BC Day Hikes

Hike to Crooked Falls in Squamish

Crooked Falls in Squamish

When you think of waterfalls in Squamish, you think of Shannon Falls or maybe Brandywine Falls. Those are both amazingly tall waterfalls with easy tourist-in-flipflops-friendly walks to a viewing platform, overflowing parking lots and tons of people with selfie sticks.. But what if I told you there were other awesome waterfalls in Squamish that you could actually hike to, then have them all to yourself? Welcome to Crooked Falls in Squamish!

This waterfall is interesting because… well it’s crooked, like the name. In cascades down the Sigurd Creek directly into a rock bluff, where it makes a sharp 90 degree turn before flowing downhill.  And you get to stand on the rock bluff! (I shot the video from there.) It’s a bit of a drive to get there, but the hike isn’t too difficult and the views are certainly worth it.

 

Driving Directions:

Click on the map for full driving directions from Vancouver. (But if you do use these directions, be aware that you will lose cell service outside Squamish so you’ll need an off-line version of the map).

Drive highway 99 to Squamish. North of Squamish turn west (left) on to Squamish Valley road – this is the same intersection as the entrance to Alice Lake Provincial Park, but you want the road on the other side of the highway.  Follow this road to a bridge over the Cheakamus River. Immediately after the bridge the road forks – go left to stay on the Squamish Valley road. The road has speed bumps as it passes through the Cheakamus Indian Reserve. Follow this road for about 19km past some homes and ranches to the end of the pavement.

Past here you will be on the Squamish Forest Service Road, which is gravel and can be dusty, but any 2WD drive car can make it to the trailhead. About 1km after the road turns to gravel, watch for a big bridge on your left – it may be signed Ashlu Main Forest Service Road or Squamish Riverside Campground. Turn left to cross the big bridge, go past the campground (on your right), then cross another smaller bridge. Stay on the main Ashlu road for another 2km or so, then cross two smaller bridges over the Ashlu river. Right after the second bridge, park your car. The overgrown logging road heading uphill on the lefthand side of the road is the trailhead (and it has a sign that says Sigurd Trail).

Sigurd Creek Trailhead - Crooked Falls

Sigurd Creek Trailhead

 

The Hike

Distance: 7km round trip

Elevation gain: About 400m

Hikeable all year round since maximum elevation is around 500m so you are unlikely to encounter snow in the winter.  Best in the spring if you want to see the falls at maximum flow.

The BCMC (British Columbia Mountaineering Club) built and maintains the trail as it accesses some mountaineering and scrambling objectives higher up the mountain. The trail is well-built and well marked with orange squares so it is easy to follow. From the trailhead where you parked your car walk about 15 minutes uphill on the old road. At a switchback where the road curves right, look for a trail heading left with a “Sigurd Trail” sign.

Sigurd Trail sign - Crooked Falls

Sign marking the left turn off the old road

 

At this point you are on a narrow trail that sometimes widens up enough for you to tell that you are on another, even older road. You’ll pass below a huge rock wall covered in dripping moss and get glimpses of the Squamish valley through the trees. After a few hundred meters you’ll pass another trail sign indicating that the trail heads sharply up the hill.

Sigurd Creek Trail - Crooked Falls

Trail sign points uphill – the climbing starts here

 

The trail climbs steeply uphill for a few minutes before popping out on a rocky bluff with a great view of the Squamish River valley.

Squamish River Valley from the hike to Crooked Falls

The view of the Squamish River Valley

 

Past the viewpoint the trail climbs steeply with a few breaks and passes lots of mossy rock walls, a giant boulder and a few patches of more mellow forest.

Sigurd Trail to Crooked Falls

Giant boulder along the trail

 

Sigurd Trail to Crooked Falls

Walking under mossy rock walls

 

After about an hour of hiking you’ll come to a junction. The trail to the falls heads off to the left, while the trail to the right travels all the way up into the alpine to the mountaineering routes on Sigurd Peak and Pelion Mountain and Ossa Mountain.

Sigurd Trail to Crooked Falls

Signs at the trail junction

 

From the junction Crooked Falls is only a few hundred meters away. The trail to the falls sidehills along on some steep slopes and loses a little bit of elevation. As you get closer you can start to hear the roar of the falls.

 

The Falls

The trail will take you to the main (central) viewpoint for the Crooked Falls which is also the closest you can get to the falls. In the spring when snowmelt is at it’s peak, the falls are spectacular and kick up a lot of spray so it’s hard to keep your camera dry, let alone yourself – it’s a bit like walking too close to a sprinkler! When we were there it was so wet that even though it hadn’t rained in weeks, there were puddles and mud at the viewpoints from all the spray.

Crooked Falls in Squamish

The view of Crooked Falls from the main (central) viewpoint

 

If you head steeply downhill to the left of the main viewpoint for a few meters you’ll emerge on to a rocky outcropping – this is the left viewpoint (which you can see from the main viewpoint). You have a slightly more pulled back view of the falls from here, but if anything, it’s even wetter.

Crooked Falls in Squamish

It’s pretty hard to keep the lens dry at Crooked Falls

 

For yet another perspective you can take a faint trail heading right from near the main viewpoint. This trail goes downhill a few meters to a small gully back at the base of Crooked Falls. You can scramble down nearly to water level to a point where it feels like you are just behind the falls. You can even look out across the falls to the mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. How cool is that?

Crooked Falls in Squamish

Looking out from behind the Falls

 

Once you are done seeing the falls from all three viewpoints, retrace your steps back down the trail to your car. After your hike you can drive back towards the Squamish River to find a nice place put your feet in the river and enough the views.

Squamish River

Apres-hike activities on the Squamish River

 

Have you hiked to Crooked Falls in Squamish? Do you have any other underrated Sea to Sky waterfalls to share?

 

More Things to do Near Squamish:

Photo Essay: A Winter Weekend in Squamish

Photo Essay: Garibaldi Lake in Early Winter

Elfin Lakes in Fall

Garibaldi Alternatives: Alpine Backpacking in BC

More Waterfall Hikes

Fraser Valley Waterfall Hike Road Trip

 

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Get off the beaten path in Squamish, BC: Hike to Crooked Falls like a local Hike to Crooked Falls in Squamish, British Columbia. Get off the beaten path with this locals hike. Hike to a secret waterfall near Squamish, BC. A waterfall hike in the Sea to Sky region near Vancouver.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Zuzia Wodzynska
    September 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I just wanted to thank you for your post! I grew up out here and do lots of hiking and exploring but somehow never heard of Crooked Falls nor known anyone who did. Your directions were really easy to follow and the photos were helpful too. And the falls themselves were STUNNING! My favourite ones so far, probably because they’re fairly big but you can still get so close. Can’t wait to bring my friends out there. So thanks again for sharing that!

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      September 17, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Zuzia, I’m glad you found the directions helpful. Crooked Falls is one of my favourite waterfalls too and I’m also surprised more people don’t know about it. It’s in the popular 103 hikes book (as part of the Sigurd Creek trail) so I don’t know how it has remained so unknown!

  • Reply
    Jr
    September 2, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Good guide, followed this the other day! What a great hike and i only saw one other person!!

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      September 17, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Jr. I’m happy to hear you had a great hike and that this trail is still fairly quiet. You’ll have to come back in the spring to see the falls when they are really roaring!

  • Reply
    Memories of 2016 | Happiest Outdoors
    December 23, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    […] waterfall that you can view from multiple vantage points. I wrote a complete trail guide for hiking to Crooked Falls if you need […]

  • Reply
    Liv
    May 30, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    My Fiancé and I hiked to Crooked Falls this past weekend based on your recommendation and review.
    It is definitely up their with the best of them and we have hiked the majority in and around this part of BC.
    The hike itself was satisfyingly challenging with such pretty sights along the way! Then to see the amazing falls was the icing on the cake 🙂
    Highly recommended !!

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      June 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks awesome Liv! I bet the falls were really going at this time of year!

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