Alice Lake is a beautiful park in Squamish halfway between Vancouver and Whistler. It has excellent camping facilities, walking trails and sandy beaches.
Alice Lake in Squamish
Alice Lake offers excellent overnight campground facilities with hot showers and flush toilets. There is also a walking trail around the lake, three sandy beaches, and mountain bike trails. There is also a great children’s bike park close to the beach.
Alice Lake is a great spot to serve as a “base” from which you can explore the Sea to Sky region. It’s near many other “best places” you can visit, such as Britannia Mine, Shannon Falls, Stawamus Chief and Whistler.
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 day, you can sometimes be out of luck.
Where is Alice Lake?
Alice Lake Provincial Park is located just north of Squamish which is 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.
TIP: On your way to Squamish from Vancouver you’ll pass Britannia Beach which is home to the Britannia Mine Museum which used to be the largest copper mine in the British Empire. It’s a first-class museum and highly recommended! Visit the place if you can. You won’t be disappointed!
What to Expect at Alice Lake
Alice Lake is one of our most 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 a snow-covered mountain 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. There are also a couple of videos. One is of the Four Lake Trail and the other show scenes of the lake during the summer.
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 the sinks don’t have running water.
There are no lifeguards at Alice Lake, so keep a close eye on your kids and don’t go too far into the water.
About the Alice Lake Campground
Alice Lake Provincial Park is an exceptional place for camping. It’s in a beautiful spot, it’s clean and it has flush toilets and showers. It’s also affordable. The campground is very popular, however, 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 advance or claimed on the day of arrival when available. There are also a dozen walk-in sites which aren’t 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 spring of 2023, vehicle-accessible campsites cost about $35 per party per night, plus $8 for electrical hookup. These are the same prices as a couple of years ago. Reservations cost extra. The walk-in campsites cost $23.
The campground is located in a forested area that’s close to the main beaches on the western side of the lake. The campsites are very nice. They are fairly spacious and far apart.
Quiet hours at the campground are between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.
Click Alice Lake Campsite Map for a map of the campground.
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.
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.
In addition to being a favourite place for 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 isn’t polluted – it’s just not always 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.
About the Trails at Alice Lake
There’s 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 kilometres 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.
Dogs and bicycles aren’t allowed on the trail that goes around the lake. There are other trails in the park, however, where both are permitted.
Other hiking trails at Alice Lake include the 6-kilometre Four Lakes Trail and 3-kilometre 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.
Four Lakes Trail
We did the Four Lakes Trail in the late spring and really enjoyed it. We started the trail near the entrance to the overnight campground area and finished about an hour and fifty minutes later at the main Alice Lake beach.
The 6-km trail goes up and down a bit including over some mildly rough terrain. It’s not at all difficult, but not something you could do with a wheelchair or a stroller. You also wouldn’t want to do it if you have bad knees or balance issues. It’s a dirt trail the entire way. There are no staircases to climb and no wooden boardwalks.
If you take the same route as we did, the first lake you get to on the hike is Stump Lake which is only about a 5-minute walk from the Alice Lake campground. It’s a small lake, but the second largest out of the four. You can walk all the way around Stump Lake in a loop, or just half way around and then continue on to Fawn Lake. If you don’t want to do the full trail, at least do the loop around Stump Lake. It’s really nice!
Fawn Lake and Edith Lake are smaller lakes, but just as picturesque. They are quite tiny in fact and not suitable for swimming. They are just pretty to look at. You can fish though at Stump Lake. On the hike, along the way, you’ll also go by the Cheakye River.
Biking on the Four Lakes Trail between the south end of Alice Lake and Edith Lake is prohibited at all times, as is the trail around the edge of Alice Lake. Biking is permitted, however, on other parts of the Four Lakes Trail between mid-September and the end of April.
Four Lakes Trail Video
The following video shows what the Four Lakes Trail looks like in late spring. In the video the first lake you’ll see is Stump Lake. After the river you’ll see Fawn Lake and then Edith Lake. Both the hike and the video end with views of both the south and north beaches at Alice Lake.
As you’ll see in the video, the scenery along the trail is beautiful! You get up close to each of the lakes in at least one spot, and catch views of the water from other places. The forest scenes are also lovely!
If you like hikes that aren’t too difficult, take less than 2 hours and have beautiful scenery, we highly recommend the Four Lakes Trail.
Boat Rentals in Summer
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.
The last time we checked, canoes, double kayaks and stand-up paddle boards cost about $30 to rent for an hour. Pedal boats cost around $40. Two-hour rentals for each kind of boat are between $12 and $19 extra. (Note: Prices are subject to change.)
Alice Lake Video
The following video was taken in early summer. As you can see from watching it, the lake is a popular spot for both people and geese.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most 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 boats 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 the little ones. There are exceptional bike trails for folks 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.
To learn about the world-famous resort 50 kilometres north of the park, see our article about Whistler or visit the website WhatToDoInWhistler.ca.
For ideas on other things to do in the area click Squamish or Sea to Sky Region.
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:
- Camping and Campgrounds Near Vancouver
- 12 Reasons to go Camping in an RV
- 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