Sea-to-Sky Gondola Road Trip
The Sea to Sky Gondola offers spectacular views of Howe Sound and the surrounding coastal mountains. A 10-minute gondola ride takes you to 855 metres above Howe Sound, where you will find walking trails, cantilevered viewing platforms, the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, hiking trails, rock climbing and access to backcountry routes.
The trip starts with a drive through the spectacular scenery of the Sea-to-Sky corridor. The route travels through lush forest, with views of the green waters of Howe Sound, the mountains, waterfalls and lakes. There are several viewing points to stop and stretch your legs and really take in the view.
The trip up to the Summit Lodge takes 10 minutes, and affords views of Howe Sound, the coastal forest and surrounding mountains, including the spectacular Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief climbing area. The gondolas have a max. capacity of eight passengers and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the views, and are wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Once at the top, you will find walking trails with cantilevered viewing platforms extending out from the mountain and providing fantastic views to the North, West and South. The 100-metre Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge gives a birds-eye view from thousands of feet above the forest. The Lodge includes a café, restaurant and bar, and hosts live music on Friday nights during the Summer Season.
Take a free guided tour of the walking paths, or take the kids on an interactive family tour. Or explore the trails on your own. The site has two relatively level trails, with no steep sections, and several walking trails with moderate elevation. Trails pass through the vibrant forest and open meadows, along granite bluffs, and take you to majestic views of the ocean and mountains.
For the more adventurous explorers, the site connects a dozen trails from the family-friendly Alpine Alley (complete with scavenger hunt and prize), to advanced backcountry trails that will test your mountaineering skills. Or hike the Sea to Summit Trail from the base of the gondola to the top, and purchase a one-way ticket to ride down the mountain; the best of both worlds!
After exploring the site, refresh yourself with a snack, a drink or a meal from the Summit Eatery and Edge Bar, Co-Pilot Café or Bodhi’s Plaza BBQ, with options to eat inside, outside or grab your food and picnic. Or, replenish your stock of snacks from Basecamp Café at the bottom of the gondola.
The gondola runs year-round. During the Summer Season (May-November), the site is open 9:30 am – 6:00 pm Sunday-Thursday, with the last ride down at 7 pm, and 9:30 am – 8 pm Fri & Sat, last ride down at 9 pm. Hours of operation are subject to change. Please check the website when planning your trip.
The Summer Season also includes the Mountain Music Series, on Friday evenings, 6-9 pm, and Yoga classes on the deck overlooking Howe Sound, weekday mornings, 9:45-10:45 am.
The site is located on the Sea to Sky Highway (BC-99), 8km north of Britannia Beach and just north of Shannon Falls. For a visit up to 3 hours, use the parking lot at the base of the gondola. If planning a longer stay, the overflow/long-term parking lot is 600m south of the gondola.
For more information on the Sea to Sky Gondola, check out their website.
If you are thinking of hikes the trails after riding up the gondola you can download pdf files of these trail maps.
If you want to hike up the Howe Sound Sea To Summit Trail, you can find directions to the Sea To Summit Trail head here.