Squamish: Adventure Heaven

Squamish alive with outdoor adventures

Stawamus Chief
Stawamus Chief: the world’s second tallest freestanding granite monolith. Photo: Bob Young, Destination B.C. and Tourism Squamish

The New York Times named Squamish as one of the top 52 Places to Go in 2015. Indeed, this once small railway and logging town has come a long way. The self-styled Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada – just an hour from Vancouver – offers an abundance of activities for adventure junkies everywhere, as IMPACT got to discover on a recent promotional weekend hosted by Chevrolet.

Squamish Facts

  • 70K north of downtown Vancouver; 60K south of Whistler
  • Between June and September the temperature range is 20-28C
  • Squamish means “Mother of Wind” or “Birthplace of the Winds” in the
  • Coast Salish language
  • Population: 17,158

Choose Your Adventure…

Rock Climbing/Via Ferrata
The Stawamus Chief is on every rock climber’s bucket list. The world’s second tallest freestanding granite monolith (Rock of Gibraltar is the first) is known for its sticky granite and imposing rock face. New this year is the Via Ferrata at the Sea to Sky Gondola (one of only seven Via Ferrata in Canada). Very big in Europe, this cool way of climbing is deemed safe as you secure yourself by a harness and lanyard to a fixed cable.

Rock Climbing/Via Ferrata
[/media-credit] Photo: Bob Young, Destination B.C. and Tourism Squamish

If climbing isn’t your thing, then you can still enjoy the Chief by hiking it. It is a 2.5K hike from the base with a 600 metre elevation gain. The trails have been upgraded and have great views of Shannon Falls. A shorter hike is to the Grand Wall – the base of the Chief – to watch the climbers, or you can hike to the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola, ride the Gondola to the top and explore the many hikes while taking in the breathtaking views of Howe Sound.

Fly Fishing
Steelhead and Bull Trout are in abundance in the Cheakamus and Squamish Rivers, but you need to know where the best spot is, so going with a professional guide is advisable. It is a great experience and a perfect day out for beginners and experienced anglers. This year will see the return of the wild pink salmon – one million are predicted to return to Squamish.

Mountain Biking
Squamish is rated as one of the top 25 wildest and exotic places to mountain bike in the world. There are trails for every ability – from non-technical cruising trails to single track, steep, leg-burning terrain that will put ‘shivers down your spine’ (yes, that is the name for one of the trails).

Mountain Biking
[/media-credit] Photo: Bob Young, Destination B.C. and Tourism Squamish

If your inner child is waiting to get out then ATVing might be for you. Explore Cougar Mountain in Polaris all-terrain-vehicles and get ready to have as much fun as you can on four wheels.

Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
One of the fastest growing water sports, SUP can be enjoyed on the Squamish River and on Alice Lake and Brohm Lake. Be prepared to have company on your journey as bald eagles, falcons and seals habitat the areas.

Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
[/media-credit] Photo: Bob Young, Destination B.C. and Tourism Squamish

On a clear day you can see as many as 30 kiteboards on the Squamish Spit. Squamish is the native word for ‘Mother of the Wind’ and you will know why if you try this popular activity in the Spit, which has no waves because of its location, where the river pours into Howe Sound. The best winds prevail from May to September.

[/media-credit] Photo: Bob Young, Destination B.C. and Tourism Squamish

On a warm day there is nothing more tranquil than a paddle down the Squamish River. Brackendale is a good starting point where waters are fairly calm meandering to the Spit and out to Howe Sound.

[/media-credit] Photo: Bob Young, Destination B.C. and Tourism Squamish

If you like the thrill of whitewater rafting then an Elaho River adventure is for you. Or enjoy a calmer, fun ride down the Cheakamus River. Both will guarantee spectacular scenery.

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