Having traveled to Vancouver once before, I had an idea of what I wanted to see and do. And while Vancouver literally blew my mind with its beautiful architecture and tasty craft beer, nothing will top the awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping views I witnessed at the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, Canada!
A friend of mine told me about the Sea to Sky Gondola experience in Squamish, located an hour north of Vancouver. She said that the views were insane and that it was worth the drive and the cost! Though we had to rent a car, she insisted we visit this new-ish attraction.
So the day after my birthday, we took the scenic and windy drive up north. Past Stanley Park and Lions Gate, along the coast and with views of The Chief, it might have been the most stunning drive I’ve ever taken!
Once we made it to the parking lot, we were greeted with a sound of rushing water. To the right were the large Shannon Falls, a waterfall cascading off the side of the very mountain we would be hoisted above.
The sights, the sounds and the smells assured me this was about to be an intimate afternoon with Mother Nature.
We grabbed our tickets and made our way into our own, private gondola. As the gondola swiftly pulled us 2,900 ft. high in about 8 minutes, we enjoyed the view in complete and utter awe.
Prior to our arrival, I had heard of the 100-meter long suspension bridge high over the gorge. I had never experienced a suspension bridge before and it was just, like, a normal bridge right?
The suspension bridge was a series of wooden panels held together with strong, metal cables. And while the cables appeared sturdy enough, the movement of every passerby shook and swung the bridge with ease and fragility.
It was actually, kinda, sorta, terrifying.
Once I got over the silly idea of plummiting to my death, I looked up and saw what was around me. To the East, another 3,000 feet up, were mountains covered in snow-in late June! To the West was the Howe Sound, a beautifully blue sound connected to a series of fjords. And below us were thousands and thousands of green trees.
It was mesmerizing.
As we swung to and fro on the bridge (okay I exaggerate-a slight swing), we reached the Spirit Viewing Platform. At the time, this platform was holding a series of evening yoga classes, so we did not get to enjoy the view.
However, this lead to the Spirit Trail which was a small path that lead us through a small loop along the edge, allowing us to see some of the best that the land had to offer.
Halfway through the trek, the trail opened up to one of the coolest viewing platforms I had ever seen. A suspended platform jetted out from the rock, known as The Chief Overlook Viewing Platform, provided panoramic views of Howe Sound and the incredible sun beams striking through the clouds.
It was absolutely heavenly.
From here, we could also see what is commonly referred to as “The Chief.” What looked like a rock to this city girl was actually the second largest granite monolith in the world!
Before Sea to Sky was built, locals would climb The Chief to get a view from above the Howe Sound. (And it took forever to climb it.)
Now, you can still climb The Chief or, if your like this anti-hiker, you could enjoy the view from a comfortable distance.
We ended the day with beers at the Summit Eatery and Edge Bar (where there also happened to be a wedding)! Local brew after a trek around the most beautiful view was the perfect end to the perfect outdoor experience.
I was quite sad to end my day here and insisted on 15 more minutes of meditation above the Spirit Platform, away from the crowds and sounds (cause that’s what all of us Californians do, right?).
Want to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola yourself? Save $2 by ordering your tickets online! Prices vary according to age and roundtrips, but expect to pay $37.95 CAD for roundtrip, adult prices.