Photo credit: Davide Tortora | Flickr
An hour outside of Vancouver, the Stawamus Chief offers one of the region’s classic, but challenging, hikes. This 11 kilometre (6.8 mile) hike covers 600 metres (1,968 feet) in elevation gain and offers expansive views of the mountains and water. The payoff for this rugged hike is the top, an opening on smooth rocks that begs for a picnic or a quick nap in the sun. Keep an eye out from the base for the expert rock climbers who ascend nearly 2,000 vertical feet to reach the summit. The hiking trail along the mountain’s forested backside features old growth forest, and a side trail option to see the mighty Shannon Falls. For those looking for something less strenuous, the nearby Sea to Sky Gondola whisks visitors up 885 metres (2,900 feet) above sea level to enjoy similar views.