Shannon Falls Provincial Park
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.
Shannon Falls Provincial Park has a concession stand as well as an information centre next to the parking area. This parking area is day use only, so if you are hoping to camp overnight in the area, you have to park at the Stawamus Chief parking lot, just a 1 minute drive north of the Shannon Falls lot.
If you are planning to hike the Stawamus Chief, the Shannon Falls parking lot is arguably a better place to start from. You can take a look at Shannon Falls and then take the connecting trail to join onto the trail to the Chief. This route is only slightly longer, yet much more scenic.
Once you connect to the Stawamus Chief trail, you will find almost constant stairs to be prepared for quite a workout comparable to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver. The Chief is the mammoth rock face that towers over Squamish and has been iconic in this area for many centuries.
Though hardly believable from looking at, the summit is only a one hour hike. In fact there are three peaks, South (First), Centre (Second), and North (Third). Each accessible from the single trailhead. The trailhead to the. From highway 99, in Squamish.
Finding either Stawamus Chief Provincial Park or Shannon Falls Provincial Park are very easy. The Chief is visible for several kilometres and both the Chief and Shannon Falls are visible from the Sea to Sky Highway. From the highway watch for the provincial park signs for either park and .
The large parking lots for Stawamus Chief Provincial Park are arranged next to the trailhead. There is a nice campground, with plenty of tent sites just up the trail. Shannon Falls is just 1 minute south of the entrance to the Chief on the Sea to Sky Highway and easily spotted.
Shannon Falls Trailhead Directions
From Cleveland Avenue and Highway 99 in Squamish (McDonalds is on this corner), drive south for about 2 minutes and watch for signs on your left. You can either park at the Stawamus Chief Trailhead or the Shannon Falls Trailhead. Both are close to each other but the Shannon Falls is much better for a day hike if you want to see both. Seeing both only takes a few minutes more than hiking just the Chief. If you are planning to camp overnight then the Chief Trailhead is better to park as that is where the campsites are.
More Hiking Near Shannon Falls
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... 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."
Squamish Area Waterfalls
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. The snowplows make room for cars at the edge of the highway making Brandywine Falls open year round. 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.