The Stawamus Chief Mountain climbing Path in Squamish BC, 2023

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The Stawamus Chief hike outdoors the village Squamish in British Columbia, Canada is likely one of the most fashionable hikes close to the town of Vancouver, solely about an hour’s drive away. The Stawamus Chief is known as by the primary nations individuals after their village on the Squamish River.  Stawamus Chief Mountain typically simply referred to as The Chief or Squamish Chief, is the second largest granite rock on the planet, behind the Rock of Gibraltar. There are three peaks, so there are literally 3 separate summits in Stawamus Chief Park.

Three peaks of the Chief outside Squamish
The three peaks of The Chief outdoors Squamish are nice to climb on a weekend journey from Vancouver

This rock wall on one of many largest granite monoliths is a bucket record spot for rock climbers all around the world. The three peaks are separated by a number of deep gullies which suggests you must go down after reaching one summit to start out climbing the following. The steep path rewards with nice views of the realm surrounding Squamish, together with Howe Sound, and north to Garibaldi Provincial Park when reaching the peaks. This can be a steep hike, with chains and ladders aiding you to climb this massive rock in some components. The Chief mountaineering route is a return route, which means you comply with the identical path up and down. Climbing the Chief takes something from 3 to six hours to finish relying in your stage of health. As an alternate route, you might simply go to the first or 2nd peaks which take roughly 2 to three hours to the highest and again.

No Allow is required in 2023 to hike the Chief. 

Going to Squamish is a improbable weekend journey from Vancouver with so many hikes and different actions to do from this lovely little city.

There are a number of different fashionable hikes near Squamish, the Garibaldi Lake hike and Black Tusk are spectacular routes in the direction of Whistler. The Grouse Grind is a difficult hike in downtown Vancouver.

The Stawamus Chief Hike Statistics

  • Issue: Average
  • Distance:
    • Whole Roundtrip – 8.11km
    • Peak 1 (from trailhead a method): 2.11 km – South Peak
    • Peak 2 (from trailhead a method): 3.75 km – Middle Peak
    • Peak 3 (from trailhead a method): 4.6 km – North Peak
  • Max Elevation: Peak 1: 630 m, Peak 2: 660 m, Peak 3: 702 m
  • Whole Elevation Achieve: 903 m
  • Time: 3 hours 29 minutes
  • Common Mountain climbing Time: something from 3 to six hours
elevation profile Squamish Chief
Elevation profile mountaineering the three peaks of the Squamish Chief.

When to Hike The Chief

The Stawamus Chief Path mountaineering season stretches from late March till the top of October. The Chief mountain path doesn’t get as a lot snow as among the different close by mountains and due to this fact enjoys a reasonably lengthy mountaineering season for the realm.   Summer season is the perfect time to hike the Stawamus Chief. This massive granite rock will get very slippery when moist and mountaineering right here within the wet season, throughout the winter months, from November to January, is tough and could be harmful. The Chief additionally will get some snow right now of 12 months.

Although summer time has the perfect climate, as a result of its location near Vancouver this mountaineering route will get very busy in summer time, peaking in school vacation time round July and August. Mid-summer I might attempt to keep away from weekends, if doable go within the week it will get very busy with full campgrounds. The most effective time climate and crowd clever might be mid-week in spring or fall. September is in nice situation for mountaineering right here. I had an important day mountaineering right here in good situations in mid-September.

Additionally, the path to Peak 1 from the trailhead is the busiest, with crowds scaling down in the direction of Peak 2 and Peak 3.

peak one stawamus Chief Squamish
Nice views from the First Peak of the Stawamus Chief.

Attending to Stawamus Chief Mountain

The Chief is positioned on Freeway 99 about 55km from Vancouver and fewer than 5 km south of Squamish. The BC Freeway 99 is also referred to as the Sea-to-Sky Freeway and is a legendary route with improbable views going from Vancouver to Whistler.  To get to the Squamish Chief, flip off Freeway 99 at both Shannon Falls or Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. 

Stroll from the day-use parking space previous the Chief Campground to the place the mountaineering route begins on the foot of a set of stairs. The path can also be straightforward to entry from Shannon Falls and the Sea to Sky Gondola, the route is well-marked and solely takes a couple of minutes. GPS pin for Chief Parking Space

If you’re staying in Squamish you may stroll to the Chief by way of the Sea to Sky Connector Path, it’s 3 km and took me about 35 minutes.

Mountain climbing The Chief – the route

There’s a clear path, it’s properly marked with diamond-shaped path blazes on timber. The turn-off from the path to totally different peaks is marked with signposts alongside the best way. The Chief has 3 peaks and it’s doable to hike all three in 3 to six hours if you’re in good bodily situation or you may select to solely hike to one of many peaks. 

Mountain climbing to all 3 peaks was a complete distance of 8.11 km with a complete elevation achieve of 903m that took us 3 hours and 28 minutes to hike.

The trailhead is on the east finish of the Stawamus Chief campground. The hike begins with a large straightforward path that goes previous the campsite and the climbing begins at a collection of picket stairs climbing alongside Oleson Creek.

The primary a part of the path is shared with the Sea To Summit Path goes to the highest of the Gondola and could be very busy because the majority of individuals hike this half. 

Stawamus Chief Map
Stawamus Chief Map, generated with my Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch

Beginning on the first trailhead and mountaineering to peaks so as from 1 to three, you’ll attain a number of splits within the path, to achieve Peak 1 simply comply with the indicators going left at each junction. To achieve Peak 2 you flip round at Peak 1 and go down the path to the junction with the path main up once more to Peak 2. To achieve Peak 3  proceed over Peak 2, the path descends right into a canyon from the place it climbs to the third peak. 

Climbing Peak 1

  • Distance from the trailhead – 2.11 km
  • Time to achieve from the trailhead – 50 min
  • Top 630 m 

Reaching the highest of Peak 1 at 630 m above sea stage took me 50 minutes to hike the two.11 km. Hike solely to Peak 1 from the trailhead takes about 2 to three hours to return with a spherical journey distance of 4.2 km. 

Peak 1 is probably the most southern peak and is positioned closest to the parking zone. It’s the busiest half to hike to. There’s a metallic ladder and a few chains to help you in climbing the final components to the highest, be rewarded with unimaginable views of the realm. The highest of the height is pretty broad open and has an important view of Howe Sound wanting down in the direction of the city of Squamish.  There are sheer cliffs on three sides, subsequent to the mammoth rock face is a superb spot to have lunch or a snack. There are not any railings and it’s a great distance down, so watch out on the prime!

Climbing Peak 2

  • Distance from the trailhead – 3.75 km (by way of peak 1)
  • Time to achieve from the trailhead –  1 h and 45 minutes 
  • Top 660 m 

Peak 2 is the center peak, it took me 1 h and 45 minutes to hike the three.75 km from the trailhead to the highest of this peak at 660 m above sea stage. From Peak 1 to Peak 2 took about 50 minutes to cowl the space of 1.65 km. To hike straight to Peak 2 from the trailhead is about 5 km taking 3.5 to five hours.

When leaving Peak 1 trackback, you’ll have to attend a bit on the chain, it may be very busy. Comply with the path after which descend down the ladder making your approach again to the junction. On the junction flip in the direction of Peak 2.

The Stawamus Chief near Squamish
The Stawamus Chief, peak one taken from peak 2.

The path is steep this manner with a few sections alongside this route with chains to make the scrambling and climbing a bit simpler. 

The Second Peak is the biggest of the three with some nice panoramic views of Howe Sound, Squamish, and the peaks of Mount Garibaldi. You even have some good views of Peak 1 and Peak 3 and the encompassing mountains from right here.

Climbing Peak 3

  • Distance from the trailhead – 4.60 km (by way of peaks 1 and a couple of)
  • Time to achieve from the trailhead –  2 h and 10 minutes 
  • Top 702 m 

To get to the third Peak, proceed over the second peak following the path markers. The path descends right into a  valley referred to as the Saddle. Stroll via a gully with large vertical rock partitions. Hike to the third peak, the best peak has good views of  Mt. Garibaldi and the Squamish townsite under.

You may as well hike to Peak 3 with out going over Peaks 1 and a couple of, the space is about 7 km mountaineering straight to Peak 3 from the trailhead.

Turning round at Peak 3 you have got two decisions to return, trackback till you attain a junction, right here you may go left and comply with a unique path, marked on the map because the ‘different route’, it doesn’t go by way of Peak 2 becoming a member of the primary path a lot later, or you may return the best way that you just got here by going again as much as the Second Peak. 

When leaving Peak 1 trackback, you’ll have to attend a bit on the chain, it may be very busy. Comply with the path after which descend down the ladder making your approach again to the junction. On the junction flip in the direction of Peak 2.

The path is steep this manner with a few sections alongside this route with chains to make the scrambling and climbing a bit simpler. 

The Second Peak is the biggest of the three with some nice panoramic views of Howe Sound, Squamish, and the peaks of Mount Garibaldi. You even have some good views of Peak 1 and Peak 3 from right here.

North Gully on Chief hiking trail
The North Gully on the Chief mountaineering path

Bears on the Squamish Chief

The Stawamus Chief Park is positioned in prime bear habitat. Black bears are widespread, whereas Grizzly bears are a really uncommon prevalence. It is strongly recommended to hold bear spray whereas mountaineering the Chief.

Transport to Squamish

It’s a fast drive from Vancouver to Squamish city on the BC-99 S freeway, 63 km taking about 55 minutes. Renting a automobile is unquestionably the best solution to get round.  For automobile rental, I like to recommend utilizing Uncover Vehicles to search out the perfect deal. There may be day by day public transport between Squamish and Vancouver with the Squamish connector or a number of different bus companies.

Purchase your bus ticket from Vancouver Metropolis Middle to Squamish/Whistler right here.

Sea to Sky Gondola

Get a novel perspective of the mountain city of Squamish, and the encompassing alpine surroundings, as you go on this spectacular Sea to Sky Gondola journey. 

Purchase your Sea to Sky Gondola Ticket right here.

Extra Nice Hikes in Canada

With 1000’s of kilometers of shoreline and spectacular mountains, Canada is house to among the greatest mountaineering trails on the planet. There are many superb weekend getaways from Vancouver which can be superb for hikers. If you wish to hike for a few days subsequent to the ocean and see a variety of wildlife from orcas to bears you’ll love the difficult West Coast Path or the neighboring Juan de Fuca Path, each hugging the coast on Vancouver island. With superb issues to do on Vancouver Island from seeing orcas to browsing and unreal hikes, this lovely island is a must-visit from Vancouver. For spectacular hikes within the Canadian Rockies, the mountaineering trails round Banff in Alberta is tough to beat!

Lodging in Squamish and Vancouver

  • Lodging Squamish
  • Extremely rated lodging in Vancouver with a superb location.

Squamish Mountain climbing and Packing

Squamish has a few nice campsites. The MSR Hubba Hubba tent is an especially mild, waterproof, and sturdy tent, I’ve achieved some superior hikes with mine. For a tent that may be a little bit bigger (for those who go along with a automobile) take a look at this very well-rated tent from TETON Sports activities Mountain Extremely Tent

Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch is a improbable instrument for monitoring all stats, navigation, and producing maps. The maps and elevation profiles on this article have been generated with my Fenix 5.

For long-term journey and severe mountaineering the Osprey Packs Osprey Pack Atmos Ag 65 Backpack or Ariel 65 ladies’s model is a wonderful backpack.

To make any water supply drinkable the Lifestraw filter bottle is simple to make use of and really helpful. It makes any stream or puddle drinkable instantly.

For mountaineering within the snow, rain and dust, my Salomon X Extremely Prime boots do an incredible job, they’re waterproof, gortex, mild, and keep dry!

If you would like a shoe reduce the Merrell Moab 2 is Waterproof or are nice high quality low reduce sneakers; sturdy, waterproof, snug, with good grip.

Pack a BUFF Multifunctional Headwear – protects your neck and face from sunburn, wind, and climate.

Microfibre towels take up virtually no house, are mild, and dry simply.  Fast Dry Microfiber Journey Towel

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