Hike to Petgill Lake comes with views of Stawamus Chief
Petgill Lake is a great hike for spring. It offers terrain similar to that found behind the Stawamus Chief, views of that iconic monolith, and, of course, the lake in its forested bowl.
Your hike begins at Murrin Provincial Park, south of Squamish. The trailhead lies across the Sea-to-Sky Highway, a few steps north of the parking lot.
Climbing steeply out of the Murrin park canyon, the trail passes under power lines and heads into the forest. Soon you encounter three viewpoints, looking out at Howe Sound, Squamish, and the Chief.
The trail joins a logging road for while, then you turn left, following the orange squares back into the woods. Crossing over ridges and dipping into gullies, the trail goes up and down a few times. You're really close to your destination when you see a sign marking the route to Goat Ridge, reportedly an epic 10-hour hike.
At Petgill Lake, signs lead to a final viewpoint overlooking Howe Sound. A trail goes around the lake too.
A week ago, the lake was mostly snow-covered and so was the last stretch of the trail. Indeed, there was enough snow to prevent my party from finding the last viewpoint and circumnavigating the lake.
With a total distance of 12 kilometres and an elevation gain of 640 metres, the round trip to Petgill Lake takes around 5.5 hours.