5 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in Squamish

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If you Google Squamish, you will most likely see images of misty forests, sunshine-filled landscape shots of the iconic granite monolith, The Stawamus Chief, and plenty of shots of rock climbers climbing on dry, smooth stone in the sunshine. If you’ve been to Squamish, you will most likely have experienced how beautiful it is on a sunny day.

And, if you’ve been to Squamish, you’re also most likely aware of the high amount of rainfall we receive, which allows us to live in such a stunningly lush rainforest. Most people will duck and run for cover at the first sign of rain, but did you know there’s still plenty to do and it’s just as equally beautiful on those wet west coast days?

Here’s our list of five things to do in Squamish on a rainy day.

1. Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola

This may be your only opportunity to actually float in a cloud. Your ride on the Sea to Sky Gondola begins at sea level, and you slowly make your way up and into the clouds that hang low in the hills. You will see white below, above, all around, and it will feel as though you are suspended right there in that moment, in that cloud. If you are really fortunate, you will ride through and above the clouds only to emerge at the top to a cloudless sky. As the saying goes, “There is always sunshine above the clouds.”

Cloudy day on the Sea to Sky Gondola

Floating through the clouds on the Sea to Sky Gondola.

2. Get warm and cozy at the Squamish Library

If you do actually want to take a little break from the rain, than you should definitely check out the Squamish Library. They have a fireplace, comfy couches, and plenty of magazines and books to help your mind wander and your clothes dry. They have family story time three days a week, they’re open until 8:00 pm Monday to Thursday, and they often run a speaker series ranging in topics from local wildlife to health and adventure.

Shannon Falls in the rain

Taking in the views at Shannon Falls.

3. Don’t do anything differently

After all, rain is just water! Biking, hiking and running in the rain is a different experience altogether; creeks run where it’s usually dry and waterfalls sprout from the side of hills and small bluffs. If you live on the west coast, you probably own a waterproof jacket and umbrellas are cheap. So ask yourself honestly, when was the last time you went and jumped through a puddle for fun?

One of our favourite local trails for a rainy day hike is Alice Lake 4 Lakes Loop. Hike the entire loop for a 6-km (3.7-mi) adventure, or shorten it up and take a 1-km (0.6 mi) walk around Alice Lake.

Puddle jumping in Squamish

Splashing through puddles on a rainy day trail run.

4. Go on a coffee shop tour

Squamish is packed full of charming coffee shops with delicious coffee and tasty locally made treats. A rainy afternoon is a perfect time to head out on a “caffeine crawl” and see how many coffee shops you can find. You will be treated to some fantastic food and may even find your new favourite place to hang out. Check out our blog post on 7 Places to Eat in Squamish for a few of our favourites.

Coffee in Squamish

Enjoy a warm cup of coffee at a local coffee shop.

5. Go find snow.

If it’s raining in Squamish in the winter months, that means there is snow up in the mountains nearby! Grab a pair of snowshoes, or rent from a local retailer like Valhalla Pure or Escape Route, and go tromping in some fresh powder. One of the purest joys in life is making tracks in fresh snow and hearing the squeak of snow underfoot.

Some of our favourite local trails are Elfin Lakes Trail to the Red Heather Hut, or head out to the Callaghan area, only a 30-minute drive from Squamish, where you can enjoy a hot chocolate in the lodge after playing in the snow.

Snowshoeing near Squamish

Rain in Squamish means snow in the mountains.

Rain or shine, Squamish is a spectacular spot. So the next time you see the clouds building over the hills and know that they are bringing rain, you can be excited and ready to head out knowing that there is always something fun to do!