Hike and Climb the Chief

Shannon Falls Parking - Search Nearby - Added by Rachel Bertsch (Kristensen)

The Stawamus Chief is a massive granite rock located in Squamish, BC. It's one of the top climbing and bouldering areas in North America and it also happens to be one of BC’s top hikes for good reason. The views of Howe Sound and the Coastal Mountains are spectacular. Duration: Full Day if climbing too.

If you are hiking this spot, you can do so even as a beginner so long as you have a good fitness level. I’ve seen people do this in jeans and dress shoes, although they are crazy. Wear some hikers and prepare to get your sweat on.

There are three peaks, first is the most popular, second has the best views and third makes it a longer 11km hike. There is a 600m elevation gain in 1.5km, so this is a steep hike on stairs. Keep in mind that you can hike all three peaks, but this is also a huge spot for bouldering and climbing.

The hikes are something you should do when in Vancouver. Consider it a right of passage. The views over the blue waters of Howe Sound, with windsurfers and kiteboarders sailing around in the windy straight below you looking so tiny as you tower above the famous Squamish rock.

Double up your hiking views by parking (for free) at Shannon Falls and start there. Shannon Falls is one of Canada’s largest waterfalls and black bears have been spotted just off the parking lot from time to time.

Head into Squamish and get your granola on by having some healthy organic options at Zepher’s Café.

If you're thinking of breaking up the hike, check out Hike the first peak of Stawamus Chief or Hike second and third peaks of Stawamus Chief.

Distance

6.8 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1968.5 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Rock Climbing, Photography, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Lynden / Bellingham KOA

Lynden, Washington

Community Photos

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Erin L

about 3 years ago

Amazing Hike!

I recommend going to the third and final peak -the view is amazing and you are completely secluded. Takes about 2. 5 hrs to reach the top peak. See if you can spot the friendly chipmunk that lives there :)

Sandy

about 3 years ago

A Must-do!

Did this hike on Good Friday and had great weather, luckily! There were still some wet spots up top, which made for some slick sections on the final climb. We went earlier in the morning, around 9, and managed to avoid most of the crowds. It was way busier waiting and avoiding people on our way down. Stunning views up top!

A West coast classic!!

As a well-known mountain in the rock-climbing world the Chief is also a hikers paradise. With a choice of 3 separate or conjoined trails connecting the various peaks the chief can be a morning hike or a full-day experience. The views of Howe sound are amazing and the town of Squamish below feels so close you can almost touch it. Many of the trails have chains and ladders to help you get to the top. While the first peak is the most commonly climbed the second peak has the best views and trail.

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