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Recommended This Week

Best Squamish Area Waterfalls

Alexander Falls Aerial Video - Sea to Sky TrailsBrandywine Falls Aerial Video - Sea to Sky TrailsKeyhole Falls Aerial Video

Squamish has some amazing and easy to get to waterfalls.  You can drive right to the viewpoint for Alexander Falls.  Shannon Falls is just a short walk.  Brandywine Falls is just a 1 kilometre walk.  Upper Shannon Falls and High Falls Creek are the only two with significant hiking involved.

Alexander Falls Aerial VideoAlexander 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.  A large highway sign about 20 minutes south of Whistler directs you to the Callaghan Valley and Whistler Olympic Park.  Used for the 2010 Olympics for several events, now Whistler Olympic Park is used for cross country skiing in the winter and for site seeing in the summer.  The route from the Sea to Sky Highway to Alexander Falls is a great place to spot bears in the spring, summer and fall.  In the winter the route is snowplowed making Alexander Falls easy to access year-round.  Alexander Falls is dramatically large at 43 metres/141 feet, and one among many beautiful waterfalls in the Sea to Sky to see.  Others include Shannon Falls in Squamish, Brandywine Falls just south of the Callaghan Valley on the Sea to Sky Highway, Rainbow Falls in Whistler and Nairn Falls north of Whistler.

Alexander Falls Aerial Video

If don't mind a challenging hike, High Falls Creek is a beautiful hike to some impressive waterfalls.  If you are ambitious for a hike there is a trail that starts on the other side of Alexander Falls near the turnoff to Callaghan Lake.  You can also reach the top of the falls by doing a little bushwhacking from the viewpoint.

Why should you drive to Alexander Falls near Squamish?

Alexander Falls is massive and beautiful.  It's convenient and easy - you can drive right to it with no hiking involved.  It's near the end of a beautiful drive up the Callaghan Valley.  In the months without snow you will see multiple bears along the road in the last couple kilometres before Alexander Falls.  There are bear watching companies that specifically drive to this area on their tours.  Seeing Alexander Falls can be combined with other sights such as Whistler Olympic Park, Callaghan Lake (4x4 required in previous years, however partly graded in 2013), and Madeley Lake.

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Brandywine Falls Provincial ParkBrandywine 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.  This area is just a short, minute or two walk from the first viewing area.  During the winter months the parking lot gate is locked and buried in snow.  The snowplows make room for cars at the edge of the highway making Brandywine Falls open year round.  With the deep snow however, you may need snowshoes.  Brandywine Falls is popular with cross country skiers and snowshoers in the winter.  The Sea to Sky Trail runs through Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and you will immediately see Sea to Sky Trail signs from the parking lot.

Brandywine Falls Aerial Video

From the parking lot you cross the covered bridge, turn right and after just a couple hundred metres you will see a Sea to Sky Trail branch off to the left.  This trail meanders through the forest and rises up to a plateau with views of Black Tusk and the distant Daisy Lake.  Further along, (3 kilometres from the trailhead), you will come to the amazing Bungee Bridge that crosses the Cheakamus River from a dizzying height.

Why should you go to Brandywine Falls Provincial Park?

Brandywine Falls is amazingly beautiful and very easy and quick to hike to.  Just a 20 minute pit stop on the drive between Squamish and Whistler allows you to see this amazing falls.  Brandywine Falls and Shannon Falls, just south of Squamish are both convenient, quick and beautiful stops on the drive from Vancouver to Whistler.

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Best Squamish Waterfalls - High Falls CreekThe High Falls Creek hike is a great hike not only for the beautiful scenery in and around the trail, but the drive to it as well.  The often passed by Squamish Valley Road, opposite the Alice Lake Provincial Park access road, is wonderful.  This glacier carved valley stretches on and on, along the majestic Squamish River.  The trail is well marked and moderately challenging.  There are some short chain assisted areas to climb and overall the trail is fairly steep.  You gain a gruelling 622 metres in about 4 kilometres.  Past the beautiful falls viewpoints the trail leads to a few more viewpoints before ending at the Branch 200 FSR.  You can either turn back and retrace your steps to the trailhead parking.  Most prefer to walk the forest service road back to their car instead.  It is much longer (almost 2 kilometres longer), but it is easy and relaxing and there are some stunning views of the river valley below.  This road takes you back to the S Main FSR where you will turn left onto and walk about 1.4 kilometres to get back to your car. Tricouni Meadows and Peak are located near High Falls Creek and the Tricouni trail actually follows along High Falls Creek for some distance far above the High Falls Creek trail.  To get to the Tricouni trailhead it is best to drive (instead of hiking from High Falls) as it is a few kilometres beyond the High Falls Creek trail.

Why should you hike to High Falls Creek in Squamish?

High Falls Creek is located far up Squamish Valley and the drive alone is worth doing.  A quiet and very scenic country road that follows the massive Squamish River as it winds its way through the Valley.  The High Falls Creek trailhead is tricky to find and you get the impression that this part of the world is well off the radar.  On a weekday you won't see another hiker and on a weekend you may only see a dozen.  If you like a workout the trail is great for that.  The chain pull sections make you feel like you are in the army and the the route is barely worn, making the wilderness around you feel even more wild.

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Best Squamish Waterfalls - Shannon FallsShannon 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

Shannon Falls Provincial Park is about as convenient and easy as it gets to see an amazing waterfall.  Visible from the Sea to Sky Highway, Shannon Falls crashes surprisingly huge and loud.  The viewpoint to see the falls is very close and you can almost feel the ground shudder from the enormous volume of water cascading down in front of you.  Shannon Falls Provincial Park can be your starting point for both the Stawamus Chief and the Upper Shannon Falls trail.

Why should you go to Shannon Falls Provincial Park?

Shannon Falls Provincial Park is about as convenient and easy as it gets to see an amazing waterfall.  Visible from the Sea to Sky Highway, Shannon Falls crashes surprisingly huge and loud.  The viewpoint to see the falls is very close and you can almost feel the ground shudder from the enormous volume of water cascading down in front of you.  Shannon Falls Provincial Park can be your starting point for both the Stawamus Chief and the Upper Shannon Falls trail.

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Best Squamish Waterfalls - Upper Shannon FallsThe 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 beginning of the Upper Shannon Falls hike greets you with the breathtaking 335 metre Shannon Falls.  This crashing monster freezes you with spray as you pass close enough to feel its pounding force.  Starting at the Shannon Falls trailhead is almost always the better option than starting at the nearby Stawamus Chief trailhead.  The exception would be if you plan on camping at the large and well designed forest campsites at the start of the Stawamus Chief trailhead.  The two trailheads, Shannon Falls and Stawamus Chief are quite close, only about 1.5k apart.  The Stawamus Chief trailhead has the campsites (63 tent sites at $8/person, free in the winter) and the Shannon Falls trailhead has the washrooms and concession stand.  Both have large parking lots.  The Upper Shannon Falls trail is generally easy and only 3.5k from the Shannon Falls trailhead.  It is however constantly uphill as you do gain 450 metres in that short distance.  There are a couple chain pulls along the trail, though they are only added as a convenience and added safety precaution on a couple narrow parts of the trail.  The real attraction of the Upper Shannon Falls trail is actually not the upper falls, but rather the beautiful hilltop and rock outcrops at the end of the trail.  They give you tremendous views all around.  From Squamish to distant mountains to Howe Sound.  There is a considerable forested area to explore and so large as to likely never bump into anyone if you plan on relaxing with a mountaintop picnic or glass of wine.

Why should you hike to Upper Shannon Falls in Squamish?

Upper Shannon Falls is a short and almost easy trail that takes you past the beautiful Shannon Falls, up along part of the Chief trail and then deep into the wild and deep forest trail to Upper Shannon Falls.  Then if you continue further along the trail you come to some amazing viewpoints high above Squamish.  If you can manage an evening hike, the sunsets are incredible.

More on Hiking to Upper Shannon Falls - Best Squamish Waterfalls >>

Cirque Lake Aerial Video 2Panorama Ridge Aerial Video - Squamish TrailsAlpha Lake Aerial Video - Sea to Sky Trails

Joffre Lakes Aerial Video - Sea to Sky TrailsCalcheak Aerial Video - Sea to Sky TrailsCallaghan Lake Aerial Video - Sea to Sky Trails

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