Sea to Sky Gondola

If you’re a fan of breathtaking views, this is the post for you! High above Howe Sound just outside of Squamish is a network of hiking trails with amazing views of the surrounding nature. This used to be only accessible by doing the Sea to Sky trail, which is a grueling uphill hike that climbs almost a full kilometer uphill next to Shannon Falls. A few years ago this all changed when the new Sea to Sky Gondola opened and it became an easy 20-minute ride and you can be transported to some of the best trails and hiking in the area without the hardcore uphill climb.

This is where we went adventuring this week. I worked late Saturday night and drove straight from Vancouver to Squamish after work; the roads were empty and it took me only 45 minutes from downtown. We had originally planned on doing the Garibaldi Hike on Sunday morning, but because of a rainy afternoon weather report, we decided to scale back our ambitious plans. We went for lunch and as the rain began to lessen around 12, we decided to take the Sea to Sky Gondola for some hiking in the mountains.

This is one of the most beautiful attractions accessible from Vancouver. The cost of the Gondola is $43 (if you plan on hiking here on multiple occasions, its possible to get a season pass for $150, which my friends have, earning me a 20% discount bringing my cost down to $36). From the Gondola station, there is a viewing platform and patio for those who just want to see the view or walk across the suspension bridge. There are plenty of nearby views that you can access as a beginner hiker, including the amazing Chief Viewing Platform, a short 2-km flat walk from the Gondola.

This was my first time in this area, and there were several other hikes at our disposal, many of which tempted us. From the Gondola, there are three higher altitude viewpoints we considered doing – Al’s Habrich Trail, Sky Pilot Valley Trail, and the Skyline Ridge Trail) – but with the weather still in flux we decided to save those for another day and picked the 10-km round trip along the Shannon Basin Trail.

We were still rewarded with an “easy” 2-hour hike and several spectacular viewpoints overlooking the Howe Sound and the Shannon Falls Basin. The views from the Gondola station were worth the price of admission, but this hike allowed us to see the view from different vantage points and have a little exercise along the way.

Without a doubt, the Sea to Sky Gondola is my new favourite tourist destination in Vancouver, and even if you don’t plan on doing a hike, this has to be one of the most beautiful views you can access without much effort. If you’re not convinced, have a look at some of these photos, and start planning your trip.

Sea to Sky Gondola:

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Fraser and Michelle enjoying the view. 2018.

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Howe Sound. 2018.

 

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The Stawamis Chief from above. 2018.

 

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Suspension Bridge. 2018.

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Stawamis Chief Viewpoint. 2018.

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Sea to Sky Suspension Bridge. 2018.

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The Chief from Above. 2018.

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Gondola. 2018.

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BC Trees. 2018.

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Suspension Bridge. 2018.

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The Sea to Sky Gondola. 2018.

 

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The unforgettable view of Howe Sound. 2018.

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When the clouds cleared, we were given amazing snow-capped peaks. 2018.

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Shannon falls from the parking lot of the Sea to Sky Gondola. 2018.

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The Chief from the Gondola. 2018.

Shannon Basin Trail:

 

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Howe Sound. 2018.

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Views of Howe Sound. 2018.

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Upper Shannon Creek. 2018.

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Looking back at the trail towards the cloud-covered mountains. 2018.

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The Shannon Basin with Squamish bellow. 2018.

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Sea to Sky Gondola from across the Valley. 2018.

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Howe Sound viewpoint. 2018.

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Bridge over the creek. 2018.

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Howe Sound. 2018.

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Solid Rock Structures. 2018

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The Shannon Falls Basin from above. 2018.

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Inside the forest. 2018.

3 comments

  1. I just kept repeating oh my and oh wow as I scrolled through your pics. Lol. I love these. They are beautiful. What a great experience. I showed my husband what I was ogling. Poor guy, he has a fear of bridges, so he was not too happy with me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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