Shannon Falls Provincial Park, Squamish BC
Shannon falls provincial park is a must stop on your next visit to Squamish, BC. At 335 metres, Shannon Falls is the third highest waterfall in B.C., and a magnificent site at any time of year. However, the park is about more than its spectacular falls.
Shannon Falls Provincial Park – History & Culture
Shannon Falls Provincial Park has a rich history and has changed hands several times before becoming a park in 1882. For the Squamish First Nations (the originally inhabitants of this area) the falls hold significant spiritual value. They attributed the existence of the impressive tumbling water and prominent cliffs to a giant sea serpent, Say-noth-ka who lived in and around Howe Sound, which wore away the rock and formed the falls over time when it journeyed onto land.
When Captain George Vancouver arrived in 1792, his crew set up camp just west of the falls. The European colonizers took over use of the and named them after Shannon, who used the area to make bricks. Britannia Copper Mines, bought the land in the early 1900, and eventually sold it to Carling O’Keef, who used the pure mountain water to brew their beer. In 1982 O’Keef donated the land to BC parks. Now you can enjoy this slice of B.C.’s incredible nature for yourself.
A short trail through ferns and cedars lets you get up close to the crashing water roaring down the steep cliffs. Shannon Falls also serves as a popular and scenic starting point to explore more deeply the heart of the Sea to Sky Corridor, and Squamish in particular. From the falls you can access many of the trails in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, which is connected to the Stawamus Chief trailhead by a short path and bridge.
Those who choose to stay at Shannon Falls Provincial Park enjoy barbequing at the picnic facilities, playing games in the field, or heading to one of the many challenging climbing areas (routes range from 5.7 to 5.11d in difficulty) dispersed throughout the park, including Klahanie Crack, Local Boys Do Good and Magic Carpet Ride. There aren’t any marked paths to the 16 climbing routes, however, so check with the information centre in the park to get directions if you’re interested. Since many climbers are drawn to the Stawamus Chief, Shannon Falls is the perfect spot for rock climbers looking for a challenge but few crowds.
Whatever brings you to Shannon Falls Provincial Park, all would agree it’s one spot you can’t miss on your visit to Squamish.
Shannon Falls Provincial Park Camping
There is no camping at Shannon Falls Provincial Park, but the nearby Stawamus Chief Provincial Park has 47 walk-in sites, and 15 sites accessible by car, all of which are on a first-come, first-serve basis for $10.00 per person per night.
Shannon Falls Provincial Park Picnic Area
One of the park’s biggest draws is its picnicking facilities, perfect for a snack before heading to one of the longer trails at Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, in between climbing one of the many cliffs within the park, or simply to while the day away by the falls with family or friends. There’s also plenty of grassy space for fun and games.
Many of the picnic tables come with BBQ holders, and you’ll also find garbage bins, flush toilets and a small water fountain nearby.
Dogs and other pets are welcome, but must be on a leash at all times.
Weather in Shannon Falls Provincial Park
For daily updates see the latest Squamish weather forecast.
- Spring’s cool climate in the upper teens makes for perfect hiking weather, but the trails are often a hit or miss. Warming weather means melting ice and snow, which combined with spring showers often creates muddy or damp trails and parks. However, visiting Shannon Falls during this time has the added benefit of seeing the falls at its most powerful.
- Summer is the busiest time not just for Shannon Falls, but for most of Squamish’s trails and parks in general. The sunny, 20 to 35-degree weather makes for comfortable hikes and well-packed trails. However, summer also brings many crowds. Come early to get a picnic spot or call in advance to make a group reservation on the field and bring a folding table.
- Fall at Shannon Falls is popular for its changing colors, crisp air and cool temperatures that hover between 10 and 8 degrees during daylight hours. Watch out for heavy rainfall in late October and November.
- Winter brings more rain and snow and chilly days that peak at 5 degrees. While you can still visit the park and enjoy the waterfall, hikers may not be able to access all of the connecting trails. Services are also more limited in winter – the park’s flush toilet building is closed from mid-October until May 15th.
Hiking at Shannon Falls Provincial Park
Although Shannon Falls Provincial Park is made up of 87 gorgeous acres, most of the hiking trails nearby aren’t actually part of Shannon Falls. A short, 15-minute walk from Shannon Falls Provincial Park along a well-marked connecting trail joins hikers to the Stawamus Chief Trailhead, where more adventures, and a grueling climb to incredible views of Howe Sound await. You can park your car at the Provincial Park, enjoy the views of the falls and then take the trails connecting you to the Squamish Chief trail heads. Due to its proximity to Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, Shannon Falls is the perfect (and most scenic) starting point to access many of the most popular trails in the Sea to Sky Corridor:
- Stawamus Chief Trail
- Upper Shannon Falls Trail
- Sea to Summit Trail – Take the trails directing you to the Sea to Summit trail and the Gondola
Head south on the Sea to Sky Highway from Squamish for about 8 minutes. The parking lot for Shannon Falls Provincial Park is on the left, just past the Sea to Sky Gondola and the Stawamus Chief Parking lot. Campers should keep in mind you cannot leave your car in the parking lot overnight.
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