The Sea to Summit is an Intermediate/Advanced trail with some steep and challenging sections. There are 128 numbered blazers. Each numbered blazer is 50m apart. For example, blazer number 20 represents 1km and blazer number 40 represents 2km. There are blazers in between each numbered blazer for wayfinding purposes.
Starting from the Sea to Sky Gondola parking lot, the Sea to Summit Trail rises through the lower sections of the Stawamus Chief Trail. At marker 20 you will follow the Sea to Summit trail to the right and travel under the gondola providing views of Howe Sound. Continuing on you will traverse toward Shannon Creek which feeds into Shannon Falls. Here you will see a sign to leash up your dog. It is strongly recommended that you keep your dog leashed in areas of fast-moving water and that both you and your pet stay well back from the water's edge. Passing the half-way point you rise up to a perfect viewpoint of Howe Sound. From here follow the trail to the intersection with the Shannon Basin Loop. Watch for the markers to return to the Sea to Summit Trail and traverse up under the gondola to the top.
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 ($20). You can purchase your ride down only ticket at the base before your hike or at the summit.
Sea to Summit FAQ
How long is the trail and what is the elevation gain? A: The trail is 6.5km long, one way. The trail starts at 35m above sea level and finishes at the summit at 885m, with a total gain of 918m as the trail has a few shorter descends.
How long does the trail take? A: 3-5 hours. Times vary wildly as we see the full spectrum of users from trail runners to novice hikers.
What is the difficulty level of the Sea to Summit trail? A: This is an advanced trail. There are fixed lines, roots, granite bluffs, steep sections, and technical terrain.
Are there viewpoints along the Sea to Summit? A: There are several viewpoints along the way. There are very scenic viewpoints towards the Howe/Átl’ka7tsem Sound and surrounding mountains. The trail also travels alongside Shannon Creek for a short section. Any of these viewpoints would also make a great picnic spot.
Can I see Shannon Falls from the trail? A: No. You can access Shannon Falls via the Shannon Falls Connector that starts from our Base parking area. Look for our trailhead sign on the mountain side of our Base parking area. You will reach the falls in 10-20 minutes as you wander through the forest.
Is there a trail map of the Sea to Summit? A: Yes. We recommend using our Sea to Sky Gondola app map which has a live GPS function to help you know where you are along the trail. You can also view the trail map here.
Is the trail clearly marked and which markers should I follow to not get lost? A: The trail is clearly marked with green coloured, diamond shaped markers with Sea to Summit printed on them. There are numbered markers every 50 metres going from 1 at the trailhead to 128 at the summit. The beginning of the trail is via the Stawamus Chief trail. The trail splits from the Chief trail at marker 20, make sure to go right.
Can I hike down the trail? A: The Sea to Summit is a steep and technical trail. It is not recommended to hike down. The trail was designed as an up-trail and all trail markers face the uphill traffic only.
Will I encounter any wildlife? A: You may. Although wildlife sightings are rare, you will be travelling through a wilderness area with the potential to come across any of the wildlife present in our area.
What traditional territory do I walk through on this trail? A: The Sea to Summit is located within the unceded territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam First Nations.
What mountain are we on? A: Mount Habrich.
Do I need a BC Park Permit? A: No, BC park permits are not required for any of our trails.
Is there a trail from the Chief peaks across to the Sea to Summit? A: No, not a direct one. The Stawamus Chief trail and the Sea to Summit trail join at the beginning of the trail, but there is no connecting trail past that point.
Do I have access to the amenities at the Summit if I hike up? A: Yes, you will have access to all the amenities, just like the people who took the gondola to reach the summit. If you hike up with a dog, note that there is only one designated area at the summit where dogs can go.
If I hike up, can I buy a download ticket at the summit? A: Yes, you can buy them for $20 per person at Guest Services or the Summit Gift Shop.
Can I hike up and the take the gondola down with my dog? A: Yes. Note that there is only one designated area for dogs when you get to the summit. It is on the edge of the Backyard Plaza and is clearly marked “Dog Parking Zone”. There is a $20 fee for the dog download ticket with profits going to the Squamish SPCA. The Dog Parking Zone has picnic tables, water bowls, and shade.
Do children need to purchase tickets to ride down? A: Children up to 12 years old get a complimentary download ticket when hiking to the summit. They must be accompanied by an adult.
If I get into trouble, who do I call? A: If it is an emergency, call 911. If you need assistance, call (604) 892-2555.
Is there cellular reception along the whole trail? A: There is reception most of the way. Note that if you choose to finish the trail via the Shannon Basin Loop option (a longer but less technical option), you will have very limited cellular reception after you branch off the Sea to Summit trail.