among hikers and climbers alike, though it can be hard on novice hikers due to its steepness.
Distance: 10 km
Elevation gain: 650m
The Chief is a very popular mountain to hike around Squamish, British Columbia—so popular that it has a hiking trail that circles it. There are three peaks on the Stawmaus Chief Trail, and you can choose to conquer on, or all 3 peaks.
The trailhead is marked by a sign on your left from the parking lot, and it’s very clearly marked until you get to the top of The Chief.
The way through the Chief:
The first leg of this hike leads you along a dirt road through trees and forest until you reach a campground at the base of The Chief. Multiple trails lead you up to different sides of The Chief (you can also hike down from here). Follow the appropriate trail markers once you’ve decided which side you want to take.
Many other paths will branch off from the trail and lead up to different sides of The Chief. There is a split at around the 1.5km mark for the first peak. You can do the first peak, and then come down for the second and third peaks, or go straight up to the second peak. My favorite portion of the hike is the trail up to the second peak, but it is more technical and challenging.
Located just north of Squamish, these peaks offer gorgeous views of Howe Sound and the Tantalus Range. The trail is fairly challenging but provides plenty of scenic views throughout.
Distance: 10 km
Elevation gain: 1500m
The trail starts on Highway 99 in Squamish, at the Squamish River bridge. It follows the river for about a kilometer before veering off into the forest.
A kilometer later, you’ll reach Alice Lake (so named because “Alice” was written on an early surveyor’s map). This part of the trail can be a bit muddy because of all the rain in this area. The trail then continues through forests along the lake until it reaches Alice Lake Road, where you’ll turn right to continue towards your final destination.
The way through the lion hike
The trail goes down over several hills around here; if you’re interested in taking a break or going off-trail for a bit of rock climbing (which is why people come here), this is a good spot to do there are plenty of trails to take you through it.
The most popular hike is Lion’s Bay Trail, which takes you through forests, across beaches, and up cliffs.
Garibaldi Lake Loop
Distance: 18 km
Elevation gain: 1000 m
This hike starts from the Rubble Creek parking lot off Highway 99, about 40 minutes north of Squamish. The trailhead is marked by a sign on the left that says “Garibaldi Provincial Park.” You’ll cross a bridge and follow the Squamish River as it descends along a large, rocky canyon.
The way through the Garibaldi Lake Loop
This is a very popular trail and is extremely well marked. Once you start from the Rubble Creek parking lot, follow the path up for around 6 km. At this point, you will see a junction with one path going to the Taylor Meadows campground, and the other going to the Lake. Follow the path going to the lake.
Continuing to the lake brings you to an alpine pass that offers incredible views of Garibaldi Provincial Park and Mount Garibaldi itself. Most hikers take four hours to complete this trek, but it can be done faster or more slowly, depending on your fitness level and pace.
Distance: 1.0 km
Elevation gain: 39 m
Time: 16 min
Difficulty level: Easy
Shannon Falls, a waterfall on the Shannon River in British Columbia’s Garibaldi Provincial Park, is a beautiful and magnificent sight. The falls are very popular among tourists and hiking enthusiasts and if you find yourself in BC during the summer months, don’t miss out on a chance to visit them!
The way through the Shannon falls
Shannon falls, a Canadian natural wonder located in the town of Squamish (a mere hour away from Vancouver), is a must-see for anyone who lives in or is visiting British Columbia. It’s a spectacularly beautiful and very popular tourist attraction. The trail leading to the falls is well-marked, with sections that have been improved with metal railings to help prevent slips and falls.
Best place for hiking
The best hiking spots in Squamish are easy to access, afford awesome views of the surrounding area and offer plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors.
Squamish is a city that offers many hikes to suit any experience level. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner looking for a challenge, you’ll find trails with spectacular views and plenty to see and do.