- Difficulty Intermediate
- Time 1.5 hours
- Round-Trip 2km
- Elevation Gain 130 meters
- Season February - October
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 45 minutes
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly No
March 24, 2020
Access to Murrin Provincial Park is closed.
Located just south of Squamish along the Sea To Sky Highway, Murrin Provincial Park is a popular family picnic spot during the summer next to Browning Lake. There is also a steep hiking trail to the Quercus Viewpoint that provides spectacular views overlooking Howe Sound.
Even though the distance is not far, the rating for the trail to the viewpoint is Intermediate due to it being so steep. The loop is best done in a counter-clockwise direction.
From the parking lot, follow the trail past the map of the park and walk towards Browning Lake, following the path through the beach areas. This beach area is busy during the warmer months of the year but you will soon leave the lakeside and hike up a trail, away from the crowds. After passing the beach area, watch for a sign and a trail on the right, marking the route to Quercus Viewpoint.
Leave the Browning Lake area and begin hiking up the steep hill as it climbs briefly before descending and arriving at a junction. At the junction, go right and follow the Loop Trail in a counter clockwise direction. The trail climbs very steeply, first along dirt and then up wood steps. Admire the large rock overhangs that precariously sit above the trail as you stop to catch your breath before continuing uphill.
Not too far up, the trail reaches a junction. Go straight towards the viewpoint as the trail leads out of the forest and climbs up onto the rock, arriving at a wooden bench. Continue past the bench to the end of the rocky bluff where a spectacular view of Howe Sound awaits. This is the best viewpoint as you get a great view of Howe Sound, a view looking down at Browning Lake, and up towards some of the nearby mountains.
After enjoying the viewpoint, walk back to the trail and return to the junction, this time going the other direction to continue around the Loop Trail. The trail gradually descends through the forest as you make your way past a couple of climbing areas. Cross over a small wooden bridge, then descend down a hill between two rock faces and a short distance further, you arrive at a second viewpoint with a bench looking towards Howe Sound.
Continue hiking down the steep stairs, passing another climbing area to your left until the trail reaches another junction. To return to Browning Lake, go left at the junction and walk through the forest, past the junction where you started the loop, over the small hill and back down to the lake trail.
For an additional walk, you can also continue walking around the lake loop to return to the parking lot a different way but walking along the trail next to the highway is not the most peaceful experience.