New 1.3-km-long suspended walkway canyon attraction proposed for Squamish

Oct 22 2019, 5:37 pm

A proposed outdoor sightseeing and recreational attraction on the Mamquam River could become the newest tourism and local recreational asset for Squamish.

Squamish Canyon has submitted a development application to turn at 26-acre property at the edge of the river’s canyon, a parcel located southwest of Squamish Valley Golf and Country Club, into Squamish’s newest outdoor destination.

The proposal calls for a 1.3-km-long, one-way walkway, complete with a mixture of elevated boardwalks through the forest, plus a suspended walkway that warps the edge of the canyon.

Squamish Canyon

2018 artistic rendering of Squamish Canyon. (Squamish Canyon)

Squamish Canyon

Site of Squamish Canyon. (Squamish Canyon)

“The walkway will weave its way through the area’s natural features allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature, with almost no impact to the forest floor or trees,” reads the project’s description.

Other features of this year-round attraction could potentially include a cafe, event space, a covered outdoor playground, and educational installations.

Proponents assert the attraction will have a minimal environmental footprint, as the area is currently designated for logging and zoned for residential uses.

Significant portions of the site were previously been logged, and a hydroelectric power plant borders an area near the canyon.

The vehicle parking needs for the destination will be situated under nearby existing power lines.

Squamish Canyon

2018 artistic rendering of Squamish Canyon. (Squamish Canyon)

Squamish Canyon

2018 artistic rendering of Squamish Canyon. (Squamish Canyon)

According to proponents, Squamish Canyon will not impact the area’s kayak access site, swimming holes, and most of the trails.

“We’ll be working with local recreational organizations to find out how their sport can safely continue in the canyon, particularly where they would be visible from our cliff walk,” continues the description, adding that “we want slacklining, kayaking and rock climbing activities to continue in the canyon and in fact, anticipate showcasing the athletes skills, without causing any ill effect to the operation or risking safety.”

“We have worked closely with the lands department and our local loggers to be able to divert the harvestable areas of this land from being logged and used for a canyon eco-tour. One of the things we want to show is how tourism and community space and industry can all coexist together, and how heavily used land can be reclaimed and turned into something that could be preserved forever.”

Proponents aim to use crowd equity to raise the necessary financing to complete the project, with the first round launched a year ago.

More details on the project are expected to be released later this fall.

Squamish Canyon

Layout of Squamish Canyon. (Squamish Canyon)