Hike the First Peak of the Stawamus Chief

Rate this Adventure 2.5 miles 1600 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. First Peak brings you to an epic view over Sqawmish, the Sea to Sky, 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 the peak is about 30 minutes out. It 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. Don’t forget to take a moment to look back as you get closer to the peak. The cars below will look like hot wheels racing down a track. The inlet will seem as if it’s forever expanding into the Pacific. 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. 

If you climb there are some fairly easy sport routes up top, and are not as busy as the routes at the base of the Chief.

Out and Back- Roughly 2.5 miles. Around 3 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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Rock Climbing
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby


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