7 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Squamish
7 Kid-Friendly Hikes in Squamish
Roam through moss-covered forests hunting for butterflies, squirrels and other woodland critters. Squamish is home to plenty of shady trails suited to youngsters. Read on to discover our favourite kid-approved trails.
Sunny views on the Oceanfront Interpretive Trail
Loaded with sand perfect for kids playing, the Oceanfront Trail is a 2km long loop that wanders through blackberry bushes and alcoves of trees alongside Howe Sound. Halfway along the trail, you will reach Newport Beach which features views towards Anvil Island and the Squamish Spit. If the wind is just right, you can count the kite and windsurfers skimming along the water nearby. The highlight for most kids is playing on the massive chunks of driftwood lining the beach, they serve as comfortable seating areas for picnics and excellent props for imaginary pirate ships.
Local's tip: Stop by nearby Howe Sound Brewing after your walk for a well-deserved lunch on their sunny patio.
Length: 2 km
Duration: 1 hour
Shannon Falls is the third highest waterfall in BC and is a spectacular sight to see. The hiking trail to its base is easy and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. From the parking lot, you will pass by a large picnic area and continue on the gravel trail beside Shannon Creek. In the summer kids can splash around the creek surrounded by some of the oldest forests in Squamish. Along the trail, there are two viewpoints to the falls about 200 metres apart. Both viewpoints are well worth the walk and make a fantastic setting for family photos! Parking can be found in the Shannon Falls parking lot just south of Squamish on Highway 99. On busy days additional parking can be found across the street in the Darrel Bay parking lot.
Length: 1 km
Duration: 5 minutes to 1 hour
Kid's exploring Four Lakes Trail | Photo: @thelittleexplorerssquamish
One of the best family-friendly hikes in Squamish, the Four Lakes Trail is located 10 minutes north of Squamish in Alice Lake Provincial Park. This trail is a loop that wanders through beautiful coastal forest to four distinct mountain lakes; Stump, Edith, Fawn, and Alice. For those looking for a shorter hike, the loop around Alice Lake takes about 30 minutes and is suitable for all abilities. Alice Lake itself is a great swimming lake for a post-hike dip with sandy beach areas and a walkout dock on one side of the lake. The park also features one of the best family campgrounds in the Sea to Sky Corridor as well as a playground and day-use picnic table seating.
Stroller-friendly: Yes, jogging / off-road strollers only
Length: 6 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
4. Murrin Park
The Quercus Lookout along the Murrin Park Loop Trail
Murrin Provincial Park is located just off Highway 99, approximately ten-minutes south of downtown Squamish. The 24-hectare park features easy-access lake swimming, picnicking, hiking, fishing and rock climbing. Right at the entrance to the park is Browning Lake, there is a beautiful trail that meanders around it with picnic tables along the west side. If your kids are feeling adventurous, the Murrin Park Loop Trail offers a few lookouts over Howe Sound that are breathtaking. The start of the trail is located on the west side of the lake and follows well-marked signs up and left ascending a series of wooden stairs. Near the top of the stairs, follow the marked junction to the Quercus Lookout (pictured above). Continue along the loop trail where you will pass the Capilano Lookout before returning to the lake.
Stroller-friendly: Lake Trail yes, Murrin Park Loop Trail no
Length: 2 km
Duration: 1-2 hours.
A family hiking the Smoke Bluffs Trail | Photo: @valeri_miracleinme
Take a hike through one of Squamish's most popular rock climbing areas on a trail that features views of the Stawamus Chief, Howe Sound and all of Squamish from above. The park is located moments down the road from the Squamish Adventure Centre and the trailhead can be found on the south end of the parking lot. There are picnic tables and benches to take breaks in the shade and to get an up-close look at the rock climbers in action. About halfway along the trail is the Smoke Bluffs playground which is always a highlight for kids. From the playground follow the signs that lead uphill to Octopus's Garden, along the way keep your eyes peeled for viewpoints, most are marked with viewing benches so the whole family can take a well-deserved break. At Octopus's Garden continue on the trail downhill which returns back to the playground.
Stroller-friendly: No (you can take an off-road stroller from the parking lot up to the playground but not around the loop trail).
Duration: 1 - 1.5 hours
The photogenic wooden bridge along the Brohm Lake Interpretive Trail | Photo: @juansanx
Hike through the enchanting forests around Brohm Lake, located approximately 15 minutes north of Squamish. Families can opt for a 3.5km loop around the lake or make use of the larger trail network and hike to the Tantalus Lookout. From the parking lot take the north entrance to the lake and follow the clear trail as it loops around the water. There are a few sections with steep stairs to watch out for, but apart from that, most kids can walk the trail on their own. You will return over a beautiful wooden bridge and follow a short northbound trail to the parking lot. For those wishing to reach the Tantalus Lookout, watch for the marked turnoff on the southwest side of the lake. The stunning viewpoint offers panoramic views of the Tantalus Range and can be reached as an out and back from the Brohm Lake Loop Trail or can be combined with the High Trail to create an 8km loop.
Length: 3.5 km
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
7. Stawamus Chief (older children only)
Enjoying the view on the first peak of the Stawamus Chief | Photo: @lolo_janee
Disclaimer: 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 trails in British Columbia. Located next to the highway, the Stawamus Chief is hard to miss. It's a 700-metre tall granite monolith overlooking the entire Squamish Valley. The hiking trail wanders up the back of the Stawamus Chief to the three peaks on the summit. Most opt to hike to the first peak which takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (round trip). The trail can be found about 5 minutes south of Squamish at the north end of the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park parking lot. There are plenty of wooden stairs at the beginning of the trail that weave beside a roaring creek. About halfway up, a massive tipping rock is a perfect location for a well-earned snack break. The final section of the hike has short sections with a few metal ladders and fixed chains to the summit. From the top enjoy breathtaking views before making your way down.
Length: 4 - 7km, depending on the route
Duration: 3 - 6 hours