We're Cat and Joe, two travel fanatics from the U.K. We both caught the travel bug on solo trips in 2003 and have been hopelessly addicted ever since. From here you can turn back the way you came and brave the chains in reverse, or head onto the third peak or take a different route back. So, in late Spring, I was able to do the hike with my boyfriend. Read more to learn what to expect and how to plan for a great trip! The hike has a roughly 500 m elevation gain to peak 1, and 590 m and 630 m gains to Peaks 2 and 3. There’s also a second ladder which is quite narrow but very stable. Stawamus Chief is one of the most popular hikes around Vancouver, and the trail gets exceptionally busy during the summer. Already tagged. This mountain hike is not for the faint hearted as one discovers when they reach the starting point. Squamish Terry Fox Run — 2020. The Chief hike in Squamish: the gnarly descent, The Chief hike in Squamish: The rough path down. Only 5km, by heart pumping all the way straight up 2149 feet. Would you take on the Chief hike? Previous Story Next Story. If you want to descend then as soon as you hit a route which offers you the option of going up or downhill take the downhill and you’ll eventually end up back at the car park. Squamish Chief Photo Galleries. Then before long you’re at the chains for the second peak. Chief Mountain is a 1.5-mile hike in the mountains just one hour outside of Denver, Colorado. This is a fool-proof trail and the route is well marked by aluminum signs on trees and red painted arrows on the rocks all the way up. Whilst the elevation gain is quite intense for such a short hike it’s totally doable if you take your time even if you aren’t used to steep hikes. Are you visiting Squamish? The largest of the three summits, Second Peak, even on busy days, is a worthy objective. There is also a spectacular drop off between the Peaks 2 and 3, which provides a great view. If you want to continue onto Peak 2 and 3, allow 4-5 hours for the total trip - this will allow you to get your breath back and enjoy the views! First Peak is a 4km round trip from the Chief parking lot and will take an average group around 3 to 4 hours. The Stawamus Chief, officially Stawamus Chief Mountain (often referred to as simply The Chief, or less commonly Squamish Chief), is a granitic dome located adjacent to the town of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Whilst most people can definitely do it, you may want to give yourself some time for the scrambling. The Chief Hike - Squamish's most epic challenge, The Peyto Lake Hike - how to get to the best views. After this it’s mainly stone steps which felt so steep that they seemed to be made for giants! After the staircases, the track becomes rougher (and will continue for virtually the whole time). The views from here are exceptional and worth the effort. It’s also home to one of the most classic hikes in the Sea to Sky Corridor. Hikers should be prepared with sturdy footwear, clothing, food and water. If you just did the first peak it would come in at around a 6km round trip. Hiking the Chief is a challenge. The trail goes straight up, right off the start, and is sure to get your heart and lungs into overdrive. Simply put, the Chief hike has to be on your list of hikes to tackle in Squamish! The official route and then the unofficial, unmaintained via ferrata style route. The Stawamus Chief is named by the primary nations individuals after their village on the Squamish River. They also might produce the odd rock climber topping out on their adventure. Known locally as the Chief, this massive cliff face is one of North America's largest granite monoliths. It offers a stunning view of Mt. The Chief hike in Squamish: The ladder on peak 1, Read next: Joffre Lakes Hike - Vancouver’s most instagrammable hike. I will describe the hike as completing both Peaks 2 and 3, … Squamish Remembers 2020. We’ve heard many tales of the unofficial route being on the death defying side of hiking so we decided to go with the official option. The hike to all peaks starts from the same path which is about 100-200m from the car park. I had passed the trail to the 1st peak + I finally arrive to the top of the 2nd peak trail after about an hour + a half of hiking straight up. We used to talk about travelling the world together, and in 2012 we finally made that happen. Already tagged. You’ll know you’re at the start of the trail at the foot of the stairs. Looking for Meeting Space Tailored to Your Needs? Are you hiking up the Chief?!”. If you just did the first peak it would come in at around a 6km round trip. The closest of the three in terms of distance from the parking lot, First Peak is both the busiest and the best when it comes to views of Howe Sound. Here’s what to expect from the Chief hike in Squamish, which is actually officially called the Stawamus Chief but we didn’t meet anyone who called it by it’s proper name! The Chief is one that attracts hikers and non hikers alike, despite being a fairly full on climb. In dry conditions the rock isn’t slippery though and Cat actually found it easier to climb up without the chain just using the tight footing in the gully. While not overly technical in nature, the Stawamus Chief is nonetheless a challenging hike, mainly because it doesn’t beat around the bush. It’s also home to one of the most classic hikes in the Sea to Sky Corridor. To get to peak three or the alternate route down you do not start descending towards the chains but continue further along the peak until you pick up the pink ribbons tied to the trees, these will lead you to peak three. While the trail begins near the Chief Campground, access from Shannon Falls and the Sea to Sky Gondola is well marked and only takes a few minutes. Whilst some people go up incredibly quickly, we recommend allowing 1 hour 30 to hike to the top of Peak 1 (one-way). Note from Robin : The Grind is certainly not for everybody. The Stawamus Chief is the distinctive towering mountain that overlooks the town of Squamish north of Vancouver. The round-trip distance from the parking lot is 4km, but due to the steep nature of the trail, allow yourself 2-3 hours for the hike. It’s slow going, but eventually you’ll arrive back at the staircase for giants and then the car park. The second chain is on a slightly steeper section but again it isn’t too difficult. Back onto the offical route and the second peak is a lot harder than the first as it requires a lot more scrambling and has a particularly difficult section to climb over. Soon you’ll see the chains shoot upwards over some big boulders. Even before we’d got to Squamish, we’d been asked “You’re going to Squamish? All rights reserved. The Chief hike is one of the best lower mainland hike I’ve done in a while. Heading back down the way you came you’ll see signs to the second peak which leads up a gap between the peaks which is steep and gets more narrow along the way. Already tagged. The Chief hike in Squamish: The summit of Peak 2. Keep an eye out for the reflectors that mark the trail as it can be easy to lose track of where to go. Situated in the Whistler-Squamish region, this mountain group is … The Chief hike is for intermediate hiking levels and not all families will find it suitable for them. The Stawamus Chief is named by the first nations people after their village on the Squamish River. This helps towards the costs of running our website. Just be mindful of the drop-offs, some of them go down a long way! What makes it challenging is the elevation which is a whopping 550m in that distance. Squamish students put their skills to the test. For virtually the entire way back, the trail involved steep drops on a path made of boulders and rocks. Garibaldi and the Squamish townsite below. The trail has a lot of rock and rubble underfoot and the serious gradient makes the hike slow going. However the tougher the hike the greater the reward and getting to the top and seeing out to the inlet and Squamish town is a great feeling! Both First Peak and Third Peak are visible from here and even on a busy day, there is plenty of room for everyone. On the face of it, the Chief hike doesn’t look too bad. Tourism Squamish © 2020. It is also called as the Stawamus hike because of the Stawamus lake and village located at … The Chief hike in Squamish: The worst part of the entire trail! The Stawamus Chief hike outdoors the village Squamish in British Columbia, Canada is likely one of the hottest hikes close to town of Vancouver, solely about an hours drive away. From here you can see the inlet, Squamish town and the second and third peaks nearby. Add some patches of scrambling that are so steep that chains have been bolted into the rock and you have a trail that isn’t a walk in the park. The Chief has to be on my top-10 best day hike list—it has everything I look for in a hike…waterfalls, colorful and unique rock formations, dense forest, raw beauty, challenging scrambles, and of course, awe-inspiring views from the peak(s). The Chief: Head from Vancouver towards Squamish/Whistler on Highway 99. Already tagged. © 2020 - Walk My World. Already tagged. The rock is nice and grippy in good weather and though it is steep it’s fairly easy to get up. The Chief hike in Squamish: The pink ribbons which guide the way, Read next: The best Revelstoke hikes you must do, Distance: 2.9km from peak twoElevation: negligible. Luckily it’s only about 2km to the chains and it doesn’t take all that long. Obey posted closures of climbing routes on the Chief during the critical nesting season of the peregrine falcon. Then the chains help you through a narrow gully before leading to a ladder. It towers over 700 m (2,297 ft) above the waters of nearby Howe Sound. It’s a very popular trail with locals and travellers alike so if you want any kind of solitude avoid weekends and hike very early or later in the day. Most people choose to just do the first peak and head back, but we’re gluttons for punishment and continued on. If you find scrambles tough it is going to be harder but probably manageable as long as you hike in dry weather. If you want to take the dodgy route you don’t descend the way you came you use the metal rungs driven into the cliff by the peak summit. Known to be second largest granite monolith in the world the Stawamus Chief hike is one for the elevation seeker.. We started the hike with stairs at the first part. Depending on where you go, times will vary. Already tagged. Squamish youth … The Chief hike in Squamish: The summit of peak one, Read next: The High Note Trail - hiking on the top of Whistler Mountain, Distance: 2km (from peak one using the official route)Elevation: 215m. In the winter months it can be snowy or icy and therefore potentially dangerous. It rises 541 metres (1,774 feet) above the Howe Sound waters and stands like a sentinel above the town of Squamish. The trail is obvious and well marked with diamond-shaped trail blazes on trees. All Rights Reserved. The path is rocky in parts and requires some scrambling to continue up but there are loads of tree roots to grab if you need. Its sprawling summit has all kinds of perches and viewpoints that offer panoramic views of Howe Sound, Squamish and the peaks of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Within a minute or two you’re feeling the effects of what locals named “the stair master” - the incline has begun and it won’t stop until you reach the top of peak one! The Chief is a challenging hike/climb 2000′ … Your introduction to the Chief hike is manicured (there’s some nice sets of wooden stairs to use) but even these aren’t easy going as there are several staircases in a row. At first, I have been hearing feed backs from a few friends that The Chief Hike is a challenging one with a breathtaking view on top. The Chief hike in Squamish: The chain on peak one, The Chief hike in Squamish: The second ladder on peak one. Then comes the hardest part of the trail. Fast parties can do it 1.5-2 hours. Be careful as, like First Peak, there are ledges and drop-offs that should be given a wide berth. Most of the scrambling is not done with great exposure so you won’t constantly feel like you might fall any great height. It feels endless up here and if you are coming from Second Peak, you will pass over the North Gully. The chief hike, also known by different names such as The Squamish Chief hike or Stawamus Chief hike, is a dome-shaped monolithic hill located near Squamish known mostly for three peaks hiking trails. Public. To challenge yourself a little more, you can hike up to Peak 2, and carry on to Peak 3 before heading back down. If you think that this hike is too advanced for your family, we encourage you to explore shorter hikes until you can build everyone up to tackle this one! Hiking "The Chief" is something that every hiker should have on their bucket list. Aug 31, 2018 - Are you looking to take your family on The Chief hike in Squamish, BC? You still probably won’t be alone but it also shouldn’t be too crowded. Jul 28, 2018 - Are you looking for a challenging yet fun family hike? My belief in it being a rite of passage seemed to be confirmed when we saw a school group of fifth graders hiking the trail on the 2nd day of school! Already tagged. The trail leads through tundra and gains panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Taking on the Chief hike in Squamish seems to be a rite of passage for anyone in British Columbia. The turn-offs for each peak are posted on signposts along the way. The Chief Trail is a steep and difficult climb, requiring hikers to be in good physical condition. The Stawamus Chief is divided into three distinct summits and all three are accessible from the main Chief Hiking Trail. Reviews talk of crowds, but for a time, I was alone with The big Chief. Accessible from the Chief Trail itself or from Second Peak (recommended), Third Peak is the highest of the three summits. Make sure you park at the specific car park for the Chief and not the Shannon Falls car park unless you want to add on extra distance. This is also a 7km round trip and should be given 6 to 7 hours to accomplish. While not overly technical in nature, the Stawamus Chief is nonetheless a challenging hike, mainly because it doesn’t beat around the bush. Sign up below to receive stories and tips from Walk My World. What a challenging feat of a climb. With sheer cliffs on three sides, it’s a spectacular perch from which to have lunch or a snack. We do not recommend hiking the Chief in wet conditions, what is grippy rock in dry weather can quickly become slick and dangerous. Already tagged. Already tagged. It’s better known as “The Chief,” and the easy access and amazing views make it a must for any outdoor adventurer. To get to the Chief, take Highway #1 westbound towards Horseshoe Bay and continue onto Highway #99 (Sea to Sky Highway). I did The Chief! The chains at the first peak are there to help you get up a steep and narrow gully (otherwise you’d be looking at steep slick rock either side!). It requires some manoeuvring to get up and it’s harder than it probably looks in the photo! To get there, turn off Highway 99 at either Shannon Falls or Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. There is paid parking on the left, and free parking on the right closest to the trailhead. You can easily hike the second peak in combination with the first peak. Fast parties can be done in 90 minutes. You will see signs for the chief (and the massive monolith itself) shortly before you reach Squamish. It’s the second largest hunk of granite in the world, with the largest being the Rock of Gibralter off the coast of Spain. With regards to seasons the trail is most commonly hiked between March and November. If you’re in good shape and you have no fear of heights or scrambling it is going to be easy for you. The Chief hike is only a five minute drive south of the centre of Squamish along Highway 99. Back to the mountain. Like just about everyone else, the kids loved the hike. But despite being relatively short, this is not an easy hike as it requires large steps up the whole way (similar to the Grind but with even higher steps). Stunning views of Howe Lake, Garibaldi peaks and Squamish. :-). Your knees will thank you! Be careful as the drops here are considerable. They’re not too hard, but the chain makes it easier for your balance and staying on the track. Second Peak is a little longer at 5km and will take most groups 4 to 5 hours. I'd definitely recommend it, though perhaps not as first hike in the area. I read somewhere to bypass the 1st peak + head straight to the 2nd. Saying farewell to the Squamish Youth Centre. Goodbye old Squamish boathouse. The Chief hike in Squamish: The steps at the start. What makes it challenging is the elevation which is a whopping 550m in that distance. It is one of the largest granite monoliths in the world. All hail The Chief. It is an extremely fun, yet challenging hike. The stairs were a bit… We didn’t really enjoy this route down and would only suggest it if you don’t want to head down via the chains. This is one of the largest granite monoliths in the world. The scramble up the boulders on peak two is in our opinion the most difficult stretch of the hike which you can avoid entirely if you just head for peak one. There are a couple of options for getting to the second peak. Learn more about The Chief hike in Squamish, BC and find out how our family did! One of coolest viewpoints in the area, the North Gully sits between Second and Third Peak and has sheer cliff walls with a 60-metre gap in between. Stawamus Chief is an impressive piece of rock. Take your time and tread lightly down the trail. You can see the first peak as well as the inlet, it made for a beautiful spot to get our breath back. Then it’s a gradual uphill climb on rock to the true summit for some great views! At the top of the ladder is another chain to help you on your way before it disappears and you have to rely on your feet on the steep rock to get to the summit. The peak is an incredible vantage point from which to survey … I’m not going to lie, the beginning doesn’t look promising because you have to climb a lot of stairs but after that, the fun begins! The summit at The Chief is usually free of snow in the early spring, making this a great warm-up hike for the summer months ahead. We started heading for peak three which is a much easier route than either peaks one or two but before long realised we were sadly losing the light so had to head back down the alternate route. Stunning view after hiking the Chief in Squamish BC It’s a steep hike – expect to sweat like a loon – but should only take an average fit person about 2 hours to the top. The Chief is located on Highway 99 just south of Squamish and just North of Shannon Falls. Most emails are boring, ours aren’t! There are also two further peaks if bagging one has only left you wanting more. The Chief hike in Squamish: The last push to the summit, Read next: Things to do in Vancouver Island for a trip of a lifetime. Continue along the highway for the next 30-40 minutes until you reach a traffic light at near Shannon Falls. Hike the Chief on a Tuesday morning, started at around 8am with no one on the trail except for two ladies at the start whom we passed right after the initial stairs. The classic route for a good half to full day hike is to ascend Second Peak and then continue on, following the orange trail blazes, to Third Peak. Heading back on the path between second and third peak meant we avoided the chains, but it didn’t save us from the roughest path on the Chief hike. Graded as an intermediate hike, there are, on First and Second Peak, chains and ladders for some of the more technical parts of the trail to aid you in getting to the top. We saw quite a few people struggle at this point, but everyone got past it. There is one easy and very stable ladder to climb before you hit the section with the chains. The Chief hike in Squamish On the face of it, the Chief hike doesn’t look too bad. Taken at Stawamus Chief. Third Peak is 7km and should be given 5 to 7 hours. Peak two is tougher than peak one and peak three is the easiest of the lot. 1. Read next: Abbott Ridge - one of the best hikes in BC, This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, that we will earn a small commission if you click through and decide to make a purchase. There are three peaks to hike on the Chief. Bring plenty of water and some extra clothing as weather in the mountains can change at the drop of a hat. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from AdventureSmart. It is considered an intermediate hike, and takes about 90 minutes to reach Peak 1, and slightly longer if you choose to ascend one of the other two peaks. Yes, the local school gave these kids one day before they had to take on this brutal hike - I assume that 10 is the age where the rite of passage occurs in BC! For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure in Squamish. Already tagged. The first two sets of chains at the second peak are there to help you get across the narrow paths. I hiked straight to … It's a good way to go if you want a slightly wilder version of the grouse grind. The Chief hike in Squamish: The first chains at Peak two. It’s pretty steep, exhausting and relentless. The majority of people stick to the first peak, but a few chose to take on the second as well (we hadn’t met anyone doing the third peak). After buying a one way ticket to Istanbul we spent a year making our way through Asia before arriving in Australia, where we have been living ever since. Let us know in the comments below! The chief is a superb hike. When it’s wet, the rock is slippery so keep that in mind, as drop-offs on the summits fall hundreds of feet. Stawamus Chief Mountain typically simply referred to as The Chief, is The Stawamus Chief hike outside the village Squamish in British Columbia, Canada is one of the most popular hikes near the city of Vancouver, only about an hours drive away. A lot of the hike is also over quite rough terrain - especially if you plan on hiking back from the third peak. Known locally as the Chief, this massive cliff face is one of North America's largest granite monoliths. Read next: Beautiful Tofino hikes you need to check out. It really does a number on your knees, even though it is only 2.9km long! Already tagged. And at only 5.6 km, hiking Peak 1 and 2 together definitely gives you the most views in the shortest distance. Okay. It’s a tough hike. Ending at the top of a large granite slab sits the treed summit of Third Peak. 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. Overall we loved the adventure of this hike and though it was definitely tough in parts, there’s a great sense of achievement in taking on the Chief. From the chains it’s a walk up to some trees that you think are near the top, only to realise it’s a false summit! It’s not that difficult, but the footing can be fiddly. Grippy in good physical condition whole time ) given 5 to 7 hours to accomplish your heart and into! Gully before leading to a ladder trail at the start, and the as... Surrounding mountains your list of hikes to tackle in Squamish: the Grind is certainly not the! 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