Shannon Falls & The Chief – My favorite places

A decade ago, a good friend of mine took me to Shannon Falls for the first time. I am pretty sure she did it not only because she is a great person but also because she wanted to showcase the beauty of British Columbia. After doing the Shannon Falls hike for the first time, I simply fell in love with hiking (although this is not by any measure an easy hike).

Over the summer, I have done very few hikes (not because I don’t want to but because I have been so busy). So today was a great opportunity to do this hike again. J and I had done it a couple of times before, but this was the first time we had to do The Chief. The reason behind this? Between the last time we did Shannon Falls together and this year, the main Shannon Falls has been de-activated. This is a pity because I thoroughly enjoyed this trail and it gave me the opportunity to be in the near vicinity of the water falls.

So off we went to do the Stawamus Chief hike. Both Shannon Falls Provincial Park and Stawamus Chief Provincial park are adjacent. Known generally as “The Chief”, the hike is not an easy one. It’s not as challenging as the Grouse Grind, but there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Bring good hiking footwear. Both First Peak and Second Peak require climbing using chains and metal stairs, and on the way back, you really need to find places to hang on to. In my case, I had running shoes but the design of my shoes’ sole increased the traction and therefore I was able to climb down relatively easily.
  • Bring enough water. One litre wasn’t enough for me. I would have done better with two.
  • Bring a sweater/rain gear. It was raining when we started the hike and on the way back, I felt cold.
  • Bring a small first-aid kit. Because there are so many sharp rocks both on the way up and down, you may want to bring some Band-aids, antiseptic, etc. Not because this is a dangerous trail at all, just because having a first-aid kit is a good idea in general.

After the hike (we only did First Peak and Second Peak) we headed over to Mountain woMan Take Out. I am not kidding you, that’s the name of the restaurant (it’s located near on the Britannia Beach site, close to the British Columbia Museum of Mining, both amenities I have been to in the past). At Mountain woMan you will find great (and inexpensive!) fish and chips, burgers and other munchies. I read somewhere that this was voted the second best fish-and-chips in British Columbia. I don’t doubt it!

Story says that when the current owner (Lynne Cook) got separated from her partner, she had to add the two letters to the name of the restaurant, because nobody would believe she was a man, of course …”hey, you’re not the mountain man!”… so now the place is called Mountain woMan. Click here if you want to read more about this restaurant.

Overall it was a great experience. Few things are better than doing a good hike with a good friend. I love getting out of the city, and on the way back, I was reflecting on the fact that I rarely leave Vancouver. Although I should say that I have started to know more of Richmond now that B and C live there. I know my way around Burnaby a fair bit (thanks to Metrotown and J, who used to live there), and North Vancouver is also a municipality where I know how to get around. I should probably head more towards Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, etc. in the near future.

Related posts:

  1. Happy Birthday Vancouver! Places That Matter in My Life
  2. When The Night Falls (Chromeo)
  3. Shannon Falls and The Stawamus Chief (day hike)
  4. The culture of working at coffee places
  5. Hipster-oriented places in Vancouver

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