Squamish A Place Of Adventure
Lush streams, waterfalls and the incredible Sea to Sky Gondola are all breath taking
I recently had the opportunity to fly out to British Columbia for a two day outdoor adventure in Mother Nature’s backyard, Squamish. The trip was to test the capabilities of the new Chevrolet Colorado in urban and remote areas to get to and from the locations of adventure. The activities ranged from kiteboarding, to mountain biking, to fly fishing.
My trip unfortunately was shortened due to travel errors. I was excited to travel to whistler for some off-roading on day one but arrived too late to participate. I did however, get there in time to cruise around parts of Squamish and explore some of the more popular attractions.
The drive along the Sea to Sky highway from Vancouver to Squamish was approximately one hour but felt like less because the scenery is absolutely beautiful. To the right jagged rock faces, the foundation of enormous mountains. To the left unbelievable ocean views of Howe Sound as you get closer to Squamish.
South of the town centre, the Sea to Sky Gondola is probably the most popular attraction. A ten minute ride to approximately 900m above sea level makes for incredible scenery. I was there on a misty overcast day and visibility was subpar however you still get an idea of the shear size of the surrounding terrain. The views from the top were still amazing but the fog covered up the view of the sound and impressive mountain tops which were visible the following day.
At the summit, test your confidence and walk the 100m Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge. The bridge gives you a 360 degree panoramic view, and a sense of how steep the terrain is and how small you really are.
My time was limited, and I didn’t have much time to explore at the summit. However, the trails that I was able to hike were fantastic. The Sea to Sky Gondola is more than a Gondola ride. Take it to the summit and explore the trail systems and their associated views. How long are the trails you ask? To paraphrase a young girl working at the gondola she said “these trails go for days”.
You can’t miss Shannon Falls as you cruise on the highway or ride up the gondola. I recommend taking a quick detour and checking out this natural wonder from the base, where you can get a feel for it’s power.
The following day I was set up to go Fly Fishing with Clint Goyette from Valley Fishing Guides LTD. I had time to kill before meeting our guides so I ventured down to “The Spit”. This is a popular area for windsurfers and kite boarders, that has amazing views of the surrounding Mountains and “The Chief” the enormous rock face that watches over all of Squamish. This is also the point where the Squamish River empties into the sound and if you are lucky you will see Bald Eagles in the adjacent estuary.
Fly fishing was by far the highlight of this trip. When I think fly fishing, I con jour up an image of remote wilderness, crystal blue glacial water, and mountain tops rising high above the tree line. This was what I experienced in Squamish.
We fished two rivers, both to remain unnamed (the guides honey hole I guess), and targeted Bull Trout and Steelhead. Our two guides were great, being patient in teaching novices and beginners, but still being enthusiastic at the same time. The first spot was beautiful spotting fish moving up and down the current. Right after a Bald Eagle swooped down and soared above our heads, making me question if Chevrolet had that planned. The second spot was a hidden gem that required a thirty minute drive plus a twenty-five minute hike to get to it. The hike itself was remarkable, through rivers over fallen trees and past enormous stumps, the remnants of Douglas Firs that once towered before being logged. The fishing spot was along a beach of river rock scattered with huge pieces of drift wood and stumps. Cue the Grizzly Bear and that would have been the icing on the cake.
Squamish is truly a remarkable place. So close to Canada’s second largest metropolis, yet you can be in remote wilderness in minutes. I can see why so many go to visit but end up captivated by it’s beauty and end up staying for good.
There is an adventure around every corner. Getting to it is the one thing you will need to do. Trusting your vehicle to carry you and your equipment safely from spot to spot should not be a concern to you. At points I thought the Colorado was going to have a tough time getting past certain obstacles, however for all the strenuous conditions we traversed the Colorado was our reliable steed to get us safely to our all of our destinations.
By: Adam Markew