Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish on the opening day of its winter season. Opened in May 2014 at a cost of $22 million with the support of the Squamish First Nations, its goal is to easily and sustainably connect people to the great outdoors. Just a 45-minutes drive from downtown Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway, this attraction brings in up to 4,000 visitors on any given summer weekend day. It was surprising to me to learn that 80% of its visitors come to Squamish just for this experience. I was also pleased to find out that it is also all-ages friendly, with some of the trails at the top accessible even by wheelchairs and strollers.
Open all year round, the Sea to Sky Gondola offers a wide variety of activities during its winter season. From walking or snowshoeing on trails, to tubing, to enjoying holiday musical performances and fondue dinners in the Summit Lodge, there’s something for just about everybody. We happened to go on a very overcast day, but even with limited views of the surrounding environment, it was still very nice. Each gondola holds 8 people, and the ride to the top takes around 10 minutes from the base. It reminds me a lot like the gondola that you would take in Whistler Village to get to the ski area.
When you disembark at the top, you are greeted by the 100-metre long suspension bridge that connects Summit Lodge to the trails. I can only imagine how breathtaking the view of Howe Sound is from here on a clear day.
The suspension bridge leads right to the Spirit of Christmas Forest Walk. With plenty of decorations on this family-friendly trail, there is even a selfie station to capture those great holiday moments. After a brief walk, we escaped the winter chill and went into the fully-licensed Summit Lodge to enjoy a decadent fondue lunch.
You can get a winter season pass for $109 for adults, and $274 for a family. The season runs from December 4, 2015 – April 30, 2016, and the gondola is open daily from 10am – 5pm (last ride down at 6pm). For more information on the Sea to Sky Gondola, be sure to visit their website at www.seatoskygondola.com. I can’t wait to come back here with the rest of the family!