Road Trip: The Sea to Sky Highway
Updated: May 20
One of the most scenic drives in British Columbia is the highway section between West Vancouver and Whistler, known as the Sea to Sky Highway. Previously a dark, intimidating and narrow road clinging to the side of the coastal mountains, the highway was much benefitted as part of the infrastructure improvements that came with hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The route is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) long and can take anywhere from 2 hours to multiple days to complete, depending upon the stops you choose to make.
Whistler is a center of outdoor recreation activities all year round and the village center tends to attract travellers with larger budgets. If you look a little harder, there are some budget options, with many hotels offering various packages, private rentals, and shared accomodations available. Many travellers to the area travel straight there shortly after arriving in Vancouver, often using a shuttle bus service.
For those wanting to do a self-driving tour, this is the only route to Whistler from Vancouver and although the road is well-built and maintained, it is a mountain highway and is subject to sudden weather changes, especially during the winter. It is mandatory to have winter grade tires from October 01 to March 31. It is strongly recommended that chains and emergency kits are carried.
If you've got a bit more time in the area, it would be a treat to take a slow drive to Whistler. There are beautiful quaint towns, stunning viewpoints, gorgeous parks and trails, waterfalls, and many fun activities along the way. This is a road trip that can take a day or could be stretched over several days. Outside of ski season, campers and hikers will definitely want to take advantage of the longer hikes, which can take all day. Whichever you choose, take your time and enjoy the ride!
The village at Horseshoe Bay is at the southern end of the Sea to Sky Highway. Horseshoe Bay is also where travellers catch ferries to Vancouver Island, the