When the rain returns to Squamish it’s always a bit of a shock to the system.
I know Squamish is a coastal rainforest but, really, what is with the downpours for days or weeks on end.
The weatherman on the radio usually refers to weather like this as “bad, horrible, dismal,” which doesn’t help matters.
It can be hard to find the strength to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
What did the sun look like again? Is it even still up there?
I like to remind myself that I live in a place surrounded by impressive glaciers and lush green forests because of all the precipitation this part of the world gets.
But it can be easy during those long spells of rain to hermit at home and wait it out.
However, there is a still a lot to do around town while it is raining and, if anything, the forests become more beautiful on those misty days when the low clouds move through the trees above.
Here are just a few ways you can put your waterproof jacket and umbrella to use on a rainy day in Squamish.
Squamish has many charming coffee shops and cafés now. Have you tried a dirty chai before?
Or a London fog? What about a matcha latte?
With plenty of lunch and pastry options, also, you could explore what is on offer throughout the cafés in Squamish all fall and winter.
You may even find your new favourite place to hangout and watch the rain come down outside. Move around and see what you can find, look at the menu and try something new.
Find the snow
Through the cold months when it is raining in the valley it is likely snowing up in the mountains.
For those who love the snow the itch to see where it is through the clouds is almost unbearable. Scratch that itch and go find out!
On occasion, from heading out to find the snow, I’ve ended up above the rain and clouds and found the sun, which is always awesome – but don’t count on this. Usually you will likely end up inside the clouds.
If you or a friend has a capable truck or 4x4 you can drive down the Squamish or Paradise valleys and explore the many roads into the mountains to find the snow line.
Another alternative is to dust off the snowshoes or touring skis and head out. In the early weeks of winter, when there isn’t a lot of snow on the ground, up high it can be awesome to explore around by snowshoe.
Some areas to consider are Red Heather Meadows and further on to Elfin Lakes. Further afield you can consider the Callaghan Area near Whistler as well Cypress Provincial Park near the Cypress Mountain Ski area.
Visit the Library
I like to let people know that Squamish has one of the best libraries I’ve ever visited.
I travel around a fair bit and libraries are usually a great place to find some quiet and Wi-Fi access to do work on the road.
Almost every time I visit a library outside of Squamish I wish I was back here in my town.
The building, local art, friendly staff, extensive range of books and media, views out from the panoramic windows towards the Stawamus Chief, cozy fireplace and comfy chairs all make the Squamish Library somewhere we should be proud to have as a community.
On a rainy day I head there to peruse the current magazines around my interests, get some work done and do one my favourite hobbies – looking for new and interesting books to read.
If you haven’t been in a while, consider heading there on the next rainy day and ask a member of staff about what’s new on the shelves.
Ride the Gondola
It’s definitely a unique experience riding up the Sea to Sky Gondola on a cloudy day.
Sometimes you lose sight of the cables ahead and behind – and even the ground below – and it feels like being suspended in a cloud.
Bring a rain jacket and umbrella and explore the trails at the top.
If you’re lucky you might even burst out above the clouds and find sunshine, or better yet, the rain might turn to snow!
Visiting the trails at the top during summer then hiking them again in the fall can be a completely different experience, especially on a rainy day. Streams run strong with water, mushrooms pop up all around and the foliage of the forest seems to swell to life and reach out to touch you.
Do everything the same
Why change anything just because water is falling from the sky? Hike the same trails you would on a sunny day, run the same routes.
Throw on that expensive Gore-Tex jacket and put it to use!
I’ve often found the lack of views out towards the mountains forces me to focus on the life on the forest floor or in the trees immediately around me. I notice things that I wouldn’t on a clear and sunny day.
There are few feelings better than heading out for a run in the rain, charging straight through puddles instead of trying to avoid them.
Listening to the cacophony of sounds in the forest as water cascades and crashes down all around. It feels like everything is coming alive.
As we come into fall and winter, along comes eagle season in Squamish. The classic easy trip is to head over to the Eagle Run Park near the Watershed Restaurant on Government Road in Brackendale.
Once the bald eagles are back in town you are almost guaranteed to spot a few eagles here.
If you want to kick your eagle viewing up a notch, though, then definitely consider an eagle float with Sunwolf Tours, which starts in December.
They float down the Cheakamus River and offer access to possibly viewing hundreds of eagles, among many other species of birds that come here to feed on the salmon running upstream.
This natural spectacle, that takes place every year around our town, should be witnessed by everyone.
We truly do live in an amazing and unique part of the world, so let’s take advantage of what it has to offer in all seasons.
Well there you have a handful of ideas to make use of those rainy, cloudy days. There are only so many days we can spend on the couch with the TV on.
Get out there and use those rainy days to explore parts of Squamish that you wouldn’t otherwise get to visit.
Most importantly, have fun!