Level: Challenging

Distance: 9½ km r/t

Time: 6 h r/t Elev. Change: 640 m

Topographical Map: Squamish 92G/11

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Season: April to Nov

Access: See Getting to Whistler

Take the bus as far as Murrin Provincial Park, a popular picnic and swimming area at the edge of Highway 99. Trout fishing in well-stocked Browning Lake is also possible but since a highway runs by it pack your fly rod into Petgill Lake for a more tranquil experience. You'll easily find the trailhead just beyond the park in the direction of Squamish and Whistler. From the highway the well-defined trail begins climbing straight up to a series of viewpoints overlooking Howe Sound.

As you move away from the noisy transportation corridor the trail widens into a disused logging road which continues first eastward over fairly level ground then turns southward before abruptly swerving eastward on to a narrow footpath once again. Continue climbing over the shoulder that leads up to Goat Ridge before dropping down to Petgill Lake at 610 m elevation. The route on to Goat Ridge itself is much more demanding and may be better left for another day. To complete the circuit of Petgill Lake should take 30 - 40 minutes before retracing your steps back to Murrin Park. While waiting for the return bus be sure to check out the rock climbers who like to practice their bouldering skills on the rocky bluffs adjacent to Browning Lake.

The End


Cattails

Cattails

A veritable supermarket on a stick, cattails were once a source of sustenance as well as comfort to Pacific Northwest natives. Young shoots can be eaten as greens in the spring while young flower spikes can be roasted and eaten like cobs of corn. Young roots or rhizomes (underground stems) can be peeled and eaten as is—sashimi-style, hold the wasabi—or dried and pulverized into flour. Early settlers too discovered that cattail pollen could be harvested and added to bread or pancakes. Cattail down or fluff was collected in autumn for use as a wound dressing or for stuffing pillows and bedding. Cattail leaves found use in native basketry.

Illustration by Manami Kimura