My husband and I were in Vancouver for a couple of days last weekend, and we decided to take a break from the city and head up to Squamish, which is an hour north of downtown Vancouver. Neither of us had ever been that far north on the coast before, and I have to say, we fell in love! The drive up the sea-to-sky highway along the ocean is insanely gorgeous. Nothing beats bright blue skies with an ocean on one side and a mountain on the other.
We did not have a lot of time to spend in Squamish, so we decided to make the most of it by taking a ride on the Sea to Sky gondola. The gondola is accessible right off Highway 99 between Squamish Chief Provincial Park and Shannon Falls Provincial Park.
The gondolas are mostly glass with two benches on either side, with enough room for 8 people (max). I sat facing the mountain, which I liked because I could turn around in my seat and have a clear view of the ocean. There were a couple of times on the way up I felt a little scared, but overall it was incredible and I was so happy and enthralled by the stunning view on all sides. The ride is only 10 minutes to the top, but it is long enough to get lots of pictures and to soak it all in.
Once you get to the top, there is so much exploring to do! I thought the gondola was going to take us to the top then right back down, so I was pleasantly surprised when we were able to get off and look around.
In the photo below, you can see a building in the distance, which is where you will find the gift shop, bathrooms, cafe and cafeteria. Connected to the viewing area/patio off the cafeteria is the suspension bridge! I love suspension bridges so much. I have been to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver so many times, because it is so much fun! This one seemed less scary than the Capilano one, possibly because it is shorter and didn’t seem to sway as much, but that is also dependent on the weather.
There are so many hikes you can do up there! You could also hike up the mountain instead of taking the gondola up if you really wanted…I was quite happy to have the ride up and be able to choose an easier hike. We didn’t have proper hiking gear or anything like that with us, so we went on a shorter hike, but it was so much fun! I love being in nature surrounded by trees and greenery and fresh air.
I cannot wait to go back to Squamish and explore more trails and parks, and next time we’d love to keep going up to Whistler, which is only 45 minutes or so north of Squamish. It always amazes me how much there is to see and explore in my own province. If you have any recommendations of places to go along the Sea-to-Sky Highway in British Columbia, leave them in the comments and I will write them down for next time!