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Brandywine Mountain Trip Report and Hiking Guide

Sophie Anderson

Written by Sophie Anderson

A lifelong adventurer, Sophie has treaded every terrain from rocky cliffs to forest trails. She aims to spark a love for the outdoors in every reader.

This trip report was last updated on December 29, 2023.

Brandywine Mountain
Entering Brandywine Meadows. You can see Brandywine Mountain far in the back.

Brandywine Meadows is a stunning alpine meadow with some great camping spots. There is also an excellent hike to the peak of Brandywine Mountain, if you're up for it. The best part though is a quick, easy approach from the parking lot.

Quick Facts

  • Distance: 3.15 km from the lower parking lot to the camping spots, 1.9 km from the upper parking lot to the camping spots.
  • Elevation: 510 meters of elevation gain from the lower parking lot to the camping spots, 100 meters of elevation gain from the upper parking lot to the camping spots.
  • Time: About 1.5 hours from the lower parking lot to the camping spots, about 45 minutes from the upper parking lot to the camping spots.
  • Best Time of Year: July to September
  • Access: 2WD to get to the lower parking lot, 4WD high clearance to get to the upper parking lot.
  • Difficulty: 2/5. This is an easy hike on a great trail. From the upper parking lot especially the elevation gain is very minimal.

Essential Gear

  • Backpacking Chair: The hike to Brandywine Meadows is short enough that you're probably going to have a decent amount of downtime around camp. A backpacking chair is a great way to relax for a few hours.
  • Sun Protection: Brandywine Meadows is an exposed area at high elevation, so if it's at all sunny out you're risking getting a lot of sun exposure. Consider bringing a hiking hat and some good sunscreen. This is doubly true if you're considering hiking Brandywine Mountain.
  • Fancy Camping Food: The hike in to Brandywine Meadows is short enough (especially if you start from the upper parking lot) that you can carry a heavier meal. We have a guide on the best dehydrated meals, but don't be afraid to get more creative.
Brandywine Mountain
The view from the peak of Brandywine Mountain.

Directions to the Trailhead

From Squamish, head North towards Whistler, turning left on to Callaghan Road (google maps link). Follow the this road for about 850 meters, then take a left on to Brandywine Forest Service Road. You'll soon come to a transfer station that should be gated off. There is a road that goes left around the station, which you should take.

Next, you'll come to a large, open space that is used by snowmobilers in the winter and ATVs in the summer. You want to drive through this, and pick up the road again on the other side.

Stay right at the fork, there should be a sign that points snowmobiles left and hikers right. Stay right and right again. The road should fork sharply right. At this point you'll start heading West, in to the mountains.

You should continue along this main road, following signs where necessary for Brandywine Meadows. Eventually you will reach a large junction, about 6.4 km from the highway, with the main road continuing on and a large branch going up to the right.

This is the junction for the upper parking lot. If you have a vehicle that can handle rocky roads and large water-bars, take the road to the right and head to the upper parking lot to save yourself some extra hiking. You will quickly take a left at a junction, then gain a good amount of elevation, and then you'll need to navigate through some large water-bars, before coming to the end of the road, which is the parking lot. It's not a huge parking lot and can get busy, so do a good job parking and don't block the road or anyone else.

If your car isn't able to get to the upper parking lot, you can continue along the main road and you should find the lower parking lot, on your right, in about 2 km.

Brandywine Mountain
Looking down on Brandywine Meadows.

The Hike

From Lower Parking Lot

From the lower parking lot, look for the trail heading in to the forest and up the hill. The trail is steep and ascends quickly, and you'll be wishing you had a vehicle that could make it to the upper parking lot by the end of it.

The trail enters the meadow near where the upper parking lot trail ends as well. Make a mental note where this is for the way down.

From Upper Parking Lot

From the upper parking lot the hike is straight-forward. There are several trails all leading up from the parking lot. Many of these will be muddy, depending on the time of year you go. The multiple trails are from snowmobilers, who access the meadows from here.

There is a more narrow footpath trail to the right of the snowmobiler trails that switchbacks up on the right, and if you can find it this is the better option.

You take this trail for about 15 minutes and 100 meters or so of elevation, and you will have arrived at the head of the meadows.

Camping Options

All the best camping is at the far end of Brandywine Meadows. To get there, from where either of the trail options enter the meadow, you follow an obvious path along the right hand side of the meadow.

It's a flat and well-established trail and you should be able to make good time. From one end of the meadow to the other is just over a kilometer.

At the end of the meadow there are several established campsites. If you get there early you'll have your pick of them. Brandywine Meadows is a popular spot, so if you arrive late on a busy weekend you may find yourself making your own flat spot.

Brandywine Mountain
One of the better campsites at the head of Brandywine Meadows.

If the ground is dry enough, you can also camp down in the flat of the meadow. This ground can be soggy if it's early in the season, but later in the year it makes a good, flat camping spot.

There is a creek here that flows down in to the meadow from the mountains above that you can get drinking water from. Bear hang spots are very limited, so you should definitely consider bringing a bear canister.

Brandywine Mountain

(About 3.2 km and 770 meters of elevation gain from the camping area to the peak)

The hike up Brandywine Mountain is not too challenging and a great day hike if you're planning to camp somewhere in the meadow.

From the camping area at the end of the meadow, you continue up the same trail, heading up hill, in to the mountains that feed the creek that goes through the meadows. 

Brandywine Mountain
Following the stream above Brandywine Meadows. The trail goes off to the left around this point.

Here, you'll want to turn about 90 degrees to the left, and head up steeper ground, heading towards the ridge above. There shouldn't be any hard sections here, just steep hiking on loose boulders which may slow you down a bit.

Brandywine Mountain
Looking back at the ridge that leads up to the summit of Brandywine Mountain.

Once on the ridge, the terrain gets easier. You mostly follow the ridge, and there should be a trail to follow. The trail may meander around but it generally follows the ridge all the way to the peak of Brandywine Mountain.

You'll gain some elevation on the way, but nothing quite as steep as the trail to get on the ridge.

From the peak you get excellent views of the surrounding mountains as well as the meadows below.

Brandywine Mountain
Looking down on Brandywine Glacier from the peak of Brandywine Mountain.


Are there bears at Brandywine Meadows?

There are bears throughout the Sea to Sky region, so there is definitely the possibility of seeing bears in the Brandywine Meadows area. Almost all the bears you see will be Black Bears, but there is a small chance you will see Grizzlies.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes! The Brandywine Meadows area is on crown land so you can bring your dog and have it off leash too if you're comfortable with that.

What is the best time of the year to camp at Brandywine Meadows?

If you want to avoid snow then it's best to go after June. If you go after September then you're risking getting rained on (or maybe snowed on). So the best time is July through September.

Are there a lot of bugs?

There is a lot of very slow moving water and swampy terrain in the meadows, so there is definitely the possibility for a lot of bugs, especially in a bad bug year.

Is there a permit I need to get?

No, you don't need any kind of permit for camping at Brandywine Meadows.

Can I have a campfire at Brandywine Meadows?

Yes, you can have a campfire at Brandywine Meadows, just make sure that there is not a fire ban on. Please also consider hiking in your own firewood. It's a short hike, and the Brandywine Meadows area is an alpine environment. Trees are limited and grow slowly here, so trees that are cut down will not grow back quickly.

Is there an outhouse at Brandywine Meadows?

No, there is no bathroom or outhouse.

Gear Packing List

Sleeping + Shelter
  1. Sleeping bag
  2. Sleeping pad
  3. Pillow
  4. Tent
  5. Tent pegs
  6. Tent footprint
Cooking + Eating
  1. Stove
  2. Propane (or other fuel source)
  3. Lighter
  4. Pot and / or Pan
  5. Bowl / Plate
  6. Spork
  7. Biodegradable dish soap
  8. Breakfast
  9. Lunch
  10. Dinner
  11. Snacks
  12. Coffee (or tea)
  1. Water bottle
  2. Water filter (the creek water should be quite clean, so purification tablets will work too)
  3. Mug for hot drinks
  1. Backpack
  2. Backpack rain-cover
  3. Zip-locks and / or trash bag
  4. Food storage bag
  5. Bear Canister or hanging system (there are limited bear hang options, so a bear canister is a good idea)
  1. Boots or Shoes
  2. Socks
  3. Sandals or Hut Booties
  1. Toilet paper
  2. Toothbrush + toothpaste
  3. Soap (make sure it's biodegradable)
  1. Underwear
  2. Long underwear
  3. Base layer
  4. Down jacket and / or fleece
  5. Shirts
  6. Shorts or Pants
  7. Rain jacket (if the weather calls for it)
  8. Rain pants (if the weather calls for it)
  9. Hat
Around Camp
  1. Headlamp (plus extra batteries)
  2. Backpacking chair
  3. Backpacking towel (the creek is shallow, but it's enough to wash yourself off in)
  4. Knife
  1. Trekking poles
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Camera
  4. Cord or rope
  5. Bear spray
  6. First aid kit
  7. Mosquito spray
  8. Sunscreen
  9. Duct tape