Situated at the head of Howe Sound and surrounded by mountains, Squamish is cradled in natural beauty and is the envy of the south coast. Located just 30 minutes north of Vancouver on the Sea to Sky Highway, Squamish has everything: location, geography, wildlife and weather. Squamish is known as the outdoor recreation capital of Canada with world class rock climbing, cross-country mountain biking, hiking, river rafting, and windsurfing. Squamish means Mother of the Wind in Coast Salish, which makes Squamish a top wind surfing destination. The Stawamus Chief, the second largest freestanding piece of granite in the world, has made Squamish one of the top rock climbing destinations in North America. Squamish has a population of about 20,000 and has six elementary schools, one junior high school, and one senior high school.