October 14, 2009 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Squamish - Hiking
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The Grouse Grind is considered “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”, but the Stawamus Chief trail comes a close second. I know this because my thighs are still burning two days later.
This past weekend, three of us tackled the Chief to burn off calories from the previous night’s indulgent camping dinner (Kraft dinner, marshmallows, wine). I was looking forward to checking out the second peak route, as I’d only been to the first peak on previous Chief hikes.
The first and second peaks share the same trail for most of the journey. It’s steep, rocky and rooty. The trail was busy, but not packed, and there were lots of dogs hiking with their owners (patting friendly dogs is a good excuse for a break).
Near the top, the trail splits and the route to the second peak gets a little more challenging than the route to the first. Like the first peak, there are chains to help climb up and around the huge slabs of rocks, but they required a little more attention.
That being said, though, there were some children (maybe aged 7 and 10?) with their dad on the route; we stopped to give them a hand climbing the rocks and chains. They did great! It’s always awesome to see young kids out in the woods. They took it slow and steady and made it to the top with everyone else.
It took us an hour to hike up, and less time down. The trail was dry, but if there was a recent rainfall it would have slick, especially on the rocks.
The view of the water, mountains and Squamish was fantastic, and it was neat to see the first peak from the second peak. If you have the energy, I’d recommend the second peak over the first to avoid crowds. Feeling really energetic? There’s a third peak with even less people.
September 29, 2009 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Hiking
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Most people hike the Baden Powell trail
in sections, though there are some hardcore runners who do it in a day during the infamous Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run. Me? I fall somewhere in the middle and set out to tackle it in a weekend.
The trail is 48km long and runs from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove. Three unique aspects of this trail are:
1. It’s accessible by public transit at either end, as well as in a few points in the middle.
2. It’s more of a traverse that a summit, so when you look at the skyline from Vancouver you’re likely to be looking at a section you completed.
3. If you live near Vancouver, you can go home to make dinner and sleep in your own bed in between days – awesome! Baden Powell Trip ReportDay 1
: Horseshoe Bay to Cleveland Dam, 10 hours (we took it slow and there was loads of snow)
Transport: 257 bus (Horseshoe Bay express) to trailhead at Eagle Ridge; 236 and 240 buses from Cleveland Dam back to Vancouver
- Seeing a deer 10 minutes into the hike
- Having the trail to ourselves for hours at a time, with no one around except for friendly ravens and whiskey-jacks
- Incredible view from Eagle Bluffs (the pic shown is proof)
- Neat old cabins in Cypress Provincial Park
: Grouse Mountain to Deep Cove (7 hours)
Transport: 240 and 232 buses to Grouse Mountain, nice friend-with-car from Deep Cove back to Vancouver (but buses would have been possible, too)
- Watching mountain bikers hop and balance (with hooting and hollering) their chunky bikes on the trails
- More people meant lots of friendly trail dogs giving slobbery hellos
- Seeing wiry runners training for the Knee Knacker run
- Interesting section from Lynn Canyon towards Deep Cove – never been here and was cool to check it out. Boardwalks, a mini-Grouse Grind, and beautiful forests.
Would I do the whole thing again? Heck yes. It’s a great trail that passes through forests, bluffs and wetlands – and it’s practically in my backyard. Highly recommended.