The Stawamus Chief is the second largest granite monolith in the world and a nesting habitat for the Peregrine Falcon. The Chief Trail itself is steep and difficult to climb and requires hikers to be in a good physical condition.
There are areas where you have to pull yourself up with chains that are bolted into the mountain along with scaling ladders carefully positioned in the rock. I managed not only to get my city and country friends to climb this mountain but my nine year old dog joined us for the hike.
The hike itself took about four hours but we safely made it to the top of the mountain and then hiked back down again. Hiking the Chief is very popular, because it is easy to find and hard to get lost on trail. The route is well marked by aluminum signs on trees, and red paint on rocks.
There are three peaks to the Chief that you can decide to climb to once you are on the trail, we went to the second peak. I had heard from many people that this hike was not for those who are out of shape as the first thirty or so minutes would be a lung burning vertical climb. The view from the top was breathtaking and well worth the effort.
Many of those on our excursion were not 'hikers' but after such a physically challenging climb we all came out of it with smiles on our faces. We all had a great sense of accomplishment and a sense of camaraderie that comes from succeeding at something together. I would definitely hike the Chief again and plan to do so a lot sooner than my next birthday.