Murrin Loop and Jurassic Ridge Trail are Squamish hikes that are serious hidden gems. Millions of people drive past Browning Lake at Murrin Provincial Park every year on their way to Whistler and most, my husband included, never stop.
This Squamish hike is a relatively short and easy hike. However I’ve ranked it as an Intermediate hike due to the technicality of the Jurassic Ridge Trail portion. It takes about 2 hours to do the full hike (less if you’re only doing the Murrin Loop). If you’re looking for a hike that has the same amazing views as the Squamish Chief Hike but is easier and takes less time, then Murrin Loop and Jurassic Ridge Trail via Quercus Viewpoint is for you.
Plan to go early in the day or later in the afternoon as parking at Murrin Provincial Park is limited and fills up quickly. To start the hike, walk about half way counterclockwise around Browning Lake. You’ll see a sign pointing toward a slightly hidden trailhead for Lake Loop and Quercus Viewpoint. The trail climbs quickly and brings you into the forest. Soon you’ll come to another sign post indicating to go right towards Loop Trail and Quercus Viewpoint. This hike is best done in a counter-clockwise direction so keep that in mind as you go.
Continue climbing up the steps but be careful that they can get quite muddy. You’ll pass by some incredible rock slabs and if you’re lucky, you’ll see some talented rock climbers attempting it. The light in the forest is really pretty so be sure to take it all in.
In just a few minutes, you’ll be climbing up on the smooth rock slab that is Quercus Viewpoint. If it’s a sunny day, this is a great place to have a snack or picnic and chillout for a while. It can be quite windy up here so ensure you have a windbreaker or other jacket with you.
Once you hike down from the viewpoint, continue left/counterclockwise on the Loop Trail. You’ll come to a fork where you can branch off West to hike the Jurassic Ridge portion of the trail. The views west across Howe Sound are spectacular but be warned, this is a tricky bit of the hike with ropes and other assists in many areas. Take your time and watch your footing, both the rocks and the roots are slippery even on a sunny, dry day.
Once you’re off the final ring ladder, you’ll be back in a flat forest and you’ll want to stay left to rejoin the Lake Loop.
The signage itself is quite limited with no distances indicated on it. Keep your eyes open for the signage markers (most of them are orange, some are white) to stay on the right trail. While there’s not a lot of them, the rock slabs do make parts of the trail tricky. Be prepared for some climbing and ensure you have appropriate footwear. I was wearing Blunstone boots and would opt for proper hikers next time.
Here are the details for Murrin Loop and Jurassic Ridge Trail in Squamish:
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Time: 2 hours
- Distance: 3.5 km round-trip
- When: Year round but best April – November
- Pet-friendly: Yes, just keep your dogs on a leash
- Parking: Yes
- Location: Murrin Provincial Park is located 2 km north of Britannia Beach and 9 km south of Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway 99
Even though it’s a short, intermediate hike in Squamish, don’t forget to pack your hiking essentials. Murrin Loop and Jurassic Ridge Trail are hikes open during COVID in Squamish. If you try it, let me know what you think.