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Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park
About This Park
Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park lies in the Squamish River watershed within the rugged terrain of the Coast mountains. As the Squamish River drains through the Pacific Ranges to the coast it has carved a deep low-level valley.
The Squamish River Valley has long been recognized as one of the most significant areas of wintering bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in North America. In the 1994 winter eagle count, Squamish had the world record count of 3,769 eagles. The river’s riparian area provides suitable habitat for roosting, perching and feeding. Runs of chum salmon (Oncorhynchuus keta) in the Squamish, Cheakamus, and Mamquam rivers attract eagles from all over the Pacific Northwest and the interior of British Columbia from November to February of each year.
Park Size: 755 hectares
Date Established: June 29, 1999
Know Before You Go
- There is no river crossing from the east side of the Squamish River to the park on the west side, and there is no access by road. Views of the park are enjoyed by the public from areas outside the park boundaries.
- Viewing facilities are provided on the Eagle Run dyke, across from the Easter Seals Camp at 41015 Government Road in Brackendale.
- Eagle viewing is at its peak from mid-November to mid-December, but
significant numbers of eagles may be present from mid-November to mid-January.
The number of eagles returning to feed each year depends on the number of salmon present and the weather conditions. The average number of eagles counted in the Squamish Valley since the 1994 record count of 3,769 is approximately 1,300.
Eagle viewing is best enjoyed by the public from areas outside the park boundaries. The main “Eagle Run” viewing facility is located on the Eagle Run dyke, across from the Easter Seals Camp at 41015 Government Road in Brackendale. Exit Highway 99 at Garibaldi Way and head north on Government Road to the viewing area. An interpretive display explains the eagles and salmon life cycle.
- EagleWatch is a volunteer community-based interpretive program offered to help visitors at the Eagle Run viewing area to understand the eagles and salmon life cycle, and to get a close-up view through spotting scopes. Interpreters are at the shelter on the dyke each weekend from mid-November until the eagles leave in January, as well as daily during Christmas week.
- Due to the park’s high conservation values, no recreation facilities exist in the park. Recreation use, except for fishing, is closed from October 1 to March 31 of each year. Recreational use from April 1 to September 30 of each year is limited, to maintain low numbers and low intensity use. The park is closed to campfires, camping, trail development, mountain biking, horseback riding, and mechanized activity. Commercial recreation activities are restricted to river rafting opportunities where appropriate wildlife viewing practices are followed and require a Park Use Permit.
Location and Maps
Nature and Culture
- Wildlife -Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park preserves critical habitat for wintering bald eagles. During the winter months, large numbers of eagles congregate along the Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers to feed on salmon carcasses. Other wildlife species in the park include black bear (Ursus americanus), cougar (Felis concolor), gray wolf (Canis lupus), Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti), and Columbian black-tailed deer (Odecoileus hemionus columbianus). Fur-bearing species include coyote (Canis latrans), bobcat (Lynx rufus), mink (Mustela vison), and weasel (Mustela frenata). Many small mammals inhabit the area including the Northern flying-squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus), the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), and the yellow-pine chipmunk (Tamias amoenus). Reptiles found in the area include three species of garter snake. Eleven amphibians are likely present; these include the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) and the northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile). There are approximately 148 bird species that use the park area at various times throughout the year.