[Too busy to write just now…]
Tough hike! The whole thing lasted 10 hours for our group. The worse part was walking for about an hour or more from the end of the trail (past the Northern tip of Buntzen Lake), all tired and everything, back to the parking lot (at the Southern tip of the lake). Some people got swarmed by wasps on the way down on a tight and steep path on the Swan Falls trail too. The unlucky hikers wanted to run for cover, but there were too many of us on the narrow path to make a safe escape! Thank God for us the wasps didn’t continue attacking us, even though our party was jammed a few meters from their nest…
A fun, moderately strenuous hike with lots of variety in terrain and many opportunities for great views of the Squamish Valley!
Just a couple of kilometers South of the very popular outdoors mecca of Squamish lies Shannon Falls, about an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver, along the spectacular Sea to Sky highway. Although a hiking trail is accessible there, its main attraction is its waterfall, the 3rd highest in BC. With Winter steadily thawing away, “Shannon” is at its most ferocious and interesting right now.
It takes no time at all to get to the foot of the waterfall, where a large viewing area greets visitors for a great view. But it gets even better if you take another little trail, running parallel to this viewing area and slightly uphill, leading to the closest view you can have. There, Shannon Fall’s thunderous splash blows a gentle, misty rain our way that feels quite soothing actually.
My first visit to Shannon Falls was with a group of photography enthusiasts so, the focus — no pun intended ;) — was more geared towards taking nice shots on that particular day. If you feel inclined to do so, you can also do some real hiking in that area. I couldn’t tell you about the trail though as I have not tried it out yet. The famous Stawamus Chief is just around the corner too: it’s a massive 700m mountain face/cliff that rock climbers love and is hikeable too, using a different path, of course. ;) Looks brutal. I’ll go easy for now, maybe later…
The short “hike” over and lunch time just around the corner, the group of people I was with thought it would be nice to go to the Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Co. in Squamish next. Nice place. I got a free drink because the waitress mistakenly served someone’s second drink with the same thing I had and had to leave it “on the house.” I suggested her to goof again but she didn’t this time. :p
Finally, a couple of off-road enthusiasts in the group suggested we go on some trail they don’t even know the name of for some 4-wheel fun in the Suzuki Sidekick we were in. It was great! Bumpy and narrow but that’s all part of the fun, right? We didn’t reach the end of the trail (which ran on some unknown mountain side — but I did notice a “Hut Lake” direction sign at some point, along the way) but still managed to have a great view of yet another unknown (to me) mountain.