Alice Lake in Squamish
Alice Lake offers excellent overnight campground facilities with hot showers and flush toilets, a walking trail around the lake, three sandy beaches, and mountain bike trails nearby including a great children’s bike park close to the beach.
Where is Alice Lake?
Alice Lake Provincial Park is located just north of Squamish about an hour’s drive from Vancouver. From Vancouver, head north up the Sea to Sky Highway which starts as the Trans-Canada Highway but then becomes Highway 99 after the turnoff to Horseshoe Bay. About 13 kilometres past Squamish, on the right, is the turnoff to the park.
What to Expect at Alice Lake
Alice Lake is one of our top-rated places for both overnight camping and day trips. It’s a small lake surrounded by forest, a walking trail and stunning scenery. Even in early summer, you can get glimpses of snow-covered mountains in the distance.
There are lots of picnic tables all around Alice Lake, plus a couple of nice grassy areas and sandy beaches.
Below is information about the beaches at Alice Lake, the campground, the trails and the lake itself.
About the Beaches at Alice Lake
There are two beaches right beside each other on the west side of Alice Lake near the campground and main day-time parking area. Both are sandy and the bigger one also has a large grassy area. There are full washroom facilities near the beaches. There is also a small children’s play area and kids’ mountain bike track close to the smaller beach and main parking lot.
At the south end of the lake, just a 10-minute or so walk away, there is a third sandy beach. Here there is a smaller parking lot and a dock. In the summer there is also a floating raft and the swim area is roped off. There are flush toilets by the beach, but without sinks with running water.
There are no lifeguards at Alice Lake.
About the Alice Lake Campground
Alice Lake Provincial Park is an exceptional place for camping. It’s in a beautiful spot, it’s clean, it has flush toilets and showers, and it’s affordable. The campground is also very popular and hard to get into in the summer.
The Alice Lake campground is usually open from late March until the end of October. There are close to 100 regular sites that can be booked in advanced or claimed on the day of arrival when available. There are also a dozen walk-in sites which are not accessible to vehicles, and a couple of larger camp sites that can be booked by groups.
Over half of the vehicle-accessible campsites have electrical hookups for an extra charge, as does one of the two group camp sites.
As of the summer of 2019, vehicle-accessible campsites cost about $35 per party per night, plus $8 for electrical hookup. Reservations cost extra.
The campground is located in a forested area that’s close to the main beaches on the western side of the lake.
Quiet hours at the campground are between 10 o’clock at night and 7 o’clock in the morning.
Click Alice Lake Campsite Map for a map of the campground.
About the Trails at Alice Lake
There is a walking trail that goes around the edge of the lake, plus several other hiking and biking trails in the area.
It takes between 15 and 30 minutes to walk around the lake (depending on your speed), so it’s not a big lake. It’s a great walk though, close to 1.5 km in length and easy to do. The trail is flat and mostly level, although there is a slight incline in one spot which makes the full route impossible for wheelchairs.
On the trail that goes around the lake dogs and bicycles are not allowed. There are other trails in the park, however, where both are permitted.
Other hiking trails at Alice Lake include the 6-km Four Lakes Trail and 3-km DeBeck’s Hill Trail. There is also Mike’s Loop Trail, Jack’s Trail, the Tracks from Hell Trail, Bob MacIntosh Memorial Trail and Mashiter Trail. Some are for hiking only and others are for biking too.
Click Alice Lake Trails for more details.
About the Lake
Alice Lake is an exceptional lake for swimming, boating, fishing and just hanging out at the beach. It’s a small lake, but a nice one.
Kayaks and canoes can be rented at the main beach on the western side of the lake in the summer (although sometimes only on weekends). People also take their own boats, although motor-powered vessels are not permitted.
Canoes, double kayaks and stand-up paddle boards cost about $25 to rent for an hour. Pedal boats cost around $35. Two-hour rentals for each kind of boat are between $11 and $15 extra. (Note: Prices are subject to change.)
The lake is stocked with trout at various times of the year so it’s also a popular place for fishing.
Alice Lake is almost perfect. The only three drawbacks that we can think of regarding the place are its popularity in the summer, the goose poop and the cleanliness of the water. All are actually pretty minor issues, but still worth mentioning.
The park is an incredibly popular destination in the summer and especially on weekends. Good luck trying to find a campsite at the last minute in July and August! You need to book months in advance to secure a spot! Most days of the year there is lots of parking in the day-use area of the park. On weekends in the summer, however, if you arrive in the afternoon on a hot sunny afternoon you can sometimes be out of luck.
In addition to being popular with both locals and tourists, Alice Lake is also popular with Canada Geese. In the summer they are frequently on the beaches and, at times, their poop is everywhere. It’s not too bad, but you do need to watch where you lie down.
The other minor drawback to Alice Lake is that the water isn’t always the cleanest. The water is not polluted – it’s just not crystal clear. Especially after a period of heavy rains, the lake floor can sometimes get muddy. Other than that, this is an excellent place to bring the family, both for the day and the entire weekend.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your visit to Alice Lake Provincial Park.
TIP #1: Don’t let the summer crowds, goose poop or sometimes murky water put you off visiting Alice Lake. It’s one of our very favourite places and highly recommended!
TIP #2: This is a great lake for kayaking and canoeing, so bring your boat if you can (as well as your fishing rod). The beach isn’t far from the parking lot, so the location is convenient. In the summer, at least on the weekends, non-motorized are often available for rent.
TIP #3: Alice Lake is an especially popular place in the summer. If going on a hot sunny day in July or August, plan to arrive early so you don’t have to fight for parking. And if you hope to camp on a weekend, there’s a good chance you’ll need to book your spot at least two or three months in advance.
TIP #4: Dogs are not permitted on the beaches, picnic areas, playground or the walking trail that goes around the edge of the lake. Dogs are, however, allowed on leash in other areas of the park.
TIP #5: Don’t forget to bring bikes for your kids. The free bike park and adjacent playground are excellent for little people. There are exceptional bike trails for folk of all ages in the area too.
Visit the Alice Lake Provincial Park website for further information about the venue and to make campsite reservations.
See the Alice Lake map for a map of the park.
Click Alice Lake campground map for a layout of the campsites.
Other popular Lower Mainland campgrounds include ones at Paradise Valley which is also located near Squamish, plus Cultus Lake and Rolley Lake in the Fraser Valley, and Alouette Lake near Maple Ridge.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Best Places for Children
- Best Places on a Budget
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver’s Best Beaches