After a year of living in Squamish there is no doubt about it, Squamish photography rocks! The list of reasons as to why Squamish is so stunning for photography could be endless so I have decided to keep it to a small number, for now. Here we go.
Squamish Photography Rocks #1 -The Night Sky
After spending a winter of commuting up and down the gorgeous Sea to Sky highway for work in Whistler it was a welcome relief when spring and summer broke. With the change in the seasons came my first experience of the Aurora Borealis in Squamish. I have seen it a few times over the years in Whistler and camping in the mountains near Pemberton. Sitting at home on my couch, I saw a tweet saying that activity was strong. I hadn’t explored the area much to find a good view north.
Obviously the best spot was going to be on top of the Stawamus Chief (the big rock on the right of the photo), however, I sure wasn’t hiking up there at 1100pm at night. So, it was a quick drive around to try and locate a spot. I ended up at this lookout on the side of the road just south of Squamish looking back at the town. The lights made it a little hard get the exposure that I wanted but in the end, I was fairly happy with the result. I’ll include a link at the end of the post to the time-lapse I created that night.
Squamish Photography Rocks #2 – The Weather!
One of the pleasures of living in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains is the speed at which the weather changes. It is ridiculous. Storms blow in and out at a rapid rate. Right now it is cloudy with sunny patches. This morning when I woke about it was a torrential downpour, biblical almost, and apparently we are headed back that way tonight with winds of up to 80 km/h. Clouds and storms moving this quickly offer some pretty amazing opportunities to snap a photo or two.
This shot of one the most famous landmarks in Squamish, The Stawamus Chief was a by-chance kind of shot. I was preparing to head out for dinner and looked out the window and saw the epic colorful arch stretching over the Chief. I jumped in the car, raced down to a spot where I thought might produce this kind of perspective. Rapidly, I snapped some shots, jumped back in the car and made it just in time for dinner. Fortunately, a couple of the photographs turned out nicely.
Squamish Photography Rocks #3 – The Water!
One of the great things about living in a province like British Columbia is the amount of water. It’s everywhere. There is an ocean, the pacific. Too many rivers and streams to keep count over. My favourite thing about several rivers and streams is that in mountainous terrain that means waterfalls. The drive from Squamish to Vancouver has some awesome waterfalls along the way. Shannon Falls (just south of Squamish), which is visible on the right side of the double rainbow photo above, makes it hard to keep your eyes on the road as you pass it.
About 30 minutes north of Squamish and 20 minutes south of Whistler sits Brandywine falls. The river crashes over a crumbling hole in the earth into the bowl below. It’s worth a stop no matter what time of year or what the weather (they do close the gates to the park for the winter months).
As I mentioned, these are just a few of the reasons that make this area incredible. The list of reasons could go on. Next time I bring up the reasons Squamish photography rocks I’ll probably mention things like eagles, mountains, mountain biking, kite-surfing, rock-climbing, lakes, forests…well you get the point.
Until next time,
Joffre Lakes is a beautiful picturesque hike. Consequently, it is a must if you find yourself in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains.
Not only does the walk by Joffre Lakes include;
- Beautiful trees
- Three alpine lakes, each more stunning than the last
- Canadian views and scenery in all directions
- Epic glaciers and snow capped mountains
- A manicured path
- Occasional wildlife
It also has a steep, dramatic waterfall situated between the second and third lakes. The stream from the upper lake to the middle lake crashes down violently as soon as it begins its descent. In this particular spot the water thunders over a tiered set of steps creating a frenetic scene. The water races down to the middle lake where it finally rests, if only for a moment, once it hits the lake.
There is hope at the bottom of the biggest waterfall – Patrick Ness
In my opinion the hike is worth it just for this image. However, I’ll be honest, I am utterly addicted to waterfalls.
Details on Joffre Lakes
Drive along highway 99, through Pemberton and Mount Currie, following signs for Lillooet. After driving through Mount Currie and over the rive next to some amazing views of Lillooet Lake, you’ll start climbing a steep road with many switchbacks. Joffre Lakes parking lot is hard to miss. If it is full, there is over flow parking downhill of the main lot.
The hike is roughly 11km, allow 3-4 hours for the round trip. It is a maintained path however it is steep in parts. Joffre Lakes is actually one of the few hikes in this area that is dog friendly, they must be kept on a leash.
The first lake is a very short walk from the parking lot. If a hike isn’t on the cards, stop in and check this lake out at the very least.