squamish

Stawamus Chief

Location: Squamish, BC

Distance: 11 km

Time:  5 hrs 

Difficulty:  Moderate

Elevation: 600 m

Highlights: The view of Howe Sound, Squamish, and the Sea-to-Sky Highway

Trailhead: Shannon Falls parking lot, opposite the main falls viewing platform.

 

Walk to the Shannon Falls main lookout, then head in the opposite direction of the falls to a clearing following a trail to the right. Follow the trail until crosses a creek before connection to the main Chief trail, then make a right and follow the stairs. Continue following the trail until you come to a fork, there will signs indicating left for the South Peak or right to the Centre or North Peaks, head left to the South Peak for incredible views of Howe Sound, the Sea-to-Sky, and Squamish (the classic photo opt is taken from this peak). After taking in the views you can head back for a shorter hike or walk back to the fork and head right to check out the Centre and North Peaks. Some scrambling is required once you reach the peaks, there will be a ladder and some chains to help you up and down the peak.

Sea-to-Sky Highway

Last February Bryson and I drove up to Whistler for the weekend to get in some adventure before moving back to Alberta and the day we woke up to head north we woke to snow! We had never driven along the Sea-to-Sky and were really excited to check out the views, but instead of ocean blending seamlessly into mountain ranges our drive consisted of thick fog (pretty standard for Vancouver, I know) as well as beautiful fluffy wet snowflakes. Ya know, the kind of snow perfect for snowball making that casts over everything like a white blanket. 

On our way up we decided to drive straight to Whistler, aside from a stop at Shannon Falls in hopes that on our way back home the snow would let up and open up the sky a bit just enough for us to see the ocean to our left. 

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Shannon Falls is really easy to get to when driving north, right before you enter Squamish there is a parking lot to the right (with signs) that you can pull into. The walk is about 10-15 minutes at most as you make your way to the lower falls and through a forest pathway up to the top viewing platform. Oh, BC, we like you. 

Just as we had hoped the sky cleared just enough for us to be able to take in some incredible views on our way home after our stay in Whistler! We stopped many times along the drive, but our stop at Porteau Cove was our absolute favourite. Even though this spot is literally right off the highway it felt very wild and rugged, it had everything that comes to mind when you think of BC's wild coastline. There are also some incredible cabins located along the beach line that can be rented out so you can awake to this view.

For anyone out East who does not believe people when they say that Vancouver weather can feel as cold as -30; it can. There's one caveat, though, you need to be directly on the ocean to feel the chill. The weather was by no means cold during our trip (-4, with wind) but during our stop the wind coming off the ocean was so cold we literally had to run back to the car after taking in the sites because our bodies couldn't handle the chill anymore. Weird, considering both Bryson and I have grown up in areas with -30 to -40 winters. 

More photos of Whistler to come!

 

get Busy living deep!