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Stawamus Chief Provincial Park and Protected Area
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
Share Your Views on the Shannon Basin
Enjoy recreating in Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls Provincial Parks? Please take a minute to complete this online survey (open until October 20), which will inform future recreation management in these parks and the surrounding area. BC Parks is working with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development and Squamish Nation to develop a recreation management strategy for the greater Shannon Basin area, an area that includes these parks. This strategy will guide future recreation authorizations and will aim to provide recreation opportunities while protecting important environmental and cultural resources. Your input is important!
Sea to Summit Trail closed for the foreseeable future
The Sea to Summit Trail and Upper Shannon Falls Trail will be closed for the foreseeable future due to a major lift accident on the Sea to Sky Gondola making the trail unsafe to hike at this time. We will release more updates when details become available.
Illegally parked vehicles
Vehicles parked illegally at Stawamus Chief including the Apron parking lot will be subject to towing at the owner’s expense. Visitors must park in designated parking lots and observe the “no parking” signs posted. Vehicles parked illegally in closed day-use areas will be charged a fee for gate unlocking. Thank you for your compliance.
About This Park
Stawamus Chief Provincial Park protects the 700-metre massive granite cliffs that stand at the southern entrance to Squamish on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway.
The park provides rock climbing opportunities of international significance. Hiking trails to The Chief’s three summits offer rewarding views of Howe Sound, Squamish town site and surrounding mountains. This park has opportunities for camping, hiking, rock climbing and scenic viewing atop the Chief.
Size: Park – 530 hectares; Protected Area – 2 hectares
Date Established: Park – July 28, 1997; Protected Area – June 25, 2012
- The Stawamus Chief is one of the largest granite monoliths in the world and provides good nesting habitat for the Peregrine Falcon. Please respect the wildlife and keep your distance. Viewing is best with a pair of binoculars.
- Please obey posted closures of climbing routes on the Chief during the critical nesting season of the Peregrine Falcon.
Know Before You Go
- Trail and stair treads may be slippery in the winter, please use extra caution and watch for falling ice.
- The Chief Trail is a steep and difficult climb, requiring hikers to be in good physical condition. Hikers should be prepared with sturdy footwear, clothing, food and water.
- Obey posted closures of climbing routes on the Chief during the critical nesting season of the peregrine falcon.
- Rockfall debris is present on the upper sections of the Angel’s Crest Trail. Please use extra caution in this area.
- BC Parks and a volunteer group of climbers have developed the below strategy to manage rock climbing in Stawamus Chief, Shannon Falls and Murrin Provincial Parks. The strategy will be used to direct management activities related to rock climbing in the three parks. It must be stressed that this strategy is site specific and will not be applicable to the situations found in many other provincial parks.
- Stawamus Chief, Shannon Falls & Murrin Provincial Parks Rock Climbing Strategy [PDF]
- Best Practices Guide for Rock Climbing Route Development in the Squamish Area Provincial Parks [PDF 2.2MB]. This Best Practices Guide recommends new guidelines and considerations for rock climbing route cleaning, including route development, and intends to balance climber’s needs with protecting the environment and public safety.
BC Parks has implemented a parking enforcement policy at Stawamus Chief and Murrin Parks.
Provincial parks along the Sea-to-Sky corridor have experienced exceptional growth in visitor numbers, leading to parking congestion and illegally parked vehicles. Public safety is paramount for BC Parks, and new parking policies are in place to ensure safe access for all.
Visitors must park in designated parking lots and observe the “no parking” signs posted. BC Parks has implemented a tow-away policy for any vehicles parked illegally.
- Please be aware, camping is allowed on designated sites only and all equipment, tents, etc., must be on the designated site.
Location and Maps
Please note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Located immediately adjacent to Shannon Falls Provincial Park at Squamish, BC. Squamish and Brackendale are the communities nearest to this park.
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- Cultural Heritage: Named after the First Nation village of St-a-wamus at the north end of the Squamish River.
- Wildlife: Obey posted closures of climbing routes on the Chief during the critical nesting season of the peregrine falcon.
- Management Planning Information
- Approved master plan for Stawamus Chief Provincial Park [PDF 2.11MB]. Because of the large size of the file, the photos are listed separately:
Master Plan Photos
- View from the Chief between the second and third peaks [PDF]
- Remnants of old-growth forest [PDF]
- View of the second peak from the third peak [PDF]
- Swamp east of the Chief [PDF]
- View from the Chief across the Squamish Valley [PDF]
- Climbers on the Chief [PDF]
- Viewpoint from second summit [PDF]
- Trail to the summits of the Chief [PDF]
Final Report Photos
- Final Report Cover page photo [PDF]
- Page 12 photo [PDF]
- Page 18 photo [PDF]
- Page 27 photo [PDF]
- Appendices photo [PDF]
This is not the original management planning product. This document has been scanned from the original format of the plan. It may contain some formatting changes, however the content is consistent with the original.
Activities Available at this Park
This is a world class climbing destination. Climbing closures are in effect generally from March 15 until July 31 to minimize disturbance to nesting Peregrine Falcons. However, area closures may change year to year depending on where these magnificent falcons choose to raise their families.
Commercial climbing such as guiding and giving instruction is prohibited unless authorized by a valid Park Use Permit. Bouldering opportunities exist at the base of the Stawamus Chief.
For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Hiking trails are accessed from the day-use parking near the campground. They follow Oleson Creek before dividing into separate trails to each peak. The trails are also accessible from Shannon Falls Provincial Park. Be properly prepared for a strenuous hike and changing weather.
- First Peak: 1.5-kilometre trail with an elevation gain of 540 metres.
- Second Peak: 1.7-kilometre trail with an elevation gain of 590 metres.
- Third Peak: 1.8-kilometre trail with an elevation gain of 630 metres.
- To Shannon Falls: 1.5-kilometre hike from the Stawamus Parking Lot.
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers 52 vehicle-accessible campsites on a first-come, first-served basis; campsite reservations are not accepted. Vehicle sites are not suitable for large RVs.
Sites are very shaded with mature second-growth coniferous trees. There is parking for extra vehicles in the day-use parking lot, available for a fee. The gate is locked between the hours of 11pm and 7 am, and during the winter season. Walk-in camping is available when the gate is locked. If there are no staff available to direct you to a site, find a site that is not occupied by equipment or a valid camping permit. Campground fees are to be paid in cash at the entrance of the campground through a self-registration envelope system.
The closest store is in Squamish, approximately a 5-minute drive north on Highway 99. There is a pay phone located next to the information kiosk. There are storage lockers located next to the cooking shelter. No campfires are permitted. Campsites are small and overcrowding is not permitted.