I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.
Finding the Trailhead for the Slhanay Peak Trail
The Slhanay Peak Trail is located near Squamish, British Columbia. When I visited this trail in the summer of 2020, it was accessible via a dirt road that was probably a logging road. From the Sea-to-Sky Highway, when heading north you would take a right on the Mamquam River Forest Service Road. This is a road with a lot of dips and dives so expect a difficult drive for a short time. The trailhead will be on your right after several minutes.
I could tell in visiting this trail, that the Slhanay Peak Trail has likely be used for generations as the signage was old and worn. You could easily drive past this trail if you don't know what to look for. There was a make-shift parking lot at the trailhead and there was a sign. However, neither really prominently stood out. The following video and Google Maps should help you find this trailhead.
The Slhanay Peak Trail is described as a "5.8 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail" in Stawamus Chief Park at AllTrails.com. The website rates the trail as "moderate" but I would opine that it is actually a difficult hiking area. If you do the entire trail, then the elevation game is 633 meters. A lot of that will be at the front end in the first hour or so out of the parking lot.
The Trailhead for the Slhanay Peak Trail (video)
The Slhanay Peak Trail's Difficult Route
When you start this trail, which is definitely not for a novice, you will soon see that isn't a walk in the park: there are difficulties right at the start and you should expect to have to use all of your limbs on this trail. For most that will include the earliest segment of the trail, where you are just steps from the starting point.
At the early fork, if you want to take a really challenging route, then keep right. You will soon be in a heavily forested and steeply sloped area with a lot of rocks and boulders. This is the route I took when I hiked this trail.
My only goal for the day was to make it to a satisfying viewpoint. I was not interested in taking the entire trail because I started it in the evening and the whole trail would have taken too long. The going was slow and the route was tough.
In the following two videos, I lament about how difficult the trail was. In particular, you will see a particularly difficult point that involved using a rope to ascend the trail.
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Slhanay Peak Trail Area and Difficult Terrain
An Extremely Difficult Point on the Slhanay Peak Trail
Slhanay Peak Trail's First Amazing Viewpoint
After about an hour of arduous hiking, I came to a beautiful viewpoint (see the video). This viewpoint was a dangerous spot as a fall from this steep cliff would have surely been fatal. I trod lightly as I walked around the edge, trying to get a good shot with my miniature action camera.
After I visiting this viewpoint, I did venture a little further along the trail and noted that the next kilometer had some respite from the more difficult trail hiking that preceded it. It was mainly level and included an enjoyable cliffside walk. I wished that I had taken the trail earlier in the day in order that I might have had more time for the entire trip.
However, I don't like late-evening hikes as that's when some of the wild animals are most often. Furthermore, since I ascended a difficult route, I felt satisfied that I had burned off the calories that I needed to for the day. Thus, I turned around for the evening and made the difficult hike back the way I came.
As for safety goes, the trail I took was inherently dangerous. Furthermore, I didn't actually bump into anyone else on the trail but I did hear voices in the distance sometimes. This area doesn't have one proper trail, rather it's a bit of a network. Accordingly, you won't necessarily bump into the other people that are in the area. Be sure to tell people where you are going if you are going to hike this trail alone. The last video will show the viewpoint that I hiked to.
A Viewpoint Along the Slhanay Peak Trail Area
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Shane Lambert