July Trails Guide - Squamish & Sea to Sky Trails
July around Squamish is when the snow on the higher elevations finally melt enough to hike all the trails without worrying about snowshoes. Take a look at this summary list of the These include for a good idea of where to go..Black Tusk, one of the most incredible hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Though a long hike, 27 kilometres roundtrip, the breathtaking and scary final ascent makes the summit view even more memorable. You will see Black Tusk while driving as you approach Whistler, about 10 minutes north of Squamish. Hard to believe, but you can actually get to the summit, and without special equipment or technical skill. is a hiking marvel. Just 7k to the unbelievable Wedgemount Lake which leads to easy access to the impressive Wedgemount Glacier, and several amazing mountain hikes beyond. Wedgemount Lake has a beautiful, and free to use little hut if you don't want to tent or sleep under the stars as many do on perfect July nights. is another beautiful hike ending at a beautiful lake and free mountain hut. This hike can be done, starting at the Whistler Gondola, then the Peak Chair, then 14k alone the amazing Musical Bumps trail via the High Note Trail. There is a charge of course to ride the gondola, but it can be done for free via the Singing Pass trail and returning for free on the Whistler Gondola, but not nearly as fun. (1 hour north of Squamish), finally becomes hike-able in July, though via a canoe trip across the in the Callaghan Valley . And of course , an unbelievable 29k roundtrip hike that passes the flower filled , and beautifully turquoise and of course best done via these other sights over 2-4 days. is the centre and base for much of the hiking in . The is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly undisturbed mountain lake. There are no trails around the perimeter of the lake with the exception of the small section leading to the campsite, so your view of the lake is a sea of unnaturally coloured water ringed by swaths of forest and a magnificent glacier towering in the distance. The water is painfully cold, though plenty of brave hikers swim here as well as camp. The camping area is well laid out and stretches deep into the forest with 50 tent clearings. You can, except for the busiest of days, put your tent out of earshot and sight of others. The trail to Garibaldi Lake from the Rubble Creek trailhead, just off of the Sea to Sky Highway takes about two hours. Black Tusk is a mountain of unbelievable beauty. It possesses the incredible distinction of looking more impossible to climb the closer you get to it. Even when you are close enough to touch its vertical, black and foreboding sides, you wonder in amazement how anyone can ever reach the top. It’s vertical on all sides. The barely distinguishable trail skirts its edge along the ledge of a perilous scree slope that runs around its trunk. As you clamour carefully along the trail you come to a chute heading almost straight up. Again, even this close you will wonder, as almost everyone else at this spot, “I don’t think this is a safe way to go.” Then you pause and look around. Many take a seat at this moment and marvel at the view. Spectacular. Just spectacular. Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful stop in between Squamish and Whistler. It's about 25 minutes north of Squamish, 11k south of Whistler. The hike from the parking lot to the falls is less than a kilometre and on a wide and flat trail. Most people miss the other viewpoint from above the falls, from the train tracks bridge. To find it is easy. As you walk toward the falls from the parking lot you will have to cross train tracks. Standing at the train tracks look to your right and you will see a bridge that the train tracks cross. Walk over to that to see the falls from above. Amazing! Brandywine Falls drop an amazing 66 metres (216 feet) into the chasm far below that the viewing platform extends over. Another trail extends past this viewing area leading to another, quieter area overlooking Daisy Lake. Brew Lake is beautiful mountain lake in the Callaghan Valley, north of Squamish. Compared to Garibaldi Provincial Park across the valley, the Callaghan Valley is relatively unknown and seldom hiked. Brew Lake lays in a massive alpine valley of enormous erratics scattered around and in the lake. On first seeing it, it looks serene, yet wild and hostile. The lake is surrounded on one side by idyllic tree covered hills and lakeside cliffs and on the other side a brutal looking wasteland of huge boulders sloping up from the lake to the skyline. Hiking into this wasteland of erratics reveals an amazing paradise of small, island forests, cute streams and endless worlds within worlds to explore. A perfectly arranged glacier is required to form a cirque lake. A magical combination of size, a certain slope and more unexpectedly, a certain angle away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere, this means the glacier must be on the northeast slope of the mountain, away from the suns rays and the prevailing winds. Thick snow protected in this way grows thicker into glacial ice, then a process of freeze-thaw called nivation, chews at the lower rocks, hollowing out a deep basin. Over a thousand winters you are left with a magnificently circular lake with steep slopes all around. If you arrive at Cirque Lake on a favourably sunny, summer day, you will almost certainly fall silent, gaze in wonder at this spectacular place, and feel in that moment that this place is as perfect as it is possible for a place to be. Shannon Falls towers above Howe Sound at 335 metres as the third tallest falls in BC. The wonderful, though very short trail winds through a beautiful old growth forest to get to the base of the falls. From your car to the viewpoint takes only about four minutes, however the trail continues a bit further to a higher viewpoint (five minutes higher). You can even continue along the trail and join with the Stawamus Chief trail which goes to the three summits of the Chief. The trail to the Chiefs peaks are very steep and almost constant stairs to be prepared for quite a workout comparable to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver. The trailhead to Shannon Falls Provincial Park is just south of the Stawamus Chief trailhead. Stawamus Chief is the mammoth rock face that towers over . Though hardly believable from looking at, the summit is an easy two hour hike. In fact there are three peaks, South (First), Centre (Second), and North (Third). Each accessible from the single trailhead. Growing in popularity as the newest brother to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver because there are quite a few stairs and considerable elevation gain. 540 metres in 1.5k. (The Grouse Grind is 853 metres in 2.9k) The trailhead to the Chief is easy to find. From highway 99, in Squamish. As you approach the Chief, visible for several kilometres, watch for the sign for "Stawamus Chief." The large parking lots are arranged next to the trailhead. Taylor Meadows is a beautiful campsite and alternative to the much busier Garibaldi Lake campsite. Located in between Garibaldi Lake and itself. It is reached from the same trailhead to Garibaldi Lake. There are 40 very nice tent platforms, toilets, a good water source and a food cache, all in the lush forest of Taylor Meadows with the distant view of Black Tusk. Generally Taylor Meadows is not a destination, but part of a circle route. For example, trailhead to Taylor Meadows, Taylor Meadows to Black Tusk or Panorama Ridge, then return via Garibaldi Lake. This makes for a long hike at 30k, which is why tenting at this perfectly beautiful, and perfectly located Taylor Meadows Campsite, is a great idea. The wonderful Upper Shannon Falls trail goes almost completely unnoticed, branching off from the chaotically popular Stawamus Chief Trail. About 15 minutes along the Stawamus Chief trail you will see a well marked trail branch off to the right into the forest. This is the Upper Shannon Falls Trail and is remarkably unused. This is a wonderful fact though as hundreds hike the Chief on any given weekend day, though only a handful hike this trail. The Upper Shannon Falls trail, the Stawamus Chief trail and Shannon Falls Provincial Park are all connected by trails. In order to see all three you should park in the Shannon Falls parking lot and hike up to the Shannon Falls viewpoint just a short 5 minute walk from the parking lot, then proceed from there to connect with the Stawamus Chief trail, about 15 minutes further up the trail.
Driving Destinations from Squamish - July Trails Guide
is a beautiful little stop between Vancouver and Squamish. Located 19 kilometres south of Squamish, it is an ideal, scenic and quick pit-stop along the Sea to Sky Highway. There are public washrooms located just a off the highway. The marine park is centred around a wonderful pier with viewing platforms that jut out and above the ocean of this majestic and enormous Canadian fjord - the most southerly fjord in North America. Whistler's Bungee Bridge is a very convenient and beautiful stop on the way to or from Whistler from Squamish. Just 35 minutes north of Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway, then just a 3 kilometre logging road takes you right to the stairs up to this amazing bridge. Open year-round and surprisingly accessible, even in the snowy winter months, thousands of cars drive by every day and never take a look. With so many sights on the Sea to Sky Highway to see, the Whistler Bungee Bridge is one of the nicer and certainly one of the most convenient to see. The Whistler Bungee Bridge is part of the fantastic Sea to Sky Trail. Lighthouse Park is an extraordinarily little known piece of paradise, so close to to as to see its tall buildings, yet immersed into a dramatically beautiful . A wonderful network of trails winds throughout massive and as well as stretching toward the ocean. There are so many great aspects of this hike. The first is the beautiful drive to get there. spectacularly hugs the rugged and steep coast of . Another is the wonderful variation of trails. They stretch out in several directions in the thick forest, each leading to breathtaking ocean viewpoints. Alexander Falls is a relatively unknown waterfall less than an hours drive north of Squamish. The falls are very beautiful, impressively huge, and very easily viewable. In fact, you can drive right the nice viewing platform built just before the 2010 Olympics . The falls are just before Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley, halfway to Whistler from Squamish. The large parking area and viewing platform are located on the edge of a cliff across the gorge from the falls. Just before the turnoff to Callaghan Lake you will see a sign for Alexander Falls. The Callaghan Valley is a very nice detour on the way to or from Whistler.