Located just south of Squamish, Browning Lake is visible from the Sea to Sky Highway, and is often mistaken for Murrin Lake due to it being within the parametres of Murrin Provincial Park. Despite its small size and proximity to the highway, Browning Lake is increasingly busy, and it can be difficult to find parking on a sunny weekend afternoon. Adding to its popularity are the numerous climbing walls that are accessible along the Murrin Loop Trail.
The Murrin Loop Trail itself is a favourite hike of mine. I like this hike because it has spectacular views, but isn’t at all strenuous. Just as you are starting to work up a sweat, you’ve already reached the top lookout.
Starting from the parking lot, walk around the right side of the lake past the picnic tables and sandy beach. Following the trail that loops around the lake, there is a marker for the Murrin Loop Trail, which will be on your right just past the last picnic table. You will immediately start climbing up into the forest. The trail is well marked and wraps around impressive rock walls that are popular among climbers.
The full loop can be completed in less than an hour, factoring in short stops to admire the view from the two lookout points (one at the top, and one about halfway down). There is one steep section on the way down just after the second lookout point, however, it is not difficult to maneuver.
For a short and sweet hike with breathtaking views, Murrin Loop Trail is high on my list.