The lovely Al’s Habrich ridge trail is a continuation from our previous hike on the Sea to Summit trail in Squamish. So, we’d woken up early and already hiked 8km and 850m before this hike starts. We’d then stopped for some lunch overlooking gorgeous views of Squamish, Mount Garibaldi and the Tantalus Mountains. However, if you fancy an easier half day hike, take the gondola up the steep section of this mountain, then enjoy this easier hike up above the clouds. Al’s Habrich ridge trail would be a fun hike either way!
Please note the Sea to Sky gondola is closed until Spring 2020.
Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail Map
Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail – the basics
Distance: 7.5km (15.5km if you go from the bottom)
Elevation gain: 350m (1200m if you go from the bottom)
Highest Point: 1235m
Time: 4 hours
What to bring:
Walking boots and hiking poles
Money for the gondola down, and a drink at the top!
The ten essentials (as always)
There is a bar, shop and a restaurant as well as loos at the lodge at the start of this walk.
Dogs are not allowed up the gondola, so you can only bring your pooch if you hike up.
How hard is it?
It’s pretty hard work if you go from the bottom, but it’s only moderate if you take the gondola. Anyway, our legs were pretty knackered by the end of the afternoon!
Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail – getting started
This is the view from next to the gondola station, you can see the forest ridge you’re about to walk up. Once you get higher up, you’ll see fantastic looking cliff-faces, but from below it looks green and inviting. There is a map and sign posts at the start, so you can easily make sure you’re heading in the right direction
So many views!
The start of this walk follows a trail through some trees, but there are moments when you squeeze between a single tree and a cliff face! This means that right from the start, you’ll have fantastic views from Al’s Habrich Ridge trail. Plus, in no time at all, you’ll find yourself hiking up rock faces. These are steep, but you don’t need a rope or anything. I just leaned forward to make sure I kept my balance.
You can see how steep the path is, but look at all those snowy mountains in the distance!?
Al’s Habrich Ridge Viewpoints
There are a few gorgeous viewpoints on the way up. This rocky outcrop gave us a perfect panorama of How Sound and Squamish. If you are not feeling full of energy, this would make an excellent place to stop, relax and eat.
Someone had built a pretty impressive cairn. ..at least I think it was a cairn, it could be some kind of inukshuk.
Marc and I had plans to go on a foraging tour the following day, so we kept our eyes peeled for cool mushrooms. I love the fluffy one on the left. Aparently it is a Lion’s mane, and it is meant to be really tasty. We left it where it was.
By the time we’d made it most of the way up the ridge, it was early afternoon, so the sun was really streaming through the trees shining on the changing colours of the berry bushes.
We made it!
I looooved the views down to Howe Sound from up on Al’s Habrich Ridge. The water was looking beautiful and sparkly, and somehow, this view makes the Chief look teeny! We could even see the figures of loooads of people on the Chief’s first peak. I’m glad we chose this walk, as it looked crowded down there!
Ta daaaa! I’ve already shared a panorama on the way up, but this one was even more spectacular!
The spiky mountain on the other side of the Squamish Valley is Mount Tantalus. We normally see it covered in snow on our drive to Whistler, so it was kind of cool to see it looking so green! We even saw a small plane going past it (they may have been treated to even better views!!)
This large expanse of granite was warming up slowly, so it was the perfect spot for lunch…or jumps!
We’d all eaten half of our lunch down on the panorama trail (you can see it on my previous post) But I’d packed two sandwiches for each of us, so we stopped, rested and had a second lunch looking out to these views.
Slightly higher viewpoint?
So, we made it to this gorgeous viewpoint, that should be enough for anyone. No-one would be silly enough to want to climb an extra 10m up that almost vertical rock-face!
…Or would they!? Ehem… So, we climbed one extra little section of rock to see a teeny bit more, including this fantastic view of Garibaldi and the Gargoyles. This was MUCH easier to climb up than come down again! Still, it was worth it for that extra view!
Al’s Habrich Ridge
This is the view looking further up to top of Mount Habrich Ridge. Mount Habrich itself is beyond that.
The path we took does keep going, for a difficult-looking ascent in that direction. However, as we started from the bottom of the gondola, I don’t think any of us had enough energy to keep climbing for another 500m! Still, my friend Andy recently did that epic hike, so you can see his photo of the top here.
I was very happy with this view…and our visit to the bar on the way back down!
The Summit Lodge bar
This bar has to have some of the best bar-views in the world! We spent a while re-hydrating and looking over to the Sky Pilot (the pointy mountain) and Co Sky Pilot.
For another day, there is a path called the Skyline ridge, that will take you right up to the base of the Sky Pilot! I didn’t do that yet, but another blogging/hiking friend Caroline did. Have a peek at her post here.
Post-hike Sushi in Squamish
A few weeks ago, we discovered that Squamish has some pretty excellent Japanese food! Sushi Sen looks pretty unassuming, but they have such tasty food. The waitresses and chefs all speak Japanese, and they have perfect, super fresh sashimi. If you do any hikes near Squamish, this is the perfect place to eat before driving back to Vancouver.