The Tantalus view Lookout seems like it would be a fantastic trail at any time of year, but it is especially lovely during the shoulder season*, or in winter when the higher trails are too full of snow to allow you to walk. The trail winds its way around the Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest and leads you to several stunning viewpoints that look out to the Tantalus Mountain range.
We did this walk in the first week of March. The trail was almost entirely covered in ice. However, if you wear some micro-spikes, it is a rewarding hike. This was my first non-city hike in months, so I was sooo excited to be outside in the sunshine.
Tantalus View Lookout trail map
Tantalus View Lookout trail – the basics
Distance: 8km – 10.5km (or less, there are so many routes!)
Elevation gain: 155m
Highest Point: 385m
Map: I found one here, you’ll also find an easy to follow map in the 105 hikes book.
Time: 3-3.5 hours (We took 4 hours including about an hour for breaks)
What to bring:
If you do this in winter, bring microspikes. In summer, bring bathing suits.
The ten essentials (as always)
There are toilets at the trailhead
The trail is dog friendly, so bring your pooch!
How hard is it?
I think it must be super easy in summer. In winter it was icy, but if you have microspikes, it is still easy-ish.
Brohm Lake trail
This walk is a loop that follows several smaller trails. We did the hike in a clockwise direction, so we followed the Brohm Lake trail around the lake to get started. At this time of year, the lake is under a big slab of ice.
Once you reach the end of Brohm Lake, there is a well-made bridge to help you cross. We could see footprints where other walkers (and doggos) and taken short cuts over the lake, but the ice looked very thin over by the bridge!
Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest
I have to admit, I was confused by the idea of an interpretive forest. It makes me imagine a group of drama students waving in an an imaginary breeze while they pretend to be trees(!) In fact, there are three interpretive forests along the Sea to Sky highway. They were set up as outdoor classrooms to help people learn about BC forests and how they are managed.
Anyway, the Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest is a pleasure to explore. we followed the Bridge trail, followed by the High trail. We also met this friendly little dude.
Cheakamus Loop trail viewpoints
Once you make it onto the Chealamus loop trail, your legs need to put in a little effort to climb uphill. Still, it is worth it once you see the fantastic views of the Tantalus Mountain range from the bluffs. There were fantastic views of Alpha Mountain, Mount Tantalus and Pelion mountain.
The two pointy mountains are Mount Tantalus (left) and Pelion Mountain (right).
The second viewpoint was even better! You can climb up to a bluff that has a vertical drop right down to the valley below. The mountain-filled vistas are simply gorgeous.
This is NOT a good spot if you are afraid of heights!
You need to walk back into the Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest, and re-join the appropriately named High trail.
You gradually gain elevation to lead you up to the main goal of the hike – the Tantalus view Lookout. When you look up from the trail, it seems like there is a giant wall of rock; That is where you want to walk!
Tantalus View Trail
You need to turn left onto the short Tantalus View Trail. This trail is only a couple of hundred meters. First the path is covered in a maze of tree roots, then those give way to easy-to-climb steps up to an old fire lookout.
Tantalus View Lookout
This is the lookout. It doesn’t have any windows left, but it *does* have spectacular views.
We actually like the views just below the fire lookout even more.
There is this gorgeous view looking down to Squamish and the Stawamus Chief. The mountain behind the Chief is where Shannon Falls, the gondola, the Sea to Summit trail and the Al’s Habrich ridge trail are all located. We spent quite a while relaxing in the sun and admiring this view.
If you move around between the trees, you can also glimpse this epic view of the Sky Pilot and Copilot towering above Squamish.
On our return journey we found a few ice waterfalls like this within the forest. There is still plenty of ice and snow on the forest floor, but the the thaw does seem to have started. Get ready for springtime!
We finished our hike along the Connector trail and back to the Brohm Lake trail. This final section was mostly in shadow, and very icy. I don’t think it would be particularly fun if we did not have the microspikes over our shoes.
In the end, we only hiked about 8km. All the skiing we have been doing is obviously not as good a workout compared to hiking, so this easy hike felt a bit more intermediate-level to my legs. It seems like it would also be a fantastic place to hike in the summer, finishing with a swim in the lake.
What do you think? Do you fancy an easy-ish winter hike near Squamish?
Shoulder season: My mum told me no one uses the term shoulder season. It is the time in Autumn or spring when there isn’t enough snow to ski, but there is too much snow to go hiking up in Alpine areas.
If you like the sound of this walk, there are 104 other awesome walks all in the 105 hikes book by Stephen Hui. I wrote a review about the book here because I LOVE it.