Sea to Sky Highway Road Trip: The Best Stops from Vancouver to Whistler (+ itineraries!)

Apr 30, 2020

In this guide we’ll share everything you need to know to take a Sea to Sky Highway road trip, including all of the best stops from Vancouver to Whistler, how long you should spend, and sample itineraries to help you plan your trip! Ready to visit one of the most beautiful drives in North America? Keep on reading!

When we lived in Seattle, one of our favorite things to do on the weekends was to take trips up to British Columbia. In less than 3 hours from downtown Seattle (sometimes more with the border), we would be able to spend the weekend in one of the most beautiful places in North America.

There are so many things to do in Vancouver, but one of the best activities is to drive the Sea to Sky Highway, which is the road that connects Vancouver to Whistler. But this isn’t just any road, it’s an absolutely epic, scenic drive with mountain and sound views, waterfalls, parks, amazing hikes, and so much more!

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We have driven the Sea to Sky Highway many times, sometimes just part of the road for a day trip, while other times we made a weekend (or more!) out of it! And no matter how much time we spent, it was always an incredible adventure. 

Whether you spend one day or more, we’re sharing the best stops from Vancouver to Whistler, which are a mix of easy and quick stops, towns to explore, and longer and more challenging hikes or activities. We’re also including sample itineraries to help you figure out what to prioritize depending on how much time you have (between 1-5 days), but no matter what you choose to do, you’re going to have a blast…and you’ll definitely want to go back!

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Canada? View all of our Canada guides:

Reminder: Leave No Trace

Before starting your adventure, please review the Leave No Trace principles to ensure you leave the places you explore even better than you found them.

  1. Plan ahead and prepare: Know the regulations, prepare for different weather conditions, and pack the 10 essentials.
     
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Travel on designated trails and camp at designated sites at least 200 ft away from water sources.
     
  3. Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out. Carry ALL trash with you and dig a 6-8″ cat hole for human waste, 200 ft away from water.
     
  4. Leave what you find: Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
     
  5. Minimize campfire impacts: If fires are allowed, use established fire rings. Keep fires small and put out fires completely.
     
  6. Respect wildlife: Do not approach or feed wildlife, keep pets under control, and store your food properly.
     
  7. Be considerate of others: Yield to hikers going uphill and keep noises down.

Note: this guide contains affiliate links, which means that if you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!

About the Sea to Sky Highway

Sea to Sky Highway map

The Sea to Sky Highway is a 121 km (75 mile) stretch of Highway 99 that connects Vancouver to Whistler (well, technically to Pemberton, just north of Whistler). 

The road winds along the Howe Sound, with incredible mountain views the entire drive. Along the drive, there are many Provincial Parks, waterfalls, and small towns to explore, as well as both easy and difficult trails and unique attractions to stop at. It has been said to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world!

Whenever we know someone visiting Vancouver, we always recommend that they spend a day or more driving at least part of the Sea to Sky highway. The wide variety of sights along the drive make it a perfect way to see a diverse range of scenery and get a true feel for what the Pacific Northwest is all about.

When to drive the Sea to Sky Highway

Sea to Sky Highway

The Sea to Sky Highway, similar to Vancouver and neighboring Pacific Northwest cities, tend to be a tad rainy during specific months of the year. We have visited the Sea to Sky Highway during most seasons and done the drive in rain, fog, and pure sunshine. Each experience has been beautiful in its own way and still given us plenty to do! 

Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect on the Sea to Sky Highway for each season to hopefully help you decide when to plan your trip.

Important note: Vehicles are required to have winter tires installed to drive the Sea to Sky Highway between October and March. So if you plan to visit during that time, make sure to have these installed. 

Spring
Late spring, April-May, would be considered the “shoulder season” for the Sea to Sky Highway. With possibly some rainier weather, you may not get the clearest of views at times, but there’s something magical about the Sea to Sky Highway with a little bit of fog. 

Summer
Summers in Vancouver and Whistler are stunning! With highs in the 70-80s and lots of sunshine, it’s basically the definition of perfect weather. This would be the most ideal time to visit weatherwise, but it will definitely be the busiest time to visit. If you plan to stay overnight, accommodations will be pricier and campsites will fill up fast, so make sure to plan ahead!

Fall
Early fall, specifically September, is a great time to drive the Sea to Sky Highway! September is typically still full of sunny weather and great temperatures. While it may be a bit busier than the spring, it will likely be less busy than the summertime. 

Our first time ever visiting the Sea to Sky Highway was in October during our first trip to Vancouver. We hiked up to the Sea to Sky Gondola (more on that later!) and got rained on the entire time. The weather was freezing and pretty brutal, but luckily we still got to see some views! 

If you have winter tires, visiting in October can still be a decent time to go, but may be a bit riskier with the weather.

Winter
For snow lovers, winter would be a beautiful time to visit the Sea to Sky Highway! Some attractions may not be accessible, but many parks and overlooks will be open, as well as the slopes in Whistler. 

To take full advantage of everything the Sea to Sky Highway has to offer, we highly recommend visiting the road in late Spring-early fall. During this time, you’ll have a better chance for less rainy weather, won’t have to worry about snow, and depending on the exact month you choose, you may experience less crowds.

How long do you need to drive the Sea to Sky Highway?

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While it only takes 2 hours to drive from Vancouver to Whistler, the Sea to Sky highway is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination.

We have done day trips on the Sea to Sky Highway before, spending time on just a portion of the highway, as it’s impossible to see everything in one day. To experience all of the major highlights the drive has to offer, we suggest multiple days (between 2-5 days) or if you’re a Pacific Northwest local, breaking up the drive into multiple day or weekend trips over time so you can see everything. 

Later on in this guide, we’ll share sample itineraries to help you figure out what all you can realistically see and do depending on how much time you have. But whether you have one day or five, you’re guaranteed to see many beautiful sights!

Where to stay along the Sea to Sky Highway

Airbnb

If you decide to make the Sea to Sky Highway an overnight adventure, there are a few key areas that you can stay along the way. 

Vancouver

Your Sea to Sky Highway road trip will likely start in Vancouver, which is one of our favorite cities in the world! If you are looking for places to stay before you start your road trip, here are a handful of good options!

Airbnbs

  • Option #1: A 1 bed, 1 bath apartment in Mount Pleasant
  • Option #2: A modern 1 bed, 1 bath guest house in North Vancouver
  • Option #3: A studio guest suite in Kitsilano
  • Option #4: A super cool loft in Gastown

Hotels

Squamish

About halfway from Vancouver to Whistler lies the town of Squamish. This is a great overnight stopping point if you plan to spend a few days driving the Sea to Sky Highway! You could either stay here for one night on the way to Whistler, or for multiple nights and do day trips to Whistler (45 minutes away). Here are some suggestions of where to stay in Squamish.

Airbnbs

  • Option #1: A super sleek 1 bedroom (but sleeps 4), 1 bathroom carriage house with a Nespresso machine…score!
  • Option #2: A cool, retro 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom guest suite
  • Option #3: A Scandinavian inspired 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom guest suite
  • Option #4: Traveling with a group? This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house is great for 6 people and has a hot tub and fire pit
  • Option #5: A super cool shipping container tiny home (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom) on the water with free paddle boards and canoes to use!

Hotels

Camping

Along the Sea to Sky Highway there are a few different campsites that you can stay at. If you want to save money, don’t mind less amenities, and want to be all up in nature, check out these campgrounds!

  • Porteau Cove Provincial Park: Porteau Cove offers 44 vehicle accessible sites, as well as some walk in sites. We stayed here for one night at a walk-in site and the walk to the site wasn’t bad at all. During the summer months, they take reservations, but in the off-season, all sites are first come, first served. One thing to be aware of: there is a train that comes by and is very loud! But the views are amazing! 
  • Stawamus Chief Provincial Park: They have 52 first come, first served campsites suitable for cars and tents. The sites are not open in the winter and all campsite fees must be paid in cash ($10 per person/night).
  • Mamquam River Campground: This campground is owned by a non-profit and is open year round. The sites are super affordable ($15/night) and you can make a reservation in advance here.
  • Alice Lake Provincial Park: There are 96 vehicle accessible campsites at Alice Lake. Before March 20, you can reserve sites in advance and there are some first come, first served spots, but after March 20, reservations are available for all sites.
  • Cal-Cheak Campground: This first come, first served campground near Whistler has over 55 sites, some of which are large enough for RV’s, but there is no electric or water. The sites are $13 and are only open in the summer months.

Whistler

The ultimate final destination for your Sea to Sky Highway road trip is Whistler. This beautiful mountain town has so much to offer in terms of activities and would be a great place to spend a few days. If you decide to stay the night in Whistler, here are a few suggestions of places to stay!

Airbnbs

  • Option #1: A 1 bedroom,1 bathroom penthouse with a shared pool, hot tub, and sauna
  • Option #2: A 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom beautiful and modern condo
  • Option #3: A 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom + loft that can sleep 4 comfortably
  • Option #4: A gorgeous boho studio that is super walkable!
  • Option #5: A 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom townhouse with a private hot tub

Hotels

The Best Stops on the Sea to Sky Highway

There are so many incredible stops along the Sea to Sky Highway that it would be impossible to list them all, but after many Sea to Sky Highway road trips, we have a solid handful of spots that we have loved and would highly recommend adding to your itinerary.

We’re sharing each spot in order of where they are when going from Vancouver to Whistler, how long each stop will take, mileage and elevation (if applicable), and costs (if applicable). 

Depending on how much time you have, it would be very hard to visit all of these spots, but there’s still so much you can see in one or two days. We’re sharing itineraries later on in this guide to help you figure out what to prioritize depending on how much time you have, as well as some extra ideas of things to do if you have more time!

Note: We are not including spots right by downtown Vancouver, but to see all of our Vancouver recommendations, check out our 3 Days in Vancouver guide!

Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove
Photo by Mike Benna on Unsplash

Location: Google Maps
Cost: Free!
Length of stop: 30 minutes

Although Porteau Cove Provincial Park is about 37 minutes into the drive, it definitely won’t be the first glimpse of views you get! The drive leading up to Porteau Cove Provincial Park is absolutely gorgeous and the views at the park are just as great!

Porteau Cove Provincial Park is located on the most southerly fjord in North America and has incredible views of the Howe Sound and mountains. It’s very popular with scuba divers, as there is a sunken ship that attracts marine life.

Since we aren’t scuba divers, our favorite thing about the park is to wander along the beach and also up on the boat dock, where they have a few little lookouts with 360 degree views.

This stop is pretty quick, as you can park right by the beach and dock, making it a great place to stretch your legs after hitting the road!

Britannia Mine Museum

Britannia Mine Museum
Photo by Atlas Obscura

Location: Google Maps
Cost: Between $19.95-$34.95 CAD depending on your age
Length of stop: 1.5-2 hours

We have yet to stop at the Britannia Mine Museum, but we hear it’s amazing! At this museum you can learn all about mining, pan for gold, and even go on an underground tour! Make sure to book the underground tour in advance though.

The museum opens at 9 AM and we’d highly recommend getting there right when it opens to ensure you have enough time for other stops!

Murrin Provincial Park

Location: Google Maps
Cost: Free!
Mileage: 2 km (1.24 miles)
Elevation gain: 130 meters (427 feet)
Length of stop: 1.5 hours

Murrin Provincial Park is a hidden gem (at least to us!) along the Sea to Sky highway. It wasn’t until probably our 4th or 5th trip that we even knew this park existed, but boy, we’re so glad we found it!

The parking lot for the park is located right off the highway and just a few steps from the parking lot lies Browning Lake, a popular lake for fishing, swimming, and picnics. However, our favorite thing to do at this park is to hike the Murrin Park Loop Trail to Quercus Viewpoint

You’ll find this trail on the right, just after passing the beach area at the lake. It’s a bit of a steep climb at first, but thankfully it’s pretty short, so the pain isn’t for very long.

Once you reach the Quercus Viewpoint, you’ll find a cool wooden bench with the best view of the mountains, Howe Sound, and the road below! You can enjoy the view from this bench, or climb down to the big rock right below it. Either way, the view is breathtaking! 

After soaking up the views, you can either head back down the same way you came or go the other direction to finish the loop. You may see some rock climbers on the way down too!

Shannon Falls Provincial Park

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Location: Google Maps
Cost: Free!
Mileage: 0.7 km (0.43 miles)
Elevation gain: 39 meters (127 feet)
Length of stop: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Shannon Falls is the third highest waterfall in British Columbia at 335 meters tall! This spot is very popular and for good reason. Not only is it gorgeous, but it’s super easy to access. 

From the parking lot, it’s about a 350 meter walk through the forest to the base of the waterfall, where there is a well maintained boardwalk and viewing area. 

It’s a very quick stop, but worth making while driving along the Sea to Sky Highway!

Sea to Sky Gondola

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Location: Google Maps
Cost: $44.95 CAD (if you buy in advance) for a round trip gondola ride, $15 CAD just for the way down.
Mileage: If you hike to the top, it’s 7.5 km one way (4.7 miles)
Elevation gain: 918 meters (3,011 feet) 
Length of stop: Depending on how you get to the top, this stop takes anywhere from 1 hour to 4.5 hours

The first time we ever visited the Sea to Sky Highway was to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary. We visited the Sea to Sky Gondola and hiked the Sea to Summit trail (more on that in a second) in freezing cold rain to the top, defrosted in the lodge, and after the fog cleared a bit, enjoyed the views at the top.

Despite the conditions being less than ideal, the Sea to Sky Gondola has become one of our favorite stops to make on the Sea to Sky Highway. The views at the top of the Howe Sound, mountains, and Squamish are stunning and there is a fun suspension bridge to walk across as well.

While most take the gondola to and from the summit, which is a blast, you can also hike to the top via the Sea to Summit trail. This trail is a doozy. Even if the weather had been better when we hiked it, it’s super steep, but a whole lot of fun. If you have enough time, we’d highly recommend it. Plus, it makes the cost cheaper!

If you don’t feel like hiking to the top, there are still trails to enjoy at the summit leading to different viewpoints, so you can still get a bit of exercise in!

This stop is a bit pricey, but if you are from the US, remember that the prices are actually lower in USD. We think it’s worth it to splurge once on the experience…just try to pick a nice day! 

The gondola is open from 10 AM to either 6 PM or 8 PM (depending on the month) everyday.

Stawamus Chief

Stawamus Chief
Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash

Location: Google Maps
Cost: Free!
Mileage: 4 km (2.5 miles)-7 km (4.35 miles)
Elevation gain: 600 meters (1,967 feet)
Length of stop: 2.5-6 hours

Stawamus Chief is one of the most iconic sights in the town of Squamish. These three peaks tower 702 meters over the town and similar to many spots on this list, offer amazing views of the Howe Sound and mountains, as well as of Mt. Garibaldi.

There are three different peaks you can hike to and all of them are accessible from the same main trail. The first peak is about 4 km round trip and takes around 2.5 hours to complete. The second peak is about 5 km round trip and will take most people 4-5 hours. The third peak, which is the tallest, is 7 km round trip and will take close to 6 hours. 

This hike is a killer workout. There are tons of steps to climb, so if steps are rough on you, you may want to skip it. There are also some sections with chains to hold onto, ladders to climb, and some drop offs, so keep that in mind if you get a bit nervous like I do. 

While most suggest doing all three peaks, if you’re low on time and only complete the first peak, it will be a fun adventure with a great reward at the end! 

Make a pit stop in the town of Squamish

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About halfway from Vancouver to Whistler lies the town of Squamish, a basecamp for outdoor enthusiasts. This area is home to tons of hiking (including a few of our stops above!), world famous mountain biking trails, and rock climbing. 

Depending on how much time you have on your Sea to Sky Highway road trip, we recommend at least stopping in Squamish to grab a meal and take a driving break. Here are some suggestions of places to eat and drink in Squamish!

Restaurants

Coffee

Breweries

Sweets

Garibaldi Provincial Park

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Location: Google Maps
Cost: Free!
Length of stop: Between 5 hours to an overnight adventure

Garibaldi Provincial Park is definitely our favorite stop on the Sea to Sky Highway!

We visited Garibaldi Provincial Park a couple summers ago and backpacked to Garibaldi Lake, as well as hiked to Panorama Ridge. It was an epic weekend, but our feet were exhausted afterwards! 

The park is home to a milky Gatorade blue lake and epic peaks that take your breath away. The scenery reminded us a bit of Banff and it’s one of the most beautiful places we have ever been!

Exploring Garibaldi Provincial Park is a long and challenging adventure, so we would highly suggest dedicating a full day or an overnight backpacking trip to properly explore this park. If you’re not much of a hiker, we’d suggest saving this for another time, as some of the best hikes are pretty intense.

If you are up for the challenge, here are a few we’d recommend looking into! We’re sharing a quicker overview of these hikes, but to get more details on hiking to Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge, read about our trip here.

Garibaldi Lake

Mileage: 18 km (11.2 miles)
Elevation: 820 meters (2,690 feet)
Time needed: 5 hours

Although it’s not the shortest hike on the list, Garibaldi Lake is likely the “easiest” of the three options we are listing, due to its smaller elevation gain and length of time needed. 

The first part of the hike is up switchbacks through the forest, but after an uphill battle, you’ll eventually reach Garibaldi Lake. While you do not get to see the lake from high up (like Panorama Ridge), you still get the endless mountain views and get to see the beautiful water of the lake. And if you’re brave, you can even go swimming…but beware, it’s cold! 

If you want to stay the night at Garibaldi Provincial Park, Garibaldi Lake is home to 50 reservable campsites (they fill up fast!) and makes for a pretty amazing overnight destination.

Panorama Ridge

Mileage: 30 km (18.6 miles)
Elevation: 1,520 meters (4,987 feet)
Time needed: 11 hours

This hike is EPIC! We visited Garibaldi Provincial Park solely to hike to Panorama Ridge and it did not disappoint! The views from the top of the lake are freaking jaw dropping! 

The first part of the hike is the same as the trail to Garibaldi Lake, but around 6km you’ll reach a junction and will go towards the left to continue onto Panorama Ridge (the right takes you to Garibaldi Lake). 

The rest of the hike continues through the trees before you reach the beginning of a rocky climb to the top of Panorama Ridge. This climb is very challenging, but the 360 degree views on the way up help distract you from the pain. 

And when you reach the top…prepare to be amazed! 

Important note: we did this hike as part of an overnight trip to Garibaldi Lake, but many people do complete this as a day hike. It’ll be a long day and we’d highly suggest starting by 6 or 7 AM at the latest to ensure you have enough daylight. If you’re concerned about the mileage, we recommend camping overnight at Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadows (make sure to reserve well in advance!). 

Wedgemount Lake

Mileage: 12 km (7.45 miles)
Elevation: 1,160 meters (3,805 feet)
Time needed: 7 hours

While we have yet to hike to Wedgemount Lake, it’s definitely on our list for next time! This hike is definitely challenging, with a 1,160 meter elevation gain in just 6 km, but similar to the other two hikes, the gorgeous lake and mountain views are a great reward for your hard work.

You can either do this hike in one day or stay the night at Wedgemount Lake, which has 20 sites. Make sure to reserve in advance though!

Important note: Wedgemount Lake is located within Garibaldi Provincial Park, but it’s actually located past Whistler. We’re including it in this section, but the trailhead is a good distance from the Garibaldi Lake/Panorama Ridge trailheads.

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

Brandywine Falls

Location: Google Maps
Cost: Free!
Mileage: 1 km (0.62 miles)
Elevation: Very minimal
Length of stop: 30 minutes-1 hour

Similar to Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a quick and easy stop with a gorgeous waterfall view! While Brandywine Falls are a bit shorter than Shannon Falls (70 meters/230 feet), they are still very impressive. 

After parking in the parking lot, you’ll take a short trail to an overlook that looks down onto the falls. There is also a viewpoint of the surrounding mountains and Daisy Lake. 

Whistler Train Wreck

Whistler Train Wreck
Photo by Estelle Johnston

Location: Google Maps
Cost: Free!
Mileage: 2 km (1.24 miles) 
Elevation: 30 meters (98 feet)
Length of stop: 1-1.5 hours

By far the most unique stop on the Sea to Sky Highway is the Whistler Train Wreck. This iconic spot came to be in 1956 when a train came across an area under track repair and due to high speeds, the train cars derailed. The train cars were lifted from the tracks, but then rolled over to the forested area where they reside now.

While the train wreck is a cool enough attraction, the journey is also beautiful! Along the way, you cross a suspension bridge and the Cheakamus River, before reaching the trains, which are covered in colorful graffiti and make for super cool photos! 

Whistler

At the end of your Sea to Sky Highway adventure lies the town of Whistler. We love Whistler! The scenery is incredible, the town is adorable and has a cute mountain vibe, and there is SO much to do nearby!

If you end up going all the way to Whistler, here’s a list of places to eat and drink, as well as things to do, to make your time there amazing!

Restaurants

Coffee

Sweet Treats

  • Cows: This ice cream shop has great ice cream, which is a perfect treat after a day of exploring!
  • Purebread: So delicious it deserves to be mentioned twice! Their pastries and sweets are heavenly!

Breweries

Things to do

Joffre Lakes
Joffre Lakes is one of the most beautiful hikes we have ever been on! It’s much easier than the hikes at Garibaldi Provincial Park and has similar bright Gatorade blue water and gorgeous mountains.

The hike is 10km (6.2 miles) total, with a 370 meter (1,200 foot) elevation gain and features three lakes. The Lower Joffre Lakes is just minutes from the trailhead, while the middle lake is a bit further away and definitely the most popular of the three. You’ve probably seen photos of Joffre Lakes on Instagram and it was likely of the Middle Joffre Lakes. The water is unbelievably blue and against the glacier backdrop, it looks like a painting.

If you continue past the middle lake, you’ll pass a waterfall and eventually reach Upper Joffre Lakes. We found this spot to be a little less crowded and has an epic close up view of the glacier. It’s so magical!

This hike takes around 4 hours and we highly recommend it if you’re in Whistler!

Alta Lake Park
Alta Lake is the largest lake in Whistler and is home to three different beaches. This lake park is close to town and super easy to access (no hiking required!). It’s a popular spot for picnics, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

Lost Lake
Lost Lake is another easy to access lake, similar to Alta Lake, with beautiful water. It’s popular in the summer for swimming (they have a floating dock to jump off), grass to lounge on, and mountain biking trails.

Nairn Falls Provincial Park
Nairn Falls is located just north of Whistler and is a small canyon with a glacial river and multiple waterfall viewpoints. 

The park is relatively flat and an easy 3 km (1.86 miles), making it a good spot for people of all ages and activity levels!

Peak 2 Peak Gondola + Cloudraker Skybridge
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola connects the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and is a Guinness Book of World Records holder for the longest and highest lift! 

The gondola has the world’s longest unsupported span at 3.024km/1.88miles, it is the highest lift of its kind at 436m/1,427ft above the valley floor, and is the world’s longest continuous lift system and connects 3 high speed gondolas. The ride is 11 minutes long, which means you have lots of time to soak up the views!

Once you’re at the top, you can take the Peak Express Chair, which requires a 0.6 km (0.4 mi) walk with an elevation change of 63 meters (207 ft), to the Cloudraker Skybridge. This skybridge is crazy! It’s 130 meters long (426 feet) and is high above the Whistler Bowl. If heights scare you, this may not be for you, but if heights don’t bother you, you have to try it!

The cost is a bit steep at $69 CAD/adult, $61 CAD/teens or seniors, and $35/child (if you buy in advance), but we have heard it is absolutely worth it! 

Mountain biking
During the winter, skiing is super popular in Whistler, but during the summer, the ski routes turn into mountain biking trails! We are not mountain bikers, so we did not partake in this when we visited, but it was really fun to watch the mountain bikers come down the mountain. 

Prices for bike park tickets range from $40-$75 CAD per day depending on your age and what time of the season you visit. You can also get partial day tickets for cheaper!

Don’t have a mountain bike? No worries! There are many mountain bike rental shops in Whistler!

Walk around town
Whistler is super walkable and really fun to walk around! We loved the ski village feel of the town and there are tons of shops to check out.

Sample Itineraries

Depending on your interests and how much time you have, there are many different ways to combine the activities above to make the perfect Sea to Sky Highway road trip. So to help you get started, below are a few sample itineraries, ranging from 1 day to 5 days, to help you plan your own adventure!

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1 Day (Option #1)

If you only have 1 day and want to see as much as possible, this itinerary is for you! This is a very ambitious plan, but we wanted to include it anyways. You won’t have much time in each spot, but you’ll be able to see a lot of the highlights! To have more time for longer hikes, we suggest adding another day.

You will need 10-12 hours to do all of this and have enough time in each spot, including driving time.

Porteau Cove
Shannon Falls
Sea to Sky Gondola (take the gondola both ways to save time)
Grab lunch or coffee in Squamish
Brandywine Falls
Explore the town of Whistler and grab dinner
Drive back to Vancouver

1 Day (Option #2)

If you only have 1 day and just want to see a portion of the highway, without having to rush, this is a good itinerary to follow!

Porteau Cove
Britannia Mine Museum
Murrin Provincial Park
Shannon Falls
Sea to Sky Gondola
Grab dinner in Squamish

2 Days (Option #1)

If you have 2 days to explore and want to have a day to do a more challenging hike, we recommend this itinerary, which makes Squamish your home base. It doesn’t go all the way up to Whistler, but you’ll still be able to experience a lot!

Day 1
Porteau Cove
Britannia Mine Museum
Murrin Provincial Park
Shannon Falls
Sea to Sky Gondola
Grab dinner in Squamish
Stay the night in Squamish

Day 2
Hike Stawamus Chief, Garibaldi Lake, or Panorama Ridge

2 Days (Option #2)

If you have 2 days to explore the Sea to Sky Highway and want to see some of the biggest highlights, including Whistler, without any challenging hikes or having to rush, we suggest following this itinerary. 

Day 1
Porteau Cove
Britannia Mine Museum
Murrin Provincial Park
Shannon Falls
Sea to Sky Gondola
Grab dinner in Squamish
Stay the night in Squamish 

Day 2
Visit Brandywine Falls on your way into Whistler
Spend the day in Whistler! Go for a hike (see our suggestions above), walk around town, and grab some food!

3 Days

This 3 day itinerary includes some quick stops, amazing views, challenging hikes, and time in beautiful Whistler! 

Day 1
Porteau Cove
Britannia Mine Museum
Murrin Provincial Park
Shannon Falls
Sea to Sky Gondola
Grab dinner in Squamish
Stay the night in Squamish 

Day 2
Hike Stawamus Chief, Garibaldi Lake, or Panorama Ridge

Day 3
Spend the day in Whistler! Go for a hike (see our suggestions above), walk around town, and grab some food!
Visit Brandywine Falls on your way back to Vancouver
Drive back to Vancouver

4 Days 

If you have 4 days to explore the Sea to Sky Highway, we suggest following this itinerary, which includes more time to explore Whistler and go for some amazing hikes!

Day 1
Porteau Cove
Britannia Mine Museum
Murrin Provincial Park
Shannon Falls
Sea to Sky Gondola
Grab dinner in Squamish
Stay the night in Squamish 

Day 2
Hike Stawamus Chief, Garibaldi Lake, or Panorama Ridge

Day 3
Spend the day in Whistler! Go for a hike (see our suggestions above) and explore the town.

Day 4
Spend part of the day in Whistler! Go for a hike (see our suggestions above) and explore the town.
Visit Brandywine Falls
Train Wreck
Drive back to Vancouver

5 Days 

With 5 days, you will have the most amount of time in Whistler, or more time for other activities if you choose!

Day 1
Porteau Cove
Britannia Mine Museum
Murrin Provincial Park
Shannon Falls
Sea to Sky Gondola
Grab dinner in Squamish
Stay the night in Squamish 

Day 2
Hike Stawamus Chief, Garibaldi Lake, or Panorama Ridge

Day 3
Spend the day in Whistler! Go for a hike (see our suggestions above) and explore the town.

Day 4
Spend the day in Whistler! Go for a hike (see our suggestions above) and explore the town.

Day 5
Hike to the Whistler Train Wreck
Visit Brandywine Falls
Drive back to Vancouver

Ready for your Sea to Sky Highway road trip?

Pin this guide with the best stops from Vancouver to Whistler!

about us

Hi y’all! We’re Adam, Kathryn, and Kona, an adventurous married couple (+ pup!) living on the road in our self-converted sprinter van! You can often find us driving all around the US and Canada, scoping out the best coffee shops, eating tacos and ice cream (we’re a 5+ taco and 2+ scoop household), and enjoying nature.

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2 Comments

  1. Brian

    Thank you so much for all of the great tips! Bookmarked to follow up with later after coronavirus. Have only made one road trip from Seattle to Whistler so far last winter… hope to make many more.

    Reply
    • Kathryn Frazer

      Thank you so much for reading Brian! We are glad this gave you some new ideas for your next Sea to Sky Highway trip! Crossing our fingers we can explore this beautiful area again soon 😀

      Reply

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