October 2022 Vancouver Area Hike of the Month: Brohm Lake

View of the Tantalus Range from the Brohm Lake Trail

View of the Tantalus Range and the Cheakamus River valley. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

The quiet trails around Brohm Lake north of Squamish are perfect for fall with beautiful views of Brohm Lake, the Tantalus Mountains, and autumn colours in the Cheakamus River valley.

Trail Info: Moderate; 8 km loop; 150 m elevation gain; 3 hours; dogs allowed on leash.

Safety First: AdventureSmart recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. Check out our tips for safe fall hiking in Vancouver for more advice.

Getting There: From Vancouver, take Highway 1 west, then Highway 99 north through Squamish. A few minutes after you pass the turn-off for Alice Lake Provincial Park, look for the signed left turn into the parking area for Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest.

The Trail: While there are lots of trails at Brohm Lake, there is a large trail map at the parking lot and signs at every junction, so it’s easy to stay on track. If you are short on time or energy, you can just follow the loop around the lake. However, that means missing some of the best viewpoints.

To take a longer hike around the Brohm Lake area, start at the south end of the parking lot (opposite where you drove in) and follow the Bridge Trail as it squeezes between the edge of the lake and the highway. Cross the bridge over the marsh.

On the other side, turn left to continue along the Bridge Trail as it climbs through a beautiful forest of cedar and Douglas fir trees with lots of salal in the understory. Ignore a junction with the Alder Trail and stay on the Bridge Trail until it meets High Trail. Turn left on High Trail and follow it downhill to an old gravel road.

Cross the road and head uphill on the Cheakamus Loop Trail. This is an even older road that climbs gently through a very mossy regenerating forest. As you near the end of the loop you leave the road behind for a steeper and more rugged trail. Don’t miss several spectacular viewpoints here. You can look across to the snow-capped mountains of the Tantalus Range and down into the Cheakamus River Valley below you. The trees next to the river light up in reds and golds each autumn. Be careful as there is a sheer drop-off below you.

View of the Tantalus Mountains from Brohm Lake

View of the Tantalus Mountains. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

Continue down the trail, passing an old picnic table as you rejoin the old logging road. Go left onto another branch of the High Trail and follow it as it ascends through the forest. Turn left and follow the rough Tantalus View Trail uphill. It ascends a staircase and scrambles over a rocky outcropping to a great viewpoint across to the Tantalus Mountains. There is also an old fire lookout to explore.

Stairs to the Tantalus Viewpoint at Brohm Lake

Stairs to the Tantalus Viewpoint. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

When you have finished enjoying the view, retrace your steps back down the Tantalus View Trail, then turn left on the High Trail. A few minutes later, go left and downhill on the Connector Trail, ignoring the other branch of the High Trail going right. The trail heads down steeply to join the Brohm Lake Trail.

Turn left and follow the trail as it parallels the lake shore, climbing and dipping over numerous rock bluffs. A few faint side trails to the right lead to lakeside viewpoints, which are popular swimming spots in the summer. As you reach the north end of the lake, ignore the Thompson Trail and then Brohm Creek Trail branching off to the left and stay on the Brohm Lake Trail around the lake.

Forest trail around Brohm Lake

Forest trail around Brohm Lake. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

The trail climbs steeply to bypass a cliffy section. Unique wooden stairs and boardwalks take you around rock outcrops. Ignore a left turn onto the Powerline Trail and stay on the Brohm Lake Trail is winds through a rolling forest. In a few places, you can look down across the cliffs to the lake below you. Eventually, the trail descends gently and passes an outhouse as you arrive back at the parking lot t finish your loop hike.

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