This awe-inspiring highway, officially known as BC Highway 99, is an incredible coastal route from Vancouver to Whistler. It is filled with switchback turns, inspiring views, and fun bucket-list stops. The highway is just over 150km long, and can easily be driven in under two hours. However, with so many beautiful stops and exciting adventures along the way, it’s worth a weekend trip!
Below, you’ll find a fun, laid back weekend itinerary. With beautiful Vancouver as your departure city and Pemberton as your destination, this trip is sure to be an action packed wilderness adventure!
Day 1 → Vancouver to Squamish
9:00am – West Vancouver
Today is the first of your Sea to Sky Vacation, so we’ll start at the sea! Leaving downtown Vancouver through Stanley Park, on Highway 99, transfer onto Highway 1 in West Vancouver. If you’re looking for a bite to eat or a hot coffee, West Vancouver is infamous for its high-end dining options. As well, West Vancouver is home to some of BCs most famous (and most wealthy) locals – it’s a favorite neighborhood to drive around and admire some of Canada’s most beautiful homes.
9:30am – Cypress Provincial Park
Approximately 16km down Highway 1, turn right onto Cypress Bowl Road to get to Cypress Provincial Park. This 30km provincial park located high on the mountains, towers over Vancouver. You could easily spend a full day on the mountain, especially if you’re skiing or snowboarding. However, on this trip we’ll set aside a few hours to explore and have lunch. Below you’ll find a number of mountain highlights suitable for all interests, as well as a few dining options:
• Barrett’s View: Approximately 2/3rds of the way up the mountain you will find Barrett’s View. This pulloff approximately 2/3rd of the way up Cypress Bowl Road offers breathtaking views of the city you won’t want to miss.
• Cypress Falls: A fairly mild 4 km (round trip) hike will bring you to Cypress Falls, a beautiful waterfall in the midst of old growth forest. Detailed trail directions are easily found online, and the trail can be tailored to be as short as half an hour depending on your preference. It’s places like this that named the province Beautiful British Columbia. Website
• Cypress Mountain: This 4700ft mountain was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, and now offers world-class skiing and snowboarding. As well, you can experience the excitement of the snow tube park, or go snowshoeing across the mountain. If you’re visiting in summer, there is plenty of hiking and geocaching throughout the site!
12:00pm – Crazy Raven Bar & Grill at Cypress Mountain
This trendy restaurant offers upscale pub fare and local brews. It’s the place to rest your feet after a long day shredding down the mountain, or hiking up it! Sit back and relax with an ice cold beverage, hot comfort food, and scenic mountain views.
1:00pm – Horseshoe Bay
After leaving Cypress Provincial Park from whence you came, follow Highway 99 to Horseshoe Bay. This waterside community is the perfect spot to pick up some hand crafted snacks for your road trip. Take a minute to sit by the bay and watch the sailboats, ferries, and yachts dance around each other in the pacific blue waters. Don’t forget to stop at The Lookout Coffee House for a hot coffee to take with you on your drive.
1:30pm – Porteau Cove Provincial Park (45km from Cypress)Driving along the coastal edge of Cypress Provincial park, and officially on the Sea to Sky Highway, you will come to Porteau Cove Provincial Park. This tiny little gem is located on the most southerly fjord in North America. On this weekend trip, Porteau Cove is a great spot to take 15 minutes or so to search the shore for the tidal and inter-tidal marine life the Cove is famous for.
If you’re a scuba diver, you’ll want to set aside at least a few hours here! You’ll find waterfront campsites, a view of Howe Sound, a sunken ship to scuba dive through, and plenty of coastal wilderness to explore. And, if you’re looking for a little romance on the road, rent a beachfront cabin from Porteau Cove Olympic Legacy Cabins.
2:15pm – Britannia Mine Museum
This award winning national historic site, previously known at the British Columbia Museum of Mining, is located inside what was once the largest copper mine in the British Museum. Today it is a testament to the history and impact of all forms of mining and exploration. Here, you can ride the underground train, pan for gold at the paviolion, and admire the museum’s extensive mineral collection. After you’ve had your fill of the museum, take some time to wander around the Britannia Beach community, known as the Sea to Sky’s Golden Village. For more information on Britannia Beach go to website.
4:15pm – Sea to Sky Gondola
Finish off your first day on the Sea to Sky Highway right! Take a 10 minute gondola ride up to 885 meters above sea level to see magnificent views of Beautiful British Columbia. Once you arrive at the top choose from the many adventures available on site, including:
• Walking & hiking trails
• The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge
• Rock climbing
• Guided indigenous tours
• Mountaintop Yoga
Keep in mind that the last ride down is at 6:00pm, so you’ll want to plan your adventure accordingly.
6:15pm – Stawamus Chief Provincial Park (8.5km from Britannia Beach)
The Stawamus Chief Provincial Park offers opportunities to all outdoor enthusiasts, but it is particularly exciting for rock-climbers. The 700 meter massive granite cliffs are internationally acclaimed rock climbing sites. After exploring the Sea to Sky Gondola make either Stawamus Chief Provincial Park your day’s final destination. Whether you’re travelling my RV or Tent, this campground is the perfect mid-weekend getaway. If you prefer a hotel, downtown Squamish is only a few minutes north on the highway.
Day 2 → Squamish to Whistler
9:00am – Squamish (3.5km from Stawamus Chief)
Squamish is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. With a population of just under 20 000, situated in the middle of numerous provincial parks, it’s no wonder locals call it BC’s best kept secret! Here you’ll find trails for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing, adventures parks golf courses, fine dining establishments, aquatic sport centers, and more! This established community will also have any services you may need to continue on your trip, including gas, mechanics, and supply stores. Whether you spent last night here or you’re travelling through in the morning, you can find homemade breakfasts, artisan coffees, and great local gift-shops throughout the downtown core.
10:00am – Alice Lake Provincial Park (12.5km from Squamish)
This beautiful lake is the perfect spot for a midday dip followed by a picnic in the park. There are four lakes surrounded by towering mountains, dense forests, and grassy areas. If you’re up for a bit of a walk, there is a well laid 6km hike around Alice Lake. This Provincial Park’s beauty does not go unnoticed though, and it can be very busy in the summer. If you plan to spend any longer than a few early hours here, it is strongly suggested that you make reservations well ahead of time.
1:00pm – Brandywine Falls Provincial Park (30km from Alice Lake)
This stunning 70 meter waterfall is worth pulling over for! From the parking lot, walk a short 10-15 minutes to the viewpoint where you can take in the full glory of the Falls, as well as views of Daisy Lake and the surrounding mountains.
1:45pm – Whistler (15km from Brandywine Falls)
Whistler has so much to offer, you’ll definitely want to arrive early! The Park is undoubtedly made famous for its world renowned winter adventure trails, but did you know it has just as much to offer in the summer? Take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola linking Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, the longest continuous lift system in the world! Barrel down the mountain at Whistler Mountain Bike Park if you’re thirsting for adrenaline. On the more peaceful side, take advantage of the limitless lakes and trails easily accessed throughout the park. Finally, take the evening to explore the village: with trendy gift shops, world-class restaurants, high-end lodging, and neighborhood pubs, it won’t take long to make you wish this was home! Don’t forget pick up some artisan snacks for your final day’s picnic!
Day 3 → Whistler to Pemberton
12:00pm -Shadow Lake Interpretive Forest – (25km from Whistler)
Today is your last day of this mini-road trip, and you’ll want a few extra hours to make the most of Whistler. Sleep in and take a final wander through the village before you make your way to Shadow Lake Interpretive Forest. Approximately 25km north of Whistler along the Sea to Sky, This 400 hectare forest features more than 10km of trails weaving near and around Brohm Lake. This quiet, forest retreat is the perfect place for a private picnic while you reminisce on the Beautiful British Columbia you’ve explored thus far.
2:00pm – Pemberton Speedway – (4km from Shadow Lake)
Enough with the relaxation! It’s time for some adventure! Head over to the Pemberton Speedway for one of the many exciting events throughout the year. Whether you’re going to Stock Car Racing, the Pemberton Music Festival, or Flat Track Motorcycle Racing, you’re sure to get an afternoon of excitement! Though there’s no one website, a quick Google search will give you a list of all the current events happening at the Speedway.
2:00pm – Nairn Falls Provincial Park – (11km from Shadow Lake)
If speed is not your scene, head over to one last magnificent waterfall at Nairn Falls Provincial Park. From the parking lot walk a mild 1.5km hiking trail to the perfect viewpoint for these 60 meter high falls. If you’re not quite ready for city life, spend the night exploring one last vestment of wilderness in this beautiful 170 hectare provincial park.
3:00pm – Pemberton – (4km from Nairn Falls)
Pemberton is another adventure-town you’ll want a few extra hours in. Rated one of the prettiest places to experience fall, Pemberton hosts beautiful scenery and plentiful wildlife. The town is known for its active, outdoor culture and regularly hosts international outdoor sporting events. Whether you plan to spend the afternoon hiking, climbing, biking, shopping, eating, or just resting, you’ll find everything you want and more! Don’t forget to chat with the locals to find all the hidden secrets!