Super Natural British Columbia: Squamish

I don’t pretend to be a travel expert on Squamish, British Columbia. Nearly four years have passed since I last visited.

I can’t tell you about my personal experiences with the latest restaurants, accommodations, or climbing routes.

I can tell you that we were a group of seven classmates, with varying levels of comfort with one another, on a college assignment during the last term of our program. Group dynamics will always color one’s perception of the experience. In spite of the dynamics – or perhaps because of the dynamics – British Columbia’s natural beauty stole a piece of my heart.

Over a series of posts, I will tell you what I have chosen to take away from the journey.

Squamish, British Columbia

Three experiences stand out in my mind from my brief 24 hours in this community at the north end of Howe Sound.

Britannia Mine Museum

The museum has turned what could be a fairly dry tour on an environmentally sensitive topic (especially for naturalist students!) into an engaging experience. Our interpreter for the tour of the former copper mine had trained as a nurse in the U.K. and made a career change when she moved to Canada. She was fascinating and personable and quickly engaged with our group – everything you’d want out of a guide.

Britannia Mining Museum, Squamish

Squamish Riverside Campsite

After a Wal-Mart employee let us know of the cougar and bobcat sightings at Alice Lake Provincial Park – our intended campsite for the night – we discovered this quiet, pretty (and free!) site along the Squamish River.

We took a wrong turn before we got here and did a little off-roading in our Chrysler Town & Country minivan, but we made it in one piece before the fog rolled in.

As I’ve discovered in the years since, stick me near water and watch the stress melt away.

Squamish Riverside Campsite

Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Sleeping next to the river after being up for nearly 24 hours gave us the solid night’s rest we needed to tackle a hike before catching the ferry to Nanaimo.

We opted for the hike to the second peak, reaching the summit and unable to admire the view thanks to the thick fog. I look forward to going back and trying again under sunnier conditions.

Stawamus Chief 2nd Peak, Squamish

Stay tuned for more on this ten-day trip as I explore how sense of place can overcome difficult group dynamics.

 

Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you been to Squamish? Let me know in the comments where your must-see sights are.

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