All About Squamish

The town of Squamish sits at the head of Howe Sound in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, midway between the major metropolitan center of Vancouver and the world-famous skiing of Whistler-Blackcomb. The combination of ocean, rivers and mountains has endowed the area with a dizzying array of recreational opportunities.
While Squamish has long been known for the quality of the rock climbing on the clean hard granite of the 650 meter Stawamus Chief (that’s 2100 ft, for our American neighbours. And yes, there’s a "u" in "neighbour" – welcome to Canada) and in the nearby Little Smoke Bluffs, it just barely scratches the surface.
There are enough hiking trails to keep you busy for years, from the relaxing beauty of a stroll in the Squamish River estuary adjacent to downtown, to the heart-pounding workouts (and heart-stopping views) of steep ascents into the high alpine. Mountain Biking more your speed? Try out some of the best steep, technical single-track around, or take a more sedate spin on the trail networks of the valley floor. While you’re out cycling or walking on the estuary dykes, be sure to head out to "The Spit" and check out the windsurfing and kite-boarding action as the famous Squamish Wind starts kicking up Howe Sound. Further upstream on the Squamish, Elaho, and Mamquam Rivers you’ll find whitewater galore for rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. But be sure to look up from the waves you’re playing in or you’ll miss seeing the jagged peaks and cascading glaciers of the Tantalus Range high above you, home to great alpine climbing and backpacking. And those glaciers wouldn’t be there if the area’s mountains didn’t receive tons of snow each winter, which allows for tremendous back-country skiing and snowshoeing (they put Whistler here for a reason, you know), either car-to-car day trips or multi-day traverses.
During the mid-winter salmon runs on the local rivers, the Squamish Valley plays host to record-breaking gatherings of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles, as thousands of these magnificent raptors converge on the spawning grounds for a free seafood buffet. The main venue for viewing this annual spectacle is the Eagle Run dyke in Brackendale, with its easy access, interpretive displays, and trained volunteers helping to explain the complex ecological cycles that are playing out before you. Or you can get right in amongst them by booking a spot on an Eagle Float, which takes you drifting slowly downstream in the same rafts that had you screaming through foaming rapids in the summer. What else? Perhaps Scuba Diving at Porteau Cove, horseback riding in Paradise Valley, or stumbling awe-struck through the old-growth forests of giant Cedar and Spruce in the Upper Elaho, then taking a soul-restoring soak in the natural hot springs of Meager Creek. Or just spend the day soaking up the scenery along the Sea-to-Sky Highway as you drive from the shores of Howe Sound, through Whistler and Pemberton, to the stunning peaks of the Joffre Group on the Duffey Lake road. Along the way you’ll find beautiful lakes for swimming in, waterfalls to snooze beside, and the incredible gorge carved out by Cayoosh Creek as it plunges down to join the Fraser River in Lillooet. But make sure you turn back before crossing the river or you’ll find yourself in the B.C. Interior, and there’s nothing worth seeing or doing there. Honest. I should know: I grew up there. Why do you think I moved to Squamish?
So have a safe trip on your way to Squamish. Stop by the store to say "Hi" when you arrive, and we’ll be happy to help you start exploring "Canada’s Outdoor Recreation Capital."

Murray Sovereign

For local instruction/guiding please contact:
»WildRock Guides
»Squamish Rock Guides
»Slipstream Guides

Phone 604.892.9092 Toll-Free 877.892.9092 Fax 604.892.9094
Or send us an email at

Design: Mark Feenstra
Code: Movable Type