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A Day In Squamish – One Of The Best Views In British Columbia, Canada


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Thia Waldron



Welcome to Squamish, a breathtaking destination nestled in the midst of the stunning British Columbia, Canada. Known as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada,” Squamish offers a plethora of natural beauty, exhilarating adventures, and a vibrant community that will leave you captivated. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a thrill-seeker, or a nature lover, Squamish has something for everyone.


Located just an hour’s drive from Vancouver, Squamish serves as a gateway to the mesmerizing and diverse landscapes of British Columbia. From towering mountains to sparkling rivers, lush forests to picturesque lakes, this region is a haven for outdoor activities and exploration.


Squamish is known for its world-class hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and watersports. The majestic Stawamus Chief, a granite monolith that dominates the skyline, attracts hikers from across the globe. And for those who prefer a more relaxed pace, Squamish offers stunning scenic drives, wildlife viewing opportunities, and a thriving arts and culture scene.


Aside from its natural beauty, Squamish boasts a charming town center that retains its small-town charm while offering modern amenities and a vibrant community. With a range of local shops, cozy cafes, and delicious dining options, you’ll find everything you need for a comfortable visit.


Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, Squamish promises an adventure unlike any other. So pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to experience one of the best views in British Columbia.


Getting to Squamish

Squamish is conveniently located along the Sea to Sky Highway, making it easily accessible from both Vancouver and Whistler. If you’re visiting from Vancouver, you can hop onto the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) and enjoy a scenic 1-hour drive along the coastline.


If you prefer public transportation, you can catch a bus from Vancouver, as several bus companies offer regular service to Squamish. The journey takes approximately 1-2 hours, depending on traffic. Alternatively, you can take the BC Ferries from the Vancouver area to Horseshoe Bay, and then continue your journey by car or bus.


Squamish also has its own airport, Squamish Airport, which is primarily used for private aviation. However, the closest major international airport is Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Squamish.


Once you arrive in Squamish, getting around the town is easy. The town itself is compact, and many attractions are within walking distance from each other. If you prefer to have your own transportation, car rentals are available in Squamish as well.


As you make your way to Squamish, be prepared to be mesmerized by the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you. The Sea to Sky Highway offers breathtaking views of the ocean, mountains, and forests, making the journey itself an unforgettable experience.


So whether you’re driving along the coast, enjoying the convenience of public transportation, or soaring through the sky on a private plane, getting to Squamish is just the beginning of your remarkable adventure in this outdoor mecca.


Exploring the Town

Once you arrive in Squamish, take some time to explore the town and immerse yourself in its unique charm. Despite its modest size, Squamish offers a wide range of attractions, activities, and amenities that cater to locals and visitors alike.


Start your exploration by wandering through the vibrant downtown area. The streets are lined with quaint shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes, making it a perfect place to browse for unique souvenirs or grab a cup of coffee.


As you explore the town, you’ll notice the impressive sculptures and murals that adorn the buildings. Squamish is known for its thriving arts and culture scene, and these artistic displays add a touch of creativity to the town’s atmosphere.


If you’re interested in learning more about the history and heritage of Squamish, make a stop at the Squamish Museum and Cultural Centre. Here, you can delve into the rich indigenous history of the region and gain insight into the cultural significance of the land.


For outdoor enthusiasts, there are numerous parks and green spaces within the town where you can relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. Junction Park, located along the banks of the Squamish River, is a popular spot for picnicking and bird-watching. Additionally, Brennan Park Recreation Centre offers facilities for swimming, skating, and other sports activities.


One highlight of exploring Squamish is the local farmer’s market. Open every Saturday, the market showcases a variety of locally grown produce, handmade crafts, and delicious treats. It’s a great place to support local vendors and experience the community spirit of Squamish.


If you’re visiting in the summer, don’t miss out on the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival. This annual event celebrates the region’s logging history and features exciting competitions, live music, and cultural performances. It’s a fun-filled weekend that brings the town together.


Whether you’re strolling through downtown, discovering the local art scene, or immersing yourself in the community events, exploring the town of Squamish will give you a taste of the warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes this place so special.


The Chief: A Hiker’s Paradise

If you’re an avid hiker or outdoor enthusiast, a visit to Squamish is not complete without conquering the iconic Stawamus Chief. Towering over the town, the Chief is a massive granite monolith that offers stunning panoramic views and a thrilling hiking experience.


The Chief is divided into three peaks: the South, Middle, and North Peaks. Each peak presents a unique challenge and reward for hikers. The most popular trail is the one leading to the South Peak, offering breath-taking vistas of Howe Sound, the town of Squamish, and the surrounding mountains.


The hike to the South Peak is a strenuous climb, requiring approximately 1.5 to 2 hours each way. The trail is well-maintained but includes sections of steep ascents and wooden stairs. It’s important to wear proper hiking shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks to fuel your journey.


As you ascend the trail, you’ll be surrounded by lush forests, towering trees, and the invigorating scent of nature. Along the way, take breaks at scenic viewpoints to catch your breath and soak in the incredible views.


Reaching the summit of the South Peak is a truly rewarding experience. From the top, you’ll be greeted with awe-inspiring vistas of Howe Sound, the surrounding mountains, and the quaint town of Squamish below. It’s the perfect spot to rest, have a picnic, and capture some unforgettable photographs.


If you’re up for a longer hike, consider venturing to the Middle or North Peaks. These trails are more challenging and require a full day to complete, but offer even more spectacular views for those willing to tackle the adventure.


Before embarking on your hiking adventure, it’s essential to check the local weather conditions, wear appropriate clothing, and let someone know your plans. The Chief is a demanding hike, and safety should always be a top priority.


Whether you’re an experienced hiker seeking a challenging climb or a nature enthusiast looking to be rewarded with breathtaking views, the Chief is a hiker’s paradise that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds Squamish.


Sea to Sky Gondola

If you’re looking for a thrilling and scenic experience in Squamish, the Sea to Sky Gondola is a must-visit attraction. This aerial tramway takes you on a breathtaking journey up to the Summit Lodge, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and Howe Sound.


The gondola ride itself is an adventure. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of the lush greenery and rugged peaks that define the Squamish landscape. The glass-enclosed cabins provide ample opportunity to capture remarkable photos and enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery.


Once you reach the Summit Lodge, you’ll find a host of activities and amenities to enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll along the suspension bridge, which offers a unique perspective of the mountains and the ocean below. The bridge provides a thrilling experience as it sways gently in the breeze.


For the more adventurous, there are several hiking trails at the summit that cater to different fitness levels. Whether you want a short nature walk or a more challenging hike, you’ll find options that lead to incredible viewpoints and hidden gems.


The Sea to Sky Gondola is also an excellent spot for outdoor enthusiasts to try their hand at rock climbing. The adjacent climbing area provides a range of routes suitable for beginners and experienced climbers alike. It’s an exhilarating way to enjoy the stunning natural surroundings of Squamish.


If you prefer a more relaxed experience, simply enjoy the tranquil atmosphere at the Summit Lodge. Sit back on the outdoor patio, savor the delicious cuisine at the restaurant, or browse through the gift shop for unique souvenirs.


During the winter months, the Sea to Sky Gondola transforms into a winter wonderland, offering activities such as snowshoeing, tubing, and winter hiking. The snow-capped mountains and serene landscapes create a magical setting for outdoor enthusiasts and snow lovers.


Visiting the Sea to Sky Gondola provides a memorable experience that showcases the natural beauty of Squamish from a unique perspective. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a chance to marvel at the breathtaking views, the Sea to Sky Gondola has it all.


Shannon Falls

One of the most magnificent natural attractions in Squamish is Shannon Falls, a stunning waterfall that cascades down the mountainside in a mesmerizing display of power and beauty. As the third highest waterfall in British Columbia, Shannon Falls is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


The falls are easily accessible from the Sea to Sky Highway, just a short drive from the town of Squamish. Upon arrival, you’ll find ample parking and well-maintained trails that lead you to different viewpoints of the waterfall.


The main trail to Shannon Falls is a short and easy hike, suitable for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by tranquil forests and the soothing sound of rushing water in the distance.


Once you reach the observation platforms, you’ll be greeted by the magnificent sight of Shannon Falls. The water plunges 335 meters (1,099 feet) down the granite cliffs, creating a captivating display of mist and spray. It’s a sight that truly leaves you in awe of the power and grandeur of nature.


For those who want to explore further, there is an additional trail that leads to the upper part of Shannon Falls. This trail is more challenging but rewards hikers with even closer views of the falls and a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape.


Shannon Falls is not only a visual spectacle but also a cultural and spiritual site for the indigenous people of the area. The falls hold deep significance and are an important part of the local Indigenous cultural heritage.


As you visit Shannon Falls, be sure to respect the area and follow any posted signs or guidelines. It’s essential to stay on designated trails and platforms to preserve the natural environment and ensure your safety.


Whether you’re captivated by the sheer power of the waterfall, drawn to the tranquility of the surrounding forest, or intrigued by the cultural significance of the site, Shannon Falls is a must-see destination that showcases the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Squamish.


Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park

Nestled along the banks of the Squamish River, Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park is a haven for bird-watchers and nature enthusiasts. Known as the “Eagle Capital of the World,” this park attracts thousands of bald eagles each year, making it a truly remarkable and unique destination.


Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park is located just a short drive north of Squamish, making it easily accessible for visitors. The park was established to protect the wintering habitat of the bald eagles, which are drawn to the area by the abundance of salmon in the river.


During the winter months, typically from November to February, the park becomes a gathering spot for these majestic birds. You’ll be awe-struck as you witness the eagles perched in trees, resting on the ground, or gracefully soaring through the sky.


To observe the eagles, there are several viewpoints and trails within the park. The most popular spot is the Eagle Run viewing area, where you can see the eagles up close and witness their natural behaviors. Be sure to bring binoculars or a camera to capture the incredible sight.


For a guided experience, consider joining a bird-watching tour or a guided float along the river. Knowledgeable guides will provide you with valuable insights about the eagles’ behaviors and the surrounding ecosystem, enhancing your overall experience.


Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park is not only famous for its feathered residents but also offers picturesque scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities. The park features a network of trails that wind through the lush forest and along the river, providing a peaceful and serene setting for hikers and nature lovers.


As you explore the park, keep an eye out for other wildlife that call this area home, including black bears, river otters, and a variety of bird species. The diverse ecosystems within the park provide habitats for a range of flora and fauna, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.


Visiting Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park offers a unique chance to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of bald eagles in their natural habitat. It’s an experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for these magnificent birds and the importance of preserving their habitats.


Squamish Spit

If you’re seeking a place to enjoy the stunning beauty of the ocean and indulge in water-based activities, look no further than Squamish Spit. Situated at the mouth of the Squamish River, the Spit is a popular destination for kiteboarders, windsurfers, paddleboarders, and nature lovers.


The Spit is easily accessible from downtown Squamish, just a short drive or bike ride away. As you approach, you’ll be greeted by expansive sandy beaches and a panoramic view of the Howe Sound. It’s a picturesque setting that invites you to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the coastal ambiance.


The area is known for its strong and consistent winds, making it a haven for kiteboarding and windsurfing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to try something new, there are several rental shops and schools nearby that can provide equipment and lessons.


If you prefer a more serene experience, paddleboarding is a popular activity on the calm waters of the Spit. Glide along the surface, taking in the breathtaking views of the mountains and the ocean. Keep an eye out for marine life, including seals, sea lions, and even occasional visits from dolphins or whales.


In addition to water sports, the Spit offers ample opportunities for beachcombing, picnicking, and nature walks. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, feel the sand between your toes, and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.


For bird enthusiasts, the Spit is a prime spot for spotting a variety of shorebirds, including herons, gulls, and eagles. Depending on the time of year, you may also come across migratory birds that stop in Squamish during their journeys.


Squamish Spit is not just a destination for outdoor activities; it’s also a place to connect with nature and rejuvenate your soul. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the peacefulness of the ocean, watch the waves roll in, and let the salty breeze invigorate your senses.


Before visiting the Spit, it’s important to check the local wind and weather conditions, especially if you plan on engaging in water sports. Safety should always be a top priority to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience.


Whether you’re gliding across the water on a kiteboard, peacefully paddling on a paddleboard, or simply unwinding on the sandy beach, Squamish Spit offers a captivating coastal escape that celebrates the beauty of the ocean and the thrill of outdoor activities.


Camping and Outdoor Activities

For those seeking an immersive outdoor experience, Squamish offers an abundance of camping options and thrilling activities that allow you to fully embrace the natural beauty of the region.


Camping opportunities in and around Squamish are plentiful, with several campgrounds offering a range of amenities and settings. Whether you prefer a rustic experience in a tent or the comforts of an RV, you’ll find campsites that suit your needs. Many campgrounds are located near lakes, rivers, or mountains, providing a serene and picturesque backdrop for your outdoor retreat.


Once you’re settled into your campsite, you can embark on a variety of adventures. Hiking is a popular activity in Squamish, with an extensive network of trails that cater to all skill levels. From leisurely nature walks to challenging multi-day treks, you’ll find options that showcase the stunning landscapes and allow you to connect with nature.


If mountain biking is your passion, Squamish offers world-class trails that cater to all levels of experience. From flowing singletracks to technical descents, there are trails to challenge and exhilarate riders of all abilities. The terrain and scenery make Squamish a mountain biking haven.


For water enthusiasts, the Squamish River provides opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. Cast your line and try your luck at catching salmon or steelhead, paddle along the calm river waters, or navigate the thrilling rapids for an adrenaline rush.


Rock climbers are drawn to Squamish for its renowned granite walls and diverse range of climbing routes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, you’ll find challenges and rewards on the cliffs that surround the town.


During the winter months, the nearby mountains become a playground for snow sports. Skiers and snowboarders can carve through powder-packed slopes at Whistler Blackcomb, just a short drive from Squamish. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter hiking are also popular activities to enjoy in the surrounding forests.


As you explore the outdoor playground of Squamish, remember to practice Leave No Trace principles and respect the environment and wildlife. Take only memories, leave only footprints to ensure that future generations can enjoy these natural wonders.


With its diverse range of camping options and thrilling outdoor activities, Squamish offers an unparalleled playground for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the region, challenge yourself physically, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Local Cuisine and Dining Options

After a day filled with outdoor adventures in Squamish, it’s time to refuel and indulge in the region’s vibrant culinary scene. Squamish offers a variety of dining options that showcase the local flavors, highlighting fresh ingredients and a fusion of international influences.


For foodies seeking a casual and laid-back atmosphere, the town boasts a selection of charming cafes and bistros. These spots are perfect for enjoying a leisurely brunch or a delicious cup of locally roasted coffee. Indulge in freshly baked pastries, hearty sandwiches, or organic salads made with ingredients sourced from the surrounding area.


If you’re in the mood for a more upscale dining experience, you’ll find upscale restaurants that serve delectable cuisine showcasing the region’s bountiful produce and seafood. Many of these restaurants focus on serving sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that your meal is not only delicious but also environmentally friendly.


Seafood lovers will be delighted by the offerings in Squamish, as the town is located near the coast and the renowned Howe Sound. Enjoy a feast of freshly caught salmon, halibut, or spot prawns prepared to perfection. The proximity to the ocean allows for an exceptional seafood dining experience.


In addition to seafood, Squamish is also known for its craft beer scene. Several local breweries offer a selection of refreshing and flavorful beers, paired perfectly with your meal or enjoyed on their own. Take a brewery tour, sample unique brews, and immerse yourself in the thriving craft beer culture.


For those seeking a taste of international cuisine, Squamish has a range of options to satisfy your cravings. From Mexican and Thai to Japanese and Italian, you’ll find an array of international flavors that reflect the town’s cultural diversity.


The farm-to-table movement is also flourishing in Squamish, with many restaurants incorporating locally grown produce and ingredients into their menus. Indulge in dishes that highlight the flavors of the season and support the local agricultural community.


Finally, don’t forget to explore the local market scene. Squamish hosts vibrant farmers’ markets where you can discover an array of fresh produce, artisanal products, and homemade treats. Interact with local vendors, sample unique flavors, and bring home a taste of Squamish.


With its diverse dining scene and a focus on fresh, local ingredients, Squamish offers a culinary experience that reflects the region’s natural beauty and cultural richness. Indulge in the flavors of the town, savor the local cuisine, and satisfy your taste buds with a truly unforgettable dining experience.



Squamish, British Columbia, is a captivating destination that offers an impressive array of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. From the majestic Stawamus Chief to the breathtaking Shannon Falls, Squamish showcases some of the most spectacular sights in Canada.


Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of activities available, including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and watersports. The town’s proximity to forests, mountains, and the ocean provides a playground for adventure seekers of all levels.


But Squamish isn’t just about adrenaline-pumping activities. It also offers a charming town center with local shops, cozy cafes, and a thriving arts and culture scene. Visitors can immerse themselves in the community spirit, explore the museums, and enjoy the local markets.


The area’s culinary scene is equally enticing, featuring a variety of dining options that highlight locally sourced ingredients, fresh seafood, and international flavors. Whether it’s a casual brunch or an upscale dinner, Squamish’s restaurants and cafes are sure to satisfy any palate.


As you explore Squamish, it’s important to remember the importance of preserving the natural environment and respecting the local communities. Follow eco-friendly practices, stay on designated trails, and support local businesses to ensure the sustainability of this incredible destination.


Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor adventures, awe-inspiring natural landscapes, or a taste of the vibrant local culture, Squamish has it all. From the towering peaks of the Chief to the tranquil waters of Squamish Spit, this charming town is a true gem that offers something for everyone.


So pack your bags, embark on an unforgettable journey, and discover why Squamish is regarded as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. Once you experience the beauty and adventure that awaits you in Squamish, you’ll understand why so many fall in love with this remarkable part of British Columbia.