6 Incredible Things to Do in Provincial Park Squamish

nidhi16
nidhi16 Travel
16 Min Read
Photo by Andrew Darlington on Unsplash / Copyright 2023

Dubbed the Adventure Capital of Canada, Provincial Park Squamish is a town located in the southwest province of British Columbia. The spectacular backdrop of Chief mountains, the beautiful Shanon Falls the Provincial Park Squamish, and the north end of Howe Sound make Squamish a spectacular destination. It is only about an hour’s drive away from Vancouver, leading the road to the most beautiful Sea to Sky Highway.

The ‘New York Times Top 52 Places to Visit’ list carries the name Squamish. Paradise for Outdoor’ is the nickname given to Provincial Park Squamish. There are lots of recreational activities like hiking, windsurfing, kiteboarding, skiing, rock climbing, watersports, gondola, mountain biking, etc., available.

Recreation isn’t the only attraction here, their art and culture are also very diverse and inviting! Being a hub for art and culture, Squamish is home to renowned novelists, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, poets, photographers, chefs, etc.

6 Things to Do in Provincial Park Squamish

1. Sea to Sky Gondola

Located 2 km south of Squamish along the beautiful highway of the sea to sky, Sea to Sky Gandola is a major attraction here in British Columbia. In fact, the ride is open all year round. You can enjoy the stunning bird-eye view of Squamish, Stwamus Chief, and Howe Sound from 2,900 feet above sea level with just a 10-minute Sea to Sky Gondola ride.

You can also buy a day pass or an annual pass from the Gondola station or online. The ride to the top itself offers some incredible views. Your camera will surely run out of storage with such photogenic views! Once you reach the top, firstly is a short walk to the Sky Pilot Suspension bridge.

This bridge is approximately 100 meters long, hanging with a cable suspension at 1000 feet above ground in the sky. A 360-degree panoramic mountain view of the place will welcome you once you are on the bridge. The bridge is also wheelchair and stroller accessible.

At the top, the 3 main viewing platforms offer dining, shopping, and sweeping views of Squamish-

Note: The Chief Overlook Viewing Platform, Summit Lodge Viewing Deck, and the Spirit Viewing Platform.

For adventurous activities, there are many hiking trails right, from the easy Spirit Trail to the Advanced Sea to Summit trail with Via Ferrata, i.e., a fixed system of ladder-like rungs and attached cables for mountain climbing. Mountain Yoga Therapy and Live Music Band events are also some fun activities you can enjoy here at an extra expense.

Nonetheless, after taking in the beautiful Squamish views and enjoying the venturesome rides to the fullest, your stomach will crave some food. Luckily, at the Sky Pilot Eatery, you’ll find several dining options to dine at with, of course, a beautiful view. Right from warm beverages and quick grab-and-go snacks to wholesome lunch with local beer, you can satisfy your every kind of hunger here.

Finally, end your Sea to Sky Gondola trip with a lovely sunset!

2. Stawamus Chief Hike

Things to Do in Provincial Park Squamish
Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash/ Copyright 2023

The Stawamus Chief Mountain is one of the largest Granite Monoliths in the world. It measures 2,297 feet above sea level with an elevation of 600-620m. Unquestionably, the Stawamus Chief hike is among one of the most challenging hikes in the whole of British Columbia because of its steep elevation.

There are 3 peak summits at the Stawamus Chief. All these three peak summits are clearly accessible from the main Stawamus Chief Hiking Trail, also known as the Chief Backside Trail.

2.1. First Peak-

At the base of the chief, there lies a thick forest followed by a trail that goes straight up. Out of the three summits, the first one is quite the busiest as well as the best. Also known as the South Peak, this first peak offers an incredible view of Howe Sound as well as of some small waterfalls. The hike allows dogs on leashes too. The distance of the first peak from the parking lot is approximately 3 km with an elevation of 535 m.

2.2 Second Peak-

The Second peak, also known as the  Centre Peak, is the largest one out of all the three. From here, you can enjoy the view of Howe Sound, the entire city of Squamish, the first and third peaks of the Chief, and also the peaks of Garibaldi Provincial Park. The distance of the second peak from the base is around 3.2 km with an elevation of 580 m.

2.3. Third Peak-

The Third peak, also known as the North Peak, is the final destination of the hike. The distance up to here is 4.8 km with an elevation of 625 m. The view that this peak offers is absolutely worth that long climb! The North Gully up here not only offers a breathtaking view of Mount Garibaldi but also Squamish.

You can particularly hike all three peaks of Stawamus Chief in one go or one at a time. Nonetheless, the entire hike is approximately 6 km long. To sum up, 5-6 hours are enough for the entire hiking trip. There are ladders, cables, chains, and also guides provided to help you reach the summits.

3. Stawamus Chief Provincial Park Squamish & Campground

Things to Do in Provincial Park Squamish
Image from bcparks.ca

The year 1997 marked the establishment of the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. It is nestled among the Chief Mountain and the Slhanah granite. The park covers an area of 1,300 acres. Out of this, 5 acres are kept as the protected area for wildlife.

This provincial park is famous for hiking trails, camping, as well as rock climbing. If you are planning to visit this park, especially during the summer months, then arrive early as their parking lot is made available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

There are more than 70 campsites here, out of which 18 are vehicle-accessible campsites and 57 walk-in tent pads. Flush toilets, pit toilets, playgrounds, picnic tables, drinking water, water taps, etc., are some basic camping amenities provided.

The provincial park also offers winter camping opportunities. However, walk-in basis camping and camping at no extra basic amenities are also available.

4. Alice Lake Provincial Park

Things to Do in Provincial Park Squamish
Photo by Tim Woolliscroft on Unsplash / Copyright 2023

Established on 23rd November 1956, Alice Lake Provincial Park is a 411-hectare provincial park. The park is 13 km outside of Squamish along the north side of the Sea to Sky highway.

Alice Lake Provincial Park is known for its best campground, majestic mountain views, and four lakes, namely,

Edith Lake, Stump Lake, Alice Lake, and Fawn Lake—These lakes are quite famous for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, beaches, etc.

The campground of Alice Lake Provincial Park is also quite famous in BC. There are 100+ campsite reservations available on Alice Lake campsite, out of which 55 have electrical hookups. Hot showers, flush toilets, pit toilets, drinking water taps, picnic tables, vehicle-accessible campsites, and children’s playgrounds are some of the basic but necessary camping amenities provided during the peak season at Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground.

Alice Lake is quite a popular spot for swimming and sandy beaches. There are, in total 3 beaches at the Alice Lake Provincial Park. On the west side of Alice Lake, near the campground parking lot, there are two sandy beaches with marked swimming areas.

The third beach is the south beach, located at the south end of Alice Lake. All the beaches have accessible pit toilets located nearby and picnic areas. There are no lifeguards present at the Alice Lake beaches. Fishing is also very popular at the main beach of Alice Lake.

5. Four Lakes Trail

Four Lakes Trail in Squamish, BRITISH COLUMBIA

The Alice Lake Provincial Park offers a network of hiking trails. The Four Lakes Trail here is a 6.5 km hiking loop, and the hike starts from the Alice Lake Provincial Park entrance or from Alice Lake itself. The Four Lakes trails are open all year round.

The hike is very easy and begins in the parking lot of Alice Lake Road. The trail then loops around the provincial park and, as noted earlier, covers almost everything that the Alice Lake Provincial Park has to offer. This Alice Lake loop trail first heads into the green forest where Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Hemlock are found.

5.1. Stump Lake-

After crossing this region, you’ll reach the southern tip of Stump Lake. Stump Lake offers a scenic view of Mount Garibaldi. At the end of the trail of Stump Lake, you will find two paths, the right trail will take you back to the Alice Lake Provincial Park campground, while the left one will take you further to the four lakes trail.

5.2. Fawn Lake-

Continuing on the left trail, you will meet the rushing waters of the Cheekeye Squamish River. The trail continues, and the next lake on the trail is Fawn Lake. Fawn Lake is the smallest of all the four lakes and is less crowded.

5.3. Edith Lake-

The Four Lakes Trail then circles the Alice Lake Provincial Park, and on a sharp right, down the hill, lies Edith Lake. This lake is stocked annually with a variety of fish like rainbow trout and eastern brook trout. Hence, this lake is mostly preferred for fishing.

5.4. Alice Lake-

After the right, continue on the trail, and soon enough, you’ll finally reach the most beautiful spot, the largest of all the four lakes, Alice Lake. Alice Lake has a sandy beach and is accessible for swimming, while the remaining 3 lakes are not. Alice Lake is the final destination of the Four Lakes Trail hike.

On the same four lakes trail, you’ll find Jack’s trail, a 2.1 km long trail that links the Highlands with the Alice Lake Provincial Park. This trail allows mountain biking. The Four Lakes trail hike is family-friendly as well as pet friendly. The Alice Lake Provincial Park hike is quite simple, with little elevation, so 2 hours for the entire hike is enough.

6. Shannon Falls Provincial Park Squamish

Things to Do in Provincial Park Squamish
Photo by Mike Benna on Unsplash/ Copyright 2023

Located along the Sea to Sky Highway, Shannon Falls Provincial Park is just 2 km to the south of Squamish. William Shannon, the man who first settled at the property in the year 1889, gave his name to the falls.

Hence, Shanon Falls got its name. The waters of Shannon Falls originate from Mount Sky Pilot and Mount Habrich, where the water falls from a height of 1,105 feet, making Shanon Falls the third tallest fall in British Columbia!

The year 1984 marked the establishment of the Shannon Falls Provincial Park. The park covers an area of 87 hectares. There are hiking trails, seating tables, picnic tables, grassy areas, washroom facilities, a day-use parking lot, and also an information/ help desk made available at the park. There are two viewpoints of the Shanon Falls in this park.

6.1. First Viewpoint-

The first viewpoint offers an entire and close view of the waterfall. It is an excellent point to click on selfies and photos. The hike to this first viewpoint is relatively shorter and simpler. The trail to the first viewpoint is also wheelchair-accessible and pet friendly. The park also offers a rock climbing experience.

6.2. Second Viewpoint-

The next viewpoint hike needs climbing and is comparatively difficult. This viewpoint offers an upper view and a different angle of the Shanon Falls. To reach here, you need to hike the short but steep trail followed by a climb on the wooden stairs and head deep into the forest.

There is no need to worry as the trails are well-maintained, marked, and paved. The gushing sound of the falls grows louder as you step closer. The second viewpoint of the falls gives you a more elevated picture of the falls as well as a clear view of the cliffs.

Finally, the Shannon Falls Provincial Park also offers direct and scenic hiking trails to the Stawamus Chief. However, this hike is definitely the most challenging one.

Conclusion

To summarise, Squamish is blessed abundantly with natural beauty and lots of recreational activities. Kiteboarding and Windsurfing are the most popular water sports enjoyed in Squamish during the summer months. River Rafting on Elaho and Squamish rivers is a must-do activity.

The new adventure activity, Slacklinning, is also gaining huge popularity today. If you are anywhere near British Columbia, then you should definitely visit the Squamish town to get the boost of adventure in your veins!

https://youtu.be/gMbnrD-BZOY

Last Updated on by soubhik

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *