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  • Writer's pictureCarmen Castro

Squamish, BC: A Breathtaking Destination Near Vancouver

Updated: Jan 14

Not too far north from Vancouver lies a growing city, nestled between the beautiful coastal mountains and the Howe Sound, whose turquoise-coloured waters are a nice sight to behold in the summertime. Home to the Squamish people (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh), an indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast, this place is beautifully natural and has an oceanic climate with warm summers and moderately cold winters, making it an ideal spot to visit anytime of the year, as each season holds its own magic and an invitation to a true adventure. Squamish, being the home of world-class parks and trails and known for its outdoor culture and long history, will make you fall in love with it. So bear with us while we share with you one of our favourite places to visit in the Sea to Sky corridor.


Squamish, The Stawamus Chief view from the top of the first peak,

Getting to Squamish

Situated 64km north of Vancouver, getting to Squamish will only take you about an hour from downtown, driving on one of the most scenic highways in Canada, "The Sea to Sky Highway," which offers views of the Howe Sound and the beautiful coastal mountains.

No vehicle? No worries, Skylynx is a bus service that will take you all the way to the Squamish Adventure Centre and offers pick-ups from different locations, including downtown Vancouver, at an affordable price (starting at $21 roundtrip for an adult ticket), plus it offers free WiFi, washrooms, and charging points. So there is no excuse for not paying a visit to our neighbouring city.


Places to stay in Squamish

If visiting Squamish for the day does not sit well with you, then maybe staying for a bit longer is what you need. If you are on the adventurous side, you can find several campgrounds to spend more time in nature.


Campgrounds in Squamish


Cabin stays

If you want to stay cozier and still balance comfort and nature, these cabins are a treat.


Hotels

If you are all about comfort, then check out these hotels for a more homey feel. Squamish has a few cheaper hotels that we list at the bottom; Google reviews show that they receive less than 4 stars. But you are welcome to judge yourself, as every experience is different.


Things to do in Squamish

In Squamish you can do almost every adventure out there, from hiking, climbing, cycling, plunging in cold water, fishing and paddling.

But since talking about each activity would make a really long post, we will share with you the most popular places to go, so you can get an idea of the fun you can have in this town.


The Stawamus Chief

One of the most popular places in Squamish is The Stawamus Chief, a towering granite monolith which is popular for hiking, climbing and camping. The hike is considered a challenging route with 5.8 km in length and an elevation of 657 m, so if you want to give this place a visit, you need to have a good level of fitness and come prepared. The views are spectacular at the top and you can continue to the second and third peaks if you wish to do so. As climbing goes, the international popularity of the Chief - as it is often called- is growing due to the variety of styles and grades that it offers. If you are into climbing, check out "The Crag" for details on the climbing routes.



Sea to Sky Gondola

The Sea to Sky Gondola is a beautiful stop to make while in Squamish. The gondola offers stunning views of the Howe Sound and the surrounding mountains. Furthermore, it is wheelchair and stroller accessible. The maximum capacity is for eight people, so you can ride up comfortably seated with your group without having the views constricted. At the top, you can enjoy a walk on the nearby trails, which are rated as easy and won't take you more than an hour to complete. Or you can sit back and soak up the views enjoying a snack and a drink on their lounge patio. Before you go, don't forget to walk along the Sky Pilot suspension bridge, which also has amazing views of the ocean and alpine areas, and is open year-round for you to enjoy in your favourite season.



Shannon Falls Park

Being the third highest waterfall in British Columbia, Shannon Falls is worth a visit. With 335 metres fall and offering an easy walk just metres off the highway, its hard not to stop and check it out. This park also offers a picnic area and accessible areas for wheelchairs and strollers. Please check any advisories before visiting this park.


Shannon Falls in Squamish BC

Brackendale Eagles Provincial park

Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park is a beautiful low-level valley where the mountains meet the river and offers fishing opportunities as well as being an important area for nesting eagles. Eagle viewing starts in November and can go through January. Make sure to bring your binoculars as there is no river crossing and the views are enjoyed from areas outside the park boundaries on the east side.



Fishing

With lots of pristine rivers and the Howe Sound within proximity, this is a popular activity in Squamish year-round with opportunities like Pink Salmon, steelhead, cutthroat, bull and rainbow trout. You can enjoy tours if you are a novice or if you want a more secluded fishing setting, check out the heli-fishing experience.


Fishing in a cool day

Places to eat in Squamish

For a bite to eat, choose from cafes to restaurants, to dine in or to take out, and maybe, if the weather is fair, sit and enjoy your meal out in nature, perhaps close to the river for a change.



Breweries


Wrap up

To wrap up, all we can say is that if you have an opportunity to visit Squamish, don't let it go by. It is amazing all the activities you can enjoy in just one place, but also, if you are looking for places to disconnect and recharge, this can be it.


As you set foot in one of the most adventure-rich towns, we ask that you do so with respect to both the local people and the wildlife, so we can continue to enjoy the beauty that Squamish has to offer for years to come.







6 Comments


Haridas s
Haridas s
Oct 18, 2023

Canada is one of my bucketlist places to visit. I've heard great things about the Vancouver city. Enjoyed reading the post.

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This Maple Life
This Maple Life
Nov 02, 2023
Replying to

I hope you can visit soon. Every season has something beautiful to offer. 😊

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bloglaurieliterally
Oct 17, 2023

What a beautiful place. I've been intrigued watching Unsellable Homes on HGTV getting glimpses of the area. Would love to visit on next trip to West Coast!

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This Maple Life
This Maple Life
Nov 02, 2023
Replying to

I hope you get a chance to visit, it is definately beautiful. ❤️

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reecesmom2414
Oct 17, 2023

This seems like its right up me and my finances alley. We are hoping to find a unique honeymoon location and this is definitely going towards the top of the list. Thank you!

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This Maple Life
This Maple Life
Nov 02, 2023
Replying to

Congratulations on your marriage! Squamish is definitely a sweet spot to visit. If you decide on it, don't hesitate to share your experience with us. 😊

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