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Squamish is a small city with big scenery that’s definitely worth a stop while you’re exploring BC. If you’re coming to Squamish, come to be outdoors! Squamish is often referred to as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” and it’s easy to see why. This area is famous for beautiful hikes, a mild climate and it’s close to mountains, rivers, and the ocean.
Squamish is especially popular with outdoor adventure seekers looking to rock climb, windsurf, kiteboard, ski, mountain bike, or hike. The city is also close to some pretty impressive landmarks! There are soaring granite cliffs known as the Stawamus Chief and one of the tallest waterfalls in the province known as Shannon Falls to name a couple.
The area is so stunning, it’s even a filming location for the popular Netflix series Virgin River. If you’re a fan, pop by The Watershed Grill in Squamish – it’s the exterior of Jack’s bar in the show!
In this blog, I’ll tell you about all of the best things to do in Squamish as well as other important info you need to know before you go. So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about visiting Squamish, BC!
About Squamish, BC
The population of Squamish is growing and is around 24,000 people. But, in the popular summer months, the city nearly triples in size thanks to all the tourists who come to visit.
The history of Squamish dates back to around 5,000 years ago when the Squohomish tribes lived in the area and came to the Squamish Valley to fish and hunt. Squamish means “Mother of the Wind” in Coast Salish – named for the steady winds that blow constantly here. Now it makes the city a popular kite and windsurfing destination.
The area has grown in popularity with the construction of the Sea to Sky Highway and the continued development of Whistler to the north. But, it’s not too overrun with tourists that you can’t find a real escape into nature.
There are so many incredible things to see in BC located here. Hopefully, this list below can act as your guide to Squamish while you’re in the area.
25 Best Things to do in Squamish
1. Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola
One of the most famous Squamish attractions, the Sea to Sky Gondola, is well worth the hype. Glide to the top of Mount Habrich aboard an 8-passenger gondola for an elevated perspective of the natural beauty here. While you soar to a peak of almost 915 meters (3,000 feet), you’ll have views of Howe Sound, Shannon Falls, and the famous Squamish Chief Mountain.
Once you arrive at the top, take some time to explore and check out all the activities at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola. The mountain scenery is breathtaking as you walk along one of the hiking trails or across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge. The bridge has panoramic views above the pine tree-covered valley and is the perfect spot for some photos. There’s also a 5,000-square-foot viewing platform up here, which also has some pretty insane views.
The Sea to Sky Gondola is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, and tickets can be purchased online and are around $70 CAD per adult. You can hike up here for free, but be warned, this is an intense hike! If you make it to the top, you can always catch a ride back down on the gondola by purchasing a one-way ticket.
Related Read: The gondola is also a popular spot on many Whistler tours from Vancouver!
2. Hike the Stawamus Chief
Known by locals as “The Chief,” the towering granite cliff face of Stawamus Chief is one of the most popular hikes to attempt while you’re in Squamish. But be aware that this is a challenging climb as the trail heads straight up almost from the start!
There are three different peaks you can climb at Stawamus Chief. The route to all of them starts from the main Chief Hiking Trail just off of Highway 99 near the Chief Campground. This trail is extremely well-signed, so you’ll be able to easily follow the trail and see the turn-off for each peak on signposts.
The first peak is about a 4 km (2.5 miles) round trip and should take about 3 hours. The highlight here is the natural viewing platform with sheer cliffs on three sides. This is such a cool spot to stop for photos or even sit and have lunch.
The hike to the second and third peaks requires about six hours for the 7 km (4.3-mile) round-trip journey. While an intense hike, this also has some amazing viewpoints including the North Gully, where you can see the incredible gap in between soaring sheer cliff walls.
3. Try Via Ferrata
Via Ferrata is Italian for “Iron Road” and this assisted climbing adventure gives you the feel of rock climbing with the safety of a harness and extra handholds. You’ll climb up granite cliffs with a fixed cable system and hold onto large steel rungs. It’s just like climbing a giant ladder … but on a cliffside!
The Via Ferrata climbing experience in Squamish can be booked online for $130 CAD and is led by a certified guide. It starts at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, so you’ll need to book gondola tickets separately.
While you’re climbing, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. There’s a catwalk, cross-suspended bridges, and at the end, a spectacular finish near the Summit Lodge viewing deck. You don’t need to be an experienced climber for this; even kids can do it! Just make sure you aren’t scared of heights.
4. Alice Lake Provincial Park
Alice Lake Provincial Park is a local favorite with its stunning mountain views, lush forest, fantastic walking and biking trails, and four freshwater lakes. It’s located only 13 km (8 miles) north of Squamish.
There’s a beautiful trail around Alice Lake to take an evening stroll. You can also rent a canoe, kayak, or standup paddleboard to get out on the water. Fishing is also excellent here as all the lakes are stocked with rainbow trout – just make sure to get a fishing license first.
If you want to camp, the campground here is excellent with 108 spacious sites. It’s typically quieter than some of the other nearby camping spots, but you’ll still want to book ahead for the peak summer season.
5. Enjoy the views from Tantalus Lookout
This lookout spot along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway is worth pulling over for. The view from Tantalus Lookout is one of the best along the highway, especially if you’re driving from Whistler to Vancouver. You’ll be able to see down to the river below and an unobstructed view of the Tantalus Range mountains in front of you.
The turn-off does come up quickly, so keep an eye out for the sign along Highway 99. Unfortunately, you can’t access this lookout by turning left (approaching from Squamish), you’ll need to be headed in the direction of Vancouver, so it’s a safe right-hand turn off the highway.
6. White water rafting
A fun and adrenaline-filled way to see Squamish from the water is while navigating rapids on the Elaho and Squamish Rivers. This white-water rafting tour should be on your Squamish to-do list as it includes transportation, a guide, and all the gear you need. You can simply grab a paddle with your group and head out for some outdoor fun on the river!
These rapids are Class 3-4 and feature some exhilarating twists and turns including the “Devil’s Elbow” section of the river. You’re going to ride big waves here and catch some air on the choppy rapids.
The entire journey is about 16 kilometers (10 miles) through some spectacular BC wilderness including forests, towering glaciers, waterfalls, and dormant volcanoes. It costs about $190 CAD but is worth every penny as one of the most adventurous things to do in Squamish.
Your own trip down the Elaho River can be booked online here!
7. Visit a local brewery
For me, a visit to Squamish isn’t complete without stopping for a drink. There are three craft breweries, three cideries, and a spirit distillery here to quench your thirst. Squamish is a part of the BC Ale Trail, which is a growing collection of world-class breweries in Vancouver and around the province, so you’re sure to find something you like!
The first brewery to set up shop here in 1996 is Howe Sound Brewing and they’re still going strong today. You’ll find them on the southern side of downtown and their pub and patio is typically packed on the weekend. There’s also a small 20-room hotel attached to the brewery. Local favorites here include their Garibaldi Honey Blonde brewed with all-natural honey and the crispy, refreshing Howe Sound Lager.
One of the newcomers to the Squamish craft beer scene is Backcountry Brewing. They have a 1970s ski cabin-inspired tasting room and are known for their fantastic pizzas. For 2022, they plan to release more than 90 different beers (new ones come out every week!) on top of their core favorites like Trailbreaker Pale Ale.
Related Read: One of my favorite craft breweries in BC is actually located on Salt Spring Island – read all about this cute island!
8. Day trip to Whistler
Whistler is only a 45-minute drive from Squamish, so it’s worth a day trip if you’re in the area. Whistler is a fantastic place to visit for some of the best winter activities in BC, but it’s also a great summer destination full of amazing things to do.
When there’s snow on the ground, Whistler is the place to be for winter fun. The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is one of the largest in North America with 36 lifts and 200 runs. I love it here! The powder is at its best in January and February, but skiing is possible from December until March. It is pricier with lift passes starting at $190 CAD for adults, but it’s a fantastic way to spend a winter day.
For a more budget-friendly skiing option, visit Whistler Olympic Park for cross country skiing with 90 km (56 mi) of trails with breathtaking views. Ski rentals are $32.50 CAD for adults. The Olympic Plaza here also has a beautiful ice-skating rink! It’s surrounded by mountains, twinkling lights, and the Olympic rings – a perfect setting for a winter skate. Skating here is $8 CAD including a skate rental, or only $2 CAD if you bring your own skates.
In the summer, Whistler is just as amazing to explore. I absolutely love the crystal-clear alpine lakes around here and Joffre Lakes is truly among the best I’ve ever visited. The 10 km (6 miles) hiking trail here leads to all three of the lakes (the middle lake is my favorite!) and is full of views of the mountains, pine forest, and of course the gorgeous lakes.
Summer also means beach days and Lost Lake is an excellent place for that. It’s one of the largest lakes around here and is surrounded by Blackcomb Mountain. Lost Lake is a 20-minute walk from Whistler’s Upper Village or you can catch a free shuttle bus here in the summer.
Did you know that Whistler is home to the longest Zipline in North America – The Sasquatch! At over 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) long, this zipline is seriously impressive.
The last time we were in Whistler we actually did the Sasquatch ourselves, and let me tell you, it was a blast! We went super fast, plus, the views from up there are unmatched! It costs $147 CAD to book this epic ziplining experience!
The Whistler Bike Park is another epic summer activity with 70 trails and the largest rideable terrain of any bike park in North America. To relax, hit up one of the many outdoor patios in Whistler to enjoy a drink and the atmosphere – The Living Room is one of my favorites!
If a day trip seems like not enough time to explore Whistler, plan to spend a weekend or a few days here and check out this guide to the best areas and hotels to plan your stay.
9. Visit Shannon Falls
The magnificent Shannon Falls is one of the top things to see in Squamish. It’s only 2 km (1.2 miles) outside the city. It’s also an easy stop right off of Highway 99 – the Sea to Sky Highway – if you’re driving to Vancouver.
This towering waterfall is the third tallest in British Columbia, dropping down more than 305 meters (1,000 feet)! The falls are the most powerful when they are fueled by melting snow from the mountains in late spring and summer. Pictures really don’t do these falls justice – it’s one of the best places to visit in BC!
Reaching Shannon Falls is just a quick, easy walk from the parking lot and the path is paved the whole way. This is a really popular spot to visit in the summer for the nice boardwalk and trails in the area and the amazing picnic area around the base of the falls.
10. Britannia Mine Museum
Dig into BC’s mining history to learn more about one of the British Empire’s largest-producing copper mines. The Britannia Mine Museum focuses on the fascinating history of the copper mine here that boomed in the 1920s and 30s.
One of the best parts of this museum is that included with your admission is a ticket for an underground tour. You’ll get the chance to climb aboard a train and head into the mine into an early haulage tunnel to see what it took to be a miner here. Another highlight here is getting to pan for gold and gemstones – you can keep whatever you find!
Admission is $39.95 CAD per adult, or there’s a family rate of $132.80 CAD. The museum is located about 10 minutes from Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway. Look for the giant mine truck (20 feet tall and weighing 800,000 pounds!) parked beside the highway.
11. Brandywine Falls
Not to be outdone by Shannon Falls is the other must-see waterfall not far from Squamish, the stunning 70-meter (230 feet) Brandywine Falls. It can be seen from a viewpoint that is just a quick 1 km (0.62 mi) walk away from the parking area and back again.
The short walk to the viewpoint is flat and well-maintained, making it very accessible to most travelers. And the view? Well, just look at the photo! Brandywine Falls is truly gorgeous and well worth checking out if you ask me.
Brandywine Falls is located about a 30-minute drive from Squamish on the road toward Whistler.
12. Mountain biking
Squamish is envied around the world for its amazing trail system for mountain biking. There are literally hundreds of mountain biking trails here for all levels. You’ll find dirt jumps, quick descents, skills tracks, and climbs all among some pretty stellar scenery.
For beginners, the Wonderland Trail is a great place to start. It’s through the forest and is slightly uphill. You’ll get a feel for mountain biking and then get the chance to rip down the trail once you reach the top to pick up some speed. The Half Nelson Trail is another favorite that’s good for all levels. It has a nice flow and can get really fast!
If you don’t have your own bike, consider renting a bike to explore the cross-country trails. You’ll get a good quality mountain bike for the day and tips on what trails to try out, depending on how experienced you are. Or you can book a private mountain biking tour with a guide to give you one-on-one instructions. This lets you hit the trails for a couple of hours to get the hang of mountain biking for $119 CAD each.
13. Explore Smoke Bluffs Park
Whether you’re an experienced rock climber or just looking for a scenic hike, Smoke Bluffs Park is a nice stop while you’re in Squamish. There are hundreds of rock climbing routes here for experienced climbers, so even if you’re not climbing yourself, you can stop to watch.
The hiking trail here loops through the park and has some nice lookout points, picnic areas, and even a playground. It will take you around 30-45 minutes to do the loop trail. It starts on Loggers Lane near the Squamish Adventure Centre.
While you’re on the trail, you’ll find nice lookouts to see Howe Sound, the Chief, and the Sea to Sky Highway.
14. Sea to Sky Afternoon Sail
Take advantage of the legendary winds of Howe Sound aboard a 13-meter (40 feet) sailboat! On this afternoon sailing tour you’ll get breathtaking views of the Coastal and Tantalus mountain ranges, the Stawamus Chief, and Shannon Falls. This three-hour sail may end up being one of your favorite things to do in Squamish!
The boat leaves from the docks in Squamish and explores the southernmost fjord in Canada. If you’re game, the crew will even give you a turn at the helm. Keep an eye out for orcas or dolphins during the sail – they love these waters! We saw one on our trip and it ended up being the highlight and something we had yet to witness!
The sailing trip from Squmiahs lasts for about 3 hours and costs $179 CAD per person. You must book in advance as the numbers are limited.
15. Go rock climbing
One of the most popular natural Squamish attractions is the granite cliffs and bluffs that make for some of the best rock climbing in the world. Climbers of all experience levels love coming here as the climbing is so accessible – typically a 5 to 10-minute drive from the center of town.
If you’re an experienced climber with all the gear, the Stawamus Chief is a must-do. The granite monolith towers over Squamish and has hundreds of paths to climb. You can also climb some of the shorter multi-pitch climbs on the cliffs by Shannon Falls. You get stunning views of the waterfall while you climb!
If you’ve never rock climbed before or want some extra instruction, book an outdoor climbing course offered by Canada West Mountain School. You’ll spend the morning learning and practicing basic skills before you spend the afternoon climbing at Smoke Bluffs Park. The course meets at the Squamish Adventure Centre on the east side of Highway 99. The course fee is $165 CAD and will include all the necessary technical equipment, but you need to notify them in advance what equipment you’ll require so it’s ready to go when you arrive.
16. Go hiking in Garibaldi Lake Provincial Park
This is the largest provincial park in Squamish and boasts more than 90 km (56 miles) of hiking trails! The scenery is impressive here too, with the iconic peak of Mount Garibaldi along with beautiful meadows and lakes.
There are five different access points to get into Garibaldi Lake Provincial Park along the Sea to Sky Highway between Squamish and Pemberton. You’ll find trailheads at each of these spots along with parking.
One of the most popular stops here is the Diamond Head area in the southwest part of the park. This is the closest access to Squamish and hiking through here is especially nice in the summer. The area is filled with white and pink bell-shaped flowers as heather blooms throughout. You can also hike from here to see the beautiful Elfin Lakes – it looks like a postcard here!
Be sure to also hike up to Garibaldi Lake (pictured above.) This is definitely one of my very favorite lakes because it is just that stunning. The lake is famous for the bright blue water, thanks to the glaciers in the area. The glacial silt or rock flour runs off the glaciers and stays suspended in the water, reflecting sunlight and giving that Gatorade-blue color.
To get to the lake, you’ll need to complete an 18-kilometer (11-mile) round-trip hike that is rated as intermediate. You can camp at the lake (backcountry camping) but you must reserve your spot in advance.
17. Go kiteboarding
Squamish is known for its steady and reliable winds from May until September. The wind typically picks up mid-morning and doesn’t die down until sunset. It’s a smooth, not too gusty wind that is absolutely perfect for kiteboarding.
While you’re here, you’ll likely see kiteboarders flying high up into the air on the water near Squamish. It’s fun to watch – especially some of the tricks the pros can do!
If you want to try kiteboarding yourself, Aerial Kiteboarding offers lessons including a 4-hour crash course for $250 CAD. You’ll be able to launch from a boat in an uncrowded area so you can learn the ropes and start flying. It’s a really cool experience!
18. Take a scenic flight
One of the coolest ways to see Squamish, BC is from the air! You’ll get a totally new perspective as you soar high above the Squamish Valley. It’s one of the best things to do in Squamish.
On this 35-minute flight tour, you’ll leave from the Squamish Airport, about 15 minutes from the center of town. This flight takes you close to all the scenery you’ve been admiring from afar – the snow-capped mountain peaks, huge glaciers, crystal-clear alpine lakes, and over Garibaldi Provincial Park.
You’ll wear headphones throughout the flight and the pilots are really knowledgeable and passionate about this area, so you’ll learn about Squamish’s geology and history as you fly. The cost per person is about $222 CAD which is pretty typical for this type of activity.
For another unforgettable flying experience, board a seaplane to take you to one of the gorgeous alpine lakes in the area. You’ll fly above the coastal mountains before landing right on the emerald waters of a lake in the BC backcountry. Your plane will head to the sandy shoreline so you can walk the beach under the Tzoonie Glacier, take a swim, and see a magnificent waterfall!
It’s honestly one of the most incredible experiences in Squamish and although it’s almost double the price as the scenic flight, it’s totally worth it for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Related Read: Riding in a seaplane in Vancouver is one of the most popular tours!
19. Have brunch at The Crabapple Cafe
For the best brunch in Squamish, head to The Crabapple Cafe. This cute restaurant is cozy and serves legendary Eggs Benedict and yummy pancakes with real maple syrup.
There are also lots of local and organic ingredients along with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options on the menu. This may be a place you eat at more than once while you’re in the area!
The Crabapple Cafe is open from 8 am to 3 pm every day. If you can, grab a spot on the patio to enjoy your meal. You can even eat on the patio in the winter as it’s covered and heated!
20. Visit the Aerial Adventure Park
This multi-level outdoor adventure park, Rope Runner, is hard to miss while you’re in town and if you’re not afraid of heights, it should definitely be on your Squamish to-do list. The aerial course has 50 different obstacles including climbing walls, suspended bridges, monkey bars, cargo nets, slacklines, and even a kayak and snowmobile hanging in the air.
The obstacles range in height from the bottom level 4.5 meters (15 feet) above the ground to the top tier – that’s 18 meters (60 feet) in the air! Don’t worry though, you’ll get a full safety briefing before you start climbing and you’ll be attached to a safety cable the entire time.
If you want to guarantee a spot, it’s best to book tickets online – it’s also about $5 CAD cheaper as you’ll pay $49.95 CAD per person. However, they do accept walk-ins, depending on how busy it is.
Rope Runner adventure park is open on weekends from May until October and six days a week in July and August. Climbing sessions start every 30 minutes from 10 am until 4:30 pm, depending on the season.
21. Relax at Newport Beach
Just south of downtown Squamish, you’ll find Newport Beach with amazing views of The Chief and the water. You can even see Shannon Falls in the distance! This is a great spot to walk along the beach, watch the kiteboarders on the water and relax.
This area is undergoing some development as Newport Beach will be transformed into Sp’akw’us Feather Park over the next couple of years. When construction is complete, the area will have a large beach area for water sports and swimming, green spaces, slacklines, trails, and art installations.
22. Go on a wilderness float
In the winter, Squamish attracts the largest gathering of bald eagles in the world. A fantastic way to see these amazing birds is while floating down the Squamish River. This wilderness float tour gives you the rare opportunity to spot these amazing birds along with other wildlife like elk, deer, bears, and sometimes cougars.
The float tours run from October to April with the best time to spot eagles being from November until February. Once the float down the river is done, you’ll get to warm up with a bowl of chili and a hot drink by the fire.
You should book your river tour in advance as it is one of the most popular activities in Squamish in the colder months. Expect to pay $130 CAD per person for the tour including transport, all equipment, and a snack by the fire to warm up with afterward.
23. Go kayaking
I love taking a kayak out on the water because you see some incredible views you miss when you’re on land. This is especially true in Squamish where a kayak gives you the chance to see Shannon Falls, Stawamus Chief, and Howe Sound as you glide across the water.
Sea to Sky Adventure Company offers half-day and full-day kayak rentals as well as roof racks if you want to take the kayak on your vehicle. They are great at recommending launch points around Squamish, or you can just head outright from their main location by the Adventure Center or the Pop-Up Paddle Shack location downtown at the beach at Xwu’nekw Park.
For another option, join this small-group tour with a guide to help you kayak around the Squamish Harbor and Estuary. The sheltered water is calm here, and you’ll learn about the geography of the area with your paddle guide. Expect to pay around $252 CAD per person for this 3-and-a-half-hour experience.
24. Railway Museum of British Columbia
Another one of the fun things to see in Squamish is the Railway Museum. This is such a great place if you have kids (or adults!) who love trains. There are more than 90 heritage railway cars and artifacts here along with the chance to ride on trains – large and small.
While you’re exploring the 12-acre site, make sure to stop by the Royal Hudson steam locomotive. You can climb right in and ring the bell! There are different large trains available for rides as well as the popular Mini Rail that follows a 2 km (1.24 mi) track around the grounds. There’s also a historic townsite set up here where you can visit a working blacksmith and print shop.
The museum is conveniently located on the north side of Squamish and is easy to get to. It’s only open Saturdays from July until September, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly. Admission is $25 CAD per adult and $10 CAD for kids.
25. Catch a fish
You can go fishing all year long in Squamish. Here, the rivers run even throughout the winter and the salmon arrive in the fall. You’ll need a fishing license before you set out for all types of fishing, and it’s important to know all the rules and regulations as certain species are catch and release only.
If you’re looking for an easy fishing experience where you can simply show up and catch fish, I recommend joining a tour. This way you’ll have a guide who knows all the rules and has the necessary permits. This private fly fishing tour offers a chance to catch salmon, trout, steelhead, and char during a full-day trip.
There’s also a shorter half-day fishing expedition where you’ll spend four hours in the BC wilderness with an expert fisherman who knows all the best spots!
26. Play a round of golf
Grab a tee time at one of Squamish’s two golf courses to enjoy the backdrop of stunning mountains and ocean views while you’re golfing.
The Squamish Valley Golf Course is an 18-hole course along the Mamquam River. The fairways wind through mature trees in the forest. It’s a course that has hosted provincial championships with its fast greens and great scenery. Green fees range from $42 CAD for twilight games up to $85 CAD in the peak season. Cart rentals are extra.
Furry Creek Golf Course is famous for the panoramic ocean views along the manicured 18-hole course. The signature 14th hole is right at the shore of Howe Sound! The unique course is beautiful to play on and is called “British Columbia’s Most Scenic Golf Course” for a reason. Depending on when you go, rates are typically around $119-139 CAD, which includes a golf cart rental.
Where to Stay in Squamish
There are lots of choices when it comes to hotels in Squamish, here are three of my personal favorites!
Two miles from downtown Squamish is the 3-star Sandman Hotel and Suites which offers spacious rooms, a gym and a swimming pool. Breakfast is available at the hotel, but there’s no restaurant to enjoy lunch or dinner. This hotel is also pet-friendly. Rooms here start from $175 CAD per night.
A fantastic budget-friendly option in downtown Squamish is the Crash Hotel, where rooms start from as little as $80 CAD per night. This hotel doesn’t look like much from the outside but the interior is stylish and cozy and there’s even an on-site bar/restaurant The Goat Pub.
At the top end of your budget is the Executive Suites Hotel and Resort which has lovely mountain views and a large outdoor swimming pool. The rooms here are luxurious and spacious and come with a basic kitchen. Worth noting it’s a 5-minute drive into downtown Squamish. A studio here starts from $210 CAD per night.
Renting a Car in British Columbia
If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Canada Travel Essentials
Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.
Crampons: In winter, crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $37 CAD and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!
Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part, though? It comes in pink!
Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.
Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.
Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment, so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.
Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in handy so many times, especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $25 CAD and they serve my basic needs without any issues!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
Hopefully, you found this guide to Squamish helpful as you plan your trip to this center of outdoor adventure. The scenery around here is incredible, and there are so many activities to try, it’s great for all ages along with families, couples, or solo travelers. Just make sure to have a camera handy to capture all the memories you make while you explore beautiful British Columbia.
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