Elevation gain: 918m
Driving distance from Vancouver : 1h
In low season you can park at the Sea to Sky Gondola main parking lot. High season they will ask you to park in the ‘long-term’ parking lot a bit further away and take a shuttle (or you can park at the Chief parking lot). The trail starts behind the gondola and cuts to the left towards the base of the Chief. You will go up in the forest until you cross the first bridge over the creek to get on the main Chief trail. Hiking the first section of stairs, keep an eye open for the intersection with the Sea to Summit trail (there are some red and white arrows indicating the turn out, and it is where the first pole with a map and indication of trails is on the Chief trail (although not yet updated with the Sea to Summit trail!).
The first section of this trail goes up the Upper Shannon Falls trail, although it has been modified from what I remember of it. You will hike under the actual Sea-to-Sky gondola at some point and then zig zag your way up to a few nice view points until you reach the upper falls and the main view point. The trail itself has some pretty steep and rocky sections, some ropes and chains to help in certain areas. Once you pass the summit of the upper falls, keep following the signs for the Sea-to-Summit trail. From there, most of the elevation gain has been reached and the trail is not as steep.
Once you reach an intersection and a larger trail, you have 2 choices. The trail on your right is a longer trail up to the Summit lodge – Take the left trail. Follow the main trail and you will eventually reach another intersection. From there you can choose to take the less steep and longer section, or as we did, follow on your left the Wrinkle Rock trail, which is a bit steeper and shorter.
Once you reach the top, enjoy with a nice cheese fondue and some drinks.. It’s 10$ to come back down with the Gondola!