I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.
Hiking Near Squamish, British Columbia
Squamish, British Columbia has no shortage of trails. For an avid hiker, the area is truly a wonderland with choices of long trails, short trails, trails involving elevation, or flat trails. I recommend hiking The Chief, hiking in behind Alice Lake, and I also like Squamish's Estuary Trail.
A trail that I hiked in the summer of 2020 that led to a rewarding viewpoint was in Murrin Provincial Park.
Murrin Provincial Park
This park is just to the south of Squamish. It has a small but very deep lake named Browning Lake that is set immediately to the west of the Sea to Sky Highway. The Chief, Squamish's most famous mountain, is in the area. Furthermore, the Sea to Sky Gondola is not far from Murrin Provincial Park. In the greater area, there's Whistler about an hour to the north. To the south, there is Porteau Cove Provincial Park.
This park is very popular and it's difficult to find a parking spot on hot summer days during the afternoon. I've learned to visit the park in the evening for the best chance to find parking. There are plenty of picnic tables for family outings and enough hiking trails in the area as well.
Murrin Loop and Jurassic Ridge Trail
The Murrin Loop and Jurassic Ridge Trail in Murrin Provincial Park is described as a 2.4-kilometer trail at AllTrails.com. It is rated as moderate, possibly due to the short length. However, step-for-step, I would consider this trail to be difficult. I remember one point in particular where getting down the trail required using my arms to grab a branch as I descended.
In the video above, I show the marked trail and an early signpost on the trail. As you can see, this is a rugged area with loads of rocks that act as stepping stairs at times. Also, expect roots and a fair number of fellow hikers in the area.
Quercus Point Access and Viewpoint
In the summer of 2020, I went to an area called Quercus Point. It's this point in Murrin Provincial Park that I would like to highlight.
Hiking there doesn't involve hiking a long trail but rather it is a short and steep hike. You can make a loop if you visit Quercus Point, a trail that takes less than an hour. There were points in this trail where the steps were so steep that it involved bringing my knee to my chest and propelling myself upward.
You access the trail to Quercus Point by walking around the lake from the parking lot. The trails are in the back section, to the west of the lake. The viewpoint is amazing and I made a video (see above) so that you can get an idea of what to expect at the endpoint if you make this effort to get here.
The lake at Murrin Provincial Park, known as Browning Lake, is an amazing lake. The water is incredibly deep and, in fact, at 6'0" I am over my head in just a few steps into the water. It's a very clean lake and the water is warm enough for summertime swimming despite being set in the mountains. Usually, lakes that are at the base of mountains are glacier-fed and cold for most of the summer.
A hike followed by a swim should make for a very satisfying summer day. One thing I do not like about the lake is that it is set right beside the highway. You don't escape the accompanying noise from traffic. Furthermore, this park can be cramped if you visit it during peak hours. Lastly, the washroom facilities aren't great for such a popular place as they are just toilet pits.
The video above will help orient you to the area if you are looking for hiking trails in the park. I certainly recommend this park as a hiker looking for a short adventure, but you have to have a backup plan as well in case the parking lot is overflowing.
AllTrails.com's Webpage for the Trails at Murrin Provincial Park
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Shane Lambert