The Chief Hike, Squamish / Stawamus Chief Hiking Trail

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. It is also called as the Stawamus hike because of the Stawamus lake and village located at the foothills of this hill.

From Vancouver to the Chief hiking trailhead

Driving from Vancouver to the chief hiking trailhead takes around 1.5 hours. There is no public transport available and I would also suggest starting early in the morning so that you get a parking spot. There are a total of three parking spots where you can park your vehicle:

  • Shannon falls parking area
  • Sea to Sky Gondola and,
  • Stawamus Chief trailhead

When we started from Vancouver, we decided to park near the Shannon falls.

The Chief Hike & Hiking Trail

There are a lot of options to do this hike. Have a look at the hiking map below:

The Chief Hiking Trail

The Chief Hiking Trail

Overall

  • Total hiking distance: 7.5 Km
  • Hiking time: Around 6 hours
  • Highest point: 686 meters (2250 feet)
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Camping: allowed near the foothills
  • Best season to do the chief hike: March to November
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Third peak from the Shannon Falls parking lot

  • Total hiking distance: 3.2 Km
  • Hiking time: Around 90 Minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 653 meters (2142 feet)
  • Highest point: 686 meters (2250 feet)

Second peak from the Shannon Falls parking lot

  • Total hiking distance: 2.5 Km
  • Hiking time: Around 75 Minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 609 meters (1998 feet)
  • Highest point: 642 meters (2106 feet)

First peak from the Shannon Falls parking lot

  • Total hiking distance: 2.4 Km
  • Hiking time: Around 75 Minutes
  • Elevation Gain: 580 meters (1903 feet)
  • Highest point: 613 meters (2011 feet)

Hiking to the third peak

Here is the interesting thing about this hike. People try to attempt this hike in the different fashions. Some want to visit the first peak first while some want to start with the third peak. We started with the Third peak because we wanted to cover the elevation gain in the first stretch itself but you are also free to start with the first peak. Reaching the third peak takes around 1.5 hours.

Third to the second peak

From the third peak to the second peak, it takes around 15-20 minutes and that is an easy walk.

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Second to the first peak

From the third peak to the second peak, there are two ways. On google maps, you will see only one way. That is a long way. The longer way takes around an hour from the second to the first peak. However, there is another shortcut in between the second and the first peak. That has been marked as iron steps in the hiking trail above.

There are iron stairs, sorry not steps, which can directly take you to the first peak. But, I would suggest you be careful with that it can be dangerous as well as it is steep and vertical.

The Chief Hike Pictures:

On the way to the third peak

On the way to the third peak

Fallen trees on the hiking trail

Fallen trees on the hiking trail

Between second and the third peak

Between the second and the third peak

Mosses

Mosses

Steep ascend before the third peak

Steep ascend before the third peak

View from the chief hike third peak

View from the chief hike third peak

On the way from the third to the second peak

On the way from the third to the second peak

Stawamus lake from the second peak of the chief hike

Stawamus lake from the second peak of the chief hike

Stawamus village from chief hike second peak

Stawamus village from chief hike second peak

Gorge between second and the third peak on the chief hike

Gorge between second and the third peak on the chief hike

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About trekkerp

Author of The Girl from the Woods and a Travel writer from India looking forward to collect quirky tales from around the world

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