The Stawamus Chief

British Columbia, Canada
  • 4 Hours / 6 KM
  • Out and back
  • Medium
HikeImage
Peak 1 (South Peak) as seen from Peak 2 (Centre Peak) © Karl Woll

Introduction to The Stawamus Chief

Easy access and rewarding views of Howe Sound make this a must-do hike. On this hike there are three separate summits you can climb: the South (Peak 1), the Centre (Peak 2), and the North (Peak 3). You can do each summit individually, or, if you're feeling ambitious you can tackle all three.

The Stawamus Chief is one of the most popular hiking trails around Vancouver and is also a popular rock climbing site. Simply referred to as the 'The Chief', this hike is located in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park in the District of Squamish.

The hike has a roughly 500m elevation gain to Peak 1, and 590m and 630m gains to Peaks 2 and 3. 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. This guide describes the hike as completing both Peaks 2 and 3, as this offers the best views, least amount of people and most bang for your buck. There is also a spectacular drop off between the Peaks 2 and 3, which provides a great view. But you can try all three, or pick just one.

When to go

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

The Stawamus Chief gets snow during the winter, but not as much as some of the other nearby mountains. For this reason, The Chief enjoys a fairly long hiking season. The summit is usually free of snow in the early spring, making this a great warm-up hike for the summer months ahead.

Also, as The Chief is one of the most popular hikes around Vancouver, and the trail gets exceptionally busy during the summer. If you want to avoid the long lines of people hiking up and down the trail, you're best to go during a weekday, or in the spring and fall.

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Karl
Vancouver, Canada

Karl Woll, born and raised in Vancouver, has been passionately exploring the area’s mountains over the last decade. Beyond hiking, Karl fulfills his desire to be outdoors by kayaking, scuba diving, snowboarding, and most frequently, trail running.

What kind of hike?
Ascend and descend
  • 630 m
  • 630 m
Scenery
Practical info
Getting there
Starting Point
Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, Parking Lot, Squamish
Transport to start
Hiked 0
Want to hike 2
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