Elevation: 1,343 ft
GPS: 49.68, -123.145 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,582,278 total · 10,000/month
Shared By: Peter Spindloe on Feb 18, 2006 with updates from Kent Richards and 6 others
Admins: Nate Ball, Kate Lynn
Access Issue: Illegal Camping Details


Squamish is simply fantastic and features endless, perfect granite climbing that is basically roadside. If you want to crag, no problem. If you want to climb a 15 pitch classic, no problem. Squamish has it all, including lots of rain. Just hope it doesn't rain (much) during your visit and you'll love the place.

Getting There

From Vancouver, negotiate your way out of town (confusing), and follow the scenic 99 (Sea to Sky Hwy) north along the eastern flanks of the Howe Sound for around 70 km (44 mi) to Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, just south of the small town of Squamish. Allow about 1-1.5 hours driving time.

Other Areas Nearby

This section of the database is limited to the closest formations to the town of Squamish. To help visitors orient themselves to other areas within striking distance of Squamish, use the Map and these notes:

The Sea to Sky Corridor is the stretch of highway between Squamish and Whistler and contains many primarily sport-climbing crags which range from 10 to 40 minutes away from Squamish.

Hwy. 99 North of Whistler is obviously a little further north, but perfectly reasonable for day trips from Squamish. There's a lot in the area although not much has been posted here yet.

Some of the Vancouver Area crags are easily accessible from Squamish, although once you made it there, why head back south?


At the base of the Chief:
This area is literally a one minute walk to the Chief (Campground Wall), five minutes to the Grand Wall boulders, and ten minutes to the base of the Grand Wall. The treed ambiance and cooking area make this a nice place to base yourself. It's about a thirty minute walk into town for groceries, meals etc, and perhaps forty minutes walk to the Smoke Bluffs.

Just across the street from Shannon Falls:
Maybe ten minutes to the Shannon Falls climbing and twenty minutes to the Grand Wall. It's about ten minutes further from town than the camping at the base of the Chief.

Alice Lake:
This area accepts reservations, has climbing very close by (not yet posted in the database though), and is probably a good base for climbing north of Squamish, like at Chek.

Mamquam River Campground
A campground by dirtbags, for dirtbags. It's Squamish's cheapest campground option and is specifically geared toward climbers.


If you are not interested in camping, here are some other options:

Squamish Hostel - squamishhostel.com/
Howesound Brew Pub (has a few rooms too!) - howesound.com/

Vacation Home - There is an EXCELLENT vacation home directly across from Neat and Cool in the Smoke Bluffs. Details on the home are available at VRBO Smoke Bluffs (editors note: I've stayed in this house many times and it is fabulous. Great home, great views, and great access.)

Where to Eat

This is just a sampling, suggest more in the comments if you wish.

Save-On-Foods is the cheapest option, a few blocks into town on the right.
Nester's Market in the plaza at the intersection of Cleveland and Hwy. 99. More expensive.

The Howe Sound Inn&Brewing Co. right at the very end of Cleveland Street. This is very popular hangout with climbers and other outdoor types. The food is also very good, much better than your average pub fare.

Chef Big D's for traditional breakfast: eggs, toast, fruit, etc, just down Cleveland on the left
The Mountain Burger House at Cleveland and Pemberton (a few blocks past the plaza) for more of the same
Zephyr Cafe in the same area, serving "craft" food - fancier, more expensive, less filling

Access Information

Squamish Access Society Lots of useful information about access, especially as it relates to Hwy. 1 construction. Some nice images in the gallery too.

Guiding Services

1,287 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Squamish

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Klahanie Crack
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Trad 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Penny Lane
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Rock On
Trad 5 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
The Zip
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Seasoned in the Sun
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Angel's Crest
Trad 13 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Trad 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Rainy Day Dream Away
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Bullethead East
Trad 4 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Sunset Strip
Trad 12 pitches
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
The Great Game
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c A0
The Grand Wall
Trad, Aid 9 pitches
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Crime of the Century
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Klahanie Crack Shannon Falls > Shannon Falls Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Diedre Chief > Apron
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 6 pitches
Skywalker Shannon Falls > Shannon Falls Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 5 pitches
Penny Lane Smoke Bluffs > Penny Lane
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Rock On Chief > Apron
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 5 pitches
The Zip Smoke Bluffs > Zip
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Seasoned in the Sun Chief > Grand Wall Base Area
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Angel's Crest Chief > Sheriff's Badge
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 13 pitches
Exasperator Chief > Grand Wall Base Area
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
Rainy Day Dream Away Chief > Bulletheads > Campground Wall
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Bullethead East Chief > Bulletheads > Bulletheads, Central
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Sunset Strip Chief > Dihedrals
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 12 pitches
The Great Game Slhanay (The Squaw)
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 4 pitches
The Grand Wall Chief > Grand Wall Area
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c A0 Trad, Aid 9 pitches
Crime of the Century Smoke Bluffs > Penny Lane
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
More Classic Climbs in Squamish »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Geoff Gegwich
North Bend , WA
Geoff Gegwich   North Bend , WA
Climbing in Squamish
Smoke bluffs Boulder gully
This is an area close to the parking lot and often overlooked.
Cold comfort and Picket line were fun 9's with solid gear.
Smoke Bluffs Wall
Zombie roof area
Laughing crack 5.7 a perfect intro to trad 1 pitch wonder. Takes great gear and has good stances.
Mosquito Area
Mosquito/ Phlemish dance is a fun 2 pitch 5.8 link up. More climbs above. Mar 18, 2006
Solid granite cracks, tons of variety and always an escape from the crowds if you are willing to hike 45 minutes to the backside of the Chief. Start early to avoid lines if doing anything on the Apron as it can get crowded quickly. Kevin McLane's guidebook is, in my opinion, the best guidebook ever. Ratings are soft so feel it out for yourself. I recommend The Snake (Apron), Diedre (Apron), Angels Crest (Shield), Solarium (Backside of The Chief) and Octopus Gardens. You can't help but have fun here! May 22, 2006

With the recent rate of expansion and development in the Squamish region it is important to be aware of the rules in regard to camping in the area. If you are a seasonal user please be aware that the rapid growth has put a lot of pressure on different user groups. In the past, Squamish has been a low-key mecca for summer cragging, and it still is.

As a user group, climbers in Squamish have enjoyed a (mostly) positive relationship with the community. It is important to maintain that relationship.

If you are coming to Squamish for all or part of the summer you should be aware of the situation regarding camping outside of designated areas. There is a lot of incorrect information floating around and hopefully this information will help people to better understand land use issues in the area.

According to Bob Cunneyworth, the Compliance & Enforcement Officer with the B.C. Integrated Land Management Bureau, camping outside of designated areas inside of the Squamish municipality is not permitted. This is basically the area between Murrin Park to the south and Conroy Creek to the north(well past Brackendale), the Squamish river to the west and the Watershed to the East (several kilometers past the Squaw). if you are unsure of these boundaries check with City Hall when you arrive. Outside of the municipality camping on "Crown Land" is technically not legal, although the law is seldom enforced. If you need to camp in the "backcountry" a strict Leave-No-Trace policy is mandatory.

The Squamish Access Society works with the community to ensure that the relationship between climbers and the city is positive. Climbers maintain a positive relationship with the non-climbing public in Squamish because we have always been able to police ourselves.

The Chief Campground and others are affordable, particularly when a pad is shared amongst a few friends.

Please, if you come to Squamish, respect the rules, stay in designated campsites. The days of free camping are sadly gone. A lot has changed in Squamish with the rapid pace of development and growth. Not everyone who lives here these days is sympathetic to climbers, and will jump at the slightest chance to point the finger.

Squamish is a town in transition and if climbers are to have any say in the direction that Squamish goes, it will be necessary to maintain a positive community presence.

No matter where you are from, if you are a guest in Squamish, please try to remember that there are people who have spent their lives here to ensure that our resources stay accessible for all. Please respect their hard work.

Ultimately, what you do in Squamish is up to you. For those of us that call this area home I would urge you to please try and minimize your presence if you should choose to live outside of the normal structure.

Squamish is quickly becoming a suburb. It is a very critical time here. There are people who do not value the same things as we do. Those people own property and pay taxes. Only through solidarity of purpose and action do we as climbers function as an entity.

Thank You. Apr 8, 2008
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
A quick note for Squamish camping:

Camp sites at the Chief campground are no longer $10 each. It is now $10 per 2 people regardless of how many people are crammed onto one site. This makes camping quite a bit more expensive, and it is no longer advantageous for people to share their sites with others. Kind of a bummer, but I'm sure it's netting the campground quite a bit more money. Aug 15, 2009
Normally, Squamish gets progressively drier from June to September. Mid-August is usually the driest - but you can get a nice stretch of weather anytime in the summer. Here's a weather chart, it might help.
Cheers, Dave Jones
squamishclimbing.com Apr 13, 2010
Here is what the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park website says about dogs:
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times except on the Chief Peaks trail. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement.Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.

In addition the Squamish Assess Society (squamishaccess.ca) has posted this note:
In 2008 additional signage regarding park policy on dogs was posted at several trail heads in the Chief boulders. It was the first step by Parks to communicate a ramp-up in enforcement of the on-leash rule. With the huge increase of users since the late 1990s, Parks has become especially concerned about the number of dogs left off leash. Reported incidents of people being bitten, dog excrement among the boulders and on trails, dogs barking and fighting and running through re-vegetation zones have increased the need in Park’s eyes for enhanced enforcement. Expect heightened enforcement this season; Parks does have the authority to ticket.

The SAS supports the on-leash policy and asks that dog owners abide by the Park rules so that they and others can enjoy it to the fullest.

Smoke Bluffs Park is a popular place for locals for dog walking. I believe dogs must be onleash.

David Jones
Squamish Climber
squamishclimbing.com May 25, 2010
ahh! just realized that Squamish is missing Cheakamus! Has to be one of the best sport climbing areas around Squamish .. more info on projectclimb.com/442CA16B34… Mar 16, 2011
It's here: Sea to Sky Corridor

Dividing up complex areas isn't an exact science. In this case, the Squamish area is just the crags right around town.

As I understand it, the area you're referring to is Chek rather than Cheakamus, which has yet to be added to MP.com. Mar 16, 2011
Jesse McAfee
Jesse McAfee   Milwaukee
Looking for grade 4 scrambles within an hour of Horseshoe Bay. Jan 24, 2012
Jesse, one option would be The Lions. I don't know too many off hand, but I imagine the Sky Pilot group might provide some. Jan 24, 2012
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
Some feedback after a week in Squamish...

It's an expensive place to live, even for a short time.

The Zephyr Cafe is overrated. Get breakfast at Chef Big D's. Quinoa cereal vs. sausage-filled omelet with black bean salsa, hash browns, and toast.

The library provides free internet access, but make sure you check in at the counter.

The Howe Sound brewery is awesome, but expensive.

In northern Squamish, there is a pub called The Shady Tree: unappealing bar food and cheap beer. Avoid it.

Save-a-lot is a better grocery store than Nester's. Unless you like spending more money.

Skywalker and Diedre will have long cues to climb on any dry day. Start at 7am or wait until 2pm.

You will be competing for climbs on the classics. Think about climbing elsewhere, like the Papoose, or the Malamute, or the Bulletheads. Not the Smoke Bluffs, or the Apron, or Squamish Buttress.

The cost of camping at the Chief campground is $8 per person, per night. Every single site was full when we got there - a Thursday in August. We didn't bother to check again.

It is $33/night (one vehicle, two people) to stay at Klahanie Campground. This includes a laundromat, showers, and close proximity to busy train tracks. You will be woken up in the middle of the night if you try to stay there without paying. Not recommended.

It is not technically legal to sleep in your car apparently anywhere in Squamish. We didn't meet anyone who'd gotten in trouble for it though.

The sport climbing on the Malamute, and probably most of the areas on or around the Chief, are all friction-style climbs. We top-roped some 10s, which was enough to get the idea. If you want to climb that friction stuff, go do something on the Apron.

Grades on the classics seem a bit soft. I was able to on-sight several 10a's, which I've never been able to do before.

The weather is really temperamental. It might drizzle, it might piss down, it might be super-windy, it might be gray and overcast, it might be sunny and hot, and it might all happen in the same day. And this was in August!

To sum it up, Squamish is a wicked awesome climbing area where you will meet lots of really cool people, climb lots of really great stone, eat really good food, all in a really majestic setting. Take the time to step back and appreciate all that this area has to offer. Aug 22, 2012
Mark Roberts
Vancouver, BC
Mark Roberts   Vancouver, BC
As far as crowds, the weekends are busy in the Summer to be certain, but there's tons of rock to go around. If you have your heart set on climbing Exasperator, Diedre, Skywalker, and Calculus Crack (or go cragging in the Smoke Bluffs) then you better also have your heart set on some early mornings or late afternoons. Climb the classics during the week and explore during the weekend.

The campground is pretty social, I've met a lot of people who just arrived with no contacts and have a great time. You can also find partners at squamishclimbing.com/squami…. Jun 4, 2014
Tyson Anderson
Tyson Anderson   SLC, UT
Go to Bisla Sweets for $1 Samosas and although it might seem strange the Mag 99 fried chicken place (bright yellow building off the 99) has fantastic burritos. Jul 17, 2014
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
After five years since my previous comment, I'd like to add some updates on the Squamish experience based on a recent 5-day stay...

There are more camping options than what are listed. Unfortunately, the newest option closed early for bureaucratic reasons, and most of the established options have increased in price. It seems the town and/or the management agencies are not doing much enforcement of "rogue" camping though, as vans and trucks lined both sides of the Mamquam Forest Road overnight and there were even tents up right across from the Apron parking lot. I met several other people living out of their cars in random parking lots around town.

This is not an endorsement for doing this, in fact quite the opposite. Any conflict that involves climbers' access to the area would be a loss for one and all. Please support access groups and those providing utilities - like the rec center - by paying some money and supporting the local economy in a positive way.

The town has moved quickly to embody the sport-chic version of whitewashed paradise. Shiny sports cars and expensive condos define the ever-growing residential areas. Plaid shirts, Prana, and logo'd trucker caps define the general clientele of every bar, gear shop, and even the grocery stores. As sweaty climbers after a long day up Angel's Crest we felt utterly out of place at the Backcountry Brewery, which we had heard such good things about.

There were 18 people sport climbing 11a and under at Chek on a rainy Monday, all at the Main Event (5 routes), the easy stuff at the Circus, and Sacrilege at Toxic Lichen. There was nobody on the Forgotten Wall, which also stays (mostly) dry in a moderate drizzle.

If coming to Squamish during the peak season (July-September), I HIGHLY recommend scheduling at least part of your stay during the weekdays. This past weekend we spent HOURS waiting on other parties, not just on Calculus Crack but even up at Slhanay. Everyone was very friendly but it did severely limit the amount of climbing we were able to do. Plan to be at the base by 7am if you want to be at the front of the queue.

If you're doing your own meals and finding a stable, affordable place to sleep every night, it is still a world class destination. The main campground is probably the best spot to meet people staying long-term.

And lastly, the "top 100" is an idea you're going to just have to accept... Sep 29, 2017
Squamish Access Society maintains a "for visitor" page which we aim to keep current. Please would anyone researching a Squamish visit, especially if they plan to camp or arrive in a van, read the page here: squamishaccess.ca/for-visit… May 2, 2018
Hello Squamish climbers and visitors,

We are excited to share some good news. There is a management structure in place to operate the Mamquam River Campground Overflow Lot as a vehicle camping area. Here are the details :

First Day of Operations :

- May 23, 2018 (Wednesday)

Cost :

- $5 / night / vehicle. Payable in cash. First-come, first-served.

Operator :

- Mamquam River Access Society & Mamquam River Campground

Management :

- There will be an on-site groundskeeper to check campers in and accept payment.

Location :

- Mamquam River Campground Overflow Lot. Go East on Centennial Way at the Loggers Lane intersection (where Brennan Park Recreation Centre is) about 800m (0.5 miles). Pass the main entrance to Mamquam River Campground on the left. There will be another locked, yellow gate on the left, then a parking area again on the left. It is directly across the asphalt plant.

- Google Maps pin - goo.gl/maps/6oqxb6WYBv52

Capacity :

- 10 vehicles

Stay Limit :

- 14 nights

Amenities :

- Port-a-potty (serviced weekly)
- Trash (serviced as needed)

This is a new endeavour and there will be some bumps as we get the area up and going. Please bear with us. In the meantime, come by or spread the word! May 20, 2018
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
Is there really now a problem with people surface-dooking around the park? I received a message that it's "everywhere" - even in places like the Smoke Bluffs where toilets are a short walk away. I don't think a comment on MP is going to do anything about this but if it's bad enough that people are noticing it then sadly it's bad enough that it bears mentioning.

Dig a 6" hole with a stick or rock. Poop in it. Wipe your ass with said rock or stick, and/or whatever else may be at hand. Fill the hole back in. Enjoy the natural feeling. LNT is a thing. May 20, 2018