Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola

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June 24, 2014

Visit Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola

Last month the Sea to Sky Gondola opened in Squamish, and our family drove the magnificent Sea to Sky Highway for about an hour to make a visit to this new attraction.
Sea to Sky Gondola
Highlights of Our Hosted Visit
Our family was very eager to experience the 10-minute gondola ride to approximately 885 meters above sea level.
The gondola can fit up to 8 people
Although it was a very cloudy day, we did have some nice views of Howe Sound Fjord as we made our ascent.
Howe Sound Fjord
My younger two kids did hold on to us tightly, as they were a little scared of how high we were going up, but once we arrived at the summit we were all eager to explore.

Even though it was such a cloudy day, there was something magical about being in the midst of all the clouds.
Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge and Summit Lodge Viewing Deck
We were all anxious to cross the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, which is 110m long and 65m high.

The bridge was just a bit wobbly, but it gave us such beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Once on the other side we took in the views from the Spirit Viewing Platform, and then decided to walk the Panorama Trail.

The 1.6 km long trail was nicely-paved and quite easy for our entire family to walk.
Nicely-paved trail
Along our walk we had beautiful views of the mountains, forest, and Olesen Falls. We also learned a lot about the insects, trees, birds, and animals in the area.

Olesen Falls
About halfway through the walk we reached the Chief Overlook Viewing Platform.
Chief Overlook Viewing Platform
Stepping onto this cantilevered viewing platform was both exhilarating and a bit terrifying.
My kids were fearless!
Although our view mostly consisted of clouds, it was still breathtaking!

Adventure-seekers can also opt to hike other more difficult trails in the backcountry, go rock-climbing, and more!

The descent on the gondola was just as thrilling and beautiful as the ascent.
Both the ascent and descent provided great views

Once we arrived on the bottom my kids spent some time at the playground onsite.
Playground

Dining
On site is the Summit Restaurant and Edge Bar, The Summit Tea House, and The Basecamp Cafe.  Click here for more information.

Our Experience Visiting as a Special-Needs Family
My oldest son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and although I know kids on the spectrum all behave and react differently in various environments, I always try to share our personal experience when visiting attractions.

Although my son has gone on a gondola ride before, we made sure to try and explain the best we could exactly what he'd expect at Sea to Sky Gondola (if your child loves smartphones as much as my son does, you can download the free iPhone Sea to Sky Gondola app so your child can familiarize him/herself with the attraction).

Once we arrived at Sea to Sky Gondola he was very eager to get on the gondola, and as we made our ascent he was very ecstatic and even took some pictures.

Since my son loves bridges and going on walks, at the summit he had no issues crossing the suspension bridge, checking out the viewing platforms, or walking the trail.  He enjoyed himself immensely, and he did a great job keeping close to the group and not wandering off.

If rest or snack breaks were needed, there were several places to sit in or near the restaurant, and there were also several benches along the trail.

Although it was very cloudy, we luckily did not experience any rain (my son has sensitivity issues with rain), but we were prepared with our jackets and hoods, and we would have retreated into the restaurant area for shelter if necessary.

My son absolutely loved the Sea to Sky Gondola.  When we ask him what his favorite part of our trip to Vancouver was, he'll always say "the gondola ride."

Final Thoughts
The Sea to Sky Gondola ride and everything we did at the summit was the highlight of my trip to British Columbia.

Although clouds and fog hindered most of our views, it was still awe-inspiring to be amongst the clouds, and it was memorable to go on such exciting adventures so high up in the mountain.

I hope I get to go back one day, and perhaps the next time the sky will be clear!

Sea to Sky Gondola
Sea-to-Sky Hwy
Squamish, BC V0N, Canada
604-892-2551

Click here for tickets; click here for hours; free parking.

Thank you to Sea to Sky Gondola for hosting our visit. 

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