Squamish
Squamish

hikes in Squamish

Region in British Columbia, Canada
Squamish Trail Map

Squamish is a great base for hiking near Vancouver. 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.

Accessible to anyone with a good pair of shoes and an excitement for the outdoors, there is nothing quite like hiking in Squamish. With so much to do outdoors, hiking is actually one of the most overlooked adventure option in the area, but those who tackle a Squamish trail know the magic this part of the Coast Mountains can hold. Start with an easier walk, meandering around the Squamish waterfront before setting your sights on the more challenging terrain: Smoke Bluffs, Murrin Provincial Park and the Sea to Sky Gondola hikes. Though everyone will tell you, you simply can’t miss the crown jewel—The Stawamus Chief. Home to multiple incredible peaks, the uphill journey is tough, but rewarding. There is truly something for everyone in Squamish, regardless of skill-level and ability.

Squamish hikes can be accessed within one-hour from Vancouver, making for an easy half-day trip or for the more adventurous hiker, plenty of options for multi-day trips. Surrounded by multiple scenic waterfalls, the Squamish area can sometimes feel as if you are miles away from civilization, only to discover a lodge at the top of the mountain. With endless delights in store, Squamish is one of British Columbia’s premier hiking destinations.

Tighten up those hiking boots and prepare to hike the trails in beautiful Squamish. Need some guidance on where to get started? Explore our hiking route guides below for the 4-1-1 on anything and everything Squamish related.

The 10 Greatest Hikes in Squamish

Offering plenty of easy trails and gondola options, Squamish is extremely skill-level friendly and also a great option for young families. While summer may be the peak time to experience the most epic hikes in Squamish, all-seasons offer spectacular views and ever-changing colours.

If travelling with small children, skip the uphill hikes and hop on the Sea to Sky gondola for stunning views over the Squamish valley, all the way out to the lake. This saves on energy (and your knees!), while providing a little extra fun for the little ones. This is also a great options for inexperienced hikers, who can get a feel for the terrain once at the top.

But those who want a challenge can certainly find one in the Squamish area. The Watersprite Lake hike will take you out into backcountry for a grueling uphill hike, but you’ll be rewarded with a picture-perfect lake straight out of a postcard. Or, Opal Cone offers an equally challenging hike, set on a cinder cone volcano that will have you feeling like you’ve landed on another planet.

  • The Chief: The Chief hike is a popular trail for good reason. It has easy access, and remarkable views. The hike is short in distance, but still challenging.
  • Elfin Lakes: The Elfin Lakes hike is a long day-hike, but a gentle grade to the lake makes it doable. The lake is scenic, with incredible views of nearby mountains.
  • Watersprite Lake: The Watersprite Lake hike brings you to a lake that looks straight out of a postcard. It is a popular trail, but access is limited due to the forest service road into the trailhead.
  • Opal Cone: The Opal Cone hike explores a cinder cone volcano, which feels like a different planet as you summit to the top to take in views of The Gargoyles, Columnar Peak and Pyramid Mountain.
  • Crooked Falls: he Crooked Falls hike is accessed along a forest service road, and is accessible for much of the year. You can view the falls from the front, and also have a unique view of the falls from the side.
  • Sea to Summit Trail: The Sea to Summit hike takes you to the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola - from there you can enjoy a beer at the lodge and enjoy the easy ride down.
  • Murrin Park: The Murrin Park hike offers a small network of trails and an easy, short hike. You are able to access a few viewpoints with great views of Howe Sound. There is also a small lake you can enjoy at the trailhead.
  • Al’s Habrich Ridge: The Al’s Habrich Ridge hike is accessed from the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola. From the ridge, you have views of Sky Pilot Mountain, Howe Sound, and The Stawamus Chief.
  • Squamish Smoke Bluffs: The Squamish Smoke Bluffs hike is located in a popular park for rock climbing and hiking, with several nice lookouts, where you can see Squamish and Howe Sound.
  • Tunnel Bluffs: The Tunnel Bluffs hike has become one of the most popular hikes in the Sea to Sky area over the last five years. This moderate trail takes you to an incredible lookout over Howe Sound.

When Is The Best Time To Hike In Squamish

Hiking in Squamish is something that definitely require a bit of planning to ensure good weather conditions. The entire hiking season is considered from late March until late October, but like with most things, there is a peak season—which is the height of summer.

The hiking trails are beautiful and bursting with wildflowers during July, August and September, but be forewarned the trails can be very crowded with kids out on summer holiday. Generally speaking, September and October are the loveliest times to visit with less busy trails, cooler temperatures and beautiful fall foliage in peak leaf-pepping season.

During the winter and even into spring, the snow can stick around up on the mountains making for dangerous and unsafe hiking conditions. Always check before you leave, be prepared and dressed appropriately.

How to Plan a Trip to Squamish

Thinking of booking your next vacation in Squamish, but don’t know where to start? No sweat! We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide to planning a trip to Squamish. We share all our insider knowledge on where to stay, eat and play. And of course, the local’s guide to the best hikes in the Squamish area. All you have to do… is pack your bag.

Frequently-Asked-Questions About Squamish

Are there bears in the Squamish area?
Yes, Squamish is located in a prime bear habitat. The bears here are active between March-December. Just be aware that there is an inherit risk while tramping through the woods. If you come prepared and are smart, you will be fine. There have been no recent incidents in this area to report of.
Will I need hiking boots for the trails in Squamish?
The Squamish trails can be a bit rooty and there’s lots of uphill (and downhill), so having proper footwear with ankle support will be a huge advantage to have out on the trails. Find our guide to choosing the right hiking boots for you here.
How long does it take to hike the Chief in Squamish?
The Chief is probably the most popular hiking trail in the area. So give yourself some extra time to battle all the people trying to conquer this hike as well. In general, it can be done in 90 minutes to reach peak 1 (which is as far as most people go), add on an additional hour for the next two peaks, which we think are the highlight.

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The best hikes in Squamish

Stawamus Chief

01. Stawamus Chief
Difficulty

3.9mi 1,621ft 2.5-3.5h

For one of the most popular hikes in Squamish, try hiking up Stawamus Chief. Located… Read More

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Elfin Lakes

02. Elfin Lakes
Difficulty

12.8mi 2,277ft 5.5-8h

The Elfin Lakes hike is located within Garibaldi Provincial Park, which is a great home… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Watersprite Lake

03. Watersprite Lake
Difficulty

10.6mi 3,268ft 6-8h

Discover what was once considered the hidden gem of the Squamish area on the Watersprite… Read More

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Opal Cone

04. Opal Cone
Difficulty

21.9mi 4,019ft 9.5-13.5h

For endless breathtaking vistas, embark on the Opal Cone hike, located within Garibaldi Provincial Park.… Read More

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Crooked Falls

05. Crooked Falls
Difficulty

3.7mi 1,913ft 2.5-3.5h

Experience the magical waterfall on the Crooked Falls hike, located in Upper Squamish. Wander through… Read More

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Sea to Summit Trail

06. Sea to Summit Trail
Difficulty

4.2mi 3,163ft 4-5.5h

The Sea to Summit hike takes you to the top of the Sea to Sky… Read More

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Murrin Park

07. Murrin Park
Difficulty

1.6mi 755ft 1-1.5h

The Murrin Park Loop Trail, also sometimes referred to as the Quercus Trail, can be… Read More

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Al’s Habrich Ridge

08. Al’s Habrich Ridge
Difficulty

4.3mi 1,453ft 2.5-3.5h

Head up the Sea to Sky Gondola for one of the most popular hikes at… Read More

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Squamish Smoke Bluffs

09. Squamish Smoke Bluffs
Difficulty

2.2mi 732ft 1-1.5h

Find over 400 granite climbing routes and peaceful trails at Squamish Smoke Bluffs Park. Set… Read More

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Tunnel Bluffs

10. Tunnel Bluffs
Difficulty

7.1mi 1,532ft 3.5-4.5h

Set out on the Tunnel Bluffs hike for a scenic view over Howe Sound and… Read More

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Yes, there are more than 10

Squamish is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Squamish that you should take a look at as well

Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest Loop

11. Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest Loop
Difficulty

5.3mi 1,335ft 2.5-3.5h

The Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest Loop is a scenic trail through the woodlands north of… Read More

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Cat Lake Trail Map

12. Cat Lake Trail
Difficulty

0.9mi 79ft 0.5h

The Cat Lake Trail is a short 0.9mi hiking route that loops around… Read More

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Squamish Estuary

13. Squamish Estuary
Difficulty

2.0mi 30ft 0.5-1h

Hike along the flat and easy terrain of the Squamish Estuary, following the 2.0mi Read More

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Panorama Trail

14. Panorama Trail
Difficulty

1.1mi 144ft 0.5h

The Panorama Trail is a quick 1.1mi loop trail at the top of… Read More

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Wonderland Lake Loop Map

15. Wonderland Lake Loop
Difficulty

0.9mi 102ft 0.5h

The Wonderland Lake Loop is a short trail that sets out from the top of… Read More

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Echo Lake Trail Map

16. Echo Lake Trail
Difficulty

4.3mi 2,936ft 3.5-5h

The Echo Lake Trail is a difficult 4.3mi out-and-back trail that sets out… Read More

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Logger’s Creek Nature Trail Map

17. Logger’s Creek Nature Trail
Difficulty

1.3mi 26ft 0.5h

Hike along the Logger’s Creek Nature Trail to experience the peaceful forests that make Squamish… Read More

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Jack’s Trail to DeBeck’s Hill Map

18. Jack’s Trail to DeBeck’s Hill
Difficulty

5.4mi 1,184ft 2.5-3.5h

Jack’s Trail to DeBeck’s Hill is a scenic 8.7km hiking route through the forests of… Read More

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Mamquam River Trail

19. Mamquam River Trail
Difficulty

2.8mi 151ft 1-1.5h

The Mamquam River Trail is an out-and-back hiking route in Squamish that travels closely alongside… Read More

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Skyline Ridge Trail

20. Skyline Ridge Trail
Difficulty

12.5mi 5,138ft 8-11h

The Skyline Ridge Trail is a challenging 12.5mi uphill hiking route near Squamish… Read More

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Mount Crumpit Trail Map

21. Mount Crumpit Trail
Difficulty

2.9mi 863ft 1.5-2h

If you are into short hikes that will get your heart pumping and also have… Read More

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Coho Park Trail Map

22. Coho Park Trail
Difficulty

1.7mi 197ft 0.5-1h

The Coho Park Trail is a short 1.7mi hiking route that takes hikers… Read More

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Shannon Basin Loop Map

23. Shannon Basin Loop
Difficulty

5.9mi 1,083ft 2.5-3.5h

The Shannon Basin Loop is a 5.9mi lollipop trail near Squamish, BC, that… Read More

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Alice Lake Loop

24. Alice Lake Loop
Difficulty

1.1mi 43ft 0.5h

The Alice Lake Loop is a short 1.1mi route near Squamish that takes… Read More

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Four Lakes Trail Map

25. Four Lakes Trail
Difficulty

4.0mi 476ft 1.5-2h

The Four Lakes Trail is a 4.5mi hiking route that travels through Alice… Read More

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Garibaldi Highlands

26. Garibaldi Highlands
Difficulty

8.0mi 1,142ft 3-4.5h

The Garibaldi Highlands hike is a 8.0mi lollipop trail that passes through the… Read More

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Estuary Trail

27. Estuary Trail
Difficulty

2.7mi 23ft 1h

The Estuary Trail is a short but scenic hiking route in Squamish that will take… Read More

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Anif Peak Map

28. Anif Peak
Difficulty

10.7mi 4,475ft 7-9.5h

The Anif Peak trail is a hiking route to the southeast of Squamish that will… Read More

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Levette Lake Loop Map

29. Levette Lake Loop
Difficulty

6.8mi 984ft 3-4h

The Levette Lake Loop is an 6.8mi hiking route north of Squamish that… Read More

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Demon Ridge Trail Map

30. Demon Ridge Trail
Difficulty

9.9mi 3,199ft 5.5-7.5h

Hiking the Demon Ridge Trail is a difficult but rewarding experience that will take hikers… Read More

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Mount Mulligan Trail Map

31. Mount Mulligan Trail
Difficulty

9.5mi 3,727ft 6-8h

Hiking along the Mount Mulligan Trail is a difficult affair due to the steep incline… Read More

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Beth Lake

32. Beth Lake
Difficulty

10.7mi 3,212ft 5.5-8h

The 10.7mi trek to Beth Lake will take hikers along an easy to… Read More

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Petgill Lake Trail Map

33. Petgill Lake Trail
Difficulty

5.9mi 2,126ft 3.5-5h

The Petgill Lake Trail is a scenic 5.9mi hiking route near Squamish that… Read More

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Slhanay Peak Trail Map

34. Slhanay Peak Trail
Difficulty

3.6mi 2,077ft 3-4h

The Slhanay Peak Trail is a steep uphill climb near Squamish that will take hikers… Read More

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Mamquam Trail Map

35. Mamquam Trail
Difficulty

3.0mi 846ft 1.5-2h

The Mamquam Trail is a 3.0mi hiking loop that can be found just… Read More

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