Crooked Falls Hike in Squamish

 

Crooked Falls – Table of Contents

  1. Hike Introduction
  2. Hike Statistics
  3. Map and Elevation
  4. Hiking Route Description
  5. Directions and Parking
  6. Hike rating
  7. Free PDF Download
  8. 360° Photosphere

Crooked Falls Hike Intro

Crooked Falls is an incredible waterfall along the Sigurd Creek Trail in Upper Squamish. The trail is a peaceful and moderately challenging trek through the forest. The Sigurd Trail reaches Crooked Falls at around 490 m elevation. You get some unique views of the waterfall as Sigurd Creek tumbles down the mountain, in a crooked fashion.

There are two angles at which to view Crooked Falls. The first is from the side, tucked against a cliff wall. The second is from an outcrop just in front of the falls, which provides an up close (and wet) vantage point.

At 490 meters, Crooked Falls is usually hikeable year-round. Spring is the best time to see the falls during the runoff. It’s a classic hike to leave for the shoulder seasons.

Safety note: This hike is rated as moderate. Please keep in mind all the hikes on this site are rated into three large buckets along a broad spectrum of difficulty. It is a moderate hike but has some difficult sections, where a slip over an edge would have a large drop. A slip around the waterfall would be deadly. So, while not as difficult as some other Squamish hikes, this is not a trail for the beginner hiker. Proper planning, experience, and fitness are needed.


Crooked Falls Hike Stats

Rating: Moderate
Distance: 6 km
Elevation Gain: 430 m
Highest Point: 490 m
Time Needed: 3 Hours
Type: Out-and-back
Season: Year-round
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Est. Driving Time from Vancouver: 90 Minutes
Trailhead Coordinates: N49.910556, W-123.322817

 

For a better understanding of the stats and difficulty rating, check out the Hiking Guides page for details. Always carry The 10 Essentials and fill out a trip plan.


Crooked Falls Hike Map and Elevation

Elevation chart for crooked falls

Elevation profile for Crooked Falls, return


Crooked Falls Hiking Route



Your car will be parked off the side of the road beside Ashlu Creek. Ashlu Creek is a tributary of the Squamish River and is popular for kayaking. Many people call it the Ashlu River because of its size and swift current.

There is a yellow sign marked Sigurd Trail on one of the utility poles (parking directions here). The trail begins climbing uphill, along an ancient logging road. The initial stretch is full of large, loose rocks. If you have a 4×4 with clearance you can drive up this gnarly stretch of road but will only save fifteen minutes of hiking. It isn’t worth it unless you just feel like getting use of your car’s off-road abilities.

After about twelve minutes of climbing uphill, the trail flattens out. The trail is wide and easy to follow. In the spring, there may be some small streams and mud along the road.

You will come to a sharp turn in the road, where it goes up to the right. At this corner, you will find the Sigurd Trail. There will be a sign in the tree above the trailhead, labeled Sigurd Trail. If you drive your 4×4, you can park here off to the side of the road.

Once you’re on the trail, it becomes a gradual uphill climb. The trail is very well-groomed and wide. The trail is easy to follow and there are plenty of orange markers in the trees. The trail to Crooked Falls is maintained by BCMC and they’ve done a great job. After a few minutes, the trail levels out again. You will pass by a mossy rock wall on your right, that is often drenched with dripping water.

water falling along the sigurd trail

Scenery along the Sigurd Trail

Overlooking into the Squamish Valley

An early view into the Squamish Valley

As you walk along the trail there will be a viewpoint on your left overlooking the Squamish River and nearby mountains. One minute beyond the lookout, the trail takes a sharp turn up to the right. The trail immediately begins climbing uphill into the dense, moss-covered forest.

From here, the trail becomes much rootier and rockier. Footing becomes more difficult. From here to the falls is entirely uphill, with little or no relief from the climbing.

After a few minutes of climbing, another viewpoint will open to your left. There is an incredible view into the Squamish Valley, south towards Squamish.

squamish river valley

Looking over the Squamish River Valley

The Sigurd Creek Trail will continue to climb up and remains easy to follow. At various points, you may notice orange flagging in some trees off the main trail. Ignore these pieces of orange flagging and stay on the main trail with the orange, square markers.

As you climb, you will notice the Sigurd Creek Trail is scattered with large boulders all around. They are seemingly thrown randomly about the dense woods. There is one particularly massive boulder along the way that is impossible to miss. Keep following the trail as it climbs and climbs.

There are a few difficult sections as you climb, and points where you may need to use your hands. Nothing too difficult, but you will want to take caution in several sections along the journey up.

There’s not a whole lot else to say for the rest of the climb. Stay on the main trail, mind your footing, and climb up. After about one hour and fifteen minutes from the start of the hike, you should be near the junction where the trail splits between the Crooked Falls and Sigurd Peak trails. This junction is roughly 3 kilometers into the hike.

You will see a yellow sign nailed to a large, fallen tree. Go left here, in the direction marked for Crooked Falls, which is 300 meters away. The other direction, to the right, goes up to Sigurd Peak and Ossa Mountain – difficult efforts at high elevation. It’s about 15 minutes to reach Crooked Falls from here.

You will hear the falls first, and then quickly reach them. There are two main viewing areas – both require respect of the terrain. To the right, you can drop down a slippery stretch of trail to a unique vantage point beside the falls. You can get right down to the water if you wish, but it is wise to keep some distance.

the side of Crooked Falls

Crooked Falls, viewed from the side

Cool fact: Crooked Falls and the area’s trails are in the Esté-tiwilh/Sigurd Creek Conservancy which is jointly managed by B.C. Parks and the Squamish First Nation. The conservancy is in the asserted traditional territory of the Squamish Nation, and is part of the Squamish Nation Wild Spirit Place. The trails, still actively maintained by volunteers, were originally built by the B.C. Mountaineering Club [Source: B.C. Parks & Andrew Wong of BCMC]

From here, you will watch as the water plummets by at eye-level, and you can see the Squamish River and some mountains in the distance.

To the left, the trail drops down to two natural platforms, both looking directly onto the falls. You can peer over the edge to see the water’s ‘crooked’ path down to the valley below. The leftmost platform picks up a lot of spray from the falls if you wish to cool down on a hot day. On cooler days, you will likely want to throw on your rain-shell before stepping out onto the ledge.

Enjoy the falls, refuel, and retrace your steps back down to your car.

Download the PDF version of this guide for offline use

crooked falls waterfall

Crooked Falls, viewed from the front

Directions and Parking

Drive north along Highway 99 to Squamish. Turn left onto Squamish Valley Road, across from the entrance to Alice Lake Provincial Park. Reset your odometer to 0 km. From here, it will be about 25 km to reach the trailhead. Most of the drive from here is on the paved, Squamish Valley Road, but the final few kilometers will be on a gravel forest service road. A 4×4 is not needed, as the service road is flat.

You will cross a bridge, then go left at the fork, staying on Squamish Valley Road.

Follow the road for a long time, until it turns to dirt. After the road turns to dirt, there will be a long bridge on your left, which is the start of Ashlu Road. Go left, over the bridge, crossing the Squamish River.

You will soon cross another small bridge and pass the Squamish Riverside Campground. Keep following Ashlu Road. Soon after the 2 km sign, you will come to two more small bridges. Immediately after the second bridge, the road takes a sharp turn to the right. After that corner, park your car along the right-hand side of the road. On the left side of the road, you will see a utility pole with a sign that says Sigurd Trail.

Google Map directions are here.


Outdoor Vancouver and Reader’s Hike Rating

  • 80%
    Variety of the terrain - 80%
  • 90%
    Views and scenery - 90%
  • 85%
    Not too crowded - 85%
  • 95%
    Overall 'fun factor' - 95%
88%

Summary

Crooked Falls is the perfect spring hike. It has enough climbing and elevation to get in a solid workout and build up some endurance for summer hikes. Yet it’s at a low enough elevation snow shouldn’t be a problem most of the year.

The waterfall itself is incredible. One of the most unique and beautiful ones around.

Sending
User Rating 0 (0 votes)



Other great hikes in this area

  1. Stawamus Chief (moderate)
  2. Sea to Summit Trail (moderate)
  3. Al’s Habrich Ridge (moderate)
  4. View all hiking guides here

Download the PDF version of this guide for offline use


360° Photosphere (click and drag to look around)

Lower Crooked Falls

The lower, crooked, portion of Crooked Falls

Related posts:

2 Comments

  1. Andrew Wong Jul 11th, 2017
    • Karl W Jul 12th, 2017

Leave a Reply

Sending