Squamish Lake Guide – The Best Places to Take a Pre or Post Adventure Dip
After spending your days exploring the trails around town and working up a sweat, it’s time to cool off in one of Squamish’s many lakes. There are many to choose from, but each has its own special character. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an overnight stay, a tranquil swimming hole surrounded by nature, or a fun lake for the whole family, Squamish has the perfect spot for you. Each is enchanting in its own way. Who knows, you might even be tempted to see them all.
This long, thin lake isn’t your traditional swimming hole, and that’s part of what makes it so exciting. Instead of sandy beaches, Brohm is surrounded by striking pines, several walking trails, and rock ledges perfect to dangle your feet from while you have a snack and admire the view. Brohm is known for its hanging ropes, which kids and the young at heart love to use to Tarzan-jump their way into the water. The tall rocks around the lake are also great for cannon balls. Explore the trails (which range from .5 to about 2.5 kilometers) to find the best spot to jump in.
The lake is usually calm, which makes it perfect for swimming and other water sports like stand up paddle boarding. Families are welcome here, but beware, it can get noisy since people love coming here to play and party.
Arrive EARLY and mid week to aviod the crowds
Parking is an issue. We recommend hiking, biking or carpooling your way to Brohm Lake
From the center of Squamish, take BC-99, commonly known as the Sea to Sky Highway, north for about 15 minutes. After you pass Cat Lake keep an eye out for the entrance to Brohm on your left. Parking fills up quickly so make sure to get there early.
Similar to Brohm Lake, Cat Lake features rope swings, pines-lined shores, and hiking and biking trails. This is also a great spot for camping, canoeing, or fishing, but it’s better if you can go during the week. As Cat Lake has become a popular weekend destination for partiers who tend to be noisy. During the week, however, it’s a calm place to dip your toes in and cool off.
This is also a dog-friendly site, so feel free to bring your furry friends. Just make sure to keep them on a leash with you and keep an eye on them since there will probably be other dogs around. Aside from the campsite, dogs are also allowed on one of the beaches. ( This may be changing…. )
Take the Sea to Sky Highway north of Squamish for about 15 minutes. The turn-off to the parking lot is just after Alice Lake and on the right. From there, walk about 1 kilometer to the campgrounds and access to the lake.
By far the best family location, Alice Lake has a sandy beach perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sun and breathtaking mountain views. Many love to kayak or canoe here during summer and you can even rent gear at the main beach.
This is also one of the most popular campgrounds during summer, so make sure to make reservations in advance. The main beach and campground are predictably crowded during the peak months, July to September, but quiet hours from 10pm to 7 am ensure campers and families aren’t disturbed.
For less crowds, explore the 4 Lakes Trail to visit Stump, Fawn, or Edith Lake, secluded and perfect for dipping. Although dogs aren’t allowed at the main beach, you can take them on the trails and to the three smaller lakes.
Alice Lake is just a 10-minute drive north on the Sea to Sky Highway. The parking lot is on the right.
For a more luxurious, adventurous, and remote swim, hire a float plane to Phantom Lake, only 15 minutes away. These cool turquoise waters get their unique color from the glacier that feeds into it from the mountains. Before landing in the water, make sure to swing by the famous Phantom Falls for incredible views of the massive waterfall.
Afterward, enjoy a swim in the refreshing glacier lake, It’s sure to be the quietest, most serene lake around.
Hire a float plane to reach the lake. Prices start at around $199 per person for adults.
A photo posted by Brenden Chu (@brendenchu) on
This lake isn’t for the lazy. To reach this tiny gem, you’ll have to hike around an 11.5-kilometer circuit. The trail alternates between meandering paths and incredibly steep scrambles that will leave you panting. Although the hike requires some work, it’s definitely worth it. There are several view points throughout the trail with panoramic views of the valley and mountains.
Even though the path is difficult at times (make sure to bring plenty of water!), it’s very secluded and calm, lending itself to quiet meditation or contemplation of the immense natural surroundings. After working up a sweat on the climb up, you’ll be glad to see the cool glacier fed water of the cute lake near the end of the trail. You might even be the only person in the water.
Head south on the Sea to Sky Highway for about 20 minutes. Park at Murrin Lake Provincial Park on the right side of the highway. Carefully cross the highway to the other side of the road, heading north. You should see a wooden sign marking the start of the trail.
Browning Lake at Murrin Provincial Park
If you don’t have time to hike to Petgill Lake or are looking for something a little more relaxing, stay at Murrin Lake. It’s small, calm, surrounded by pines, sandy beaches, a short trail, and picnic sites (some have barbecues but bring your own briquettes), making it a great lake for a day trip. Just make sure to pick up when you leave.
With 250 climbing routes varying from beginner to expert, this is also a great location for rock climbers of all levels. Keep in mind you should come dressed ready for whatever activities you’re planning on since there aren’t any changing rooms.
Head south on the Sea to Sky Highway for about 20 minutes and turn off to the parking lot on the right. The parking lot is marked from the highway. Try to arrive early, parking can fill up quickly. Make sure to park only in the designated areas – the park has a tow-away policy.
A photo posted by Squamish Adventure (@squamishadventure) on
The alpine mountains around Squamish are home to many secret lakes and swimming holes that are off the beaten path. We prefer to keep some gems hidden to be discouvered by those willing to make the extra effort. With many lakes, rivers and the ocean you will find a great place to cool off this summer in Squamish. No summer is complete without a dip in one of our amazing lakes.