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The Most Insane Places to Watch the Sunset in Squamish

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The Best Spots to Watch the Sunset in Squamish

Squamish is a small town on the way from Vancouver to Whistler with insanely beautiful views! If you skip Squamish while on a road trip to Whistler, you are missing out. Apart from the endless list of adventurous activities to do, Squamish also has the some really awesome spots to watch the sunset or sunrise from. Both sunset and sunrise is the most magical part of the day, so if you are able to get out to an awesome viewpoint to watch one, your day will start and end well.

In this guide, I will tell you the best places to watch the sunset from in Squamish and also provide tips on what you should bring along with you. All of these sunset spots are also great views in Squamish to enjoy during the day.

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Tips for Watching the Sunset in Squamish

A lot of the time when you stay at a viewpoint to watch the sunset, it means that you will be hiking back in the dark and the temperature will drop. Make note of these important tips for the next time you venture out to watch the sunset.

  • Always tell someone where you are going
  • Bring a headlamp for when it gets dark. Our headlamps are from Nitecore and have really great settings from night hiking!
  • Bring extra layers. It will get cold once the sun goes down – EG: fleece and puffer jacket, beanie
  • Bring Mosquito Repellent – The mozzies get worse at sunset!
  • Like anytime you head outdoors in BC, bring bear spray, just in case.

8 of the Best Places in Squamish to Watch the Sunset

These are 8 of the best places in Squamish to watch the sunset. Some of these are hikes and some spots you can drive right up to. All of them are epic! You can use the map below to find each of the spots.

Click here to open the map in Google Maps!

📌 Planning a trip to Whistler? Why not stop off in Squamish for some adventures! Check out this list of fun things to do in Squamish!

1. Quercus Viewpoint on the Murrin Loop Trail

Distance: 1.8km loop 
Time: 1.5hrs 
Elevation: 160metres 
From Vancouver: 45mins 
Dog Friendly: Yes on leash, however prohibited from the main beach and picnic area 
Toilets: Yes at the carpark

couple standing at Quercus Viewpoint at sunset along the Murrin Loop Trail

The Murrin Loop Trail is one of our favourite hikes to watch the sunset from as it is such a short and easy hike at only 1.8km loop and yet the view overlooking Howe Sound framed by mountains is incredible! The sunset from this viewpoint turns a beautiful dreamy soft pink and purple colour.

The Murrin Loop Trail is a 10 minute drive from Squamish. Parking is free, however make sure you are out of the carpark by 11pm as the gates are locked from 7am – 11pm.

2. The Top of the Sea to Sky Gondola

The suspension bridge at the Sea to Sky Gondola

You can park in the carpark and get the Gondola all the way to the top of the Sea to Sky overlooking the Chief, Howe Sound and Squamish. Grab a beer and some food from the Co-Pilot Café and sit outside to watch the sunset over the epic view! Alternatively, you can hike all the way up to the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, but it is quite the grind.

3. Smoke Bluffs

Distance: 3.5km round trip
Time: 1 hour
Elevation: 210m
From Vancouver: 1 hour
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes in the parking lot and along the trail

Couple sitting at Smoke Bluffs viewpoint overlooking Squamish

This is one of our favourite easy viewpoints to get to for a sunrise or sunset in Squamish. The views from Smoke Bluffs overlook the Sea to Sky Highway, Squamish and Howe Sound and you can even see the Chief from here!

4. Porteau Cove

Man sitting on rock at Porteau Cove at sunset

There’s nothing like a beach sunset to end the day. Porteau Cove is a 20 minute drive from Squamish Town Centre and has day use picnic areas that you can use for a sunset picnic. Alternatively, you can bring along your own picnic blanket and sit on the pebble beach. You could even go for a swim in the water. It is quite common to be approached by seals when swimming at Porteau Cove so keep a look out.

You can park in the day-use parking lot. The park is open from 7am to 11pm so make sure you pay attention to these hours so that you don’t get locked in.

There is also a campground at Porteau Cove if you want to stay overnight. The campground has 60 campsites altogether. 44 of these have electric hook-ups and 16 are walk-in sites. The campground also has some facilities such as a shower and washroom building and an outdoor kitchen with a covered seating area. As well as the campground, there are a couple of cabins right on the waterfront which you can stay in. You can book the cabins at Porteau Cove here!

5. Slhanay Peak

Distance: 5.8km round trip
Time: 3-4 hours
Elevation: 676m
From Vancouver: 1 hour
Dog Friendly: Yes
Toilets: Yes – located in the parking lot when you first turn off the Sea to Sky Highway. There are no toilets at the trailhead or along the hike.

Man sitting on cliff on the edge of Slhanay Peak in Squamish

Slhanay Peak overlooks the Chief and is a less well known but still one of the best hikes in Squamish as the views are incredible and the sunset from both the halfway viewpoint and top viewpoint is awesome! Make sure you remember your headlamp for the hike back down in the dark!

6. The Sea to Sky Highway

The Sea to Sky Highway has some awesome viewpoint stops where you can see the gorgeous mountains and Howe Sound from. One of these spots about a 15 minute drive from Squamish is Tantalus Lookout.

There is no hiking involved for this viewpoint. You can just pull over and park in the parking lot and stop for some photos. This is a great spot to stop for sunset if you are on your way home from Whistler at the end of the day.

7. The Squamish River

The Squamish River at sunset

Find a spot along the river and enjoy the sunset, or head over to the Watershed Grill and grab a bite to eat! If you have ever watched the popular Netflix show, Virgin River, you might recognise the Watershed Grill as the exterior is used as Jack’s Bar in the show!

Virgin River is also filmed in other beautiful places in Squamish. You can watch the sunset from the restaurant, sit on one of the benches next to the river, or bring along a picnic and find a quiet spot somewhere.

8. The Summit of The Chief

Distance: Peak 1: 4km, Peak 2: 5km, Peak 3: 7km return
Time: 4-6 hours
Elevation: Peak 1: 535m, Peak 2: 580m, Peak 3: 627m
From Vancouver: 1 hour
Dog Friendly: Yes, but the trail includes ladders and chains so you will have to carry your dog up certain sections.
Toilets: Yes, at the trailhead

Man standing on the First Peak of the Chief

This is a less relaxing choice of sunset location, but the view from the Chief is incredible! You can head up to the first peak for an amazing sunset overlooking Squamish and Howe Sound. There’s no need to go further in our opinion. Don’t forget your headlamp for the way back down!

Our Thoughts

Squamish and its surrounding areas are full of beautiful places to watch the sunset. Whether you want to go for a sunset hike, or just chill out at an easy to get to viewpoint, Squamish has it all!

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