Iconic architecture, accessibility, and year-round attraction of world-class structure continues to elevate Squamish as a must-visit tourist destination
Since our inception, we have been focused on our purpose; to make it easy for people to connect to the great outdoors. We intend to stay true to our brand “Adventure by Nature,” by proposing to erect an accessible, architecturally stunning tree walk that winds 34m into the sky, offering soaring 360° views and access for guests of all ages and abilities. The elevated trail experience will lead guests on a 2.5km return trip through the trees and over wetlands along Panorama Ridge.
The iconic structure would be the first of its kind in North America and will be designed to integrate into nature from all angles and viewpoints beautifully. The tree walk will gently wind around a structure that draws visitors from the base, through the treetops, and up high into the clouds. The unique, spiral architecture will not only offer panoramic open-air views, but will also provide cover over the walkway for a year-round, weather-independent, sightseeing experience that will enthrall adventurers of every ability.
The elevated trail experience we have envisioned and propose will make it easy for our guests of all ages and abilities to better connect to the great outdoors, regardless of the season and no matter the weather.
With this new phase, we continue to honour our place within the unceded traditional territory of the Squamish Nation. We are also proud to align our objectives with the strategic plans and land use policies of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District and the Province.
The elevated trail experience will preserve, connect and enhance access to natural areas while protecting environmentally sensitive areas. We are also confident this new experience would bolster Squamish’s recreation economy by providing accessibility to nature for all kinds of visitors, as well as enhancing the tourism activities Squamish has to offer in off-peak times and during inclement weather. Our goal is to ultimately create another unique and spectacular year-round visitor experience.
Below are some more details about the experience:
What approvals do you have to go through before construction?
Prior to construction the project is subject to First Nations engagement as well as local and provincial government approvals. The Sea to Sky Gondola has received the appropriate development applications from the Squamish Lillooet Regional District and will be submitting our application for a building permit through the SLRD this winter.
What materials will be used in construction?
Like the Summit Lodge, the elevated forest walkway will be constructed with materials that blend with the natural environment, using locally sourced materials and expertise whenever available.
Will the tree walk be accessible for visitors with mobility issues or with strollers?
Accessibility is a key factor in the development of the tree walk. Strollers and wheelchairs will be able to enjoy this new infrastructure.
What new activities and programming will be added to the gondola experience with this infrastructure?
The tree walk has been designed with programming in mind. Our goal is to use this infrastructure to help guests connect to nature in meaningful ways through all five of the senses. With a keen focus to making it spectacular in the clouds and rain.
How long is the tree walk and how high is it at the top?
The return trip from the Summit Lodge is estimated to be 2.5km and the walkway rises gradually to a height of 34 metres.
How will the environment be impacted by construction?
As we move towards finalizing the tree walk alignment, we will be making decisions, guided by the principle to minimize the environmental footprint and impact of any improvements/development. Plans will be established to minimize the environmental impacts through all stages of construction. The tree walk design will ensure we protect wetlands and keep guests on the dedicated paths.
How long will it take to construct the tree walk and when will it open to the public?
Construction will begin in the fall of 2019 with plans to open to the public in spring 2020.