This very popular little lake just north of Squamish, British Columbia is the perfect place to head for outdoor activities, water sports or just plain relaxation. Surrounded by beautiful forest, it is easy to find a nice, sheltered spot around Brohm Lake or venture further afield on one of the many excellent hiking trails winding through the hills and rocky bluffs of this fascinating area.
What Brohm Lake does not have is a bunch of sandy beaches. However, as long as you are okay with staking out one of the many rocky outcroppings that surround the lake you can enjoy a unique lake experience, often with more privacy than normal.
Some spots have shallow, gradual entrance points, while others get deep quickly and provide good opportunities for jumping, diving or swinging out for that refreshing dip.
Brohm Lake Hikes
Lake Loop Trail
3.5 km / 1 hr / 50m elevation gain
AllTrails: Brohm Lake Loop
A straightforward loop around the lake that leads you through a surprising variety of terrain. Starting right from the parking lot, to the north you head into the woods, following the trail around to the west side where it gets progressively rougher and more interesting.
Most of the way you will be surrounded by ancient Douglas firs centuries old towering high above, plus a pretty good selection of cedars and hemlocks as well. If you go south from the parking lot, the trail follows the highway and crosses a bridge before heading into the trees.
There are many options to explore short side trails up hills, to viewpoints and down to the lakeshore.
This terrific viewpoint offers a stunning look at the Tantalus Mountain Range, typically snow-covered most of the year. To reach it you follow a 500-metre spur up a steep hill off the Loop Trail (the lookout adds a total of 1 km and about 20 min).
Interpretive Forest Loop
8.5 km / 3 hrs / 400m
AllTrails: Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest
A more extensive trail that takes you farther out along more scenic ridges and up and down several sets of impressive bluffs. The trail markings are a bit sparse (and occasionally confusing) so it is worth having the GPS map with you (and downloaded for offline use).
4 km / 1.5 hrs / 150m
AllTrails: Brohm Lake Creek Trail
Another leisurely option that follows the creek to the north with plenty of nice forest scenery and creek views.
For even more hiking options in the area, check out our detailed list of 22 great Squamish hikes.
Brohm Lake Cliff Jumping and Rope Swings
There are actually several rope swings and cliff jumping spots to cater to those looking for a little more excitement with their lake lounging. There is one rope swing fairly close to the parking lot, with a relatively tame cliff jumping spot located just a little farther down the path.
Continuing around to a little cove you’ll find a more imposing rock wall with several cliff jumping spots ranging from 6-13 metres high (roughly 20-40 feet). Clearly, some of these cater specifically to the high adrenalin crowd (and its spectators, of course).
For more daredevil exploits, you can check out the cliff jumping at Lions Bay. This is the place to go if you feel the need to fling yourself off some really high, rocky bluffs directly into the Howe Sound.
Lake Floating, Paddling and Swimming
Small and sheltered, Brohm Lake is the ideal place for a dip or to settle into a floatie or tube to spend an hour (or three) just drifting aimlessly around the lake. Plus, there is no boat launch so only the smallest craft make it out, keeping things relatively safe for swimmers, paddleboarders and floaters.
Brohm Lake Fishing
It is a small lake with correspondingly small fish but the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery stocks it with rainbow trout every spring so the fishing can actually be pretty good in April and May. It gets very busy with the recreational crowd in summer but if you visit early in the morning on a weekday there is still a good chance you’ll have the place to yourself. Summer fishing is best before it gets too hot.
Along with the rainbows, Brohm Lake boasts small cutthroat trout (4-8 inches) that are best caught in the fall when fewer people are around.
The lake gets deep pretty quickly along the east side of the lake, making it easy to fish from shore, and there are plenty of rocks and ledges to base yourself on (although you will definitely notice the highway noise along the southeastern part of the lake). There is no launch, so any boat you bring in will have to be small enough to carry down to the water.
Lots of people go with a small dinghy (or just fish from shore). Also, remember everyone needs to pick up a British Columbia freshwater fishing license before dropping a line in.
Can you camp at Brohm Lake?
No, Brohm Lake is day-use only. There is no camping allowed or open fires. There are a couple decent options nearby, though, in Paradise Valley (which is technically walking distance to the lake) or Cat Lake (just across the highway and a couple kilometres in). For all the camping options in the area, check out The Best and Worst of Squamish Camping.
Is Brohm Lake dog friendly?
Yes, dogs are allowed at Brohm Lake but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
How to Get to Brohm Lake
One of the big draws of Brohm Lake is its close proximity to Squamish, just 15 kilometres north of downtown. As you follow the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) north out of the city you will see a sign on your right for Cat Lake. For the main Brohm Lake parking lot you will take a left about a kilometre past this (get here early on hot summer days or weekends).
If this lot is full or you just want to start the Interpretive Trail at the south end or hike the Cheakamus Loop Trail there is another lot on the same side, this one just south of the Cat Lake turnoff.
Things to do Nearby
“The Chief” hike is the most famous hike in the area. It is a strenuous climb up featuring stairs, rocks, roots, scrambling, ladders and chains to reach three different viewpoints, all of which are amazing.
Cat Lake is another great nearby choice for a Squamish lake and the Alice Lake Provincial Park is only a few minutes away and very popular with families.
Bowen Island makes a great day trip, featuring an outstanding viewpoint at the end of a hike up to the panoramic summit of Mount Gardner, plus a bunch of good beaches, a lighthouse, a number of bayside restaurants and bars, as well as a short hike to a mysterious, hidden driftwood mastodon.
It is a short stroll to the main Shannon Falls viewpoints, or you can tackle the strenuous and tricky climb to the spectacular viewpoint at the Upper Pools.
Lillooet Lake is a beautiful, reflective lake surrounded by mountains up past Whistler, great for camping or day trips.
Tunnel Bluffs viewpoint has phenomenal views of Howe Sound and is a very popular spot reached by a moderate hike from Lions Bay.
Porteau Cove is certainly worth a stop along the Sea to Sky Highway south of Squamish, with some great viewpoints, a nice short hike and plenty of picnic areas.
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