Hike Second and Third Peak of Stawamus Chief

Rate this Adventure 4 miles 2000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Joseph Gulizia

Just a short drive up the Sea to Sky Highway is one of my favorite hikes near Vancouver. It offers some of the best views in the Sea to Sky corridor.

Just a short drive up the Sea to Sky Highway is one of my favorite hikes near Vancouver. There are two options; the hike to first peak or the hike to second and third peak. Second Peak brings you to an epic view over Sqawmish, the first peak of the Chief, the Sea to Sky Highway, and the Pacific Ocean. It is a perfect hike for those looking to do a quick day hike, and is far enough out of the city that it doesn’t get too busy. Be aware that on weekends, that might be a different story. Try to get there early, especially in the summer and you can beat the heat. 

After a quick walk through the parking lot and campgrounds you will find yourself at the trailhead. It starts off with a wooden staircase, straight up. This continues for about a mile. After which you will come to an intersection with the Sea to Summit Trail. Stay straight and continue up the mountain. Then you will find yourself alternating between a well maintained trail and staircases. Enjoy your time in the shaded woods before the climb to the peak. Just before the last climb there is a perfect spot for a break and a snack. Make your way past a large boulder into a clearing, giving you views of the Sea to Summit gondola/trail. Cool down, have a snack, take in the view, and of course some photos. The hardest part is yet to come. 

From the boulder you are a little over half way. About ten more minutes up the trail you will see most people turning up to the left towards first peak. This is where you will continue straight. From here you have about another hour and a half. The last stretch to the peak consists of a steep climb, parts you will see there are chains to assist you in the hike, some scrambling up worn down granite, and climbing ladders. The first spot you will reach is second peak. From here you have a couple of options: take in the view, and/or continue along the flats for a short walk to third peak. The second option is a great way to skip the crowds if it happens to be busy. You will find many view points some more secluded than others. You will be able to see the cars below rushing up and down the Sea to Sky Highway past Sqawmish. To the North Mt. Garibaldi will be visible, and as you look past Sqawmish to the South you will see the Sqawmish river mixing into the Pacific Ocean. Hopefully you will be in awe, as I am each time I summit the Chief. Enjoy the summit, the glorious iconic views, and as always, please pack out all of your trash. 

Out and Back- Roughly 4 miles. Around 5 hours depending upon breaks. It is not for the beginner hiker, the route is steep, and at some points can be technical. To avoid the most crowds go early and during the week. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Picnic Area


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