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The Sea to Sky Gondola
If you are an adventure and nature lover, the Sea to Sky Gondola in the Squamish Valley is an awesome place to visit. We had the opportunity in the summer to see Squamish on our way to Whistler. Its about an hour north of Vancouver on highway 99. There are splendid scenic views of the waterfront along the highway as you set out on an amazing adventure.
We are budget travelers and are pretty tight with our pennies (although Canada doesn’t have pennies any more). But the Sea to Sky Gondola is one splurge that I think every traveler should indulge in! The spectacular views of Howe Sound and gorgeous surrounding mountains make it well worth the money.
What to Expect
When you reach the Sea to Sky Gondola there is ample parking available, washrooms, a gift shop, a cafe with both outdoor and indoor sitting and also a place for your kids to have fun. There is even designated large vehicle parking. In the summer it can get extremely busy so there is overflow parking down the road and a shuttle to get you back to base. Here, at the base area, is where you buy tickets and start your journey. Ticket prices and hours of operation can be found on the Sea to Sky Gondola website.
The Sky is the Limit
Once you pay, the adventure begins. First, you must make your way up the mountain so as to enjoy the immense views of the area. To do this you can opt to take a 3-4 hour hike up the mountain or take a Gondola that will get you to the top in about 10 minutes. Be warned the hike is quite intense! The top of the Gondola is located on a ridge part way up Mount Habrich.
If you choose to take the Gondola, you will have a great 360-degree breathtaking view of the heavenly coastal forest, the fjords in the area and the surrounding mountains. This is definitely a test for those with the fear of heights as it takes you 885 meters (or about 2900ft) above sea level.
At the top, there is a huge platform where you can take amazing photos of the valley below. Friendly guest services can direct you on where to go and you are also given a guide with a map on possible areas you can go to once at the top.
Enjoy or Explore
Here at the top, you can opt to just take a seat and enjoy the view while sipping on a cup of coffee or take the nature trails that lead you to numerous viewing platforms where you can view the valley below from different angles. The Sky Pilot Bridge is a spectacular suspension bridge that is bound to give you the creeps as you can see the valley deep down below as you cross it.
The nature trails are peaceful and quiet and are a good place to meditate and relax. There are also a myriad of activities to do here in the Sea to Sky Gondola including; rock climbing and numerous hiking trails. During the winter you can go for snowshoeing, winter walking and even ski touring. At the Summit Lodge you can enjoy signature dining, cultural events, and exhibits.
For those who would love to venture into the sky and soar above the clouds, the Sea to Sky Gondola is definitely the place to go. It is open year round, weather dependent, so no matter the time of year you can see the beauty of the Howe Sound from high above.
Want to learn more about the Squamish Valley? See my post on How to Spend a Day in Squamish BC and check out our video on YouTube