Sea to Sky & The Howe Sound

The road between Vancouver and Whistler is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Highway 99 – known as the “Sea to Sky” highway –  travels from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver all the way up towards the ski resort in Whistler. The road hugs along the side of the towering coast mountains sometimes suspended above the Howe Sound below. There are many viewpoints that you can pull over to experience the great wilderness of British Columbia, with unforgettable views of the towering Coast Mountains, beautiful coastal rainforests and the Howe Sound.

This summer I spent a lot of time traveling between Vancouver and Squamish, on my way to visit friends for hikes into the mountains. Squamish is where the Howe Sound ends (or begins, depending on how you look at it) and has some of the best hikes in the region. This year we went for a hike into Murrin Provincial Park as well as a trip to the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, which is one of the most impressive attractions in or around Vancouver. Both of these allowed for some amazing views of the crystal blue waters of the Howe Sound underneath.

The most famous attraction in Squamish is the Stawamus Chief, a towering granite rock structure that towers 700 meters above the town underneath. It is a world-class rock-climbing destination, drawing advanced adventure seekers from around the world. For those less trained in the art of climbing, there is a great trail along the backside which can take you to one of the three peaks. Before the construction of the Gondola, this used to be the most impressive view that you could find, but those who are in the know will appreciate the effort you put in to get to the top.

British Columbia is beautiful, and this coastal stretch known as the Sea to Sky is something that shouldn’t be missed. I have selected some of my favourite pictures from along this route that I have taken over the last several years to share with the world today. Many people will travel straight through to Whistler, but make sure you get a chance to stop somewhere along the way. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

 

North Vancouver:

 

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Howe Sound. 2007.

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Looking North from Lighthouse Park. 2010.

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View of the Coast Mountains (and the Lions) from Cypress Provincial Park. 2017.

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Sea to Sky highway from above. 2017.

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Howe Sound. 2007.

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Sailboat. 2010.

 

Sea to Sky Look-out:

 

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The Howe Sound. 2018.

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Totem Pole. 2018.

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Highway 99. 2018.

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Beautiful British Columbia. 2018.

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Islands. 2018.

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Totem Pole. 2018.

 

Portaeu Cove:

 

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Porteau Cove. 2010.

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The Coast Mountains. 2010.

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Beautiful British Columbia. 2010.

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Sunset at Portaeu Cove. 2010.

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Howe Sound. 2010.

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Highway 99 runs along the water. 2010.

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Beautiful Mountains across the water. 2010.

 

Squamish: 

 

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Murrin Provincial Park. 2018.

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Highway 99. 2016.

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Howe Sound. 2016.

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The top of Peak One. 2016.

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

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Fraser and Michelle enjoying the view. 2018.

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The unforgettable view of Howe Sound. 2018.

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Windsurfing is a popular outdoor activity, fed by strong winds on Howe Sound. 2018.

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The Chief from Above. 2018.

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Howe Sound. 2018.

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The Sea to Sky Gondola. 2018.

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Train Tracks, Shannon Falls and the Chief. 2018.

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