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Your guide to Squamish
All About Squamish
Located in British Columbia between Vancouver and Whistler, the coastal town of Squamish sits at the northern point of Howe Sound on the legendary Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99 North). Named after the original inhabitants indigenous to the area, Squamish is surrounded by mountains, and the magnificent scenery regularly attracts TV and film crews. It also draws cyclists and hikers to its many trails, including the Squamish Estuary’s flat stretches, easily accessible from downtown. Take one of the trails high above the pristine waters of nearby Alice Lake, and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views — and an up close look at the Stawamus Chief granite dome towering over the region, an area with spiritual importance to the Squamish people even today. For gorgeous panoramas without all the legwork, ride one of the local gondolas or visit the Spit at the mouth of the Squamish River to watch kiteboarders and windsurfers gliding across the water.
Within the town of Squamish, you’ll find a vibrant artist community of painters, potters, photographers, and musicians. The lively downtown is a collection of shops, cafes and restaurants, local breweries, and numerous galleries and street murals, including more than 20 pieces of street art that you can take in on the self-guided Mural Walk.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Squamish
Squamish has a humid climate and, as such, it experiences long periods of rainfall and a short, but dry, summer. The city is full of climbers, bikers, and other outdoor lovers from March through October. June to August are the warmest, driest months, allowing you the clearest skies to take in the awe-inspiring views. Consider booking Squamish cabins in late May or early September if you’d like the nice weather with fewer visitors. During wintertime, the area’s slopes and backcountry trails attract many skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers.
Top things to do in Squamish
Stawamus Chief, an enormous cliff-faced granite rock, is very popular with rock climbers, as there are more than 300 climbing routes on the mountain available for those with the experience and correct safety gear. The hiking trails are steep here, but the views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains are spectacular.
Part of a provincial park just a mile from Squamish, Shannon Falls is the third highest waterfall in British Columbia at a little under 1,100 feet in height. The scenic falls have been captured by numerous film and television production companies and can be reached by ferry from Squamish via Darrell Bay or Woodfibre or by using the Sea to Sky Gondola. You can view the cascades from below or hike up the Sea to Summit Trail to the top.
Alice Lake Provincial Park
Alice Lake Provincial Park is a popular recreation area home to four freshwater lakes — Alice, Edith, Fawn, and Stump. You’ll also find DeBeck’s Hill, which provides stunning views of the Tantalus Range and Mount Garibaldi. The waterway is a convenient spot for swimmers from its two beaches. Multiple hiking trails crisscross the park for walkers and bikers, and the lakes provide ample opportunities for fishing and canoeing. Home to many mammal and bird species — the Brackendale bald eagle colony is adjacent to Alice Lake — there is also an abundance of marine life, including the black and orange box turtles and the iridescent rainbow trout.