Squamish and the Howe Sound - BC Canada
BC Canada
Ocean Port Hotel Squamish
Squamish Central Reservations is your complete guide to booking the perfect Squamish vacation.

Welcome to Squamish, BC - the "Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada".

city of squamishThis spectacular seaside, mountain community is located at the tip of Howe Sound just 45 minutes north of Vancouver and 45 minutes south of Whistler and will be central to the 2010 winter Olympics. Surrounded by the dramatic Coast Range mountains and Pacific Ocean, Squamish offers you and your family world class recreation.

Why Squamish? Squamish has been one of Canada’s “hidden gems” for many years, the incomparable beauty of this valley amazes visitors and residents alike. The geography and climate of the Squamish area offer not only tremendous physical beauty but also world-class recreation opportunities. In fact, Squamish is the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. From hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, bird watching, golfing and sightseeing to sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, white-water rafting and fishing there is truly something for everyone! To learn more about specific activities, check out our Activities Page.


Squamish also boasts the second highest number of residential professional artisans per capita in all of Canada! You can fill days exploring local art galleries, artists’ studios, the local Farmer’s Market and taking in performances by the Howe Sound Performing Arts Association. The Squamish Adventure Centre displays a book of many of the area’s artists and is a great starting point for art lovers.

The film industry has now discovered the Squamish area as well; many movies, television shows and commercials have been filmed here in recent years. Notibly, Free Willy 3, Insomnia, The Big Bank Theory, Double Jeopardy, Are We There Yet?, Walking Tall, X-Files, 3000 Miles to Graceland, Freddy Got Fingered, Andromeda, The Highlander, The Sentinel. Commercials for large companies like: Kellogg’s, Toyota, Ford, Ralph Lauren and Canadian Tire

Come to Squamish and learn why this spectacular seaside mountain town will not be kept secret for long!

Squamish History:

mount garibaldiOne needs to look back beyond the eras of logging and adventure tourism to truly get the feel for the Squamish Story. About 10,000 years ago, Howe Sound was being scourged by the recession of the last ice age and received its unique geologic character. The formation of Mount Garibaldi, one of many volcanic mountains in the Cascadia Mountain Range which includes Mount Cayley, Mount Meager, Mount St Helens, Mount Baker and Mount Rainier in Washington state in the U.S. It wasn't long after the ice receded that the human touch left its mark. Descendants of the aboriginal people who made the epic journey from Asia across the frozen Bering Strait and down the Alaskan Panhandle to Howe Sound, possibly as long as 5,000 years ago. the Sko-mish or Squamish people hunted, trapped, fished and raised their families in this lush Valley.

captain george vancouverThen comes the European connection, in June 1792 when British Explorer Captain George Vancouver and his crew sailed their ship "Discovery" into Howe Sound's Darrell Bay, just south of Squamish. He met and traded with the local native people, which was a friendly encounter of great interest to both parties. The “Discovery” set sail the following day having names the area “Head of Howe Sound” after Lord Howe a prominent commander in the British Navy. Traders, gold seekers and adventurers followed during the next century, but it wasn't until 1888 when Alec Robertson and his wife traveled out west from Manitoba, built a home and settled at the head of Howe Sound, that non-natives found a permanent home in Squamish. A year later Harry Judd and his wife Annie arrived from London Ontario. Judd cleared his land in Brackendale and built a dairy farm.

Forestry quickly surpassed farming as the foundation of the economy in Squamish. The Valley was a busy and prosperous place, connected with the growing city of Vancouver only by the sea. The next big change for Squamish was the completion of the railway from Squamish to Vancouver in 1956 and the Sea-to-Sky Highway a few years later. Adventurers like Jim Baldwin and Ed Cooper, who spent six weeks in 1961 scaling the Grand Wall of the Chief, brought worldwide media attention to the Valley. The influx of outdoor revelers grew when the resort of Whistler, formerly Alta Lake, first took baby steps toward adventure tourism in the late 60s.

Today, the Squamish story continues to unfold. Changes in the province's forest industry and the increase in outdoor recreation and tourism related economies are ringing in even more dramatic change. This beautiful Valley is slowly being discovered as North America's premiere outdoor Mecca with unparalleled quality and quantity of outdoor activities to be explored.

Come and take a look at historical Squamish and watch as history writes itself.


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