Monmouth Creek / Echo Lake

Look west from downtown - across the Squamish River - and you'll see a series of waterfalls coming down the side of the mountain. That's Monmouth Creek, and it drains out of Echo Lake, 950m (3000') up the mountain. If you're really looking for an adventure, and want to get away from the crowds on the Chief, this may be just the ticket.
You'll need a canoe or some similar craft to get across the river, and once there it's a steep, rough ascent, but every step of the way is worth the effort. You start out by making your way up alongside about 400m (1200') of pretty much continuous - and beautiful - waterfalls. Then you follow a much gentler stretch of creek for a couple of kilometres of gradual climbing through dense mature rain forest before climbing steeply again past a long cascade of whitewater that ends at the mouth of Echo Lake. The view from here, looking down onto the Squamish Estuary, across to a surprisingly small-looking Stawamus Chief, and off to the glaciated spires of Mamquam Mountain in the distance is well worth bringing a camera for. In July and August the swimming is great, both in the lake and in the numerous pools below the waterfalls along the way. The lake was stocked with trout many years ago, so bring your fishing rod and a few flies. Or if you're feeling really energetic you can continue on up to the summit of Mount Lapworth at 1460m (4750'). Or you can try your luck bushwhacking around and up to Alec Lake, which feeds into Echo Lake via a very loud waterfall on the south shore. Allow a couple of hours for that one, wear pants and long sleeves, and maybe read a few books on anger management before you go. Remember, Slide Alder and Devil's Club can't hear you, no matter how loud you scream at it, so just take a deep breath, count to ten, and push harder.

You'll want to allow at least three hours for the hike from the river to Echo Lake, and probably a couple more for Mount Lapworth. Be warned, the trails are rudimentary, sometimes poorly marked, and sometimes just plain non-existent, especially above the lake. If you stop by the store, we'll try to give you as much information as we can to make you day as enjoyable as possible. Murray goes up pretty regularly, so you might even be able to tag along with him if you catch him on one of his days off.

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Design: Mark Feenstra
Code: Movable Type