There are so many fantastic places to stop along the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler. With Squamish located halfway between, making it a great, central location to see these. Brandywine Falls, Shannon Falls and Porteau Cove are quick and easy to see. Train Wreck and Lighthouse Park require short detours and easy hikes, but if you have the time, they are beautiful places to see.
Lighthouse Park is an extraordinarily little known piece of paradise, so close to to as to see its tall buildings, yet immersed into a dramatically beautiful . A wonderful network of trails winds throughout massive and as well as stretching toward the ocean. There are so many great aspects of this hike. The first is the beautiful drive to get there. spectacularly hugs the rugged and steep coast of . Another is the wonderful variation of trails. They stretch out in several directions in the thick forest, each leading to breathtaking ocean viewpoints. Another is the variety of wildlife. Along with the majestic trees there are the occasional , oystercatchers, , , and , among quite a lot else.
Another is the seemingly endless array of picnic tables and even better, rock outcrops at the edge of theand beyond.
Why should you drive to Lighthouse Park near Squamish?
Lighthouse Park does require a short, 2 kilometre hike to the lighthouse and ocean views, however, it is such an amazing place to visit that it feels like just a driving destination. Most Squamish residents haven't heard of Lighthouse Park as it runs along Marine Drive, parallel to the Sea to Sky Highway. If your drive to or from Vancouver is less hurried and geared towards seeing some amazing sights, then Lighthouse Park is a must-see. Arguably one of the nicest ocean-side parks in Vancouver, it sits across from the wildly popular Stanley Park, yet is far more serene and the sunsets are unbelievable.
Porteau Cove is well known in the Scuba Diving community for amazing diving. In fact a ship was purposely sunk in the area to increase the already amazing diving appeal. Much like Lighthouse Park further down the Sea to Sky Highway, you can visit Porteau Cove during any type of weather and be glad you stopped. The views are sensational and the enormous pier takes you right out, far above the ocean. Porteau Cove is very easy to find. Just keep your eye out for the highway sign directing you to the turnoff. If driving from Vancouver the Porteau Cove turnoff is 41 kilometres from Vancouver if you zero your odometer on the Lions Gate Bridge.is a beautiful little stop between Vancouver and Squamish. Located 19 kilometres south of Squamish, it is an ideal, scenic and quick pit-stop along the Sea to Sky Highway. There are public washrooms located just a off the highway. The marine park is centred around a wonderful pier with viewing platforms that jut out and above the ocean of this majestic and enormous Canadian fjord - the most southerly fjord in North America.
If driving from Squamish, zero your odometer at Cleveland Ave and drive south on the Sea to Sky Highway and you will see the Porteau Cove entrance on your right in 19 kilometres.
Why should you drive to Porteau Cove near Squamish?
is convenient and easy to stop on the Sea to Sky Highway. The pier is wonderful to see as it stretches far out and above the ocean. Washrooms and some some interesting things to read on various interpretive murals make this a must see stop on the way to or from Squamish and Vancouver.
Stawamus Chief trail which goes to the three summits of the Chief. Shannon Falls Provincial Park has a concession stand as well as an information centre next to the parking area. This parking area is day use only, so if you are hoping to camp overnight in the area, you have to park at the Stawamus Chief parking lot, just a 1 minute drive north of the Shannon Falls lot. If you are planning to hike the Stawamus Chief, the Shannon Falls parking lot is arguably a better place to start from. You can take a look at Shannon Falls and then take the connecting trail to join onto the trail to the Chief. This route is only slightly longer, yet much more scenic. Finding either Shannon Falls Provincial Park or Stawamus Chief Provincial Park is very easy. The Chief is visible for several kilometres and both the Chief and Shannon Falls are visible from the Sea to Sky Highway. From the highway watch for the provincial park signs for either park. The large parking lots for Stawamus Chief Provincial Park are arranged next to the trailhead. There is a nice campground, with plenty of tent sites just up the trail. Shannon Falls is just 1 minute south of the entrance to the Chief on the Sea to Sky Highway and easily spotted.towers above Howe Sound at 335 metres as the third tallest falls in BC. The wonderful, though very short trail winds through a beautiful old growth forest to get to the base of the falls. From your car to the viewpoint takes only about four minutes, however the trail continues a bit further to a higher viewpoint (five minutes higher). You can even continue along the trail and join with the
Why should you drive to Shannon Falls in Squamish?
Shannon Falls Provincial Park is about as convenient and easy as it gets to see an amazing waterfall. Visible from the Sea to Sky Highway, Shannon Falls crashes surprisingly huge and loud. The viewpoint to see the falls is very close and you can almost feel the ground shudder from the enormous volume of water cascading down in front of you. Shannon Falls Provincial Park can be your starting point for both the Stawamus Chief and the Upper Shannon Falls trail.
Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful stop in between Squamish and Whistler. It's about 25 minutes north of Squamish, 11k south of Whistler. The hike from the parking lot to the falls is less than a kilometre and on a wide and flat trail. Most people miss the other viewpoint from above the falls, from the train tracks bridge. To find it is easy. As you walk toward the falls from the parking lot you will have to cross train tracks. Standing at the train tracks look to your right and you will see a bridge that the train tracks cross. Walk over to that to see the falls from above. Amazing! Brandywine Falls drop an amazing 66 metres (216 feet) into the chasm far below that the viewing platform extends over. Another trail extends past this viewing area leading to another, quieter area overlooking Daisy Lake. This area is just a short, minute or two walk from the first viewing area. During the winter months the parking lot gate is locked and buried in snow. The snowplows make room for cars at the edge of the highway making Brandywine Falls open year round. With the deep snow however, you may need snowshoes. Brandywine Falls is popular with cross country skiers and snowshoers in the winter.
The Sea to Sky Trail runs through Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and you will immediately see Sea to Sky Trail signs from the parking lot. From the parking lot you cross the covered bridge, turn right and after just a couple hundred metres you will see a Sea to Sky Trail branch off to the left. This trail meanders through the forest and rises up to a plateau with views of Black Tusk and the distant Daisy Lake. Further along, (3 kilometres from the trailhead), you will come to the amazing Bungee Bridge that crosses the Cheakamus River from a dizzying height.
Why should you drive to Brandywine Falls Park?
Brandywine Falls is amazingly beautiful and very easy and quick to hike to. Just a 20 minute pit stop on the drive between Squamish and Whistler allows you to see this amazing falls. Brandywine Falls and Shannon Falls, just south of are both convenient, quick and beautiful stops on the .
It is hard to say enough about the Whistler Train Wreck. It is fantastic for so many reasons. First, its location. The easy to spot trailhead is just off of the Sea to Sky Highway in Function Junction right next to Olives Market. Look for the gap in the trees at the end of the parking lot for Olives Market and the trail or find the Flank Trail trailhead on the left just before you turn left into the parking lot for olives market. The hike begins on the Flank Trail then quickly branches off to the Train Wreck Trail through deep forest. The trail leads first to Cheakamus River and some amazing viewpoints then continues through deep forest along and above the river. Around a bend in the Cheakamus, the forest reveals the first of seven, fantastic train wrecks. Once again phenomenal views of the crashing river and then the amazing train wrecks come into view. Graffiti style paint brings the dingy wreckage to life with shockingly beautiful colours. The huge wrecks are enormous up close and mangled. Some on their sides, some upside down. Each one (there are several) is an interesting adventure to explore. A sort of wilderness art exhibit.
The wreckage stretches for almost a kilometre and can bring out the kid in anyone. The area is very kid friendly as the trails are wide and generally flat. There are several extraordinarily surreal places to put up a tent or, as many often do, sleep on the edge of the incredible river or even in a wrecked car. There are indications in all the cars of thousands of past gatherings which gives the place a charm that seems characteristically Whistler. The Train Wreck is a spectacularly beautiful and interesting place, just like Whistler.
Why should you go see the amazing Whistler Train Wreck?
Whistler Train Wreck is an amazing place for a picnic or glass of wine. A very kid friendly hike.