Always check when the last gondola ride down is before starting your hike!
*New in August 2016* With the help of renowned local trail builder Ted Tempany at Dream Wizards, we have opened a new trail that connects hikers to the Sea to Summit and Chief trails. The new connector will take hikers to the Sea to Summit and Chief trail without having to cross the bridge over Oleson creek.
Starting from the base, the Sea to Summit Trail rises through the lower sections of the Stawamus Chief trail and eventually diverts onto the full Sea to Summit Trail, up what was once an inaccessible route through beautiful forest to the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola. Views of Howe Sound, Sky Pilot and the surrounding peaks are abound throughout. A three to five hour intermediate/advanced climbing hike just over 900 metres, the Sea to Summit Trail is definitely a must-do. Variations of the Sea to Summit hike include finishing with the Upper Sea to Summit Trail or the Shannon Basin Loop.
Trail entrance: Start at the Darrell Bay parking lot south of the Sea to Sky Gondola parking lot. Cross the highway to Shannon Falls and follow the signs to the Sea to Sky Gondola parking lot. Once at the Sea to Sky Gondola base parking lot, head northeast, towards the Stawamus Chief. Follow the gravel path to the connector entrace. Walk along the connector trail from marker 1-16. The connector trail is gradual, smooth and does not have any steep steps. However, please watch your step as there is often loose rock and dry dirt in the summer months. At marker 16, hikers will emerge on the Chief trail, at the beginning of the Chief stairs. Hike up the Chief trail until marker 68. At marker 68, the Sea to Summit trail separates from the Chief trail. Follow the Sea to Summit trail to the right all the way to the top!
At the summit: What's the best part of the Sea to Summit hike? When you make it to the top and are greeted by all the facilities you missed in the last 3-5 hours of your hike. Sit down on the beautiful patio and enjoy a cold beverage while you soak up the views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains before taking the gondola down ($10). You can purchase your download ticket at the base before your hike, or at the summit.
Distance: 7.5 km one way
Estimated time: 3 - 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 918 m
Level of difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced. Some steep & challenging sections. Requires fixed rope lines to assist you at certain sections. Not recommended for downhill travel. For hikers with dogs, you may need to assist your dog at some of the steeper steps (step heights of roughly 3 feet).
Dogs: As a courtesy to other hikers, please keep your dog on a leash. There are some visitors who are not comfortable with dogs, especially off-leash. In the past, dogs off-leash have knocked hikers over while passing and we hope to minimize that risk. Please be considerate :)
Price: Tickets to ride the gondola down are $10 for humans and dogs. Tickets can be purchased at the base or at the summit.