Sea to Sky Highway – Day 1

Last Friday I finally got the ‘friday feeling’, I had the weekend off work and I was heading on a mini road trip with James. The plan was to take the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) to Whistler, stopping at various places on the way and see a few lakes. Unfortunately I didn’t see Joffre Lakes or Garibaldi Lake however I can do that another time. The two days went so quick and I wish we planned to stay longer but there’s always next time.

So it started on saturday morning with a McDonald’s breakfast before we picked the hire car up. It was my first time hiring a car, I read a lot online about extra fees they like to add upon arrival however it seemed to go ok. We did have to wait a bit for the car to be ready but who cares I was in holiday mode. We got a white Toyota Matrix. It was James’ first time driving in Canada and it is safe to say I did not make the experience any easier. I was a total nervous back seat driver (aka bitch) and I will hold my hands up now and publicly apologise. I’m pretty sure he was ready to throw me out the car and head to Whistler without me.

First stop was Lighthouse Park, just across the Lions Gate bridge we stopped for a short walk to view the lighthouse. We took Marine Drive here instead of Highway 99 just so we could nosey at all the big fancy houses. You can do a few walking trials at the park but we just did the one to the Lighthouse and back.

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From the Viewpoint

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15 minutes further north takes you to Horseshoe Bay. It is a cute seaside town with a ‘House of Wax’ feel to it. It was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday lunch time so we wandered to the marina and stopped for some lunch at Trolls. I am still regretting not having the fish and chips as they looked just like fish and chips from home.

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Horseshoe Bay

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Trolls

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I read about places to stop on Highway 99, Lions Bay came up a few times and I’m not sure why. I told James to take the next exit and we just got lost. We kind of just drove around for a bit then headed back on the Highway. Maybe we missed something, I’m not sure what happened.

Porteau Cove is beautiful. I can only describe it as a glorified lay-by. It is also a campground and I saw people diving here. It has amazing views though, you are surrounded by water, mountains and trees. See for yourself…

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I had to do the Titanic pose

Another short drive away was Shannon Falls. All these stops are literally just off the highway. The views from the highway are amazing too. It was once voted as the fifth top road trip world wide. Anyways going back to Shannon Falls, plenty of hikes to be done here. I am still on the look out for hiking shoes. We did a short walk to the viewpoint of the falls. This is where we saw an Indian wedding, well the photo shoot. It was a pretty high water fall and not much more to see. You can hike the Stawamus Chief and the Sea to Summit from here.

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Shannon Falls

We decided to get the Sea to Sky Gondola up instead of the hike. Obviously we weren’t dressed for hiking and didn’t have hiking supplies (whatever they may be) so we opted for the 10 minute gondola to the top. It was $40 which seemed like a lot at the time but totally worth it at the top, even if it was a super cloudy day. We did the Panaroma and Spirit Trail. The Panaroma Trail included various viewpoints, my favourite being The Chief viewing platform. It is suspended from the side of the mountain with views for miles. The Spirit Trail is a short walk to get to the suspension bridge. We went late in the day so luckily it wasn’t over crowded. Most of the people that were visiting were too busy watching a wedding at the top, a different wedding to the one at Shannon Falls.

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Going up the gondola

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View of the Chief

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From the Chief Viewpoint

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100m long Suspension Bridge

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Suspension Bridge

 

Our last stop of the day was Squamish, our base for the night. We stayed at the Sea to Sky Conference Hotel, it was slightly out of Squamish. The hotel was nice enough, it had it’s own liquor store which was handy. We came across an English pub owned by a guy from Wigan. It sold traditional fish and chips, pies and tea. We ate at the Shady Tree, a strangely busy place in the middle of nowhere. After a couple of beers we thought it was a good idea to buy 12 donuts at a 24hr Tim Hortons. I can’t complain, they were delicious! We also stumbled upon a drive-thru cash machine, only in Canada eh.

 

 

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