Monmouth Canyon

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, the Squamish River must be crossed. This can be done on paddle boards, packrafts, kayaks, canoes, and even 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 hill. (For Box Creek, the route exits the trail shortly before the steep section begins.) There a couple of viewpoints that give an exciting preview of the waterfalls to come. Stay on the main trail—it leads away from the creek for a while, then returns as the grade eases. (Note: There are ground wasps in the area. One nest is located in the middle of the trail, about 45 minutes up from the riverside. People who are sensitive to wasp stings must be vigilant on the hike in.)

Approach hike to Monmouth Creek at ~1,400 ft, the trail reaches the creek again, and turns upstream. This is the normal entry point (N49.71533 W123.18801). Enter here or continue up the trail for five or ten minutes to the upper entry point (N49.71511 W123.19111). The upper spot gives a little bit of pretty canyon, downclimbing, and a short jump.


There are about 15 rappels and numerous jumps and slides throughout the canyon. Most anchors are bolted. The water is cold, and jumps and slides must be checked first, as the canyon changes over time.


There are several exits throughout Monmouth. It’s possible to follow the canyon to the confluence of Box Creek, though most people exit after Rappel 15, and walk the trail back out.


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


  • Rappels: 15
  • Longest Rappel: 75 meters (150 feet)
  • Approach: 5 km (3 miles) plus river crossing
  • Exit: 1/2 mile plus river crossing
  • Time: 7-10 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 Monmouth Canyon web page on Ropewiki.



  • Difficulty: Intermediate Canyon
  • Elevation Gain: 1,300 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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