The Stawamus Chief Squamish Hiking Trails
The Chief is the mammoth rock face that towers over Squamish. Though hardly believable from looking at, the summit is an easy two hour hike. In fact there are three peaks, South (First), Centre (Second), and North (Third). Each accessible from the single trailhead.
Growing in popularity as the newest brother to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver because there are quite a few stairs and considerable elevation gain. 540 metres in 1.5k. (The Grouse Grind is 853 metres in 2.9k).
Whistler also has a version of the Grouse Grind. Wedgemount Lake, though there are no stairs, it is steep, hard and long, and a popular local grind. 1220m in 7k!!
The trailhead to the Chief is easy to find. From highway 99, in Squamish. As you approach the Chief, visible for several kilometres, watch for the sign for "Stawamus Chief." The large parking lots are arranged next to the trailhead.
There is a nice campground with 47 tent sites. This part of the world is somewhat expensive so this is an amazingly cheap option at $8 per person, per night. Officially open May 15 - October 12. If you go outside these dates you just have to walk in from outside the gates and camping is free however there are no services available which means that the washrooms may be locked and no water available (though there is a river nearby). There are no shower facilities here any time of the year.
Directions to the Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls Trailheads:
From Cleveland Avenue and Highway 99 in Squamish (McDonalds is on this corner), drive south for about 2 minutes and watch for signs on your left. You can either park at the Stawamus Chief Trailhead or the Shannon Falls Trailhead. Both are close to each other but the Shannon Falls is much better for a day hike if you want to see both. Seeing both only takes a few minutes more than hiking just the Chief.
If you are planning to camp overnight then the Chief Trailhead is better to park as that is where the campsites are.