I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.
Alice Lake's Four Lakes Trail and Area
Alice Lake Provincial Park is not far out of Squamish. If you head out of town toward Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, then the turnoff to Alice Lake will be posted on your right in a matter of minutes. This is an area that offers a lot to trail and hiking enthusiasts, one that should not be overlooked for trails of all skill levels.
The Four Lakes Trail Is the Main Attraction
The main attraction at Alice Lake for trail-goers is a trail called The Four Lakes Trail (might be called "4 Lakes Trail"). The titular lakes are Alice Lake, Stump Lake, Fawn Lake, and Edith Lake. The Four Lakes Trail passes each of these lakes to make a two-hour loop. You can expect some elevation but this is not a difficult trail.
Each of the four lakes has swimming but I have only entered the waters at three lakes: Alice Lake, Stump Lake, and Fawn Lake. Alice Lake is the one with the best swimming as there are two large beaches that are dedicated to swimmers. Edith Lake is a little off of the trail but it can be viewed from a ridge. The most difficult part of the Four Lakes Trail is the segment between Edith Lake and Alice Lake.
Another attraction on the Four Lakes Trail is the Cheekye River. In between Stump Lake and Fawn Lake you can find a viewpoint. It won't be hard to locate at all since the sound of the river is loud and it will guide you.
In the following video, I show the trailhead for the Four Lakes Trail. This was located at the main parking lot for Alice Lake, kind of in-between Alice Lake and the campground in the area. COVID restrictions made it a one-way trail when I visited but in years prior, I did not recall such a restriction.
Trailhead at Alice Lake's Main Parking Lot
An Extended Trail Network
I suspect that all the trails on the east side of the highway in Squamish are connected. I would not be surprised to learn that you could walk from the Alice Lake parking lot to the summit of the Chief using only nature trails. I've spent a lot of time in and around Alice Lake and often I have come out at points that surprised me.
You can definitely walk from Alice Lake to the town of Squamish using trails. This I've done and I remember a few of the trail names that connected. One was called Debeck's Hill and another was called "Crouching Squirrel Hidden Monkey" for some reason, no doubt a reference to a similarly named movie from a couple of decades ago.
The area behind Alice Lake and the trails to Squamish are somewhat remote. I mean to say, you are not far from civilization at all but on the day I hiked these trails, I walked for a couple of hours without meeting another hiker. There were clear indications that this was a well-used area. However, perhaps all the different trails one can take does something to split people apart.
Indicators that the trails were well used included modified fallen trees that acted as bridges. Furthermore, I came across old and abandoned camping equipment, some of which I wondered if the items might have been in the area for several decades. As I hiked, I felt like I was in an area that had been used for recreational purposes for longer than 60 years.
As for difficulty, the trails from Alice Lake to the town of Squamish are challenging at many points. In fact, this day marked the last time I fell on a trail (I think I was on the "Dirty Jane" trail but they can change that to "Dirty Shane" now).
I can call the trails "easy" and discredit myself as a hiker or call them difficult. I think will go with the latter. The following video shows me sitting in the dirt with "my +7 hiking stick" in hand.
I Fell on a Trail Near Squamish Called "Dirty Jane"
A Recommended Area for Sure
This area was definitely recommended for trail hikers or trail walkers. You are going to be able to find something you like. If you want it difficult, then go in behind Alice Lake and take the trails to town. If you want it easy, then just go around Stump Lake for 40 minutes. If you want something in between, the Four Lakes Trail is your pick. You won't be short of options in this area, so head out with full confidence.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Shane Lambert
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 14, 2021:
These trails you portray sound like a fun adventure to experience. Many years ago, my mother, niece, and I took a boat from Vancouver to Squamish, and then returned by a steam engine locomotive back to Vancouver. I understand that is no longer available for tourists. It is a beautiful part of Canada.