Britannia Beach is located 12 km (7.5 miles) south of Squamish
and 33 km (21 miles) north of Horseshoe
Bay on the 'Sea to Sky' Hwy 99.
Britannia Beach was first developed in the late 1800's with prospecting
for the large copper deposits found in the area. Eventually the
Britannia Mining and Smelting Company developed a mine in the early
1900's and mined up until 1959. The company unfortunately had to
liquidate because of low copper prices and world demand at the time.
Copper Mining Company
The demand for copper came back in the early 1960's and, in 1963,
the Anaconda Copper Mining Company revived the mine bringing it
back into production. The Anaconda Copper Mining Company existed
up until 1974 but because of environmental issues, taxes and high
operating costs they had to close the Britannia mine forever.
What is left of Anaconda Copper has been made into a display of
mining history originally called the BC Museum of Mining now known
as the Britannia Mine Museum. Situated just off Hwy 99 as you enter
Britannia Beach from the south and Vancouver, the museum features
the original mine building, some massive equipment plus excellent
tours taking you back into BC's mining past.
Cafés and Curio Shops
Britannia Beach has some curio shops along the 'Sea to Sky' Hwy
99. For people who love crafts try visiting Earthly Crystal &
Gifts Inc. where you can find BC jade and jewellery from local artists
and next door Gold Trail Jewellers specializing in gold nuggets,
amber and more.
Also located on Hwy 99 towards the south end of Britannia Beach
is the Galileo Coffee Company whose motto is 'Truth in Coffee.'
Here you can find a café and roastery offering espresso,
fresh baked goods and lunch.
The original town site of Britannia Beach is situated more up the
hill overlooking Howe Sound. Here you can find some old houses once
the property of the mine that have lately been transformed into
Furry Creek Golf Club
For golfers located just south of Britannia Beach on Hwy 99 is the
Furry Creek Resort. Reclaimed from a gravel pit that stood here
for years the Furry Creek Resort features water view properties
along a very challenging golf course. Furry Creek Golf features
some signature holes playing next to Howe Sound.
Cove Provincial Park
If you SCUBA dive there is an excellent diving area located very
close to Britannia Beach at Porteau
Cove Provincial Park. The park is situated right next to Howe
Sound and the Sea to Sky Hwy 99, about 8.5 km south of Britannia
Beach. For non-SCUBA divers you will also enjoy the walking pier
and beautiful panoramic views of Howe Sound and the now - defunct
pulp mill at Woodfibre.
One thing that has been popular in the hills behind Britannia Beach
is trails, cross motorcycling and ATV riding by local enthusiasts.
Various courses exist and trails exist both behind Britannia Beach
and up Furry Creek to the south.
There is also a 20 km (12.5 mile) round-trip hiking trail into Utopia
Lake. Along the way you can find excellent viewpoints of the mountains
and some nice views to the west of Howe Sound. The trip gains around
1,390 metres in elevation going into Utopia Lake.
Lake Provincial Park
If you are travelling on Hwy 99, there is a rest stop just north
of Britannia Beach called Murrin Lake. Murrin Lake Provincial Park
features swimming, a picnic area and a short walking trail around
Murrin Lake or a longer, more strenuous hiking trail up into Petgill
Just a reminder there are black bears, grizzly bears and cougars
living in all of BC and the Britannia Beach area is no exception.
Please practise proper bear and wildlife safe procedures when you
are enjoying the beautiful countryside or hiking in the mountains.
Also remember to be prepared for possible changes in the weather.
on Britannia Beach