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.
We camped at Lightning Lake Campground a couple years back on our anniversary but just realized I did not do a complete review. Lightning Lake Campground is one of 5 campgrounds located within E.C. Manning Park and it is by far the most popular making it difficult to get into. We also stayed at Coldspring Campground the same trip and you can find it’s review here.
Between my new Fitbit and this blog my feet can relate to this. I really need to investigate some new footwear.
All our hikes look great on paper, that is until we check the altitude gain. It’s easier not to think about it until it’s too late.
Living in the Vancouver area, I well aware of how expensive it is. It is not uncommon to hear people talk about moving away to get more housing “bang for their buck”. That is, until, we have a string of sunny days and then we are all reminded of why we will never leave.
This week was one of those weeks. The sun was out, the sky was blue and we had the time to get out and enjoy several areas of Greater Vancouver. From snowshoeing, to scenic walks, and campfires by the river. Greater Vancouver really does offer it all. Here is a summary of the week! Continue reading
Coldspring is one of 4 campgrounds located within EC Manning Provincial Park. The most popular campground is Lightning Lakes followed by Coldspring, Mule Deer and Hampton. There are also 3 group campgrounds within Manning Park. Coldspring is a very large campground but only offers basic amenities; pit toilets, well water and a self check in gate which are consistent with the less expensive Provincial Parks. We could not get a site at Lightning Lake on the long weekend so we settled with one at Coldspring. Continue reading
Nairn Falls Provincial Park is located 5 minutes outside Pemberton and 25 minutes north of Whistler making it a great home base for those wanting to enjoy the many outdoor activities in the area. We recently camped a night there before heading into Whistler.
We decided to only stay one night mostly because of the limited facilities. Nairn Falls has no hook ups, which is the case with most provincial parks, but it also only has pit toilets and well water making it a bit more primitive than the camping we normally do (aka, I like my showers). We were planning a Monday night stay, so after checking the Discover Camping Reservation System which indicated the chance of getting a first come first serve site was high, we headed there without a site reserved. Now this doesn’t sound like a big deal to most people but I am someone who likes to plan things down to the smallest detail so this was a risky move for me and even riskier for my husband who had to deal with my heightened stress. Continue reading
Hike number 2 on our 7 day hiking trip was Nairn Falls located just south of Pemberton. We had set up camp at Nairn Falls Provincial Park for one night so we needed a short hike in the morning before we had to check out. The hike from the parking lot to the falls is only 1.5 km so it fit the bill just right. It was also an easy hike and because we were all recovering from our Joffre Lake hike the day before it seemed perfect. Continue reading
It is clear from my Facebook and Twitter feed that the campgrounds will be busy this weekend. The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start to the Canadian summer. For campers, the problem of getting a campsite begins, but if you were lucky enough to snag one, then enjoy your time.
We were unable to get a site but are hoping to spend some time with friends who did luck out. We are heading to Delta Grove at Cultus Lake for a night and hoping the weather Gods are in our corner. I have reviewed Cutlus Lake in a previous blog so on this trip I will gather more photos and site selection tips. Continue reading