While Shannon Falls are easily reached on a day trip from Vancouver, many visitors stop by when traveling the length of the Sea-to-Sky Highway. The short Shannon Falls Trail winds through old-growth hemlock, western red cedar, and Douglas fir trees to reach two viewing platforms. Most tours include plenty of time to hike to the falls and back. Don’t forget your camera, as this is considered one of Squamish’s prettiest spots.
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Things to Know Before You Go
While Shannon Falls Trail is generally safe and well-maintained, stay away from the creek boulders and the base of the falls.
There’s a picnic area near the trailhead.
The Sea to Sky Gondola is a short distance from the Shannon Falls parking area, so it’s convenient to combine the two destinations into a single stop.
How to Get There
The Shannon Falls parking area is located on the east side of Highway 99 (aka the Sea-to-Sky Highway). The falls are about 37 miles (59 kilometers) north of Vancouver and 3 miles (5 kilometers) south of Squamish, making them a nice place to break up a trip between Vancouver and Whistler. Parkbus provides round-trip service from Vancouver during the summer months.
When to Get There
Shannon Falls Provincial Park is open year-round. To beat the crowds, get to the parking lot early, as it can fill quickly. If you’re going in winter, when the falls freeze into dramatic formations, be extra cautious when hiking, as the trail and boardwalk will likely be slippery.
How to Photograph Shannon Falls
A wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing the true scale of the towering waterfall, whose lower half is visible from two viewing platforms near the base. Since the falls face northwest, photography can be tricky in the morning—plan to arrive in the afternoon for the best possible light for snapping photos.