Located close to the community of Brackendale in Squamish, Alice Lake Provincial Park allows visitors a chance to partake in a variety of activities including walking and hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing, swimming and canoeing.
Of the four lakes in Alice Lake Provincial Park (980 acres / 397 hectares), Alice Lake is the one most suitable for paddling, especially canoeing (motorized boats are not permitted on any of the lakes).
There are launch sites at each end of the lake beside the picnic areas. Squamish is close to sea level, which means that the small lakes in the area actually warm up during summer months. Alice Lake is the biggest and has a sandy beach at both ends, changing rooms, and hot showers. Freshwater lake fishing from the dock at Alice Lake may not be everyone’s speed but there is a chance you’ll hook a trout in these stocked waters, especially in May and June.
Lakeside and hillside trails await visitors in Alice Lake Provincial Park. In keeping with the park’s easygoing nature, you can make as much of them as you care. One trail blends into the other in a pleasing fashion, and you’re never far from a viewpoint and one of four lakes – Alice, Stump, Fawn, and Edith – found within the park. The Four Lakes Trail is 6 km in length and takes a circuitous route past all four lakes. The trail takes you through Douglas fir, western red cedar and other coniferous and deciduous trees. Some of the birds that can be seen are warblers, Steller’s jay, chickadees and robins. Small animals such as raccoons, squirrels and chipmunks inhabit the forest and are more apt to be seen by visitors. A few box turtles have been spotted sunning themselves on logs at Alice Lake and Stump Lake. The trail is closed to cycling from May 1st to September 15th.
DeBeck’s Hill presents the steepest challenge in the park. An old logging road winds its way for about a mile up DeBeck’s Hill from the south end of Alice Lake. Follow it to the top and in less than an hour you’ll be treated to a great view of the Squamish region, including Howe Sound, the Tantalus glaciers, and the Cheakamus River boring its way through a steep-sided granite canyon. The Squamish River also winds its way down the valley floor.
On Mike’s Loop trail there is a fork that heads up to The Overlook outside the park. Jacks Trail and The Tracks from Hell Trail (links then to Mashiter Trail) head out of the park to the Garibaldi Highlands. Bob MacIntosh Memorial Trail heads up out of the park and past the power lines to the Deadend Loop, Made in the Shade, Rock N’ Roll and Ed’s Bypass. These trails then follow along the power lines to Rob’s Corners and Cliff’s Corners, which then link up with the Tracks from Hells Trail or the Mashiter Trail.
Alice Lake Provincial Park is almost as much a favourite with mountain-bike riders as the Stawamus Chief is with climbers. Because it seldom occurs, mountain bikers get a warm feeling when invited to ride trails in public parks. It is hoped that this helps foster a better rapport between cyclists and those on foot. This is the scenario at Alice Lake Provincial Park. Although not large when compared to neighbouring Garibaldi Provincial Park, Alice Lake is just the right size for a rock-and-rolling 7.4-mile (12-km) trail that everyone can enjoy 10 months of the year.
In July and August, campers take precedence in the park, and the Four Lakes Loop Trail is closed to mountain bikers. It’s cool. Everyone understands. Time to play elsewhere. But as soon as ‘noncrunch time’ (BC Parks’ terminology) at Alice Lake Provincial Park returns, so do the bikers.
Many visitors often come to Alice Lake because of what lies within the park. The diversity of both plants and animal life is often noted, and many stop to observe the bald eagles, as Alice Lake is situated close to Brackendale, home to the largest population of bald eagles in North America.
Alice Lake Provincial Park provides 108 campsites as well as walk/cycle-in campsites. The camp also provides two group campsites. Facilities at the park include that of water, flush toilets, pit toilets, two shower facilities located in the campground. Campsites 17 and 18 are also wheelchair accessible. Campground trails are wheelchair accessible and the Lake Trail around Alice Lake is also wheelchair accessible. There are wheelchair accessible picnic tables.
There are kayak rentals and instruction available from May through Labour Day. No motorized boats permitted. No scuba diving or snorkelling opportunities with the park, however there are excellent diving opportunities at nearby Porteau Cove Provincial Park. No climbing or rock climbing opportunities within Alice Lake park, but there are extensive world-class climbing areas at nearby Squamish.
A hush prevails over this lushly forested campground. In part this is due to the thick canopy of western hemlock that shelters much of the park. If you’re lucky, one of the sites near both the lake and the hot showers will be vacant. Successive rows of pleasantly spaced campsites spiral up the hillside from the lake. Best viewing of the open sky and cosmic wonders (such as a moonrise over the peaks in nearby Garibaldi Provincial Park) is done from the beach. Alice Lake Park is predictably busy in summer. Open year round with services and fees collected from March to October – no fee or services provided after October 31st.
Alice Lake Provincial Park is located 13km north of Squamish off Highway 99, near the community of Brackendale. The park is easily found, as it is 71km north of Lions Gate Bridge in North Vancouver.
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