Sea to Sky HighwayThe Sea to Sky Highway links Vancouver to Whistler and has several stops along the way that are often overlooked. Porteau Cove, for example, is surprisingly unknown even to locals that have driven past hundreds of times. Just off the highway the parking area is just steps from the huge pier stretching way out over the ocean.

Sea to Sky Highway Sights

This gigantic pier is actually a rarely used emergency dock for BC Ferries, though more often used by visitors for its stunning views of Howe Sound. Porteau Cove is an excellent pit stop on the way to Whistler, not only for the spectacular views of Howe Sound, but one of the nicest picnic spots and most convenient restrooms! Other attractions along the Sea to Sky Highway are more obvious, such as Shannon Falls, the Sea to Sky Gondola, The Chief, Alice Lake, Brandywine Falls and the Britannia Mine Museum. Other sights are hidden from the highway and just a very short drive away such as Lighthouse Park, Whistler Train Wreck and Whistler Bungee Bridge. If you don’t mind a slightly longer diversion, you can drive up the Callaghan Valley, just south of Whistler and stop at Alexander Falls just steps from your car. On a nice sunny day, the drive alone is incredible, with mountain views across the valley and frequent bear sightings! Many of the following attractions along the Sea to Sky Highway are short pit stops that you can drive right to and explore in minutes. Distances to each attraction is measured from the start of the Lions Gate Bridge in Stanley Park in Vancouver.

Sea to Sky Sights Vancouver to Whistler

Stanley Park Sea to Sky Attractions1. Stanley Park

The Sea to Sky Highway passes through downtown Vancouver and into Stanley Park. Stanley Park can be walked or biked in any number of routes and lengths. Certainly one of the popular, and most straight forward routes is by a large, 10km circle, paved trail that runs around the perimeter. You can park at one end, for example near English Bay, and head along the coastal, paved trail and follow the beautiful circumference of Stanley Park and return to where you started after a wonderful and constantly scenic 10 kilometre seawall route. The interior trails wind their way through the unexpectedly huge trees within Stanley Park. Some trees stand over 70 metres (249 ft) and are centuries old! More… 

 

Lighthouse Park Sea to Sky Attractions2. Lighthouse Park

Back on the Sea to Sky Highway on your way to Whistler and about 16km from Vancouver you pass close to Lighthouse Park, a wonderful park in a deep forest along trails to scenic coastal walks. You'll need at least an hour to visit this park. Just a 2.5km detour From the Sea to Sky Highway to get there is well worth it if you have the time. Lighthouse Park is serene piece of paradise, so close to Vancouver as to see its tall buildings, yet immersed in a deep coastal rainforest. A network of trails winds through big Douglas-fir trees and western redcedars as well as golden Arbutus trees stretching toward the ocean. It is surprisingly convenient on the drive from Vancouver to Whistler. More…

 

Porteau Cove Sea to Sky Highway3. Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove, 39.3km from Vancouver or 76.7km from Whistler, is a beautiful little stop on the drive to or from Whistler. You will notice the lack of convenient washroom stops along the Sea to Sky Highway, and if nothing else, makes Porteau Cove a perfect rest stop. The main attraction, however, is the wonderful pier with viewing platforms that hover high above the ocean overlooking Howe Sound. Howe Sound is a majestic and enormous Canadian fjord - the most southerly fjord in North America. On the dock you will find an interpretive tour of sorts as there are descriptions, every few metres along the railings of what you may see from the various viewpoints. More...

 

Britannia Mine Sea to Sky Attractions4. Britannia Mine

Britannia Mine is 47.5km from Vancouver or 68.5km from Whistler. The Britannia Mine was once the best producing copper mine in the British Empire. In operation from 1904 to 1974, in recent years it has transformed into a wonderful museum that you explore deep into the mountain. A staggering 240 kilometre network of tunnels extend like a spider web deep underground and the tour takes you along some of them. The tour costs about $40 and expect to take a couple hours on your visit. Why should you stop and see the Britannia Mine Museum? Wonderful history and exciting exploration deep underground. Quite a long pitstop on the way to Whistler, but well worth it if you have the time! More...

 

Shannon Falls Sea to Sky Attractions5. Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls 55km from Vancouver is a quick pitstop on the Sea to Sky Highway to a very impressive waterfall. The entrance directly off the highway is easy to spot and convenient. The trail to the falls is short, easy, and well worth the 20 minutes you will likely take in total. Shannon Falls towers above Howe Sound at 335 metres as the third tallest falls in BC. The short trail winds through a big tree forest to get to a viewing area close to the base of the falls. From your car to the viewpoint takes only about five minutes, however the trail continues a bit further to a higher viewpoint. One of the must see attractions along the Sea to Sky! More...

 

Sea to Sky Gondola Sea to Sky Attractions6. Sea to Sky Gondola

The Sea to Sky Gondola is 55.5km from Vancouver or 60.5km from Whistler. If you have a couple hours on the way to Whistler the Sea to Sky Gondola is a great place to visit. Just steps from your car you get on the gondola which takes you steeply up to gorgeous views of Howe Sound. Located between Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls, the gondola carries you from the sea to the sky. Departing just a few hundred metres from the ocean at an elevation of 35 metres, to 885 metres in less than 10 minutes. At the top you find a network of trails leading to fantastic viewpoints and a restaurant with a big sundeck overlooking Howe Sound far below. More...

 

Stawamus Chief Sea to Sky 99 Attractions7. Stawamus Chief

Stawamus Chief, 55.7km from Vancouver or 60.3km from Whistler, is the mammoth rock face that towers over Squamish. Stawamus Chief, more often referred to as The Chief, is well know as one of the largest granite monoliths in the world.  The Chief attracts rock climbers from around the world to its many climbing routes up this granite dome that towers over 700 metres above Howe Sound. First Peak is 1.5km, with an elevation gain of 540 metres. Why should you stop and hike The Chief? The first peak is a very short, though exhausting trail to magnificent views. Definitely a must do attraction along the Sea to Sky Highway if you have the time and energy! More...

 

Alice Lake Sea to Sky 99 Attractions8. Alice Lake

Alice Lake is 68.7km from Vancouver or 47.3km from Whistler. Alice Lake Provincial Park is comprised of four lakes, Stump, Fawn and Edith Lake as well as the much larger Alice Lake. There is a nice trail that runs between and around them all. In the midst of summer, you will find dozens of families picnicking around the edge of the forest overlooking the lake. Why should you stop at Alice Lake? It it just off the Sea to Sky Highway, has a nice grassy field above the wide sandy beach with sunny picnic tables. A perfect spot for a picnic pitstop on your drive to Whistler. More...

 

Brandywine Falls Best Sights Sea to Sky9. Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls is 99km from Vancouver or 17km from Whistler. It is one of the must see sights on the drive to or from Whistler, and arguably the nicest of Whistler’s numerous beautiful waterfalls. The falls drop from a 70 metre/230 foot, unnaturally abrupt looking cliff to the valley below. Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is such a popular, accessible and beautiful attraction that it has a large and elaborate viewing platform directly opposite the falls. The 5 minute trail takes you to the viewpoint and another trail continues to another gorgeous viewpoint over Daisy Lake. Info boards describe what you are seeing, fantastic! More..

 

Alexander Falls Sea to Sky Attractions10. Callaghan Valley

Just off the Sea to Sky Highway, 102.2km from Vancouver or 13.8km south of Whistler is the turnoff to Callaghan Valley. The 10km long Callaghan Valley Road takes you way up into this paradise valley surrounded by mountains stretching far into the distance. Near the end of the road is Alexander Falls which crashes down just a few hundred metres from the viewing platform just steps from your car. Why should you drive up Callaghan Valley to Alexander Falls? It is a very scenic drive up into the mountains. Alexander Falls is well worth the drive and makes an ideal place to have a picnic in paradise! Bears are often spotted along the road! More...

 

Whistler Bungee Bridge Sea to Sky Attractions11. Whistler Bungee Bridge

The Whistler Bungee Bridge turnoff is 104km from Vancouver or 12km from Whistler. A 3km gravel road takes you to one of the most impressive attractions along the Sea to Sky Highway. The 2 metre wide, 100 metre long, $300,000 bridge was built in 2002 by Whistler Bungee. Spanning a large canyon 50 metres above Cheakamus River. Why should you drive to Whistler Bungee Bridge? It is just a short detour off the Sea to Sky Highway and gives you a thrilling view from high above Cheakamus River. Off the radar for most, you often find this terrific attraction free of people and all to yourself! More...

 

Whistler Train Wreck Sea to Sky Attractions12. Whistler Train Wreck

Whistler Train Wreck is 109km from Vancouver or 7km from Whistler. It is hard to say enough about this fun, interesting and short hike to a weird and wonderful world in the forest along Cheakamus River. Just a short detour off the Sea to Sky Highway gets you to the trailhead to this easy, yet varied route through deep forest, to a stunning array of wrecked train cars. Why should hike to Whistler Train Wreck? It is a surreal combination of colourful, mangled train cars and serene forest. Cheakamus River is a big and impressive, crashing river which you cross over along the trail. More...

 

Guides to the Best of Whistler

Best No Car Whistler TrailsNo Car? No Problem! Whistler Trails

Whistler as a resort has a wonderful car-free core. The Village Stroll runs through the heart of Whistler Village and is entirely car free. If you are visiting Whistler or living here and you don't have a car, it's no problem. On foot or on a bike you can travel the extensive network of non-motorized trails. The Valley Trail snakes through Whistler Village and extends in several directions, all of which lead to beautiful parts of Whistler. The Sea to Sky Trail and the Lost Lake trails continue this massive, car-free network of trails running almost everywhere in Whistler. When it comes to many of the best hiking trails, getting to the trailheads on foot, by bike or public transit can be tricky at best or complicated and impractical at worst. Many trailheads are far from Whistler Village and... Continued here.

Best Whistler WaterfallsBest Whistler Waterfalls

There are lots of beautiful waterfalls in and around Whistler.  From the towering drop of Brandywine Falls to the awesome, up close and breathtaking view of Keyhole Falls. Some are absurdly convenient and easy to see and others require some tough hiking, or tricky driving to get to. All of them, however, are well worth a visit. Brandywine Falls is the most well known, impressive and easy to find along the Sea to Sky Highway. The viewing platform positioned across from the falls gives you a direct view of its 66 metre(216 feet) plunge into the chasm below.  Located 17.1 kilometres(10.6 miles) from Whistler Village. The short, 1 kilometre long, dog friendly trail to the viewpoint is wide and smooth gravel. Alexander Falls, located up... Continued here.

Best Whistler Aerial ViewsWhistler Aerial Views

Aerial views of Whistler hiking trails give you a nice perspective on how beautiful this part of the world is. Wedge Glacier is hard to grasp its immensity from across the valley.  Up close, from above, the endless rows of crevasses and massive contours give this hulking glacier a more complete picture. The mountains around Wedgemount Lake tower around the valley and seeing them in profile is a great way to grasp the wild, chaotic, boulder strewn landscape below. Along with Wedge Glacier and Wedgemount Lake we have some great aerial views of Panorama RidgeParkhurst Ghost TownRusset LakeAdit LakesOverlord MountainOverlord GlacierWhistler MountainBlackcomb MountainBrandywine Falls and many more... Continued here.

Whistler Train Wreck MuralsWhistler Train Wreck Murals

The colourful graffiti and murals that make Whistler Train Wreck the magical place it is today began appearing in 2011, when this hidden place was known by just a few Whistler locals. In the summer of 2011 several Whistler artists came here for "The Train Wreck Paint Jam" and transformed the mangled wreckage into a surreal art exhibit. The artists ranged from aspiring graffiti artists to professional artists like Kups. Remnants of one of his murals from 2011 is found inside the first boxcar you come to after crossing the bridge into Whistler Train Wreck. Several of the original murals were gorgeous. Brilliantly coloured and surreal in such an unusual, tranquil and hidden forest with seven mangled train boxcars scattered. Like some sort of haunting art gallery... Continued here.

Northair Mine MuralsNorthair Mine Murals

Way up in the Callaghan Valley on the back side of Mount Sproatt is an abandoned gold mine.  Old cement foundations and two unexpectedly beautiful lakes mark the location of Northair Mine, abandoned in 1982. It was a fairly productive gold mine that extracted five tons of gold. Largely forgotten for years, in the last decade it has come to life in stunning colour by graffiti artists and professional muralists. In the summer of 2013, the first mural appeared on the blank foundation walls of Northair Mine. A creation of a professional Whistler artist PETKO. Painted on one of the inside, pillar walls, the mural is about 8 feet tall and five feet wide of what looks like a robot snake in front of a cube background. It stood out in striking contrast to the grey walls in the background... Continued here.

The Best of Whistler, Garibaldi Park & Sea to Sky!

Whistler is very dog friendly and the number of wonderful hiking trails that your dog will love is huge. The massively varied hiking trails range from easy, short, ...
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There are plenty of excellent, kid and family friendly hiking trails and destinations in and around Whistler. Kid and family friendly generally means an easy and ...
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Whistler is surrounded by an immense wilderness dotted with spectacular, hidden lakes and amazing places to set up a tent.  Decades of logging activity has left a ...
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Whistler as a resort has a wonderful car-free core. The Village Stroll runs through the heart of Whistler Village and is entirely car free. If you are visiting Whistler or ...
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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

Best Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking by Month!

July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite high.  ...
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Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails

Meager Hot Springs(aka: Meager Creek Hot Springs) is located 93 kilometres northwest of Whistler, was beautifully developed into gorgeous pools, with a caretaker and usage charge.  At its height of ...
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The short, winding, and ever-changing hiking trail to Rainbow Falls is the same as the much more popular trailhead for Rainbow Lake.  The trailhead is marked as the Rainbow Trail, and the trail quickly ...
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Black Tusk is the extraordinarily iconic and appropriately named mountain that can be seen from almost everywhere in Whistler. The massive black spire of crumbling rock juts out of the earth in an incredibly ...
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The trail to Whistler Train Wreck is an easy, yet varied route through deep forest, across a great suspension bridge over Cheakamus River, to a stunning array of wrecked train cars. The trail from your car to ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
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Vancouver Hiking Trails

Vancouver is surrounded by seemingly endless hiking trails and mountains to explore.  Massive parks line up one after another.  Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Park and the enormous Garibaldi Park all contribute to Vancouver ...
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Clayoquot Hiking Trails

Clayoquot Sound has a staggering array of hiking trails within it.  Between Tofino and Ucluelet, Pacific Rim Park has several wilderness and beach trails, each one radically different from the last.  The islands in the area are often Provincial parks on their own with ...
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Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria has a seemingly endless number of amazing hiking trails.  Most take you to wild and beautiful Pacific Ocean views and others take you to tranquil lakes in beautiful BC Coastal Rainforest wilderness.  Regional Parks and Provincial Parks are everywhere you turn in ...
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The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
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