The views from here are exceptional and worth the effort. It’s better known as “The Chief,” and the easy access and amazing views make it a must for any outdoor adventurer. Hikers should be prepared with sturdy footwear, clothing, food and water. If you think that this hike is too advanced for your family, we encourage you to explore shorter hikes until you can build everyone up to tackle this one! In dry conditions the rock isn’t slippery though and Cat actually found it easier to climb up without the chain just using the tight footing in the gully. The Stawamus Chief is named by the primary nations individuals after their village on the Squamish River. Then comes the hardest part of the trail. It requires some manoeuvring to get up and it’s harder than it probably looks in the photo! Known locally as the Chief, this massive cliff face is one of North America's largest granite monoliths. There are also two further peaks if bagging one has only left you wanting more. Whilst the elevation gain is quite intense for such a short hike it’s totally doable if you take your time even if you aren’t used to steep hikes. 1. To get to the Chief, take Highway #1 westbound towards Horseshoe Bay and continue onto Highway #99 (Sea to Sky Highway). I had passed the trail to the 1st peak + I finally arrive to the top of the 2nd peak trail after about an hour + a half of hiking straight up. It is one of the largest granite monoliths in the world. Goodbye old Squamish boathouse. Whilst most people can definitely do it, you may want to give yourself some time for the scrambling. The Chief Trail is a steep and difficult climb, requiring hikers to be in good physical condition. Hike the Chief on a Tuesday morning, started at around 8am with no one on the trail except for two ladies at the start whom we passed right after the initial stairs. From here you can see the inlet, Squamish town and the second and third peaks nearby. Previous Story Next Story. It towers over 700 m (2,297 ft) above the waters of nearby Howe Sound. Hiking "The Chief" is something that every hiker should have on their bucket list. Stunning views of Howe Lake, Garibaldi peaks and Squamish. It’s also home to one of the most classic hikes in the Sea to Sky Corridor. My belief in it being a rite of passage seemed to be confirmed when we saw a school group of fifth graders hiking the trail on the 2nd day of school! Most people choose to just do the first peak and head back, but we’re gluttons for punishment and continued on. The classic route for a good half to full day hike is to ascend Second Peak and then continue on, following the orange trail blazes, to Third Peak. First Peak is a 4km round trip from the Chief parking lot and will take an average group around 3 to 4 hours. The Stawamus Chief hike outside the village Squamish in British Columbia, Canada is one of the most popular hikes near the city of Vancouver, only about an hours drive away. Yes, the local school gave these kids one day before they had to take on this brutal hike - I assume that 10 is the age where the rite of passage occurs in BC! There is also a spectacular drop off between the Peaks 2 and 3, which provides a great view. After the staircases, the track becomes rougher (and will continue for virtually the whole time). Overall we loved the adventure of this hike and though it was definitely tough in parts, there’s a great sense of achievement in taking on the Chief. They’re not too hard, but the chain makes it easier for your balance and staying on the track. If you’re in good shape and you have no fear of heights or scrambling it is going to be easy for you. The Chief Hike - Squamish's most epic challenge, The Peyto Lake Hike - how to get to the best views. It’s a tough hike. What makes it challenging is the elevation which is a whopping 550m in that distance. Only 5km, by heart pumping all the way straight up 2149 feet. The Chief: Head from Vancouver towards Squamish/Whistler on Highway 99. However the tougher the hike the greater the reward and getting to the top and seeing out to the inlet and Squamish town is a great feeling! Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from AdventureSmart. Read next: Abbott Ridge - one of the best hikes in BC, This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, that we will earn a small commission if you click through and decide to make a purchase. It rises 541 metres (1,774 feet) above the Howe Sound waters and stands like a sentinel above the town of Squamish. Already tagged. The Chief has to be on my top-10 best day hike list—it has everything I look for in a hike…waterfalls, colorful and unique rock formations, dense forest, raw beauty, challenging scrambles, and of course, awe-inspiring views from the peak(s). Saying farewell to the Squamish Youth Centre. Back onto the offical route and the second peak is a lot harder than the first as it requires a lot more scrambling and has a particularly difficult section to climb over. Jul 28, 2018 - Are you looking for a challenging yet fun family hike? The Chief hike in Squamish: The ladder on peak 1, Read next: Joffre Lakes Hike - Vancouver’s most instagrammable hike. Be careful as the drops here are considerable. Continue along the highway for the next 30-40 minutes until you reach a traffic light at near Shannon Falls. The majority of people stick to the first peak, but a few chose to take on the second as well (we hadn’t met anyone doing the third peak). I’m not going to lie, the beginning doesn’t look promising because you have to climb a lot of stairs but after that, the fun begins! Fast parties can be done in 90 minutes. If you find scrambles tough it is going to be harder but probably manageable as long as you hike in dry weather. The hike to all peaks starts from the same path which is about 100-200m from the car park. The chief is a superb hike. Are you visiting Squamish? It's a good way to go if you want a slightly wilder version of the grouse grind. We saw quite a few people struggle at this point, but everyone got past it. Make sure you park at the specific car park for the Chief and not the Shannon Falls car park unless you want to add on extra distance. It’s also home to one of the most classic hikes in the Sea to Sky Corridor. The Stawamus Chief is divided into three distinct summits and all three are accessible from the main Chief Hiking Trail. Your knees will thank you! We started the hike with stairs at the first part. One of coolest viewpoints in the area, the North Gully sits between Second and Third Peak and has sheer cliff walls with a 60-metre gap in between. Chief Mountain is a 1.5-mile hike in the mountains just one hour outside of Denver, Colorado. Already tagged. So, in late Spring, I was able to do the hike with my boyfriend. It’s pretty steep, exhausting and relentless. The path is rocky in parts and requires some scrambling to continue up but there are loads of tree roots to grab if you need. While the trail begins near the Chief Campground, access from Shannon Falls and the Sea to Sky Gondola is well marked and only takes a few minutes. Situated in the Whistler-Squamish region, this mountain group is … Already tagged. :-). Be careful as, like First Peak, there are ledges and drop-offs that should be given a wide berth. The trail has a lot of rock and rubble underfoot and the serious gradient makes the hike slow going. Looking for Meeting Space Tailored to Your Needs? The Chief hike in Squamish: The last push to the summit, Read next: Things to do in Vancouver Island for a trip of a lifetime. Are you hiking up the Chief?!”. 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