Aug. 7-9, 2017: Squamish, British Columbia

In early August my girlfriend, Danielle, and I headed to Squamish, BC to spend a few days looking around before we were to meet up with her parents in Vancouver and then send Danielle off to Zambia where she was to work for three months through a co-op with her school.

Having taken some time off work, Danielle and I were able to leave Vancouver Island on Monday the Seventh, and head over the ferry to the mainland. After taking the ferry and driving from Vancouver along the Sea-to-Sky highway, we arrived in Squamish. While both Danielle and I had been through Squamish a few times on our way to Whistler, never before had either of us taking the time to look around the town or visit its, arguably, two main sites: the Sea-to-Sky Gondala, or the Stawamus Chief -- a massive granite monolith which looms over the town. The purpose for our trip was to visit these two attractions.

Once arrived in Squamish we first stopped at the Visitor Centre and grabbed a snack in the cafe as well as looked around the gift shop. After finishing up, we drove into town and wandered a bit, poking our heads into a few of the more eclectic shops. My impression of the town was that there is a great deal of room to grow, and I predict that within the next few years Squamish will continue to experience a massive renaissance. While I was unimpressed by what the town itself had to offer, the fact is most people aren't visiting the town for the shopping or eating, they're visiting for the cornucopia of outdoor activities, just as Danielle and I were. 

After poking around the town Danielle and I decided to head to the Airbnb we'd booked and drop off our stuff before heading back along the Sea-to-Sky Highway to the Sea-to-Sky Gondala. When we reached the Gondola we knew our experience would be somewhat dampened by the thick smoke from the various forest fires across the Pacific North West which was choking the Province. Nonetheless, we wanted to check out the sights and ascended in the Gondala.

Once reaching the top, Danielle and I did a basic loop trail, stopping many times to take in hazy views and take photos. After returning to the Summit Lodge, we grabbed some coffee and chilled out waiting for the sun to get a bit closer to the horizon. Once the sun had dipped enough, we took a few more photos of the suspension bridge and then headed back down to the 4runner and headed back to the Airbnb for the night.

The next day, Danielle and I headed to the Stawamus Chief and climbed the second peak. We'd read that the First Peak can be very busy and isn't as great as the other peaks so we decided upon the Second. Anticipating a challenging hike, Danielle and I were expecting much worse than the climb was. Once reaching the top of the second peak, we ate a snack, and chilled out, once again admiring a smoke engulfed view. After chilling for a bit atop the Chief, we returned to the car and drove back to the Airbnb after grabbing a few supplies and some fantastic sushi for dinner.

On Wednesday, Danielle and I packed our stuff and headed back to Vancouver, quickly stopping along the way at Shannon Falls. The falls themselves are notable, but as written in many places on the net, the place is packed with tourists, especially during the summer. Thus, after only staying for a few quick minutes we were on our way.

People in this blog:

Danielle's Instagram.

Danielle on the ferry leaving Nanaimo.

Us going up the Gondala, them going down.

The suspension bridge the Gondala loves to promote.

These little chipmunks (or is this a red squirrel?) were everywhere scrounging for scraps.

Danielle at one of the observation points with the Chief visible on the right.

The Chief and some of the town visible.

Back to the bridge as the sun began to dip.

On our way back down.

And a couple Polaroids.

Our hike up the Stawamus Chief, we went up the second peak, I believe this is looking back at the first peak.

Panorama of Squamish below from the second peak, Danielle on the left.

Just like atop the Gondola, these little guys scrounging around.

As seen here.

And here as well. Let it be known that I do not, and do not condone, feeding wildlife.

Before heading back down the Chief, I snapped a few photos of the foliage up top.

Our stop at Shannon Falls before heading back to Vancouver.