If you’re visiting Vancouver from out of town, I highly recommend making the drive to Squamish to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola. Vancouver is known for being a beautiful city, and you’ll really get to appreciate the nature and mountains here. If you’re from Vancouver, this is an epic summer experience that you’ll want to add to your bucket list too!
How to Get to Sea to Sky Gondola
The drive to Sea to Sky takes about an hour from Vancouver via Hwy 99. The road is well paved and very easy to drive despite the winding curves. Sea to Sky Gondola is just before Squamish and you can turn directly into the parking lot from Hwy 99. There is loads of free parking which I appreciate as it’s one less thing to worry about.
If you’re planning on hiking The Chief, you’ll need to park in a different parking lot which is just slightly further north.
Tip: If you’re visiting Whistler in the same trip, try to do Sea to Sky FIRST on the way to Whistler because if you’re driving southbound on Hwy 99, you have double back a little as there is no left turn.
Riding the Sea to Sky Gondola
The first experience you’ll encounter is boarding the Sea to Sky Gondola to take you to the top. I love that we were able to get a cabin to ourselves. which makes it a much more special and intimate moment. Each cabin fits 8 passengers and there are separate lines for private or shared cabins. The gondola goes on a steep rise at the beginning giving you a stunning view of Howe Sound. Then the next view minutes are flatter and your vision will be filled with greenery from the quintessential Pacific Northwest forest. The ride felt like 5-8 minutes. You’ll have enough time to take pictures, videos, and just immerse yourself in the experience.
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Relaxing at the Summit Lodge Viewing Deck
Once you get off at the top, the first thing you’ll likely do is admire the views from the Summit Lodge Viewing Deck. You can point out the Tantalus Mountain range, Howe Sound, and various other mountain peaks. What makes this viewing deck special though is that you can eat and drink with this amazing view! There’s a full selection of food and drinks available (at very reasonable prices might I add). Having a beer with the mountains right in front of you is a truly extraordinary memory.
Tackling the Suspension Bridge
It’s time to explore another one of the highlights of the Sea to Sky gondola. The Sky Pilot suspension bridge links the Summit Lodge Viewing Deck with the Spirit Viewing Deck. This suspension bridge is no joke! It feels like you are walking between two mountains! If you dare to walk across the bridge, ask a friend to stay on the Summit Lodge Deck to snap an epic picture like this one!
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Lastly, I highly recommend leaving some time for the Panorama Trail. This is a flat trail that is do-able for any one and takes about 30-60 minutes to complete the loop. There are some neat features like a bridge, wooden benches, and interpretative signs. However, the highlight is the Chief look out! This small viewing platform has even more spectacular views. I felt like I was suspended over the emerald lake. Highly recommend and a great way to get your money’s worth at the Sea to Sky Gondola.
Cheap Tickets to Sea to Sky Gondola
You can purchase tickets online or in person. You’ll save $5 – $7 per ticket when you purchase online so this is a great option! Also, check out the Sunset Savings option which is 40% off Saturday and Sunday tickets if you go after 4pm. There’s probably 2-3 hours of activities and with the abundance of daylight, you’ll be able to do it all while it’s still bright!
The Sea to Sky Gondola is such a fantastic experience to showcase the best of the Pacific Northwest! This is my second time up and the views are still breathtaking. Hope you add this to your bucket list or Vancouver travel itinerary as I promise it’ll be a highlight of your trip!
We received complimentary media tickets thanks to Sea to Sky Gondola!