||Squamish is at the head of Howe Sound, about an hour north of Vancouver. BC Rail passes through
Squamish with tracks running from North Vancouver to Prince George. It also boasts a deep sea port. The
economy used to be based almost entirely on logging, but with over-use of the forest in the past, and slumping lumber and
pulp prices, the forestry sector has been hard hit by recent cut-backs.
On the other hand, tourism has been growing by leaps and bounds. Everyone driving north to Whistler passes
through Squamish. Many of those people stop for gas or meals in Squamish. The Squamish Spit attracts people looking for high-speed board sailing with its consistent winds all summer long. There are
now three golf courses with Garibaldi
Springs Golf Resort scheduled to open in July of 2004, along with the
Squamish Golf Course by Mamquam Road, and Furry Creek just south of town.
Whistler is just 45 minutes to the north. Skiing at Whistler and Blackcomb run from November to May, and then
reopens for summer skiing, hiking and downhill mountain biking. With the 2010 Winter Olympics coming to Vancouver
and Whistler, there will be huge improvements to the highway.
In the 1960's, a ski area was being developed on Brohm Ridge. It got as far as building a lodge and installing
the lift towers before it fell through. The project has been resurrected as Garibaldi at Squamish. It is still in
the planning stages, and going about meeting the various environmental requirements. It looks like this project
will be going ahead. If it does, it will give a significant boost to the Squamish economy.
The Royal Hudson used to be very popular
with the steam train going back and forth between North Vancouver and Squamish, but with cutbacks
at BC Rail, and maintenance
required on the Royal Hudson, it is no longer running. When it was running, one option was to
take the train to Squamish and return by water on the M. V. Britannia. Hiking attracts many people in Summer. The
2,000 foot Squamish Chief has world class rock climbing, and with a trail up the back, any hiker can see the
spectacular view from the top. The Squamish Smoke Bluffs, right beside downtown Squamish, is probably the most
climbed rock in Canada. Helicopter sightseeing is another way to see the mountains. There are excellent fishing
opportunities. Trail rides and river rafting are other summer activities.
With the lower mainland becoming more crowded, and commuting to Vancouver becoming ever-more frustrating,
Squamish is attracting people that would otherwise have a two hour drive to Vancouver each day, and residential
sales have been quite brisk.
Downtown Squamish has seen a major re-development over the last few years. It has gone from being not much more
than a logging
camp, and somewhere you had to pass through to get to Whistler, to a thriving and very pleasant community.
Brackendale is home to one of the largest populations of Bald Eagles in the world.
Profits from the sale of the
Eagles will go to help protect eagle habitats in the Squamish Valley.