Magic Box Canyon

A beautiful, remote canyon along Howe Sound, near Squamish, BC


This canyon is accessed via boat only. The best option is to hire a private water taxi leaving from Squamish marina. Tell the boat captain you'd like to go to McNab Creek and direct the captain to go to the second dock at McNab Creek and an old logging road, which is different than their regular destination (a small resort community at McNab).


From the western end of the beach at McNab, walk along the road heading north for approximately 1.5 miles and then take the uphill arm of the fork and start the ascent. The road heads north, then south, then north, then south again as it climbs to ~1,880 ft. The descent into the canyon starts when passing over the buried penstock pipes. Find a path down into the canyon almost directly south. It is difficult bush bashing with many possible wrong turns until there is a good ridge to walk down the steep and slippery forest.


Magic Box is a long and committing canyon. Though not particularly technical (most of the rappels are straight-forward), the team must move efficiently and prepare to spend most of the day swimming long cold pools. This canyon is seldom descended because of its remoteness, so be prepared to encounter new obstacles and build new anchors. The canyon has  3-8 jumps, and 20-25 rappels.


After the final rappel, enjoy a 60-90 minute creek walk/boulder scramble. Exit back onto the road at the bridge, and walk a mile back to the dock, hopefully before your requested pick-up time.


Dry suit or very thick wetsuit. Extra anchor material including webbing, a wrench, and replacement quick links. 


  • Rappels: 20-25
  • Longest Rappel: 100 feet
  • Approach: ~ 4.5 miles
  • Exit: ~1.5 miles
  • Time: 10-15 hours total (Squamish to Squamish, including a 40 minute boat ride)


  • This canyon is rated v3a3V at moderate-low water levels. It has not seen travel at higher flows, but could include very challenging pour-overs. 
  • See Ropewiki's Magic Box Canyon web page for the most recent and detailed beta.

Information for Leaders

Considerations for travel to Canada

  • Difficulty: Intermediate Canyon
  • Length: 7.0 None
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 6
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
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