The Squamish Chief Hike
The Squamish chief hike, located in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park in the District of Squamish, is one of the most popular spots for hiking and rock climbing. It’s better known as “The Chief,” and the easy access and amazing views make it a must for any outdoor adventurer. There are three summits that make up The Chief, and if you have about six hours and plenty of energy, you can complete all three in one day.
If space allows, begin your hike at the Shannon Falls parking lot. It can get a bit crowded, but you’ll have a terrific view of the falls. Grab your camera and stop for a photo before you begin hiking The Chief. Just opposite of the falls, you’ll find a dirt trail where you can begin your hike. You’ll follow the trail until it crosses over Olesen Creek, and then you’ll be greeted by the trail to The Chief.
The South peak, peak 1, is a good climb with a 500 m gain in elevation. The top of the peak offers rewarding views of Squamish and Howe Sound, so stop and take in the view before heading on.
Peak 2, the Centre peak, provides an incredible view of Mount Gibraldi, as well as a 580 m gain in elevation. The route is clearly marked with aluminum signs and red paint, so you’ll have no trouble finding your way. All you have to do is climb and take in the scenery.
As you reach the end of peak 2, you’ll be greeted by a chain-rope to assist you during the next part of your climb. Between peak 2 and peak 3, you’ll find a great drop off with some amazing views. It’s the perfect spot to rest before making your final ascent to peak 3.
Continue to follow the trail markers up and you’ll come to peak 3, the North peak. The final peak is a 627 m elevation gain. There are a few narrow sections of rock that can be a bit slippery, so proceed with caution.
The Squamish Chief Hiking Map
As I said, hiking The Chief is a must, but that means it gets extremely crowded in the summer. Try to visit on a weekday or shoulder season (spring or fall) if you want to avoid the crowds. Because it doesn’t get as much snow as other mountains, the hiking season is a bit longer.
Head westbound on Highway #1 towards Horseshoe Bay. Take the exit onto Highway #99 (Sea to Sky Highway), and continue for 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye out for the signs to Shannon Falls. Turn right at the traffic lights if you wish to park in the Shannon Falls parking lot. The lot is small, so if it’s full, continue on Highway #99 to the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park parking lot.
- Dog Friendly: Yes
- Season: March- November
- Public Transit: No
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Time – 2- 6 hours depending on how many peaks & your speed
- Distance: 11 km
- Elevation Gain: 6020 meters
Some of Our Favourite Squamish Chief Instagram Shots:
Howe Sound as seen from the Sea to Summit trail near Squamish B.C. . . . #squamish #squamishisawesome #seatosummit #hikingtrail #canadaexplored #takeahikecanada #hiking_daily #hiking_culture #getoutside #hikingram #explore #takeahike #explore_bc #explorebc #beautifulbritishcolumbia #hike_bc #britishcolumbia #gooutside #westcoast #exploresquamish #adventuresquamish #squamishadventure
A photo posted by Ranger Sarah ◭ Squamish BC (@mountaindarlin) on
Having fun #playing with the #puddles of #spring . Very diverse #sky around #sunset . #tain coming down #howesound the #sun breaking through the #clouds and broken sky above. #chief #squamish #hike #explorebc #nature #scenery #canada #explore #exploresquamish #squamishadventure #evening #samsung #perspective #ocean #reflection #water