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Slhanay Trail

Slhanay Trail

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Squamish is the adventure capital of Canada and is home to some of the best hikes near Vancouver, as well as other adventures. The Slhanay Peak trail is just one of these hikes! Offering amazing views of the Stawamus Chief (The Chief), as well as downtown Squamish and surrounding mountains, this is one BC hike you’ll need to add to your list!

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Slhanay Trail Hiking Guide

Slhanay Peak (might see it spelled Shlaney or named Stawamus Squaw), is an intermediate to difficult Squamish hike with amazing views if you know where to go! Unlike most hikes, the best views on the Slhanay trail aren’t from the summit, rather they’re from a bit further down.

The views are similar to those from Mt Crumpit, but arguably slightly better and the hike is more challenging too.

Slhanay Trial Hike Stats

  • Distance: 6 km (ish – varies depending on the exact route taken)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate – Hard
  • Elevation: 650 m
  • Shlanay trailhead & Parking: Around 1.7km down Mamquam Forest Service Road outside of Squamish. Parking is at the side of the road. There is usually a spot along this road, but it does get busy with climbers and other hikers too so arriving earlier in the day is best.

Hiking Slhanay Peak

This trail isn’t the easiest to follow, therefore I strongly recommend downloading the Shlanay trail map from AllTrails and adding it to your phone before leaving for this hike.

After you’ve parked up on the road, look for some flagging in the trees on the right-hand side (just past a small, open gravel area and boulder field.

You’ll start by hiking into a thick forest typical of the West Coast and many of the hikes in this area. After a couple of minutes, you’ll reach the first steep section. At the top of this climb, you’ll come to a fork in the trail. Here, you should turn left and remember to refer to your GPS map to make sure you’re on the right track!

The next part of the trail involves some navigation of roots and rocks as you continue up through the forest. There are some orange markers around, and if you’re used to navigating BC trails, you shouldn’t have any difficulties.

As you continue, you’ll come out to a huge granite rockface and the chances are you’ll hear a few climbers shouting “take” or “climb on” as this is a popular climbing route in the area. Soon you’ll be at the top of this!

Follow the trail to the right of the rockface, and hike the dirt switchbacks until you reach another junction. Make a right here.

At this point, the trail gets very narrow so take your time as you don’t want to slip!

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part of the narrow trail

After following along this rock face for a few minutes you will then head back into the forest before climbing a steep section of dirt switchbacks. At the top of the switchbacks is another junction and you will need to take the path to the right.

The Slhanay Trail Viewpoints

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As you go around the corner, you come out at Poxy Crag viewpoint marked by a small wooden sign. Follow this trail a little and you’ll get to an opening with nice views of downtown Squamish and a glimpse of the Chief.

Return to the main trail and take the next slight detour to The Valley. This also is marked by a small wooden sign and the viewpoint is even better!

Return to the main trail again and take the path to the left at the next junction. Shortly after this, there’s a four-way crossing. Go left again. Continue slightly uphill and ignore the trail to the left for now.

Around 3km into the hike, you’ll come to the turnoff for Tony’s Lookout which is the best viewpoint of the hike and the main area people want to get to when they do the Shlanay trail. Keep an eye on the GPS and the trees to spot a small path and wooden sign.

The views from this lookout are mostly of The Chief and they’re great! There’s also a bench here which makes the perfect spot to take a break.

Slhanay Peak

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From here, you can continue to the peak by rejoining the main trail and then continuing until you reach a logging road (a wider trail through the woods). You may see a few cars here as it’s part of the Slhanay Squamish mountain biking trails.

Turn left here and continue on the path for about 350m, keeping your eyes open until you see a path go off into the woods on your left. This path is probably the hardest to spot, so you’ll need to be paying attention!

The climb from here is a little steeper but it soon flattens out slightly. At the next crossroads, you should take the left path. The final part to the peak takes you up over a rocky outcrop and from up here you can enjoy views of Squamish, the mountains to the north, and Garibaldi too.

To return you can follow the route you took to get up here. Or, as you’ll see on the All Trails map, there’s a slightly different loop you can do to make it more of a loop trail. However, this is pretty steep so only attempt if you’re prepared for it.

What to pack for hiking Slhanay

Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles and pack your 10 essentials. Here’s what my day hike packing list looks like.