Trip 019 - April 28, 2010 (Wednesday)

The Stawamus Chief Mountain Trail Hike

Near Squamish BC


Distance From Vancouver:
About 75-80 km on Highway 99 (Sea-To-Sky) - 3.5 km South of Squamish.

Liked: Pleasant hike, views of Shannon Creek along the way, excellent views from the top of the mountain, meeting friendly chipmunks.

Of note: Moderately challenging trail. Hiking poles and boots are recommended. The trail is very popular.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 22 (Squamish) C7. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia (2008 edition): hike #28. The latest edition is available at Chapters.ca.

Related Website: Stawamus Chief Provincial Park - BC Parks.

Other Trips in Squamish Area: Squamish River Forest Service Road Washout, Mamquam Lake Trail Hike, Squamish River FSR Ashlu Main Hike (second trip), Second Trip to Crooked Falls, Crooked Falls / Sigurd Creek Trail Hike, Squamish River FSR A-Main Branch (first trip), Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, The Squamish Spit, Black Tusk Trail (Garibaldi Provincial Park), Squamish River Forest Service Road E-Main Branch, Shannon Falls, Squamish River Forest Service Road, Squamish Valley Road, Railway Heritage Park, Downtown Squamish BC.

The Stawamus Chief mountain is a prominent landmark on BC Highway 99, and is located 3.5 kilometers South of Squamish BC. The hike to the top of the mountain is moderately challenging, but the views are well worth it. The forest itself is quite fine, and roaring Shannon Creek to your right during the first several minutes of the trip is quite picturesque as well. The views of the mountains, the valley, and Howe Sound from the top are simply great.

1. We are on BC Highway 99 (Sea-to-Sky) in Squamish BC, driving South towards The Stawamus Chief mountain (seen straight ahead), located 3.5 km South of Squamish.


Highway 99 (Sea-to-Sky) near Squamish British Columbia Canada

2. Just after this pedestrian bridge, prepare to turn left.


BC Highway 99 near Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

3. At the entrance to Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.


Stawamus Chief Provincial Park British Columbia Canada

4. Stawamus Chief Provincial Park has a campground. The trail to the top of the mountain starts 400 metres from the parking lots, which are not too big, so parking could be complicated on weekends during the busy season.


Directional sign to Stawamus Chief Provincial Park campsites - British Columbia Canada

5. You can check out the map of the park trails at the information stand, and then walk through the campground to the trailhead.


Stawamus Chief Provincial Park British Columbia Canada

6. Ahead of you is not a walk in the park.


Warning to Stawamus Chief hikers

7. And to ensure the point above gets through, one has to climb this fairly challenging boulder to reach the stairs at the beginning of the trail.


Stawamus Chief trailhead British Columbia Canada

8. Now it's time to climb some stairs. There are several opportunities to take a few steps to the right and observe a fine Shannon Creek.


At the beginning of Stawamus Chief trail - BC Canada

9. Stone steps follow.


Stone steps Stawamus Chief Provincial Park British Columbia Canada

10. How about this log stairwell.


Log stairwell Stawamus Chief trail near Squamish BC Canada

11. This is Shannon Creek, which keeps you company for the first 15-20 minutes of the hike.


Shannon Creek near Stawamus Chief trail

Here is our video of Shannon Creek:

A Complete List of Our Videos.

12. In about 30 minutes, you reach an intersection where a trail to the UPPER Shannon Falls joins the trail you are on. Do not confuse this trail with the trail to Shannon Falls itself, as the trail to Shannon Falls itself is below us. If you so desire, you may go to Shannon Falls on your way back using the Shannon Falls trail (not the UPPER Shannon Falls trail, though), and then hike a few kilometers North on Highway 99 to get to your vehicle parked at Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.


Upper Shannon Falls trailhead in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park British Columbia Canada

13. This map clarifies the situation. Look at three letter P's on the map, referring to parking areas. The upper P is a parking lot for those who want to climb The Stawamus Chief (this mountain is very popular with climbers). The middle P is where we parked at Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. And the lowest P is Shannon Falls parking lot. Also take a look at the "You Are Here" red dot. This is where the undeveloped trail to UPPER Shannon Falls begins. The developed trail to the Shannon Falls and its parking lot is below that (you can easily see that on the map). You can also see that The Stawamus Chief has three peaks. Most hikers go to the first peak. We went to the second peak originally, but ended up climbing the first peak from the side.


Stawamus Chief trail map

14. We continued our hike through a fine forest, meeting with fellow hikers every now and then.


The Stawamus Chief hiking trail near Squamish British Columbia Canada

15. Later, we skipped the turn to the first peak and are now approaching the second peak.


Between the first and second peaks of The Stawamus Chief - British Columbia Canada

16. At this point, we could not locate the continuation of the trail to the second peak, but instead found a way to climb to the first peak, as we were between those two peaks.


Stairs to climb to the first peak of The Stawamus Chief near Squamish British Columbia Canada

17. Before you climb, check out this warning. The climb is not too difficult, but, indeed, treacherous.


Climbing warning on the Stawamus Chief Mountain

18. Once you climb up those stairs, you then need to walk up the cliff by using the chains embedded into the rock.


The chains on the Stawamus Chief hiking trail near Squamish British Columbia Canada

19. A chipmunk was waiting to welcome us to the top of The Stawamus Chief.


Chipmunk at The Stawamus Chief hiking trail near Squamish British Columbia Canada

20. Here you can see the first peak on the left, and the second on the right. It takes about 1.5 hours to get to the top.


The view of the first and second peaks of The Stawamus Chief BC Canada

21. The views from the top are spectacular, especially in clear weather. Here you can see downtown Squamish on the left, and Highway 99 on the right. We are looking North on this photo. The only unnatural noise at the top is the siren frequently coming from the Port of Squamish (it appears).


Downtown Squamish BC and Highway 99 seen from The Stawamus Chief Mountain

22. If you decide to have a meal break on top of the mountain, prepare to be pestered by at least two chipmunks and one squirrel. This chipmunk jumped on a leg to beg for food.


Chipmunk begging for food at The Stawamus Chief near Squamish British Columbia Canada

23. Looking South we see Howe Sound and Highway 99.


BC Highway 99 and Howe Sound seen from The Stawamus Chief

24. And a bit to the right we see more of Howe Sound.


Howe Sound seen from The Stawamus Chief by Squamish BC Canada

This is one of the best hikes near Metro Vancouver, and is highly recommended for great views and a relatively easy path.


<--- Eaton Lake Trail Hike    Downtown Squamish BC --->


   

ihikebc.com -> 019 The Stawamus Chief Mountain Trail Hike (near Squamish BC)