Shannon Falls and The Stawamus Chief (day hike)

One of the great things about my blog is that it does actually serve as a repository of all the cool things I’ve done in my life in Vancouver for the past three years. While quickly searching for the last time I wrote about Shannon Falls and The Stawamus Chief, I found out that JT and I had last visited these provincial parks in September of 2007, almost two years ago. shannon falls 2 However, both of us have very fond memories of this hike, and we wanted to ensure to at least come once a year. So this past Sunday we headed north in the direction of Squamish (British Columbia) for a quick day trip. We both thoroughly enjoy hiking and we’ve done it enough times together that we know the pace that we enjoy. Moreover, this is perhaps one of the few hikes where we can actually have meaningful, in-depth conversations, an activity that (while tiresome, at times) we very much appreciate. I find that The Chief is a day hike that is usually best enjoyed when you engage in 2 or 3 additional activities, such as a short visit to the Shannon Falls Provincial Park, or a stopover at Pourteau Cove, a picnic near the lake, or even a quick visit to Squamish. I do have a couple of friends up there whom I am sure would have loved to have me and JT over to hang out and maybe have some tea. Next time, I am sure. JT and I went up for a couple of hours (we just reached First Peak) and then came down and stopped at Mountain woMan for burgers. I’ve written about this cute little place before but its history deserves its own entry. If I had to recommend a day hike, I’d always go first for Shannon Falls/The Chief. Not to be missed if you live in British Columbia.

Related posts:

  1. On giving it my everything…
  2. When The Night Falls (Chromeo)
  3. Lessons from a botched hike and an injured wrist
  4. LIVE at Squamish 2010 Music Festival
  5. Shannon Falls & The Chief – My favorite places

Comments (4)

TylerJune 16th, 2009 at 9:25 am

I like driving past Shannon Falls, occasionally we stop so I can take photos. We plan on doing the chief this year too, but more the 2nd and 3rd peak as most people stop at the 1st peak.

There is also a hike around/up Shannon Falls too :)

Tyler’s last blog post..Mute Swans of Stanley Park and Lost Lagoon

Betty GilgoffJune 16th, 2009 at 9:27 am

It is a lovely hike and definitely one of my very favourite. The view from the top is unlike anything else and so worth the climb. People should be careful about hiking with dogs or small children up there this spring. Here’s a link to the very recent YouTube video of a cougar on the same trail. Unfortunately this very hungry cougar killed a dog and was later tracked and “put down”. We do need to be careful about how much we’re encroaching on their territory.

ian in hamburgJune 16th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Hi Raul,
If you look closely from the top, and of course know where to look – you can see my mother’s place! We’re going to do the Chief hike this summer – third peak. Can’t wait.

Lisa JohnsonJune 16th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Hi Raul,
Yes, I think that video is legit. I used it in my piece last night:
(Text link – with video link on the side:

Our newsroom got a phone call from one of the people who took the video. I checked out the voice/timing with the conservation officer and they seemed to match, though I haven’t interviewed the videographer.

(We would always interview the videographer in a case where the video was providing new information. In this case, the video was providing pictures for info we had also obtained from a reputable named source: the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.)

Chris Doyle, the field supervisor for the Sea-to-Sky corridor, told us the cougar that had been on the Chief had killed and ate a dog Friday night, and attacked another dog on Saturday (we believe it is this dog’s owner who is heard in the video).

Since that cougar has now been killed, conservation officers believe the Chief is a safe place to hike (or under no greater danger than any wilderness any time). As Betty says, it is us encroaching on their territory.

However, that cougar was only one of three or four that have been approaching people in the Squamish area, which is unusual.

The CO says it isn’t known why this is happening, but hunger is a possibility. The killed cougar was emaciated, and it did eat the first dog. That certainly suggests to me the aggression isn’t just about territory or other issue — but perhaps a lack of prey.

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