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Destinations > Canada > Squamish



Squamish is located in the district of British Columbia, Canada. It is half-way in between the larger cities of Whistler and Vancouver, where the Winter Olympics 2010 took place. Its name is derived from in their unique language the S?wxwú7mesh, an aboriginal tribe who had lived in this region long before the Europeans arrived there. The word Squamish signifies "people of the sacred water" and "Dream Killer". A “squamish” is also known as a strong wind which refers to the stormy winds that occur in their surroundings.

The town of Squamish was established in 1910 when the Pacific Great Eastern Railroad was constructed. Since then, forestry has been the main industry. On its official website, Squamish calls itself The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. You can do lots of different sports and there is something to suit everybody’s taste. Above all, you can go climbing, bouldering, hiking, mountain biking, rafting, wind surfing and kite surfing, snowmobiling and skiing there.
Climbing is especially popular because there are lots of different trails and tracks all over the place. There is for example the Smoke Bluffs Park where both beginners and advanced climbers will enjoy a day of exhausting and challenging climbing routes.

If you are an outdoor sports lover, your dreams will come true in Squamish. Book a hotel through and go there as soon as possible.

Districts in Squamish

Garibaldi Highlands

This is a small community north of Squamish which is especially famous for a viewpoint from where you can observe the bald eagles in Brackendale. Different activities like world-class rock climbing, windsurfing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, golfing, boating and mountain biking will keep you busy during your stay in the wonderful little village. The beauty of the surroundings will surely fill you with enthusiasm. You will have both a view of the massive mountains and a glimpse of the distant ocean.



Brackendale is located north of Squamish. The Brackendale Art Gallery includes a theatre, a teahouse, sophisticated exhibitions and exciting shows. Apart from that, Brackendale is full of of bald eagles. In 1994 over 4,000 birds were counted. The bald eagle is the only unique eagle to North America. At the time it was named, the word “bald” signified “white” and not “without hair”.

Valley Cliff

Valley Cliff is a neighbourhood in the south of Squamish. It is across the Stawamus River near the famous Stawamus Chief. Therer are two climbing parks, the Smoke Bluffs Park and Crumpit Woods. You can meet tourists here, but residents also come to these two parks to relax or to climb as well.


Sights in Squamish


Stawamus Chief

This is a huge cliff which is very famous for its different climbing possibilities. There are over 300 climbing routes on the Stawamus Chief itself and a lot more in the surrounding areas. With its height of 700 m, the Chief is considered to be the second largest granite monolith in the world and consists of three different peaks.


Elfin Lakes

East of Squamish you can find the Elfin Lakes, a 22 km long hiking, mountain-biking and skiing trail which is part of the Garibaldi Provincial Park. For those who want to take a longer trip, picnic tables and day use shelters are available.

BC Museum of Mining

Go to the Britannia Museum of Mining and spend an unforgettably exciting day there. Just like the miners used to, visitors use mine trains and rumble down the tunnels. You can even do some gold panning and take the gold home if you find any. Please note that warm clothes and comfortable shoes are necessay when entering the underground part of the musuem.


West Coast Railway Heritage Park

This park offers a wide range of different trains, cars and artifacts from the days of the Railway era. Check out the Mail Car which back then, was the most important link to the outside world. Learn more about how the people used to live and work in and around Squamish.


Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls is located in the Shannon Falls Provincial Park and it is the third highest waterfall in British Columbia. The water falls down from an unbelievable height of 335 m. Even during the coldest winters the Falls hardly freeze and therefore flow constantly all year.


Travel Tips for Squamish

1.For cheap but delicious Chinese food, go to the Dragon Terrace Chinese Restaurant.
2.Between mid-November and late February you can go to Government Road, where you can watch thousands of bald eagles feasting on the plentiful salmon coming up the rivers. An interesting experience guaranteed!
3.Adventurous ones should also go to the Squamish volcanic field. It extends for about 3 km and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc.
4.Experience the flight of you life with Glacier Air. Fly over glaciers, waterfalls and glittering alpine lakes or even over the city of Vancouver.
5.Every year in June, you can visit the Test Of Metal Mountain Bike Race or you may even take part in it. The 67-kilometres course with a single-track of 35 km and 1,200 metres of climbing is a challenge for everybody.


Facts about Squamish

1.Many famous and successful sportsmen and sportswomen originally come from Squamish (Dan Drute, Maelle Ricker, Jesse Petterson)
2.To honor Squamish traditions, canoes have been carved and built exactly like the elders did it hundreds of years ago. There is an exhibition in the Great Hall of The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre which shows the different canoes. Every year they are removed and taken to the ocean in order to honor the spirit of the canoe.
3.During the construction of the Cultural Centre, a mother bear and her cub wandered through the building.The Squamish believe that the bear has blessed the building and that it will be good for all the families who visit it.

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