hike

trail closed!

Update Aug 10, 2019.

Please note that this trail has been closed indefinitely due to an act of vandalism at the Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Summit Trail near SQUAMISH, BC

This steep and challenging hike rewards you with stunning views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains while you sip a drink on the patio of the Summit Lodge. Hard to beat that.

Distance: 7.5 km one way
The Sea to Summit Trail is 7.5 km one way.
Difficulty: Moderate

Despite being rated as moderate expect some challenging grades and terrain.

Conditions to expect:

  • rooty and rocky surfaces
  • steep terrain
  • rope assist over bedrock

Hiker using rope assist along the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

Time: 3-5 hours one way

It is an approximately 3-5 hour one way trip from the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola to the Summit Lodge at the top.

Elevation Change: 840 m

The overall elevation change (from lowest point to highest point) is approximately 840 m

The elevation gain (one way) (the cumulative 'ups' over the course of the trail) is approximately 918 m

The maximum slope you will encounter is approximately 72%.

The average slope is about 22%.


ELEVATION PROFILE

Sea to Summit Trail Elevation Profile

 

High Point: 885 m

The high point is 885 m.

Season: May - October

Season is typically May - October. 

Check conditions in the area before you set out.

Other notes: dogs, camping etc...

Dogs

This sign covers it all. Woof.

A sign indicating the Sea to Summit Trail regulations pertaining to dogs.

Camping

There is no camping along this trail, however there is camping at the nearby Stawamus Chief.  Find out more here.

Trailhead Coordinates

  • N49.67517 W123.15596 (lat/long) Base of the Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Summit Trail Map

From the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola to Summit Lodge at the top of the Gondola


Google Maps (click image below)

A trail map of the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish,BC


Elevation Profile

Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

Sea to Summit Trail Elevation Profile

Sea to Sky Hike

near Squamish, BC

This steep and challenging 7.5 km (one way) hike brings you to stunning views at the top of the Sea-to-Sky Gondola. Give your knees a break and take the gondola down.
 
You can start this hike from either the Darrell Bay Parking area, the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola or the base of the popular hike to The Chief. All trailheads are within one kilometer of each other on easy walking paths.
 
The most common starting point is from the Darrell Bay Parking area which is immediately opposite the entrance to Shannon Falls Provincial Park on Highway 99.
 
To get started, cross the highway from the parking area (see the Directions Tab) into Shannon Falls Provincial Park and look for the trail signs to the Sea to Summit Trail.
 
The area is well signed and you should have no problems finding the connector trail from Shannon Falls to the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola.
 
At the trailhead at the base of the gondola, you'll encounter the first of 400 green triangular markers that will lead you up the Sea to Summit Trail.
 
This trail is dog-friendly, provided you follow the etiquette indicated here.
 
Most hikers take the gondola down. Before you embark on the hike, check the timing of the last gondola down. You can buy a one-way gondola ticket when you reach the top.
 
 
A green diamond trail marker along the Sea to Summit Trail

Green diamond trail markers sequentially numbered from 1 to 400 at the top:) lead you along the Sea to Summit Trail.

 

 
View of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains from the top of the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

View of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains from the top of the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

 


Hike Statistics

Distance: 7.5 km one way
Difficulty: Moderate but with challenging sections
Time needed: 3-5 hours one way
Trailhead: 1. Shannon Falls, 2. Base of the Sea to Sky Gondola, 3. Start of the Stawamus Chief Trail
Elevation change: 850 m
High point: 885 m 
Max slope:72% 
Average slope: 22.%
 

What you can expect on the trail

Expect a mostly steep and  challenging  single-track trail
 
You'll encounter many steep rocky and rooty sections.
 
Lots of steps and stairs to climb at the base of The Chief
 
There are installed ropes for rope assist in some sections
 
This trail is well marked with sequentially numbered green diamonds (1 to 400).
 
The trail is predominantly forested but there are some more open sections
 
Quite a busy hike, particularly on summer weekends (especially where the Sea to Sky Trail overlaps with the start of the hike to The Chief)
 
Hiker using rope assist along the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

Hiker using existing rope assist along the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

 

Rocky path along the Sea to Summit Trail

Rocky section of the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

 


Highlights you’ll remember

Scenic forested trail
 
A challenging leg-burner of a hike
 
Stunning views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains
 
The freaky novelty of the Gondola passing overhead in a few sections
 
A close up and personal view of Shannon Falls - Warning! Stay well back from the edge and away from the rocks. They are treacherously slippery.
 
Summit Lodge facilities and patio reward at the top
 
Suspension bridge to play on at the top - if that's your thing.
 
Gondola ride down! Whee!
 
 
Upper Shannon Falls as seen from the Sea to Summit Trail

Upper Shannon Falls as seen from the Sea to Summit Trail

 

Suspension Bridge at the top of the Sea to Summit Trail

Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge at the top of the Sea to Summit Trail - optional 🙂

 

Dogs

Sign with Dog Policies for the Sea to Summit Trail

Important things to know about hiking the Sea to Summit Trail with your dog.

 

Getting There

See more details in the Directions Tab

Darrell Bay Parking / Sea to Sky Gondola overflow parking

The Darrell Bay parking area is about 4km south of Squamish and access is directly opposite the entrance to Shannon Falls Provincial Park.

This is the Sea to Sky overflow parking lot and parking for visitors and hikers staying for over 3 hours.

It is approximately a 1 km easy trail walk from the Darrell Bay parking area to the base of the Gondola .

To access the walking trail, cross the road from Darrell Bay parking to Shannon Falls Provincial Park and take the foot trail to the base of the gondola.

Signage is very clear. Walking along the highway is dangerous and discouraged so take the foot path connector.


 Parking - The Directions Map

Click map below to get Google Maps directions to Darrell Bay Parking Lot

Google Map Directions to Sea to Summit Parking

 

The connector trail from Darrell Bay Parking to the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Map of the trail from Darrel Bay parking area to the Start of the Sea to Summit Trail


 
 

Directions to Parking for Sea to Summit Trail

(Darrell Bay)

Parking  - The basics

Darrell Bay Parking / Sea to Sky Gondola overflow parking

The Darrell Bay parking area is about 4km south of Squamish and access is directly opposite the entrance to Shannon Falls Provincial Park.

This is the Sea to Sky overflow parking lot and parking for visitors and hikers staying for over 3 hours. 

It is approximately a 1 km easy trail walk from the Darrell Bay parking area to the base of the Gondola .

To access the walking trail, cross the road from Darrell Bay parking to Shannon Falls Provincial Park and take the foot trail to the base of the gondola.

Signage is very clear. Walking along the highway is dangerous and discouraged so take the foot path connector.


 Parking - The Directions Map

Click map below to get Google Maps directions to Darrell Bay Parking Lot

Google Map Directions to Sea to Summit Parking

 

The connector trail from Darrell Bay Parking to the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Map of the trail from Darrel Bay parking area to the Start of the Sea to Summit Trail


Parking - The Sign

Sign indicating the Darrell Bay parking area for the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

Darrell Bay Parking for Sea to Summit trail hikers.

Parking - The Lot

A picture of the parking area at Darrell Bay. This is the parking for the Sea to Summit Trail near Squamish, BC

Sea to Summit Trail parking at Darrell Bay.


Parking - The other options.

Sea to Sky Gondola parking

There is parking at the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola, however it is limited to 3 hours.

If you're super-human and can pull off the hike and gondola down in under 3 hours then you can park here.

If you lack these super-human capabilities, you'll be needing to park in the Darrell Bay parking area with the rest of us.

Stawamus Chief Provincial Park parking

Another parking and starting option is in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.

The start of the Stawamus Chief trail overlaps with the early stages of the Sea to Summit Trail.

The trail to The Chief and Sea to Summit begins near the Chief Campground. Follow the path around until you reach the bottom of an endless set of stairs heading up. You're at the start. Good luck with the initial leg burn.

The trail is obvious and well marked with diamond-shaped trail blazes on trees.

The trail junctions are clearly marked. Pay attention to the signage and you'll end up at the top of the Gondola rather than the Chief.

 

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Sea to Summit Trail - at a glance

This steep and challenging hike rewards you with stunning views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains while you sip a drink on the patio of the Summit Lodge. Hard to beat that.

Basic Stats

7.5 km one way
moderate difficulty
steep, rocky, rooty sections

3-5 hours one way
840 m elevation change

What to Expect

single - track path
steep, challenging
rocks, roots, steps

great waterfall
some rope assist.

Trailhead

Approx. 4 km or 5 mins South of Squamish, BC

See "Directions" Tab above

Link to google map directions here

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