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Sea to Sky Highway: Vancouver to Whistler

Sea to Sky Highway: Vancouver to Whistler

Road trips have always been one of my favorite ways to travel and explore a new place.  When I got the opportunity to take my very first solo trip this year, I got to work planning an amazing road trip.  I decided to drive the Sea to Sky highway from Vancouver, BC to Whistler! It’s a short, easy road trip, and also one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever seen!  I did some research, and picked out a few locations I wanted to explore along the drive.  I chose Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, the Sea to Sky Gondola, and Brandywine Falls.

Vancouver to Porteau Cove

I left my little Airbnb in Gastown and walked down to Canada Place to pick up my rental car.  I headed out of downtown and joined up with highway 1, the Sea to Sky highway.  It was about a 25 minute drive to Porteau Cove.  The views on the drive were dangerously beautiful!  I had force myself to keep my eyes on the road.  I parked at the cove and got out to take in the scenery and of course snap some photos.

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First stop on the Sea to Sky highway: Porteau Cove!

Porteau Cove to Shannon Falls

Next, I left the beautiful cove and once again joined the sea to sky highway heading north to Shannon Falls!  It was a quick twenty-minute drive on the scenic, winding highway.  I parked the car and hiked the short trail to the view-point.  The falls were HUGE!

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Stop number two: Shannon Falls!

I took some pictures, but it was pretty crowded so I decided to find a more secluded area by the river to get some shots and enjoy the views.

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Climbed my way to this beautiful secluded spot!

Sea to Sky Gondola

There is a trail that leads from the falls over to the Sea to Sky Gondola, but I didn’t have much time, so I drove about two minutes up the road and parked once again.  I got a ticket (about 50 CAD) and got into the gondola.  It wasn’t crowded at all!  I got lucky to have the park manager in the gondola with me.  He told us all about the park and the Squamish area.  He pointed out that from the tram you can see the entire hydro system of Shannon falls from the snow-capped peak of Sky Pilot, down the falls, into the river, and then finally into Howe Sound and the Pacific ocean.  It was very cool.

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Sea to Sky Gondola!

After I got to the top, I hiked across the suspension bridge and the short loop trail that was connected to it.  The views were unbelievably beautiful!  Next, I chose Panoramic trail, another quick loop, to get the views from the other side of the mountain.  From the second trail there was an amazing view of  The Chief, which is a large granite dome that was a magma bubble that froze.  It is the second largest monolith in the world!

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The Chief

After hiking, I got some lunch at the restaurant at the top of the tram then headed back down.  I got a tram all to myself!

Personally, I liked this tram experience better than the Grouse Mountain tram.  It was significantly less crowded.  Like Grouse Mountain, there is a trail that starts at the bottom of the mountain and goes all the way to the top.  It is less steep than the Grouse Grind.  I would have loved to have done this hike, but I didn’t have the time.

Sea to Sky Gondola to Brandywine Falls

Next, I hopped back onto the sea to sky highway and drove about thirty minutes to Brandywine Falls.  It was about a five-minute hike to the falls.  Along the way I crossed these railroad tracks and couldn’t resist a photo stop.

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Exploring around Brandywine Falls Park

There was nobody at the falls viewpoint when I arrived.  It was great to have the place all to myself.  The falls were gorgeous!

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Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls to Whistler’s Upper Village

Finally, I drove a quick twenty minutes on the sea to sky highway and arrived in the Upper Village of Whistler.  The Airbnb was awesome!  It was called Glacier Lodge.  I would definitely recommend it!

This road trip was one of the most scenic drives I’ve ever been on!  There was ocean views on my left and snow-capped mountains on my right.  If anyone is up in the Vancouver or Whistler area I would highly recommend taking a day or even a couple of days to explore the sights along the sea to sky highway!

If you want to check out more photos from my trip follow me on instagram!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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