Road Trip Canada : Sea To Sky Highway



Sea To Sky Highway


Why not, explore an exciting drive with beautiful sceneries from deep blue sea, waterfalls, chilling beach to snow-capped mountains...?, yes, obviously we are suggesting about the most scenic drive in Western Canada "Sea to Sky Highway".

Our description of "Sea to Sky Highway":


A perfect road trip for an international vacation, for traveler's living in the Washington State, USA . 

The drive is loaded up with beautiful viewpoints making it an ideal for travelers of all ages.

There are several viewpoints for every 15 minutes in the drive. If you are an exercise or a yoga lover, book lover, artist or a  writer. The drive opens up beautiful viewpoints to immerse into the beauty of nature and concentrate on your passion.

Saving the best for last, Sea to Sky highway offers a spectacular drive for motorists, bikers, and racers.

Where is Sea to Sky highway:


The Sea to Sky Highway is the name given to a section of Highway 99, which begins near Horseshoe Bay on the outskirts of Vancouver, B.C. You can Reach it via the Trans Canada Highway 1 and ends at Pemberton where the road becomes Duffy Lake Road. 

Road conditions:

It's always a great option to check the road conditions before you head for the drive, visit the official website, www.drivebc.ca or call 800-550-4997. As mentioned this will be an international vacation which requires border crossing. Visit www.getyouhome.gov for documentation about the border crossing.

Top Attractions along the drive:


You will get a lot of suggestions for the points of interest along the drive.

The Super Natural British Columbia website has shortlisted a few and link to their website is here.  In the website, you can also find numerous outdoor adventure sports that you can do during your drive. Sea to Sky Gondola is one of the major attraction in this route. The Gondola gives you an eagle eye view of the
Whistler areas.


In the below-embedded map, you can find the major points of Interest along the Sea to Sky highway which we have shortlisted. Along the route, there is a beautiful lake, breathtaking waterfalls and lookout points.






There are two native group in this region, the Squamish, and Lil'wat First Nations. A short stop by First Nations kiosks will help us get an introduction to the region, through which we will be driving for the rest of the day and a brief idea about the everyday life of the tribes. You can also visit their website, https://slcc.ca  to get an idea about the place, operational hours etc,.


 


Starting the Drive: 



The drive starts at Horseshoe Bay and goes around Howe Sound.







The sound is triangular shaped, open on its southeast towards the Strait of Georgia, and extends 42 kilometers to its head at Squamish. There are several islands in the sound, three of which are large and mountainous in their own right. Our first stop will be 14.2 km from Horseshoe Bay, Brunswick Beach Park, Lions Bay will give a great view of the Howe Sound.




Porteau Cove Provincial Park



Our next stop along the way is  Porteau Cove Provincial Park, which is 11.8 km drive and takes around 19 minutes.  The park again offers a view of the Howe Sound with the mountains in the backdrop.




Our next stop about 8 km away will be Britannia Mine Museum, the offer guided tours of the mining areas. To know more about tour timing and  guidelines for kids under the age of three, visit the website at http://www.britanniaminemuseum.ca/hours-and-tour-times







Our next stop along the drive will be 7.5 km away, Shanon falls it is composed of a series of cliffs. This is the third highest falls in British Columbia rising 335 meters above Highway 99. Visit website link http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/shannon/ for reservation and activities that you can do at the park.



Stawamus Chief


Our next stop will be ahead at 3.5 km at Stawamus Chief, which is considered as one of the largest granite monoliths in the world and its sheer rock face dominates the view from the highway.




Our next stop is just 3.4 km away at Squamish, considered as the“Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada,”. To explore various outdoor recreational activities visit http://www.exploresquamish.com



Three Optional Points of interest along the drive:
   







Brackendale is home to one of the highest concentrations of wintering bald eagles in North America. If you are driving between November and  February, ensure to stop at Brackendale Eagle provincial park, for eagl watching to see Eagle feeding on the Salmon. This park is 9 Km away from Squamish.







In 12.5 Km drive from Brackendale Eagle provincial park, there is a breathtaking panoramic view of the Mt. Tantalus. You can choose to stop at this point on your return journey as the pull over for the look out point will be when your drive towards Vancouver. You can choose to observe it as a drive though or pull over and view. Either way, do not miss the view. On a clear day, the mountains reflect. Violet, blue, green, snow-capped white.



Mt. Tantalus


In next 32 km from Mt. Tantalus lookout point. The next point of interest is one of the most celebrated hikes and the lake of Canada. Yes, the Garibaldi Lake. Visit website http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/garibaldi/ for trail conditions and campground reservations. The drive to the trailhead is around 30 km away.





Brandywine Falls Provincial Park


In next 40 km drive from Squamish, you will reach Brandywine Falls Provincial Parkwhich plummets straight down for 70 meters (230 feet). The lookout points adds more interest to the park itself from where one can see Daisy Lake and the distinctive Black Tusk mountain peak in the distance.




 
Do take a picture at the railway track while walking to visit the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park




View of Daisy Lake and the distinctive Black Tusk from Brandywine Falls.












Heading further 18 km on the highway you will reach, Whistler. Its world famous location for winter sport. Whistler became even more world-renowned as the site of the alpine and Nordic venues for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.



Whistler Village


To end the Sea to Sky highway drive, at 29 km,  you will finally reach Nairn Falls Provincial Park.  The falls 60 m high and a 1.5 km hiking trail will take you to the viewpoint.  Nairn Falls is a dramatic example of the erosive power of water. Look for “potholes” created in the rocks as the water spins trapped particles in ever-deepening circles. 




Pic:1 - View of the Falls 




Pic:2 - History


Pic:3 - Notice potholes

Tips for your visit:



It's a perfect "weekend getaway" or a "long weekend getaway",  road trip from Seattle. Camping is a perfect option for the trip there are a lot of campsites available across the drive and provincial park



Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the areas. Undoubtedly it will be one of the beautiful walks of your lifetime and obviously the most expensive one of $45. Alternately, I suggest you visit  Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge which will give you a similar experience for free of cost, though shorter than the former lengthwise and heightwise.


Reaching Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge from Portland Downtown:









View of the bridge.
The view of the forest and the greenish water flowing below.
Have a great drive along the Sea to Sky Highway.

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