The journey is just as beautiful as the destinations along the Sea-to-Sky corridor (Highway 99).
Look out for Cultural Journey interpretive kiosks, designed in the shape of cedar-bark hats, and pull over to learn more about the area’s local Indigenous people. Heading north, stop at kiosks 1 through 5, as they are on the east side of the highway. Southbound, stop at kiosks 6 and 7 on the west side of the highway.
6.25 km – about 0 hours 12 min
Start in downtown Vancouver with a visit to iconic Stanley Park; watch marine life at the Vancouver Aquarium and stroll along the seawall. Explore Vancouver’s history by visiting Gastown – the city’s birthplace – and Chinatown, home to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and a lively summer night market. Cross the Lions Gate Bridge to reach North Vancouver and West Vancouver.
23.42 km – about 0 hours 23 min
In North Vancouver, step along the thrilling Capilano Suspension Bridge, which swings 135m/450ft above ground. From early spring to early fall, hike the gruelling Grouse Grind (dubbed “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”) and indulge in a burger on top of the mountain. Ride the aerial tram down, then head to West Vancouver for scenic views of Howe Sound and the Georgia Strait at Whytecliff and Lighthouse parks.
34.54 km – about 0 hours 26 min
From West Vancouver, take Highway 99 towards Squamish. Along the way, detour west to Horseshoe Bay to dig into crispy fish ‘n’ chips and watch the ferries sailing into port. A waterfront playground makes a great family rest stop. The first cultural interpretive kiosk is near Horseshoe Bay.
6.32 km – about 0 hours 5 min
North of Horseshoe Bay is Porteau Cove Provincial Park, a popular scuba diving destination. Artificial shipwrecks and reefs support hundreds of species of marine life, such as octopus, lingcod and starfish. Not a diver? Explore the rocky beach or take a dip in the ocean.
17.33 km – about 0 hours 17 min
Just north of Porteau Cove, Furry Creek‘s greens line the waters of Howe Sound, making it one of BC’s most scenic golf courses. Tee off from Hole 14 (the signature hole) to be immersed in classic west coast scenery: islands, ocean and mountains.
6.07 km – about 0 hours 5 min
Continue north to Britannia Beach to visit the Britannia Mine Museum National Historic Site. Today it showcases the history of the mine and the area, but it was once home to the largest copper producing mine in the British Commonwealth. Board a mining train and travel deep into an old mining tunnel. Pan for gold, engage in interactive exhibits and see historic mining equipment. Cultural kiosk 2 is near Britannia Beach.
2.68 km – about 0 hours 2 min
Just north of Britannia Beach, Murrin Provincial Park’s rock climbing walls (with names such as “Petrifying Wall” and “Bog Wall”) provide excellent and varied climbing opportunities that range from novice to expert. Post-climb, relax tired muscles with a swim in the park’s lake or walk around the pleasant lakeside trail.
4.09 km – about 0 hours 3 min
Be sure to stop at Shannon Falls Provincial Park. These dramatic falls rise 335m/1,099ft above Highway 99, making them some of the highest in the province. Walk an easy trail to the viewpoint to watch the cascading waters up close.
1.82 km – about 0 hours 1 min
The Stawamus Chief is hard to miss: it’s considered one of the largest granite monoliths in the world and its sheer rock face dominates the view from the highway. Adventurous visitors can try scaling the walls of this world-class climbing destination. Not a climber? Hike one of the challenging peak trails for fantastic views of Howe Sound and the Squamish Valley, or look for peregrine falcons, which frequently nest here. Kiosk 3 covers information about Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief.
2.70 km – about 0 hours 2 min
Squamish, billed as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada,” is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Zoom down more than 600 mountain biking trails that weave through old-growth forests, windsurf at the Squamish Spit, or hike in a provincial park. Learn more about the area’s history at Kiosk 4 near the Squamish Adventure Centre.
Cap off the day’s adventure with a locally brewed beer (named for iconic Sea-to-Sky landmarks) and fresh food at a restaurant, or with a visit to one of Squamish’s many art galleries. Overnight in Squamish.
North of Squamish is Brackendale, home to one of the highest concentrations of wintering bald eagles in North America. From November to February, look for these magnificent birds feeding on salmon from the main “Eagle Run” viewing facility. Or, take an “Eagle Safari” to cruise down the Squamish River via boat.
12.80 km – about 0 hours 8 min
For a quick waterfall side trip, detour west from Highway 99 via Callaghan Valley road to Alexander Falls Recreation Site. View a serene waterfall, take in scenic mountain views and watch for wildlife, such as black bears, alongside the road. Backtrack to Highway 99 and continue north. Just before Whistler is the Whistler Interpretive Forest Recreation Site, containing a 3,000ha/9,000ac network of trails that are perfect for walking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Cultural kiosk 5 is just south of Whistler.
12.32 km – about 0 hours 11 min
Whistler is consistently ranked one of the top four-season resorts in North America, and boasts a number of outdoor activities: cross-country skiing, hiking, mountain biking and world-renowned downhill skiing and snowboarding. Take the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola to hit the best slopes – or trails – in one day on both of Whistler’s mountains. Dine on the mountaintop or at award-winning restaurants in the pedestrian-only village. Learn about the local First Nations at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, housed in a stunning and eco-friendly designated LEED building (LEED is a national program promoting sustainable and green building and development practices).
If returning to Vancouver via the Sea-to-Sky, look for cultural kiosk 6 near Garibaldi Provincial Park and kiosk 7 south of Britannia Beach.
Optional: For a different scenic route back to Vancouver, follow Highway 99 north to Pemberton, which offers exhilarating paragliding and soaring opportunities. Continue north to Lillooet; the stretch of Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet is also known as Duffey Lake Road, and features spectacular roadside scenery. Highlights include hiking at Nairn Falls Provincial Park.
Optional: From Lillooet, continue north or head south down the Fraser Canyon via Highway 12 and Highway 1 back to Vancouver.