British Columbia Wildlife Watch - Lower Mainland Region (Squamish to Pemberton Viewing Sites)
copyright © A.L. Mol  2003
Binoculars Seagull Flying

return to home page


Within the Squamish to Pemberton corridor of the Lower Mainland Region, the following 11 viewing sites are identified.


Line

   Alice Lake Provincial Park

Several short trails provide access to several small lakes and hilltops.

Viewing Highlights - Woodpeckers, Steller's Jay, chickadees and nuthatches are common park dwellers. A Western Toad migration occurs at Fawn Lake in mid summer.

Directions - From Highway 99 just north of Squamish and Brackendale follow the park signs.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Garibaldi/Sunshine District
Box 220, Brackendale, B.C. Canada V0N 1H0
phone: (604) 898-3678
fax: (604) 898-4171
e-mail

Line

   Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park

Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park is nestled in the Coast Mountains, a good hours drive from Whistler.

Viewing Highlights - Phelix Creek flows through the campground area and into Birkenhead Lake. In September and October look for spawning Kokanee Salmon. Mountain Goat are occasionally seen on the cliffs near the park. Snowshoe Hare are often seen in the campground area.

Directions - Follow Highway 99 north from Whistler. In Pemberton follow signs to Mount Currie and then take the road to D'Arcy. From this intersection the turnoff to the park is 33 km. The park is another 17 km from this turnoff on a good quality, loose gravel road.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Garibaldi/Sunshine District
Box 220, Brackendale, B.C. Canada V0N 1H0
phone: (604) 898-3678
fax: (604) 898-4171
e-mail

Line

   Crabapple Creek

Crabapple Creek is located in Whistler with one section running along the Valley Trail. It is in this section that fish may be viewed.

Viewing Highlights - During May and June look for Rainbow Trout spawning in the creek. Kokanee Salmon may be observed in September and October.

Directions - From Highway 99 turn north onto Lorimer Road, heading away from Whistler Village. There is a light at this intersection. Continue on Lorimer Road down the hill to either Crabapple Drive or Whistler Cay Estates. The Valley Trail with views of the creek can be accessed at either of these locations.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Lower Mainland Region
10470 - 152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. Canada V3R 0Y3
phone: (604) 582-5200
fax: (604) 930-7119

Line

   Fee Creek Spawning and Rearing Channel

This site is located along Highway 99 where binocular logo signs mark its location.

Viewing Highlights - The man-made channels in this area provide important, year-round habitat to young salmon. When visiting, a silent observer along the channel will see many small fish darting in and out of cover.

Directions - The parking area for this site is located along the highway 10.7 km from the road junction in Mount Currie. Watch for the binocular logo signs on the highway.

For more information contact -

Pemberton Sportsmen's Wildlife Association
Box 221, Pemberton, B.C. Canada V0N 2L0
phone: (604) 894-6402
fax:

Line

   Garibaldi Provincial Park

Garibaldi Provincial Park offers opportunities to experience alpine meadows and to observe many different species of wildlife. It is a good hike into the best viewing areas.

Viewing Highlights - In addition to alpine meadows, look for Hoary Marmots and Common Pika. Several species of ptarmigan may be observed.

Directions - There are many access points to the park from both Squamish and Whistler. Consult BC Parks for access information.

For more information contact -

BC Parks, Garibaldi/Sunshine District
Box 220, Brackendale, B.C. Canada V0N 1H0
phone: (604) 898-3678
fax: (604) 898-4171
e-mail

Line

   Gates Creek Spawning Channel

The spawning channel at Gates Creek is an excellent place to observe spawning sockeye salmon in late summer and early fall. These fish have come up the Fraser River, through the Fraser Canyon and Hell's gate and finally through Seton and Anderson Lakes into Gates River. This facility was originally constructed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and is now managed by the local N'quatqua Band.

Viewing Highlights - Beginning in mid August Sockeye Salmon return to Gates Creek. There is a large fish ladder that provides fish with access from Gates River into the channel.

Directions - The spawning channel is located in Devine just south of D'Arcy. Turn right at the cemetery and old church 37.1 km from the highway junction in Mount Currie. Cross the one-lane bridge and the spawning channel is immediately on the right.

For more information contact -

N'quatqua Band
Box 88, D'Arcy, B.C. Canada V0N 1L0
phone: (604) 452-3221
fax:

Line

   Mamquam Spawning Channel

This series of spawning channels is located on the north side of the mamquam River just east of the Highway 99 bridge over the river.

Viewing Highlights - Spawning Coho and Chum Salmon may be observed in November and December.

Directions - From Squamish follow Highway 99 north to the bridge over the Mamquam River. About 0.3 km after crossing the bridge pull over and park. Walk the dyke to the back of the golf course and you will find the spawning channels are located along the dyke.

For more information contact -

Department of Fisheries and Oceans
#400 - 555 West Hastings, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6B 5G3
phone:
fax:

Line

   Millar Creek

Millar Creek is located in the southwestern portion of Whistler.

Viewing Highlights - Rainbow Trout may be observed spawning in May and June.

Directions - From Highway 99 south of Whistler Village, turn left (from northbound) onto Cheakamus Lake Road. The creek is just after the railroad tracks.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Lower Mainland Region
10470 - 152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. Canada V3R 0Y3
phone: (604) 582-5200
fax: (604) 930-7119

Line

   Squamish Estuary

The Squamish Estuary is located at the head of Howe Sound, a steep-walled fjord, and just one hour's drive north of Vancouver. Spectacular panoramic vistas provide a backdrop for a range of habitats, including deep marine, river, slough, intertidal mud flat, saltwater marsh, meadow, mature spruce forest, mixed forest, freshwater wetland, riparian and modified.

In addition to wildlife viewing, nature study and photography, this area offers other recreational opportunities, including wind surfing, sailing, paddling, river rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, running and fishing. A steep 1.5 hour hike up the Stawamus Chief trail provides a bird's eye view of the estuary.

Viewing Highlights - The late fall salmon runs of the Squamish River and its tributaries attract British Columbia's largest congregation of wintering Bald Eagle. The eagles are best viewed in December and January. Trumpeter Swan can also be seen on any winter day.

Throughout the year there is a wide range of birds that may be seen. The end of the estuary and Howe Sound are good places to look for ducks, geese, scoters, mergansers, loons and grebes. This area is alive with the calls of songbirds in the spring and summer. A careful observer will spot families in the trees and on the water.

Harbour Seal frequent the estuary and sometimes haul-out on log booms.

Directions - There are three easy access points to the estuary.

    Vancouver Street: From Highway 99 turn onto Cleveland Avenue, the main road into downtown Squamish. At the end of Cleveland Avenue turn right onto Vancouver Street. Where the road ends a wooden trail amp marks the way onto the estuary trails.
    Third Avenue: One block before Vancouver Street ends turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue straight across the narrow bridge to various estuary viewpoints.
    Squamish Estuary Dyke: From Highway 99, 1.5 km north of the Cleveland Avenue traffic light, turn left onto Industrial Way (Squamish Industrial Park). Continue to the end and turn right onto Queens Way. At the end of Queens way turn left onto Government Road. Cross the railroad tracks and continue straight for 1.3 km. Look for the estuary access sign and turn tight onto a gravel road that leads to the dyke road. Turn left and continue on the top of the dyke for 4 km through the estuary to the mouth of the Squamish River.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Lower Mainland Region
10470 - 152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. Canada V3R 0Y3
phone: (604) 582-5200
fax: (604) 930-7119

Line

   Squamish River (Eagle Run)

A large information shelter with many interpretive signs provides viewing information.

Viewing Highlights - This is an excellent location to observe Bald Eagle from December through mid February. Eagle Watch volunteers are located on-site during weekends with spotting scopes. This site is wheelchair accessible.

Directions - From Highway 99 just north of Squamish turn west onto Garibaldi Way. Follow the binocular logo signs right onto Government Road and continue to the site on the left side of the road. From Whistler follow the signs via Depot Road into Brackendale. Cross the railroad tracks and turn left onto Government Street. Continue to the site on the right side of the road.

For more information contact -

BC Environment, Lower Mainland Region
10470 - 152nd Street, Surrey, B.C. Canada V3R 0Y3
phone: (604) 582-5200
fax: (604) 930-7119

Line

   Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery

This hatchery is located a short drive from Squamish.

Viewing Highlights - Tanks and troughs contain young fish most of the year. During November and December spawning Coho and Chum Salmon may be observed next to the hatchery.

Directions - From Highway 99 north of Squamish follow the signs onto Squamish Valley Road at the Alice Lake Provincial Park turnoff. Turn right onto Paradise Valley Road 3.6 km from the highway. Continue another 4.9 km, passing the North Vancouver Outdoor School, over a one-lane bridge to Midnight Way. Turn right over the railroad tracks and then right again. It is 1.2 km to the hatchery.

For more information contact -

Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery
Box 477, Brackendale, B.C. Canada V0N 1H0
phone: (604) 898-3657
fax: (604) 898-5692
e-mail