From flat and fast gravel and forest trails to vertical granite and technical trails, Squamish has it all! If you’re curious to find some new running routes in town, I thought I’d share some of my favourite routes.
Areas for running
A friend of mine was moving to Squamish, and she asked me: “Which neighbourhood would be the best for lunch runs?” My response was quite funny, basically “every neighbourhood”. It made me realize how lucky we are, every neighbourhood in town has running trails within sight!
If you’re new to town, here are some of the awesome spots to explore for running:
- Valleycliffe / Crumpit Woods: multi-use trails connect right from Valleycliffe all the way to the Diamond Head trail system. You can also spend a ridiculous amount of time exploring the many secret gems around Chief, Slhanay, and the Sea to Sky Gondola FSR.
- Downtown Squamish: downtown is close-by to the Chief and the Gondola, and there’s a glacial estuary at the end of Third Avenue. Soon, there will be an Oceanfront trail that follows the entire Howe Sound waterfront.
- Dentville: there’s an awesome dike beside the Squamish River, accessible from Dentville. The dike also offers some fun little single-track trails off to the sides, which meander through the beautiful estuary.
- Garibaldi Estates: Coho Park has a beautiful multi-use trail, that’s a perfect starting point to link up to Alice Lake, or the Diamond Head trails.
- Garibaldi Highlands: access to one of the most popular trail areas in Squamish– the Diamond Head Mountain bike trails, which climb all the way to Garibaldi Provincial Park.
- Tantalus / Skyridge: this is an access point to the beautiful Alice Lake Provincial Park trails, and Debecks, which offers up a ton of awesome vertical routes.
- Brackendale: there’s the Brackendale dyke, the Ray Peters trail network with tons of cool little singletracks in the forest, and quiet country-feel roads with insane views.
You can see what I mean, right? Literally every neighbourhood has something special.
After indulging in thousands of kilometers since I moved to town, here are some of my favourite routes in Squamish and within a close driving distance!
Flat and flowy routes
I have a large list of faster trails for weekday runs, to maximize my lunch hour or pre-dinner trail time. These routes are also great spots for workouts. Some are completely flat, others are very flowy with gentle climbs. Here are some of my favourites!
|Looking Glass & Ray Peters||Trail||Loop||11.2 km||206m||Nice forest loop!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829230513950333080|
|Riverside & Covenant||Trail / Dike||Loop||12.5 km||162m||Follows the Squamish and Mamquam rivers!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825792130638523270|
|Alice Lake||Trail||Loop||12.3 km||268m||Beautiful forest!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825789634901261120|
|Spit Road||Gravel Dike||Out & back||13.1 km||7m||Flat and fast with views of Howe Sound! Best to avoid mid-day in summer as the road gets dusty if it’s busy||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825793028486191160|
|Fartherside||Trail / Gravel||Loop||11.8 km||375m||Another nice forest run!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825807950188430144|
|Paved Corridor Trail bike path||Road||Out & back||12.2 km||20m||A bike path that’s separated from traffic, which will get lights soon for nighttime running! This path is great for workouts, and for stroller running||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825787451692733248|
Sometimes you want a more hikey run, or maybe you’re training for something with a lot of vert. Here are some of my go-to’s!
|Debecks Traverse||Trail||Loop||8 km||492m||Fun technical trails + views!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825796699906140038|
|Megacy Climb||Trail||Loop||16 km||813m||Very long runnable climb!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825806057115742264|
|Evac & Gondola FSR||Trail||Loop||15.9 km||984m||Steep uphill (hiking grade) then an FSR descent. If you’re watching closely, you’ll notice optional singletrack trails off the side of the FSR.||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829233808651217898|
|Chief 3 Peaks Via Ferrata||Trail / Rock Slab||Loop||8 km||851m||This route involves ropes & rungs & slab, and is hard to follow. Good to have navigation tools with you! I would say, leave your pup at home for this one.||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825803401519495046|
Runnable long runs
Squamish is ideal for flowy long runs. These are part of my playlist of long runs…
|Northside Connector & Word of Mouth||Trail / Gravel||Loop||19.5 km||601m||This route has a bit of everything– a good chunk of trail, some rolling gravel FSR, and a couple kilometers of road at the end.||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825795589294041990|
|Thompson Trail & Squamish Lakes||Trail / Road||Loop||33 km||951m||Venture to lots of the great lakes in Squamish, including Alice, Cat, and Brohm. A few kilometers are on country roads to link everything in Brackendale and Paradise Valley Road.||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825798831932410688|
|Paradise Valley Road to Starvation Lake||Country Road / Gravel||Out & back||25.6 km||254m||Beautiful road that turns into gravel and then trail about 2 km from Starvation Lake. Great for workouts and marathon training runs, or just jumping in the lake in summer!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825797688075923264|
|Squamish Town Loop||Interurban Trails / Gravel Dike||Loop||26.7 km||176m||A good quick loop for faster running, also great way to explore around Squamish!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825809689638663046|
|Lava Flow Trails||Trail / Gravel FSR||Loop||26 km||745m||The Lava Flow trails are a cool place to witness the 15km stretch of ancient lava flow from Opal Cone!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829370839878769642|
|Sea to Sky Trail to Whistler||Trail / Road||Point to Point||46.8 km||968m||I wouldn’t do this route if you despise country roads, as Sea to Sky Trail starts with a long section through Brackendale and Paradise Valley Road. Be warned that there are 2 highway running stretches, but the trail section from Starvation Lake north is beautiful and worth it!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829371254746425978|
Summer mountain runs
Once the snowpack melts in July, these are some of my favourite classic Coast Mountain runs within a 30-minute drive from Squamish. These are all must-do’s! Note that all of these routes take you to beautiful places outside of cell reception, so it’s a good idea to bring a SPOT or Inreach device. (The Singing Pass route is an exception, as it’s within Whistler resort.)
|Elfin Lakes & Opal Cone||Trail||Out & back||32.4 km||1568m||Garibaldi Park beyond Elfin Lake is incredible. Opal Cone is a cinder cone volcano, running there gives you an amazing view of the Garibaldi Neve.||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825802502854965126|
|Elfin Lakes & Mamquam Lake||Trail||Out & back||40.1 km||1947m||Another gem past Elfin, this route takes you into amazing volcanic running.||https://www.strava.com/routes/2825800950780859448|
|Howe Sound Crest Trail||Trail||Point to Point||25.8 km||1824m||My favourite trail! Views of Howe Sound, amazing gnarly terrain, alpine lakes! You can make a shorter version of this classic by starting in Lions Bay, heading up the Brunswick trail, and joining HSCT for its second, downhill half.||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829368741248794776|
|Capilano Mountain (Furry Creek)||Trail / Gravel||Out & back||24.1 km||1730m||The route starts as a gravel FSR run and then eventually becomes nicer and nicer. Amazing views of the Sky Pilot mountains, and the whole Howe Sound Crest trail!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829408506091642662|
|Watersprite Lake||Trail||Out & back||17.2 km||708m||This trail has a nice runnable climbing grade! It gets very busy with hikers on weekends, I find it’s ideal to go on a weeknight. The lake at the end is incredible!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829407636192575098|
|Goat Ridge Point to Point||Trail / Gravel FSR||Loop||19.1 km||1517m||Goat Ridge is an amazing large, wide ridge. It’s fun to make it a loop, by taking the super-steep trail up from Petgill Lake, and then descending the Disneyland bike trail into Britannia. To complete the loop, there are a few km on gravel FSR after Disneyland Trail to reach Britannia, and then 2.5km on the highway back to the start. If you prefer, avoid the highway running using a short car drop, leaving one in Britannia and one at Murrin Park!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829369595164180632|
|Garibaldi Park: Rubble Creek to Helm Creek with Garibaldi Lake & Panorama Ridge||Trail||Point to Point||27.9 km||1782m||One of the most beautiful trails, ever. Run past cinder cone volcanoes, through meadows, and up above the best view of Garibaldi Lake!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829370134246567064|
|Singing Pass (Whistler)||Trail||Loop||21 km||1659m||Most people finish their run at the Roundhouse Lodge and then download the gondola, which is free! The resort prefers this because in summer, the terrain below is part of the mountain bike park. This makes it an amazing uphill workout!||https://www.strava.com/routes/2829370481132140522|
Well, that should give you a few weeks’ worth of running… 😉