Explore Squamish - August 19, 2016

The Best Squamish Waterfalls

Shannon Falls
Photo: D'Arcy McLeish

Is there anything better than a good waterfall? I’m a huge fan, especially if there’s swimming involved. Squamish is home to some gorgeous waterfalls; both easy and tough to get to. Here are our favourites.

Shannon Falls

The third highest waterfall in BC, Shannon Falls is tough to miss when you drive into Squamish. Located just south of the Stawamus Chief, it cascades some 335m down from the massive cliffs above Highway 99. It’s easy to get to, just follow the signs off Highway 99 for Shannon Falls Provincial Park. In the late summer, the water is usually mellow enough that you can hike right into the base of the falls, but be careful as the rocks and boulders can be slippery and dangerous. Visit late in the day. As the sun sets, the falls light up with an orange glow. 

 

Shannon Falls 4
Shannon Falls. Awesome.
Photo - D'Arcy McLeish

 

Upper Shannon Falls

Located at the junction of the Upper Shannon Falls hiking trail and the start of the Sea to Summit hiking trail, Upper Shannon Falls are a series of waterfalls and pools in Upper Shannon Creek. It’s a bit of a hike to get to, but if you’re hiking up to the summit of the Sea to Sky Gondola, you go right by this area. Really a series of small waterfalls into deep pools, the upper falls are absolutely breathtaking, with views of Howe Sound and the valley below.

Brandywine Falls

About 25min north of Squamish on Highway 99 is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in BC. There is a small provincial park here and access into the viewpoint of the falls is a mellow walk through the woods. 

Brandywine Provincial Park
Brandywine Falls in all its glory.
Photo -D'Arcy McLeish

High Falls Creek

This is probably the most demanding to get to, but absolutely worth the trip. High Falls Creek is located in the Upper Squamish Valley and is 3-5 hr hike up a gruelling 600m of elevation in just 4km. The falls themselves drop through a tight box canyon in two distinct sections. One of the highlights of getting to this trail is the drive. The Squamish Valley Road follows the mighty Squamish River and the views along the way take in some of the most spectacular peaks in the Southern Coast Mountains. 

Monmouth Creek

If you look west from downtown Squamish across the Squamish River you’ll see a creek dropping down through the mountains. This is Monmouth Creek. It’s a mission to get to; first you need to cross the Squamish River and then hike up one of the most demanding hiking trails in the area. But the falls, actually, there are dozens of falls that are sprinkled all the way down the creek, are one of the most otherworldly spots in Squamish. Cascading down from Echo Lake (also worth hiking to) out of the Tantalus Range, Monmouth Creek is littered with crystal clear water dropping into a series of deep, blue pools all the way down to the Squamish River. This is a favourite spot for canyoneering and the truly adventurous pack wet or dry suits and rappel through the cliffs all the way down the creek. But just the hike is worth it. 

Waterfalls are always a sight to see and Squamish has some of the best in BC. So this weekend, to beat the heat, head out to one of these waterfalls and let the mist spray your face and the cold, glacier-fed waters cool your feet. 

 

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