The Murrin Loop Trail, just outside Squamish, British Columbia, is an awesome shorter hike that offers incredible views from Quercus Viewpoint. We are always big fans of hikes that are relatively easy but have great payoffs. This Murrin Provincial Park hike is perfect for enjoying the sunset from the top and allowing you to be back in the car park before the light completely disappears.
This trail winds upwards through the forest and up to Quercus Viewpoint, where you have beautiful views of Howe Sound and the surrounding mountains. Depending on the route you take, there are also some fun technical sections for you to tackle on the trail as well. This is also one of our favourite winter hikes near Vancouver and can be completed all year round.
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Murrin Loop Trail Overview
How to Get to Murrin Park Loop Trail
Murrin Provincial Park is only a 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver and a 10-minute drive from Squamish. From downtown Vancouver, head over the Lions Gate Bridge and then head west along the Trans-Canada Highway following signs for Whistler and Squamish.
The entrance to the car park at Murrin Park Loop is 9 kilometres before Squamish on the left hand side of the road as you drive from Vancouver. The park is well sign posted and there are plenty of parking spots available here, although it can get very busy at the weekend. Parking here is free although the car park is closed from 11pm – 7am.
Murrin Loop Trail
At the far end of the car park there are a couple of pit toilets and an information board from the park. This is the entrance to the park and where the trail begins. Walk passed the sign and alongside Browning Lake. The lake is perfect for a swim, especially after completing the Loop Trail. There are plenty of picnic benches next to the lake where you can stop for a bite to eat or just stop and watch the world go by.
The actual trail head for the Murrin Park Loop Trail is easy to miss. It is on the right hand side just after you pass through the day use area by the edge of the lake. A small wooden sign on the right hand side of the path directs you towards Quercus Viewpoint. Follow this trail to the right over a short and steep hill that then drops down just as sharply on the other side.
At the bottom of this hill there is a junction. You can follow the trail in either direction but we recommend heading right at the junction and completing the loop counter-clockwise. When you turn right at the junction it is a steep climb for around 10 minutes along a mixture of natural and man-made stairs. The stairs climb along the edge of some impressive rock faces.
After a short climb the trail levels out briefly and you come face to face with Quercus Rock, which is a popular spot for rock climbers. This is a huge flat rock face and watching people climbing up the face really puts the size of the rock into perspective. At the base of the rock turn right to follow the trail up towards the viewpoint.
Towards the top of the rock there is another junction. Right will take you along the rest of the Loop Trail, but go straight to reach the viewpoint.
The view from the top of Quercus Rock is awesome as you look straight down Howe Sound with mountains on either side of you. You also get a cool view of the Sea to Sky Highway as it cuts through the sea of trees below. There is a wooden bench up here where you can take a load off and enjoy the views.
We recommend coming here at sunset and this is an epic spot to watch it from as the sky and the surrounding mountains change colours as the sun goes down and bathes everything in golden light.
You can explore the top of the rock as it is quite large. The left hand side drops away steeply as this is where the rock climbers ascend.
As you make your way towards the front of the viewpoint there are a few different places to sit and take in the scenery if the wooden bench is already taken. We found a cool spot right at the front of the rock which drops off to the trees below and was a perfect place to relax for a while before completing the trail.
Once you have had your fill of epic mountain vistas, you can head back to the junction just before the viewpoint and turn left to follow the loop. After a few minutes there is a junction where you can go straight to complete the loop or go right to climb up to Jurassic Ridge. The easier option is to follow the Murrin Loop back to the car park but we really recommend going up to Jurassic Ridge.
It’s another steep climb to reach the next viewpoint but it only takes around 10 minutes and is absolutely worth the effort. When you reach the first peak there is a cool view through the trees but we were a little disappointed at first. But we continued along the trail until we reached a second peak which completely opened up and offered more spectacular views of the beautiful surroundings.
There are a couple of cool spots to stop at close to the second peak where the view opens up. Pick your favourite and stop for a water break and give your legs a quick break. While we had to share Quercus Viewpoint with a couple of other groups, there was nobody else up on Jurassic Ridge which was amazing.
The route down from the ridge was also fun with a few more technical sections. There is a steep section of open rock with a rope attached which you can use to guide yourself down. There are also some metal rebar stairs hammered into the rocks closer to the bottom of Jurassic Ridge. You will need to use all four limbs to make your way down, but we found it to be a really fun way to get down from such a cool spot.
Once you reach the forest floor again you will come to a junction between Cedars, Jurassic Ridge and the Loop Trail. Go left here to follow the Loop Trail back to the car park. Along the way there is one last viewpoint with a wooden bench tucked in amongst the trees offering similar views from a slightly lower perspective.
The remainder of the Loop Trail is relatively easy and there are lots of signs to help you make it back to the lake to complete the trail. Turn left when the trail leads you back to the lake and this will take you back towards the car park.
This loop took us 1 hour 30 minutes with plenty of stops to take photos, so it could be completed quicker.
Check out these great places to stay in Squamish
While we are always big fans of camping when visiting Squamish, there are also plenty of cool places to stay for all budgets.
Budget: Squamish Adventure Inn Hostel – A great option for anyone on a tight budget. This hostel is a great place to meet fellow explorers and has an awesome outdoor garden and patio to enjoy the epic sunsets. A daily shuttle services nearby attractions in the summer and Whistler in the winter.
Mid-range: Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company – Is there any better place to stay than at a craft brewery? The Inn is in a fantastic location and has awesome rustic rooms. You can also hang out in the sauna or grab a massage after a full day hiking.
Luxury: Executive Suites Hotel and Resort – This hotel has an indoor and an outdoor pool, a gym, and best of all, a hot tub. There are few better places to relax in after spending your day in the mountains.
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The Murrin Loop Trail is a short and moderately easy trail with beautiful views straight down Howe Sound. It’s the perfect place to catch an epic sunset if you are in and around Squamish. We highly recommend this trail and it’s one of our favourite short hikes in the area.
Have you completed the Loop Trail recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Looking for more hikes around Squamish? Check out some of our other guides here: