Hike and Climb the Chief

Canada Shannon Falls Parking

Added by Rachel 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
  • 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.

Pack List

  • Boots
  • Hiking poles (if you are into that)
  • Camera
  • Rope
  • Crash pad
  • Climbing Shoes
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Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



6.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1968.5 Feet



Dog Friendly
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

6 days ago

Heart Pumper With Epic Views

Although highly trafficked always a great hike. Gets your heart pumping with stops along the way to appreciate the views. First and Second peak offer spectacular views of Squamish and the sound. Not for the faint of heart when it comes to heights!

6 days ago

8 days ago

Such A Great Hike

Such a great, classic hike! It's definitely popular, and can be busy (hence only 4 stars) but still totally worth it - and what a workout.. The view from the top is unbelievable as well - pack a lunch and enjoy it if you have time!

8 days ago

2 months ago

3rd peak

Hiked Nov 4, 2013 Gorgeous day, sunshine and clear! Was brisk and a bit of ice in a few places at the top, only a couple spots with mud or areas where water was running through a little bit. No snow yet! Starts with stairs pretty much right away! After 10 minutes though they are over and you can enjoy nature!! There was a helicopter for the first 30 minutes as well... Since they are building a gondola (unfortunate) but once that noise was gone it was fabulous to hear the water running, the occasional bird and just be in the great outdoors! Steady incline and nice changes from trail to a bit of scrambling. Loved it! Took us 1 hour and 40 minutes going directing to the 3rd peak. Enjoyed the view while we ate lunch and took our time coming down as you have such a great perspective of all of creation on the way down - took us 1 hour and 30 minutes, but that was at a very relaxed pace. Enjoy! :)

2 months ago

6 months 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 :)

6 months ago

7 months 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!

7 months ago

7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

Added by Rachel Kristensen

Travel Blogger | Adventure Seeker | Tour Leader | Find me regularly @meandertheworld on Instagram.

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