- Difficulty Easy
- Time 3 hours
- Round-Trip 9km
- Elevation Gain 250 meters
- Season April - October
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly Yes
The Cheakamus Canyon is a scenic walk that begins from the end of Paradise Valley north of Squamish and ends at the Sea To Sky Highway. The route follows the Sea To Sky Trail and passes Starvation Lake along with multiple views of the canyon and Tantalus Mountain Range.
The trailhead begins at the end of the dirt road near the river. If you parked in the 2-wheel drive parking further back, walk along the road and continue on the trail. Note that there are occasional times of the year, particularly in the spring, where the beginning of the trail can be flooded due to the Cheakamus River overflowing its banks.
Follow the trail as it quickly begins to ascend, zig-zagging its way uphill underneath the power lines. Pass by a red gate and continue follow the trail as it begins to climb more gradually as you quickly make time. The trail passes through a forested section before climbing up a hill of loose rock and reaching the train tracks.
Jump down from the cement block and cross the train tracks, following the trail on the other side. The route briefly descends before ascending another hill and reaching Starvation Lake. The lake is beautiful in the summer and there are a few places on the far side that provide easy access to the lake. To hike there, continue past the lake and go right at a junction, following the lake around to the far end.
After enjoying the lake, continue your hike as you follow the well defined path as it climbs steeply through a section of trail and opens up, offering views of the canyon below and Tantalus Mountain Range. As you continue your hike, watch for a worn path on the left and follow that short trail to a couple of viewpoints. To the left, there is a viewpoint just above the railway tracks, The path to the right goes towards a small hill where there is a rope to assist you up the steep, short hill where a view awaits from the top.
Return to the main trail and continue your hike as the trail passes along a section of trail that has been reenforced by metal rods and cables that cling to the edge of the cliff, hanging just above the railway tracks. The route then climbs steadily as it wraps around the canyon before reaching an open section with more views of the canyon and surrounding mountains.
Continue to follow the trail as it continues to hug the mountain side and then reaches another rocky viewpoint looking north. The trail continues into the forest before making a final, short ascent to the side of the Sea To Sky Highway. Continue along the highway to the large gravel clearing and walk out towards the rocks, climbing up onto them for some of the best views of the canyon.
The Sea To Sky Trail continues alongside the highway from this point but this marks the end of the Cheakamus Canyon route. Return via the same route you arrived, following the trail downhill, back into the trees, and continue as it wraps around the hills. Pass Starvation Lake, cross the train tracks, and continue back downhill until you reach the riverside near where you began your hike.