Eagle watching in Brackendale, British Columbia

With one vacation day left to use by the end of year and Christmas being off-limits, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I was thinking of trying something new and started googling for day trips from Vancouver.

After weighing out the options and choosing a small budget, I decided on exploring the Eagle Run in Brackendale, Squamish, British Columbia. The Eagle Run is a viewing area/walk where you can view bald eagles, as some of them spend their winters here.

Brackendale Squamish River.jpg
Along the Squamish River in Brackendale

After going to pick up my Modo car, I was on route early. The morning is when bald eagles are most active and I didn’t want to miss it. It took just over an hour with light traffic from Vancouver including making a couple of turning mistakes before the highway.

After finding the parking lot on Government Road, I stepped into the cold and started walking. Almost immediately, I saw bald eagles resting on the ground and flying over head. I spent hours walking around and enjoying the mountains and eagles that surround Squamish River. When I was feeling chilly and about to leave, I decided to walk to the other end first. I’m glad I decided to as I spotted five bald eagles on the other side of the river, snacking on some fish. I stood there, watching until my body got too cold and begged for a warm cafe and coffee.

Bald Eagle Brackendale.jpg
Bald Eagle resting in the tree.

The peak viewing time is from mid-December to mid-January but eagles arrive between mid-November to mid-February. I went early in the morning, arriving just after 8am as the eagles are most active then. The provincial park (Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park) isn’t open in the winter but you can view them across the water. Parking is available by Easter Seal Camp, Squamish on Government Road. I didn’t go on the weekend (volunteer interpreters on site) but if you come during the week there are display boards to give you more information on the eagles.

You can make this a day trip and spend time in Squamish afterwards or stop on your way to or from Whistler. I’m going try to visit every winter, now that I discovered this hidden gem. I’m sure it’s busy on the weekends but on the Friday, I only saw five others over the course of a couple of hours.

More photos on Flickr.

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