Explore Squamish - January 10, 2019

Trail Feature: 5 Snowshoe Trails You’ve Never Heard of in Squamish

Photo: @westdigest

5 Snowshoe Trails You’ve Never Heard of in Squamish

Snowshoeing around Squamish offers limitless possibilities of where to go. We thought we’d freshen things up a little with these lesser known trails that are certain to capture your heart this winter.

1. Panorama Trail

Photo: TaraOGradyPhoto.com, Sea to Sky Gondola

Beginning at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, the Panorama Trail is one of the most convenient ways to snowshoe without the grind of walking or driving uphill to reach the snowline. The lightly forested trail provides exceptional views of backcountry peaks, gullies and snow-coated meadows. Halfway along the trail, you will arrive at the Chief Overlook Viewing Platform, an oh so Instagrammable photo spot and idyllic location for a well-deserved snack break. Due to the high elevation of the trailhead, the snowshoeing season starts early and ends late making it a season-long destination to test out your snowshoeing legs.

Dog-Friendly: No
Length: 1.6 km
Duration: .45 - 1.5 hours 
Directions: This trail starts above the Sea to Sky Gondola. From the Summit Lodge walk towards the map board and follow the marked signs for the Panorama Trail. View a trail map here.

2. Red Heather Hut

Photo: @moveablefeastblog

Strap on your snowshoes and follow the switchbacks up from the Diamond Head Parking Lot. After about 30 minutes you will be greeted with a peek-a-boo viewpoint of Squamish framed in snow-blanketed trees. From there you are nearly halfway to the Red Heather hut which offers a propane heater and emergency sleeping shelter. There are always plenty of Whiskey Jacks nearby and a plethora of hikers and backcountry skiers seeking a snack at the hut. When you descend be mindful of passing skiers, make sure to leave enough space for them to pass.

Dog-Friendly: No
Length: 11 km
Duration: 3-5 hours
Directions: Heading north on the Sea to Sky Highway, turn right at Mamquam Road. The road becomes a gravel road that heads steeply uphill before terminating at the parking area and trailhead. Chains are required during the winter months.

3. Shannon Basin Trail

Photo: TaraOGradyPhoto.com, Sea to Sky Gondola

Starting at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola this hike quickly drops down as it meanders along the backcountry access road to the Upper Sea to Summit Trail. Once you connect with the Sea to Summit Trail follow the signs to return to the Summit Lodge. You won’t see distant mountain views on this path. Instead, you’ll be transported deep into a winter wonderland of snow-covered forests.

Dog-Friendly: No
Length: 10 km
Duration: 2.5 - 4 hours
Directions: This trail starts above the Sea to Sky Gondola. From the Summit Lodge walk towards the tube park and follow the marked signs for the Shannon Basin Trail. View a trail map here.

4. Sea to Summit Trail

Photo: Paul Bride, Sea to Sky Gondola

Skip the gondola and hike to the snowline before snowshoeing to the top to savour the views all the way up. In snowy conditions this trail is not for the faint of heart, there are fixed ropes, steep sections, and possibly some ice along the trail. It is recommended to carry microspikes and snowshoes with you. You will likely start the trail on dry ground and hike up to the snowline before strapping on your snowshoes. You can ride the Gondola back down for $15.

Dog-Friendly: Yes, dogs may download the Sea to Sky Gondola.
Length: 7.5 km one way
Duration: 5 hours
Directions: From the Sea to Sky Gondola parking lot enter the trail under the Sea to Summit Trail Archway. View a trail map here.

5. Alexander Falls Explorer Trail

Photo: @luwesa

Located in the Callahan Valley, this undulating snowshoe trail will lead you to one of the most breathtaking frozen waterfalls in British Columbia. As you descend the somewhat steep section of the trail towards Alexander Falls, the 55-metre frozen waterfall will leave you breathless. Note some steep sections of this trail may be difficult for beginners and children.

Dog-Friendly: Yes
Length: 2.5 km
Duration: 2-3 hours
Directions: Head north on the Sea to Sky Highway and continue 20 minutes past Squamish and turn left at the Callaghan Road exit. Continue about halfway down the road and park your car just after the Alexander Falls viewpoint. View a trail map here

Please get outside and enjoy all that Squamish has to offer but get informed before you go

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