Last Updated on September 21, 2021
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Murrin Provincial Park
Murrin Provincial Park is a small 25-hectare provincial park located between Britannia Beach and Squamish, and sits between the highway and Howe Sound. As a popular rock-climbing destination, over 350,000 visitors enjoy the park every year. Browning Lake is another popular feature of Murrin Park and is a well-known spot for a picnic, swimming, fishing, or an easy walk around the lake. Murrin Park is also a great hiking destination, with one of our favorite viewpoints along the sea to sky highway.
Murrin Loop Trail – Quercus Viewpoint
There is a steep hiking trail, the Murrin Loop trail, that climbs up to the Quercus Viewpoint, and offers a continuation to Jurassic Ridge. Both trails have spectacular views overlooking Howe Sound. The views will take your breath away!
After the Quercus viewpoint, you can also continue onto Jurassic Ridge. You’ll find more spectacular views; however, you will also reach some exposed sections with big drop-offs. This section can be dangerous with young kids and is the most difficult part of the trail. Ensure you are confident in your decision and have extra hands to help with kids if you would usually be outnumbered. The rope section near these drop-offs along big and slippery boulders is no joke. We brought an extra pair of hands with us for our then three-year-old, and Olivia was securely in a baby carrier.
Time: 2 hours
Round-Trip: 2.4 km
Elevation Gain: 160 meters
Season: February – October, possibly year-round depending on weather conditions.
Dog Friendly: No
Distance From Vancouver: 45 minutes
The trail is short, however, it is a steep climb. The steepness and exposed areas during the descent on the Jurassic Ridge section make this an intermediate hike.
We will cover the trail here as if you are setting out to do both the Murrin Park Loop trail and Jurassic Ridge. However, if you do not want to complete both viewpoints, it is possible to just do the Murrin Loop trail. If you bypass Jurassic Ridge, the route is only 2km with a 130m elevation gain.
From the parking lot, walk towards Browning Lake. You will pass the park map and follow the trail along the lakeside. When you pass the beach area, you will notice a trail to the right, with a sign marking Jurassic Ridge and Quercus Viewpoint.
You will enter the forest and begin to hike up the hill before a descent and arriving at another junction in the forest. Go right at the junction; the trail is best done in a counterclockwise direction.
It will be a lot of hard work during the steep climb along with the dirt and wooden steps. It can get quite muddy in the off-season. The stairs climb along with some impressive rock faces.
Not too far into the hike, you will reach another junction. Continue straight towards the viewpoint and you will come out of the forest and climb up onto the rock, where you will find a wooden bench with a spectacular view. If you continue past the bench, you should go to the end of the rocky buff where you will find our favorite view along the Murrin Park Loop Trail, the Quercus Viewpoint. You can look down along Highway 99, see mountains, and down towards Browning Lake.
Walk back to the trail and return to the junction. Continue in the opposite direction to continue the loop. You will soon reach another junction where you can join the Jurassic Ridge trail (see disclaimer above). If you do not wish to continue on, the Murrin Loop trail will take you back down towards the lake. To join the Jurassic Ridge trail, go right and take the steep hike up to Jurassic Ridge.
You’ll be greeted by peek-a-boo views through the trees as you make your way up to Jurassic Ridge. You’ll reach your first rope assist to help you climb a small rocky section, and then follow the trail through the forest along a well-worn path. After a short descend down, you will arrive at one of the spectacular views along Jurassic Ridge, and our favorite spot to stop for lunch. The view is like what you found at the Quercus Viewpoint. However, it is at a higher elevation.
The next rope assist is where it can be a little sketchy with smooth rocks to descend, with big drop-offs. Use extra caution on this part. Shortly after this section, you will find steel rods embedded into the rock, forming a ladder. Climb down the ladder and follow the trail a little further until you reach another junction.
Go left at this junction because if you go right, you are in for a longer route back to the lake. You will soon come to yet another junction near a bridge. This junction is also where the Murrin Park Loop Trail meets up if you chose to not continue onto Jurassic Ridge. Go right and you will pass a couple of popular climbing areas. The kids loved stopping to watch the climbers for a few minutes and they were super friendly answering some questions the kids had.
Next, you will cross over a small wooden bridge and descend between two impressive and massive rock faces. You will come across another viewpoint that looks out towards Howe Sound. Continuing on, you’ll go down some stairs and pass more climbers before the trail reaches the last junction. Go left to return to Browning Lake and follow the forest to where you started the loop, and out of the forest back to the lake.
Related Story – The Ultimate Guide To Kid Friendly Hikes Near Vancouver
Know Before You Go
- On beautiful days the parking lot will fill up fast. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.
- Since it is a popular spot for climbers, please be considerate when you are passing nearby crags. It is important that they can communicate properly with each other for safety.
- With all of these possibly confusing directions, you may find it easier to have AllTrails downloaded on your phone. You can save the map offline, so even when you are out of service range, you can still see where you are along the trail. It can be so helpful!
Directions and Parking
Murrin Provincial Park is just off of the Sea to Sky Highway. Before the parking lot entrance, you will notice Browning Lake. The gates are open from 7 am to 10 pm. Parking does fill up fast on weekends and gorgeous sunny days, so arrive early so you are not disappointed; the parking lot is not a big one. Do not park illegally or you will be towed.
To reach the parking lot, drive along the sea to sky highway towards Squamish. Shortly after you pass Britannia Beach and most recognizably the Brittania Mine Museum, you will see signage for Murrin Provincial Park. There is a left turn lane to enter the parking lot. If you reach Shannon Falls, you have gone too far.
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