Explore Squamish - March 21, 2018

5 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Squamish

The Chief in Squamish
Photo: D'Arcy McLeish

5 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Squamish 

Hiking is the great equalizer. It's one of the few outdoor activities that only requires some willingness and a good pair of shoes. Squamish is home to some of the best hiking in Southern British Columbia, from long multi-day backpacking routes to easy summits to mellow, meandering walks in the woods. And who doesn't love a walk in the woods? 

If you've got the whole family in tow, including some of the little ones, there are a bunch of great easy hikes around Squamish to get your hiking on. 

Oceanfront Interpretive Trail

The Oceanfront Trail runs along the shores of Howe Sound and starts just across Second Avenue from the Howe Sound Brewing Company. It's a short walk, about 2km, but one of the most spectacular in Squamish. About halfway along the trail, it reaches the water, and here Newport Beach stretches all along the coastline. When the tide is out on a hot sunny day, there is no better place to be in all of Squamish. It's a great place to while away the day with a good book, mucking about on the many massive chunks of driftwood lining the beach. The best part? Your furry companions are welcome as well. 

Dog-Friendly: Yes
Length: 2km
Duration:1 hour

The Four Lakes Trail

One of the best family-friendly hikes in Squamish, The Four Lakes Trail is located just north of town on Highway 99 in Alice Lake Provincial Park. This trail is a 2 to 3-hour loop that meanders through beautiful coastal forest to four distinct mountain lakes. All four, Stump, Edith, Fawn and Alice offer views of the surrounding peaks that are breathtaking. Dogs are welcome, but they must be on leash within the boundaries of the provincial park. As an added bonus, Alice Lake has one of the best family campgrounds in the Sea to Sky Corridor. 

Dog-Friendly: Yes, leashed. 
Length:6km
Duration: 2-3 hours

 

Shannon Falls from Trail
Shannon Falls from the viewpoint at the top of the trail.
Photo - D'Arcy McLeish

 

Shannon Falls 

Shannon Falls is the third highest waterfall in BC. It's a spectacular sight to see, especially late in the day when the sun is shining directly on the falls. Shannon Falls Provincial Park is adjacent to the Stawamus Chief just south of Squamish on Highway 99. It's a small park, and the hiking trail here is easy and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. It's a short walk up to the base of the falls, along Shannon Creek, through some of the oldest forest in Squamish. The trees here are massive, and when the waterfall is pumping, cascading some 335 metres down the cliffs, there is a light mist that bathes everything in a golden light. At the start of the trail just off the parking lot, is a great picnic spot with tables and some of the best views in Squamish. 

Dog-Friendly: Yes, leashed. 
Length: 1km
Duration:5 minutes to 1 hour

Murrin Park

Murrin Park is a small provincial park just off Highway 99 about a five-minute drive south of Downtown Squamish. This park is home to some of the best rock climbing in Squamish, but it is also home to a great hike and lake. Right at the entrance to the park is Browning Lake, there is a beautiful trail that meanders around it with picnic tables all along the west side. If your kids are a bit older and feeling adventurous, the Murrin Park Loop Trail is one of the most scenic hikes in Squamish. It's steep in spots, but very manageable and has a few lookouts over Howe Sound (with benches) that are breathtaking. 

Dog-Friendly: Yes, leashed.
Length: 2km
Duration: 1-2 hours.  

 

Howe Sound Viewpoint
One of the lookouts on the Murrin Park Loop Trail. All time views of Howe Sound. 
Photo - D'Arcy McLeish

 

The Stawamus Chief

A short disclaimer here, the Stawamus Chief is not an easy hike, but if you and your kids are active and willing to try something a little longer, it is one of the most popular hikes in British Columbia. Located right next to the highway the Stawamus Chief is hard to miss. It's a 700-metre tall granite monolith overlooking the entire Squamish Valley. It's huge. For climbers, it's Canada's version of El Capitain in Yosemite. But for hikers, it's as great a prize. The hiking trail wanders up the back of the Stawamus Chief to each of the three peaks on the summit. Taking anywhere from 3 to 8 hours, the Stawamus Chief is a long hike, but if you pack a lunch, some willingness, a good pair of hiking shoes and lots of water, the views on top will be remembered for a lifetime. 

Dog-Friendly: Yes, difficult for all dogs and not recommended for larger breeds. All dogs must be leashed. 
Length: 7-11km, depending on the route
Duration: 3-8 hours

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