Hiking has become one of our favorite activities while camping and Squamish is the perfect hiking destination. We recently camped at Porteau Cove Provincial Park and while there we took a morning hike to Shannon Falls Provincial Park. This is a very popular park in part due to it convenient location, 60 km north of Vancouver and right off of Highway 99, and because of the number of hikes that can be accessed from this park. There is a public parking lot but it fills up fast. If you are planning on visiting on the weekend you are best to arrive early.
Shannon Falls is the center piece of this park and the trails provide spectacular views from a variety of levels. The trails are in great shape and very well maintained but each year climbers irresponsibly venture off the trail to get closer access to the Falls. Unfortunately many do not appreciate the danger of the falls and the results are sometimes fatal.
This park also offers access to the extremely popular Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. The park has rock climbing opportunities and although we do not partake in this, it is fun to watch the climbers navigate this challenging climb. Cycling is permitting on the trails making the park that much more popular.
We have visited this park a few times and enjoyed it for different activities. When our kids were young we took a picnic and the kids played at the bottom of the falls on the various rocks, wading in the crisp water. As they got older we enjoyed the trails and the amazing views. The park trails lead to the Sea to Sky Gondola which we have done twice. It is possible to hike to the top but our fitness level and motivation resulted in an enjoyable ride up the gondola.
PROS FOR THIS PARK
- Well maintained trails that are accessible for all.
- Well marked trail signs and maps.
- Plenty of public washrooms some with flush toilets and running water.
- Information centers set up during peak season.
- Picnic areas with BBQ holders and picnic tables.
- Concession on site.
CONS FOR THIS PARK
- Crowds, Crowds, Crowds
- Difficult to get parking later in the day.