Uprooted traveler logo

Is AllTrails Pro worth it? (Spoiler: It isn’t for everyone but it is for this type of hiker.)Learn more...

Mamquam Falls Trail: Squamish’s Most Underrated Hike

Canada’s British Columbia is full of natural beauty and the small town of Squamish, along the Sea to High Skyway, is no exception. Its Mamquam Falls Trail packs a LOT into a short and easy hike, with a lush rainforest, rushing river, and waterfall with shockingly turquoise water. Here’s everything you need to know about the Mamquam Falls Trail, one of Squamish’s most underrated hikes. 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission, for which we are extremely grateful, at no extra cost to you.

Mamquam Falls in a gorge in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada
Preview of instagram card encouraging readers to follow Uprooted Traveler on Instagram

About Mamquam Falls

Distance: 

1.2 miles (1.9 km)

Elevation:

213 feet (65 meters)

Difficulty:

Easy 

Man walking in a rainforest along the Mamquam Falls Trail in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada

Dog-friendly:

Yes, your furry friend is welcome on the trail, but they’ll have to stay on a leash. 

Passes or permits:

None—this hike is totally free!

How to Get to Mamquam Falls

As mentioned above, the trailhead for Mamquam Falls is located here, near the Sea to Sky Highway, a little over an hour north of Vancouver or about an hour south of Whistler.

If you’ve never driven along the Sea to Sky Highway before, it’s a STUNNING drive, that stretches over 100 miles along British Columbia’s Howe Sound, and is packed with things to do and see, like the  Sea to Sky Gondola or the incredible hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park, like the Wedgemount Lake Trail. It’s definitely a road trip that’s worth adding to your bucket list!

Woman standing on a wooden tent platform at Wedgemount Lake in Whistler, British Columbia in Canada

From the highway, you’ll turn onto the Mamquam River Forest Service Road, which is unpaved. The road wasn’t in too bad condition when my husband, Justin, and I drove on it, but if you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, I’d suggest driving very slowly and carefully! It’s worth noting that the road isn’t maintained in the wintertime, so the road may become inaccessible if there’s a significant amount of snowfall in Squamish. 

At the trailhead, there’s a parking lot that can hold a couple dozen cars—we went midday on a Friday in September and had absolutely no problem finding parking. However, I suspect that if you came on a weekend during the busy period (July and August), it might be a bit more challenging to snag a spot—so your best bet, during this time period, is to arrive early! 

Parking lot at the Mamquam Falls trailhead in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada

What to Expect Along the Mamquam Falls Trail

The Mamquam Falls trailhead is unmarked and, to be honest, a little confusing.

It turns out that this trail is a loop, so there’s two different ways that you can hike it.

To hike the loop in a clockwise direction, you’ll find a trail towards the northern end of the parking lot, with a yellow gate and two parallel paths down a gravel road. These paths wind through the surrounding dense pine tree first, rapidly losing elevation. 

Man walking down the Mamquam Falls Trail in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada

You’ll eventually end up in another parking lot, right along the river, with some picnic tables and a vault toilet. Here, you’ll find a trail to your right that weaves through a beautiful and lush rainforest, with trees dripping with moss, along the Mamquam River, which you’ll follow for about 0.3 miles (0.5 km). 

Along the way, there’s several viewpoints and areas where you can hike down to the rocky banks of the river to admire its rushing electric blue water. Honestly, in my opinion, the impossibly green forest, with peekaboo views of the river, is one of the best parts (if not THE best part!) of the hike.

Woman hiking up rocks along the Mamquam River along the Mamquam Falls Trail in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada

If you follow this trail, it will lead you to an overlook of Mamquam Falls, which spills 62 feet over a rocky cliffside. As a word of warning, there’s a concrete bridge over the falls, which makes the area look a bit more manmade, but, in my opinion, it’s still absolutely stunning, thanks to its vibrant color!

Once you get your fill of the waterfall, you can continue along the trail until you hit a wide gravel path, heading uphill to the right. Here, you can either head right, which will take you right back to the parking lot, or to the left, which will lead you over the concrete bridge over the top of the falls. You won’t be able to really see the falls from here, but it is a unique perspective of the stunningly colored Mamquam River!

Mamquam River along the Mamquam Falls Trail in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada

Obviously, to hike the trail counter clockwise, you’d just reverse these steps—follow the wide path to the right of the parking lot down to the river; make a left and follow along the river, past the falls; and, eventually turn left on the path that heads uphill to get back to the parking lot. 

To be honest, we hiked this trail as an out-and-back trail, following the path towards the northern end of the parking lot (i.e., the path you’d follow if you wanted to go clockwise)—and from reading others’ reviews, I’d actually recommend this route! You wind up being in a beautiful forest the entire time, whereas the path you’d take to hike this trail counter clockwise is a bit less scenic (although a bit shorter if you’re pressed for time!).

Rainforest along the Mamquam Falls Trail in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada
Pssst… you can find a trail map for the Mamquam Falls Trail here, although the map is a bit off and only shows hiking this as an out-and-back trail, as I suggested above, not a loop. I’d suggest downloading the map ahead of time, given that you likely won’t have cell service here. 

You'll need the AllTrails+ version of the app to download offline maps. Luckily, you can get a 7-day free trial, PLUS our awesome readers get a sweet 30% off discount for their first year—just use the code “Uprooted30” at check out! 

When to Hike the Mamquam Falls Trail

The trail is open year round. 

Summertime is the busiest time on the trail, but you’ll also have the best chance of clear and sunny weather. 

Man walking down stairs along a Mamquam Falls Trail in Squamish, British Columbia in Canada

While the trail is generally pretty easy and not technically challenging, there are a few steep sections and areas where you hike over tree roots and rocks, which can be quite muddy and slippery when wet. So be especially careful if you’re hiking during or after rainfall and be sure to wear shoes with support and traction (like my hiking boots or the ones that Justin uses). 

And, as mentioned above though, if you’re visiting this area in the wintertime, be mindful of heavy snow accumulation, as the trailhead may not be accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mamquam Falls

Can I camp near Mamquam Falls?

Camping isn’t allowed along the Mamquam Falls Trail and, unlike some areas in British Columbia, the Squamish Regional District doesn’t allow dispersed camping along its Forest Service Roads. The closest established campground is in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.

Mamquam Falls in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Where can I stay near Mamquam Falls?

Beyond Mamquam Falls, Squamish is one of our favorite towns in British Columbia and absolutely worth exploring for a day or two. Check out:

  • Squamish Adventure Inn: This hostel is right off the Sea to Sky Highway and offers a mix of accommodations, including dorm rooms and private bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. The hotel has lots of nice amenities, including an outdoor patio with views of the surrounding Cascades and the Howe Sound, a shuttle that runs to Whistler and other popular areas, and a shared kitchen. 
  • Sunwolf Riverside Cabins: If you want to immerse yourself in British Columbia’s stunning beauty, consider this property, which has several cabins tucked into a dense pine tree forest. Some of the cabins come with fireplaces to curl up next to it and, if not, there’s a communal fire pit to enjoy.
  • The Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Co.: If you love hitting up new breweries when you travel as much as we do, what could be more fun than staying at the Howe Brewing Co. Beyond just having a brewery on its ground floor, this inn has an excellent location, stellar views, and comfy rooms.
View of the Howe Sound from Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, British Columbia

I hope you enjoy the Mamquam Trail and everything else the Sea to Sky Highway has to offer. Do you have any questions about this stunning waterfall? Let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading our post! Check out our latest stories here and follow us on Instagram (@UprootedTraveler), YouTube, or on Facebook to see what we’re up to next!

Preview of instagram card encouraging readers to follow Uprooted Traveler on Instagram

Leave a Comment

Want to work with us?

Ask us any questions