- Difficulty Easy
- Time 1.5 hours
- Round-Trip 3.5km
- Elevation Gain 210 meters
- Season February - November
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 1 hour
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly Yes
Smoke Bluffs Park in Squamish is a popular area for rock climbers that has a well maintained hiking trail that loops around the park. The Loop Trail passes through the park and is primarily used by climbers to access the many different climbing areas. However, it's a nice scenic hike that also stops at a few viewpoints looking out towards Howe Sound.
The trail begins from the wooden map board next to the parking lot. Follow the trail to the left, which is for hikers only, as it climbs steeply. Stay on the main trail as the narrow trails to the side are used by the climbers for accessing the climbing area called Crag X. Pass through the wooden posts and go left on the wide trail, continuing up the gravel hill as you pass the Smoke Bluff Wall on your left and continue towards the Neat and Cool climbing area. It can be quite a spectacle to stop and watch the climbers briefly before resuming your hike.
The trail begins to level out and reaches a children's playground with picnic tables. Just beyond the playground on the left is a junction which marks the start of the Loop Trail. This description will describe the route in a clockwise direction and you will return to this spot again before walking back down to the parking lot.
Going left at the sign for the Loop Trail, walk up the steep, narrow gravel trail as it climbs quickly. Within minutes, you reach a junction with a sign pointing to the Upper Loop. Go right and continue uphill to another junction. Again, go right and through a couple of switchbacks to a 3rd junction which is the start of the upper loop. Go right and within a few seconds, you will see a wooden bench on a rock to the right marking the first viewpoint.
The first viewpoint looks out to Howe Sound and down to the industrial areas of Squamish. Continue along the trail a short distance to where the route arrives onto a large rock at the second viewpoint. The second viewpoint also looks out towards Howe Sound and offers a glimpse of the nearby Chief towering high above. A bit further and you arrive at the third viewpoint, which is smaller but looks south, down along the Sea To Sky Highway.
After enjoying the three viewpoints, continue following the trail as it loops around, passing a couple more climbing areas before arriving back at the junction where the loop began. Go straight, back down the hill but at the second junction, this time go straight and rejoin the Loop Trail a short distance further. Follow the Loop Trail as is continues to ascend through the scenic forest, passing through a series of switchbacks.
Eventually, the trail reaches a junction where you have to decide to go the long route (left) or the shorter route (right). We'll go left, following the longer route as it continues gradually ascending through the beautiful forest before wrapping around and descending between large rock faces, meeting with the shorter route at the junction near Funarama.
Continue along the trail as it heads towards the climbing area called Call It A Day. The trail just after this section can be a bit tricky to follow but stay on the wider trail until you reach another sign at a 3-way junction before Ronin's Corner. Go left and down the stairs to a wide gravel trail that's not far from Tunnel Rock. Then, go right on the wide gravel pathway and follow it as it goes behind several houses, past a street to your left, and arrives back at the children's playground where you began the loop.
Follow the main path back down the hill towards the parking lot, noticing all the climbers scaling the rock faces as you walk. At the wooden gates with the “no bikes ” sign, go right and walk down on this trail until you reach the parking lot area.