Travel Guide

Hike The Chief in Squamish, BC Canada

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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. The Stawamus Chief is named by the primary nations individuals after their village on the Squamish River.  Stawamus Chief Mountain typically simply referred to as The Chief, is the second largest granite rock on the earth, behind the Rock of Gibraltar, and has three peaks that you could summit on this hike. This rock wall is world famend for mountain climbing. The three peaks are separated by a number of deep gullies which implies it’s important to go down after reaching one summit to begin climbing the subsequent. The steep path rewards with unimaginable views of the world surrounding Squamish, together with Howe Sound and north to Garibaldi Provincial Park when reaching the peaks. The hike to the highest is difficult, with chains and ladders helping you to climb this large rock in some elements. The Chief mountain climbing route is a return route, that means you observe the identical path up and down. Climbing the Chief takes something from Three to six hours to finish relying in your degree of health. Alternatively, you may simply go to the first or 2nd peaks which take roughly 2 to three hours to the highest and again.

The three peaks of the Stawamus Chief can clearly be seen. Looking at this gigantic monolith from below it is unreal to think you are going to climb these peaks over the next couple of hours!
The three peaks of the Stawamus Chief can clearly be seen. Taking a look at this gigantic monolith from beneath it’s unreal to assume you’ll climb these peaks over the subsequent couple of hours!

The Stawamus Chief Hike Statistics

  • Issue: Average
  • Distance: 
    • Whole Roundtrip – 8.11km
    • Peak 1 (from path head a technique): 2.11 km
    • Peak 2 (from path head a technique) : 3.75 km
    • Peak 3 (from path head a technique) : 4.6 km
  • Max Elevation: Peak 1: 630 m, Peak 2: 660 m, Peak 3: 702 m
  • Whole Elevation Achieve: 903 m
  • Time: Three hours 29 minutes
  • Common Mountain climbing Time: something from Three to six hours
Elevation Map of climbing The Chief.
Elevation Map of climbing The Chief – Measured with my Garmin Fenix 5 GPS Watch

When to Hike The Chief

The Stawamus Chief mountain climbing season stretches from late March till finish of October. The Chief doesn’t get as a lot snow as among the different close by mountains and subsequently enjoys a reasonably lengthy mountain climbing season for the world. Summer time is one of the best time to hike the Stawamus Chief. This large granite rock will get very slippery when moist and mountain climbing right here in wet season from November to January, is tough and could be harmful. The Chief additionally will get some snow at the moment of winter.

Regardless that summer season has one of the best climate, as a result of its location near Vancouver this mountain climbing route will get very busy in summer season, peaking at college vacation time round July and August. Mid summer season I might attempt to keep away from weekends, if attainable go within the week it will get very busy with full campgrounds. The perfect time climate and crowd sensible might be mid week in spring or fall. September is nice situations for mountain climbing right here. I had an awesome day mountain climbing right here with good situations in mid September.

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

Peak 1 Stawamus Chier
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. To get to the Chief, flip off Freeway 99 at both Shannon Falls or Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.

Stroll from the parking space previous the Chief Campground to the place the mountain climbing route begins on the foot of a set of stairs. The path can also be simple to entry from Shannon Falls and the Sea to Sky Gondola, the route is effectively marked and solely takes a couple of minutes.

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

Map from Squamish to The Stawamus Chief

Mountain climbing The Chief – the route

There’s a clear path, it’s effectively marked with diamond-shaped path blazes on bushes. The turn-off from the path to every peak is marked with signposts alongside the way in which.

The Chief has Three peaks and it’s attainable to hike all three in Three to six hours relying in your health or you’ll be able to select to solely hike to one of many peaks. The trailhead is on the east finish of the Stawamus Chief campground. The hike begins with a large simple path that goes previous the campsite and the climbing begins at a sequence of picket stairs climbing alongside Oleson Creek.

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

The primary a part of the path is shared with the Sea To Summit Path that goes to the highest of the Gondola and could be very busy.

Beginning on the first path head and mountain climbing to peaks so as from 1 to three, you’ll attain a number of splits within the path, to achieve Peak 1 simply observe 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 Three proceed over Peak 2, the path decends right into a canyon from the place it climbs to the third peak.

Climbing Peak 1

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

To achieve the highest op Peak 1 at 630 m above sea degree took me 50 minutes to hike the two.11 km. To hike solely to Peak 1 from the path head takes about 2 to three hours return with a distance of 4.2 km.

Peak 1 is probably the most southern peak and is positioned closest to the car 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 elements to the highest, look across the views are nice. The highest of the height is pretty broad open and has an awesome view of Howe Sound trying down in direction of the city of Squamish. There’s sheer cliffs on three sides, an awesome spot to have lunch or a snack. There aren’t any railings and it’s a good distance down, so watch out on the high!

Climbing Peak 2

  • Distance from the path head – 3.75 km (by way of peak 1)
  • Time to achieve from path head – 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 path head to the highest of this peak at 660 m above sea degree. 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 path head is about 5 km taking 3.5 to five hours.

The South Peak taken from the Heart Peak.

When leaving Peak 1 observe again, 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 manner again to the junction. On the junction flip in 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 most important 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 Three from right here.

Climbing Peak 3

  • Distance from the path head – 4.60 km (by way of peak 1 and a couple of)
  • Time to achieve from path head – 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 often called the Saddle. Stroll by means of a gully with huge vertical rock partitions. Hike to the third peak, the best peak has good views of Mt. Garibaldi and the Squamish city web site beneath.

You can too hike to Peak Three with out going over Peak 1 and a couple of, the space is about 7 km mountain climbing strait to Peak Three from the path head.

Turning round at Peak Three you will have two selections to return, observe again till you attain a junction, right here you’ll be able to go left and observe a distinct path, marked on the map because the ‘various route’, it doesn’t go by way of Peak 2 becoming a member of the principle path a lot later, or you’ll be able to return the way in which that you simply got here by going again as much as the Second Peak.

The North Gully between Peak two and three.
The North Gully between Peak two and three.

Transport to Squamish

It’s a fast drive from Vancouver to Squamish on the BC-99 S freeway, 63 km taking about 55 minutes.

Renting a automobile is certainly the simplest method to get round. For automobile rental I like to recommend utilizing Rentalcar to seek out one of the best deal.

There’s each day public transport with the Squamish connector for about $CAD 30 return or a number of different bus providers. I stayed over in Squamish for 2 nights mountain climbing The Chief and the Black Tusk from right here. Attending to Rubble Creek parking space in Garibaldi Park is simple from right here with the Shred Shuttle for $CAD 22 return.

Lodging in Squamish and Vancouver

  • Extremely rated lodging in Vancouver with good location.

Packing for Mountain climbing round Squamish

To get pleasure from mountain climbing a great pair of footwear is the essential tools you have to.

When shopping for mountain climbing boots/footwear verify for the next:

  • waterproof
  • respiration
  • have good grip – generally you stroll on muddy or rocky terrain
  • match good – you will have some house to wiggle your toes
  • good high quality

Must you hike in boots or footwear? In winter for muddy situations or snow boots are preferable. In dry situations with out snow the necessity for ankle assist is a private desire. In winter with snow I’ll strongly suggest that you simply put on boots and shut them up with some gaiters.   Sporting merino wool socks in waterproof mountain climbing footwear is the way in which to go and I’ll undoubtedly add gaiters whether it is wet.

Alya hiked greater than 3000 km in her Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof mountain climbing footwear earlier than retiring them! Salomon X Extremely Prime is one other good choice for low lower footwear; sturdy, waterproof, comfy, have good grip. For boot lower – KEEN Targhee II Waterproof or extra finances choice – Columbia Granite Ridge.are good footwear.

In case you’re in search of one thing cheaper Columbia Dakota Drifter is an efficient choice. For girls that want a boot lower Columbia Ladies’s Newton Ridge Plus Mountain climbing Boot, is a superb alternative.

I all the time have a rain jacket with me on a hike. A water-proof jacket girls or (males’s mannequin) with hood in case of sturdy wind or rain is a should on this path.

Nice pants for all situations mountain climbing pants, Alya walks in trekking pants or yoga pants.

Fleece vest- very gentle to pack,  a fleece vest is good for further warmth layering, girls.

Mountain climbing shirt – I by no means put on cotton, if you happen to sweat underneath your jacket you may be moist and chilly beneath. Alya prefers mountain climbing in breathable, moisture wicking, quik dry lengthy sleeve shirt. I really like mountain climbing in Columbia shirts, they don’t soak up water so dry rapidly and protects me from the solar if I take my jacket off. Fast dry if I get importunity at hand wash on the way in which. 

Sport bras – they’re nice for mountain climbing and outside, Alya says that she prefers sport bras over regular bras. 

Merino wool socks – a will need to have particularly for lengthy hikes. Prior to now we didn’t pay a lot consideration to socks – purchased any random low cost socks and used to have blisters. We’ve heard quite a bit from different hikers about merino wool socks and eventually determined to provide it a go. They do work nice, now we all the time put on them for mountain climbing. Some benefits of merino wool socks; don’t soak up odors, defend your toes, dry fast and really sturdy. For much more comfy stroll verify Darn Powerful mountain climbing socks they’re well-known for nice foot assist and blister safety. Alya likes their girls’ fashions; colourful and funky.

Cap/hat – a will need to have within the mountains for solar safety. Alya prefers carrying a cap, I normally takes a hat on hikes. 

Sun shades – convey sun shades for mountain climbing within the mountains with excessive UV safety and polarized lenses.  

Pack a BUFF Multifunctional Headwear – protects your neck and face from solar burn, wind and climate. Get a cool one, mine is a South African flag, superior for photographs!

Trekking Poles – very useful within the mud, if you happen to don’t have a pair get a stick early on, helped us quite a bit. TrailBuddy Mountain climbing Sticks, TrailBuddy Mountain climbing Sticks very effectively rated, good worth for cash, aluminium trekking poles. Aluminium is robust and a bit heavier than carbon, my recommendation is avoid wasting cash, go for these guys! High of the road Black Diamond Path Professional Shock Trekking Pole, 68-140cm.

Planning on doing a multi day backpacking hike? I really like our MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Individual Light-weight Backpacking Tent, purchased mine in Canada, camped in many alternative situations, a unbelievable, simple gentle, tremendous high quality tent.

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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