Explore Squamish - July 21, 2016

Our 5 Favourite Squamish Picnic Spots

Photo: D'Arcy McLeish

Who doesn’t love a good picnic? There’s nothing so satisfying as packing up some food and drink and heading out into the mountains or to the ocean for an outdoor lunch. The more remote and spectacular location for that lunch the better. Squamish has some fantastic spots for a picnic; some are easy to get to while others require a litte bit of effort. But they’re worth it. 

Nexen Beach

Definitely the easiest one to get to on the list, Nexen Beach is a short walk from downtown and sits on the shores of Howe Sound. Park near the Brewhouse and follow the Oceanfront Interpretive Trail or just drive all the way down to the beach. Best to go at low tide and if you’ve got little ones and a couple of canines, Nexen is one of the best places to while away the day with the whole family. 

The Summit of the Stawamus Chief

The absolute classic hike in Squamish, the 700 metre tall Granite Monolith known locally as ‘The Chief’ offers dozens of little spots to take in the views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains while you much on a tasty lunch. Any of the three main peaks are a worthy spot for lunch and the bonus here is working for your food on the hike up will make that much more delicious when you eat. Start at the Chief Parking lot and follow the signs for the Chief Trail. 



Nexen Beach
Nexen Beach on a hot summer day. Awesome. 
Photo - D'Arcy McLeish




Tantalus View Lookout

This is one of my favourite viewpoints in Squamish. Located in the Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest, the Tantalus View Lookout is an old fire lookout perched on a bluff overlooking the Cheakamus River and the Tantalus Range. The views are here breathtaking, made more so by the fact that you have to work a little to get up here. Access is easy. Park at Brohm Lake and head south along the trail to cross the bridge and meander up into the forest along the Bridge Trail, taking a left at the Connector Trail and following the signs. It’s fairly well marked and once you hit the High Trail, you’ll want to go left to the Tantalus View Lookout Trail. 

Top of Skyline Ridge Trail

This is one of those hikes that will absolutely blow your mind. It’s a bit of a trek, but absolutely worth the effort. Head up the Sea to Sky Gondola and start along the Skypilot Valley Trail then follow the signs to Skyline Ridge. It’s a pretty good out and back, so give yourself 3 to 6 hours, but once you reach the meadows, the views of Skypilot, Goat Ridge, Mt Habrich and Howe Sound are about the best in the Sea to Sky Corridor. One of the best places for a sandwich and a cup of camp coffee!

Porteau Cove

Located along Highway 99 about ten minutes south of Squamish is Porteau Cove Provincial Park. This is both a land and marine park, as it sits on the shores of Howe Sound. It’s a great spot for an afternoon picnic, with lots of opportunities for walking through old growth forest along the ocean. There are campsites as well, so if you’re thinking about turning a picnic into a dinner, by all means do so. The bonus here is being in Porteau at night. One of the favourite spots in all of southern BC to stargaze, Porteau Cove has very little light pollution and offers a great spot for those looking to the skies. 

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