Box Creek

A classic canyon in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. It is rated v3a3III from mid-August through September (before fall rains).


From BC-99, approaching Squamish from the south or north, turn west onto Cleveland Avenue. In 440 yards, turn right on Bailey Street which quickly becomes gravel. Take the right fork onto Government Road and drive north for 1 mile, crossing two sets of railroad tracks and getting back onto pavement. Turn left towards Squamish River Dyke Road (signed for Estuary Access and Squamish Spit) and return to a gravel road. In 380 yards, turn left onto the Dyke Road. Right here, beside the yellow gate blocking access to the north (right) there is a short trail leaving the road, down to the river. This is the best put-in spot when the Squamish River is flowing particularly hard. Unload gear here, and then park in the wide area on the other side of the road. In lower flow, the river can be crossed further down.

Shuttle Vehicle An optional shuttle vehicle can be placed 0.9 mile further down the road. This makes the river crossing to and from the trail much easier. There is a wide area along the roadway, on the left. It ends, and the road narrows, just where the trail comes out of the woods. If no shuttle vehicle is available, plan on about 15 minutes of walking to return to the vehicle at the put-in.


To access the approach trail, you must cross the Squamish River. This has been done on paddle boards, pack rafts, kayaks, canoes, and even Explorer 200 inflatable boats with plastic oars from WalMart. While not particularly challenging, it is still a fast moving river, and whitewater principles (such as defensive swimming learned in the Basic Canyon Course) apply. PFDs are required by law.

Cross the river heading downstream. Look for trees on a long narrow island, round the lower end of the island, and then head upstream into a much narrower, slower moving channel on the other side. During high tides, head along the shoreline of the island, and through a gap between the island and a large gravel bar. (In very high tides, the gravel bar may not be visible, just a large tree stranded on it further downstream.) While heading up the channel on the other side of the island, there is a small cluster of old pilings on the left, close to the tree-covered shoreline. There are a couple of tiny coves here (N49.71469 W123.17253) where boats can be moored to the trees. Note that the river here is still tidal and can go up and down a few feet while you are in the canyon—be sure to tie up boats so they don’t float away while you’re gone or carry them up out of the river and into a clearing in the trees. Once ashore, find a small clearing with a few narrow trails spreading out into the trees. Go to the north (upstream) end of the clearing and follow the trail there away from the river. After a couple of minutes, it will angle to the left, and in a few more minutes hear the chatter of Monmouth Creek.

Continue following the trail steeply up the creek, passing the exit of Monmouth, until the dead-end at the final falls of Box Creek. Look right of the final falls for a hand line up a boulder. The approach trail continues steeply uphill from there.


Though relatively short, Box Canyon is a deep and committing canyon, with amazing sculpted walls and no escape options. There are about 9 rappels, though Box is known to change dramatically each year. Be sure to check recent beta. 


After the final rappel, retrace the path back to the boats, and cross the Squamish river to return to the cars.


Standard canyoning gear including webbing, a wrench, and replacement quick links. 


  • Rappels: 9
  • Longest Rappel: 80 feet
  • Approach: 2 miles plus river crossing
  • Exit: 1/2 mile plus river crossing
  • Time: 4-7 hours total


  • This canyon is rated v3a3III from mid-August through September (before fall rains).
  • For updated information and recent trip reports from the community, visit the Box Canyon web page on Ropewiki.



  • Difficulty: Basic Canyon
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
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