June 01, 2009 | Field Reports >
Find more information about Squamish - Hiking
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In the two years I've lived in the area, I've done a lot of hiking. I kept hearing about the Chief. I decided the time was right and I'd give it a try. I drove up to Squamish from Vancouver (about 60km) with some friends. We went past the Shannon Falls parking lot entrance to the next parking lot just off the highway on the right.
This parking lot leads into two more that have bathrooms and trail maps. We walked straight into the rock face following some small trails and found a bunch of hardcore rock face climbers. It was really cool to watch, but clearly we were in the wrong place. We followed the wide path past some camp sites and to the trail head.
The trail head is a HUGE boulder and is a true indication of what's to come. Up we went... The first part of the hike follows a water path (fall?) that runs from the top of the mountain. It's a great view as you climb the steps. The steps are really well taken care of and look fairly new.
If there are no wooden steps, rocks serve the same purpose as you climb, climb, climb. The tall trees shelter you from the sun but you're plenty warm with the workout you get.
The climb up is challenging but so rewarding. We chose to go to the second peak and near the top there are several rope or chain-assisted climbs. Although I'm a hiker and not a rock climber, I felt like I took a step toward being one.
And when you reach the top, the view is amazing. It's well worth the last hour-and-a-half of a literal up-hill battle. The snowy peaks seem within reach and the wide expanse of nature is breathtaking.
Although it was a very challenging hike for me physically, I would do it again in a second!