Alice Lake Provincial Park is one of my fave go-to places for hiking or trail running in Squamish. The park contains a campground, four lakes, and a series of hiking and biking trails, and is about five kilometers north of Squamish. The Four Lakes Hike is a loop that visits each of the lakes, and is perfect if you’re looking for an easy beginner hike near Vancouver or Whistler. The hike is kid-friendly, super accessible to friends and family of all levels and abilities, and dogs are allowed too!
You can park at the Alice Lake Beach or on the road near the Stump Lake Trailhead, depending on where you want to start the hike. I recommend parking at the beach and proceeding clockwise around Alice Lake to the Four Lakes Trail. You could even start or end with lunch at one of the public picnic tables.
The hike is about six kilometers long and took me just under two hours, including lots of stops for photos. The path is wide and mostly flat, with lots of tree cover.
After Alice Lake, you’ll cross a cute little bridge and climb a bit before getting Edith Lake. Even though the parking lot was busy I hardly met anyone on the trail or at the lake edge; it was nice to get out for a quiet autumn hike after a busy summer season.
The next lake you will come to is Fawn Lake. The trail is well marked – just keep following the “Four Lakes Trail” signage and don’t get confused about the signs pointing you back to Alice Lake. It’s a loop after all.
I really took my time as I wandered through the vast old growth forest, admiring the ginormous trees and the Old Man’s Beard (a sign of the world’s purest air), and literally breathed it all in. On this hike, you can really tell you’re in a Pacific Northwest temperate rainforest – it’s so green and lush!
Take time to climb down to the river bank while hiking the Four Lakes Trail. The mountain views along the river are so pretty, and well worth a short break. You’ll see Diamond Head Mountain, located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, in the distance. Next to the Squamish Chief, Diamond Head is the most recognizable mountain peak in Squamish.
You’ll soon come to the last lake, Stump Lake. Despite the less than colourful name, this lake might be my favourite of all of them on the Four Lakes Hike. There are logs in the lake you can walk out on, golden coloured leaves everywhere you look, and a beautiful reflection on the lake which I think makes for one of the best places to takes photos in Squamish.
4 Lakes Trail Details
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time: 2 hours
- Distance: 6 km Round-Trip
- When: Year round (just ensure you have appropriate footwear in the winter)
- Family-friendly: Yes, great for all ages
- Pet-friendly: Yes, just keep your dogs on a leash
- Parking: Yes
I highly recommend Four Lakes Trail as the perfect Pacific Northwest hike to do in the fall. Which is your favourite lake on this hike: Alice Lake, Edith Lake, Fawn Lake, or Stump Lake? Tell me in the comments.
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