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Camping at Cat Lake in the Paradise Valley near Squamish, BC

tent pitched in campsite

Campsite at Cat Lake, BC Recreation Site

Hot sun. Cool wind. Crisp mountain water. The perfect remedy for a warm, Fall day’s hike is a dip in one of the Sea to Sky’s many lakes. If you’re looking for a quick fix hike or bike trail with the family while camping, think Cat Lake. Nestled in the stunning Paradise Valley, Cat Lake is one of the best swimming holes around, complemented with dusty outcrops to set up your picnic area and encircled with fun hiking and biking trails. The lake itself is set against the backdrop of the stunning snow-capped Tantalus mountain range, and is a little more remote than some of the other parks in the Squamish area. Cat Lake provides the out of the way recreational experience but only a stones throw from the main highway. The biking trail system in the area is filled with challenging mountain bike routes navigating around the Cat Lake and Cheekeye River – my advice is to get on them early before the crowds (usually before 11am) as speed and congestion make for a nasty combo!

Buckets hung to keep food safte

Buckets in Trees

Camping is plentiful here but set a good distance apart so it feels like you’ve got space and privacy. There’s a 1km walk to reach the campground, so tranquility is virtually guaranteed. We headed straight for the lake in our raft and two kayaks. If you don’t have your own, fret not, there are wooden home-made rafts on the shoreline at your disposal. Look a few metres down from the main beach and you’ll spot rope swings from the trees which provide all the entertainment you’ll need on a hot, sweltering day here. The lake is a popular party spot at weekends, so my advice is to head down from Monday to Wednesday and really experience the beauty this place has to offer.

For other camping opportunities go to http://www.campingrvbc.com/camping.

Published: September 19th, 2013

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by Louise

Louise ditched her day time job as a news reporter in Ireland to go on a six month sabbatical to see the world. The six month extravaganza turned into a six-year adventure spanning 22 countries and all of the continents. Louise had a list comprising every country she wanted to see and adventure to embark on and managed to achieve it- exploring everything from the depths of Antarctica to the mist covered mountains of Japan. She has blown up dynamite in underground mines in Bolivia, hiked the Annapurna circuit in Nepal, ran the New York marathon, been chased by flowing lava down a dodgy mountain in Guatemala, trekked around east Africa, spent three years discovering the beauty of New Zealand and most recently hiked and skied one of Japan’s famous active volcanoes. She is a qualified ski instructor and solo paragliding pilot and is currently (unsuccessfully and with many injuries!) exploring Squamish's biking trails whilst concocting her next big adventure.