|UNPLUGGED is a state of mind. It’s that point in your consciousness where you can feel at one with nature, escaping the trappings of the day-to-day to an almost dream-like place where nothing else seems to exist besides you and your natural surroundings. It is our opinion here at VIA that Vancouver holds a unique place in the civilized world in that reaching this state often requires no more effort than simply pulling off to the side of the road, pocketing your keys and taking a few steps into the forest.
If you are an outdoors type chances are you have probably headed down the Sea to Sky highway to either Whistler or Squamish. Like many who have travelled this stretch of highway, I grip the steering wheel and snake my way through the continual S turns until I reach Squamish. Every time I take this route I become amazed at the vistas of the inlet and mountains.
Just before you reach Squamish, if you look to the right you will see an amazing waterfall, one that is 335m tall. This breath-taking natural beauty is the 3rd largest waterfall in the province. Being a lover of the outdoors I had to take a closer look and so my Shannon Falls hiking adventure began.
The falls are clearly marked along the highway and there is ample parking in the Shannon Falls Provincial Park lot. At the base of the falls you can follow a gravel trail north towards the infamous Stawamus Chief, one of the premier rock climbing locations in North America. After a little bit of a walk you will join up with the lower portion of the Chief trail. From here the adventure begins.
Now I have to state that this hike is not for the person looking for a casual Sunday stroll. Parts of this trail are steep and this hike will take you around 4 hours round trip to venture to the top of Shannon Falls and back down.
Climb up these wooden stairs and steep trail for about 25 minutes and you’ll end up at a juncture with a sign. Continue heading up and you’ll reach one of the Chief peaks. Turn right and you’ll end up at the less crowded trail to Upper Shannon Falls.