Squamish to Indian Arm and Back: First Dead Cougar

Nice views

This trip started with a drama at the Chief parking lot as there was a lot of commotion and a few rangers around. We weren’t sure what was happening till a group of rangers showed up dragging a dead Cougar behind them. Apparently this cougar killed a dog the day before, and the solution was to kill it…We left the parking lot a bit shocked and confused from the sight of the dead cougar and started the most strenuous trip of the season. Some sections were steep, some sections were impossible to ride because of big rocks and loose gravel, and on some sections we had to ride or push our bikes through water. However, the views of Sky Pilot and Habrich mountains were rewarding. After reaching the pass we had a nice downhill section, but I couldn’t help thinking that tomorrow it would be a big uphill… When we got closer to Indian Arm we found the tastiest Salmon berries I have ever had. They were big and puffy and very sweet. A great treat for the end of a long bike ride.

Big and Puffy

When we reached the ocean we found a nice spot to settle down for the night. Even though we knew we were already in Indian Arm – which is the ocean, Gili was convinced that the water there was not yet salty and therefore it was OK to use it for cooking. He sent me to bring water, but a couple on a boat nearby saw what I was doing and immediately gave me a few bottles of water. They said it’s very dangerous to drink the water and it’s even worse to boil it…

In the morning it was time to start climbing what was a nice downhill yesterday. We passed some abandoned machinery on the side of the road, and an old unused barn. Halfway through the descent I discovered that my brakes were not working properly and Gili spent a while trying to fix them. It didn’t help much, but at least we were almost at the end.

Crossing the Indian River

Just before reaching the Chief again we found some more sweet Salmonberries and took our time eating them. Back in the parking lot there was no sign of the dead cougar from yesterday. A few days later we heard on the news that a cougar had attacked a little girl named Maya who was picking Salmonberries in Squamish.

More photos

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2 Responses to Squamish to Indian Arm and Back: First Dead Cougar

  1. Howard Lee says:

    This sounds like a great trip for our group of friends to ride later this year! Thanks for the information. How many km was the trip?

    • Gili says:

      Thanks Howard, and sorry for the delay in replying. The book “Mountain Bike Adventures in Southwest British Columbia” states that the round trip, starting from the Stawamus Chief parking lot is 75kms with a total elevation gain of 1,620m. When we did this trip, if I remember correctly, Stawamus-Indian FSR was gated, which did not allow vehicles larger than an ATV through, but I think it is open now. That being said, there shouldn’t be too much traffic on that road… The road information website states: “4WD access only; seasonally deactivated. Access may be limited beyond 10km due to minor washouts.” When we did the trip there were also some minor washouts – most likely these washouts would be easy to cross or get around with a bike. Good luck and have fun!

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