Skip to Content

Sea to Sky Highway: Driving to Whistler from Vancouver

If you’re planning a trip to Vancouver, one thing you absolutely must do is take a drive up the Sea to Sky Highway.

As someone who lived in Vancouver for six years and made this drive almost every week, I can tell you that it’s an experience you won’t forget.

The Sea to Sky Highway, also known as the 99, is the road that you’ll take when driving to Whistler from Vancouver.

Along the way, you’ll be treated to some of the most stunning views in the world, including vistas of Howe Sound, the islands, and forests.

The drive from Vancouver to Whistler takes approximately two hours, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to take your time and stop off at some of the amazing attractions along the way.

There are plenty of places to pull over and take in the scenery, and some of the most popular tourist attractions on the route are the Shannon Falls Provincial Park and the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Personally, I have completed many of the hikes along the way and have stopped off at the sea to sky viewpoints and tourist attractions numerous times.

In this blog post, I will be sharing with you some of the best places to stop on BC’s Sea to Sky Highway, so you can plan your trip and make the most of this incredible experience.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a thrill-seeker, or just someone who appreciates a good view, there is something for everyone on this stunning drive. So buckle up, and get ready to experience one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

Looking for more things to do in Vancouver and nearby? Check out my Vancouver travel guides which are full of information on the best things to do in Vancouver, the best Vancouver restaurants, and detailed guides for each of the main neighborhoods.

Sea-to-sky highway directions

lions bay loop trail (1 of 1)
The sea to sky highway

Covering a distance of approximately 120km, the Sea to Sky Highway, also known as Highway 99, connects West Vancouver to Whistler, with Squamish lying halfway between the two.

When it comes to how to reach Whistler by road from Vancouver, this is your best and quickest option.

Beyond Whistler, the highway extends to the towns of Pemberton and Mount Currie before finally concluding at Lillooet.

To access the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver, take the Lions Gate bridge and follow the signs left for Highway 99 and Whistler. Then turn right onto Taylor Way and continue following the signs, eventually merging onto the highway after passing under it.

Initially, the highway is a combination of Highway 1 and Highway 99. Stay on this road for about 10km and watch for the signs indicating the split towards Whistler.

Keep to the left lane to proceed onto Highway 99, which is the Sea to Sky Highway.

From here, continue on this highway for the next 100 kilometres until you reach Whistler. Since the route remains constant throughout the journey, it is easy to follow – just try not to get too distracted by the incredible views!

Best stops on the Sea to Sky highway map

You can use this interactive Google map to see the best places to stop on the road trip from Vancouver to Whistler.

Simply click the image and it’ll load in your Google Maps app.

driving whistler to vancouver map

Sea to Sky Highway driving times

If you were to do non-stop driving to Whistler from Vancouver it would take you between 1 hour and 40 minutes to 2 hours.

If you’re doing this drive in the winter, plan for it to take longer due to both the winter conditions and the Sea to Sky traffic of people visiting Whistler for skiing.

In the summer, driving from Vancouver to Whistler will take you longer if it’s your first time since you’ll want to take breaks and stop off and enjoy the amazing views!

Local’s top tip: Avoid driving from Whistler to Vancouver on Sunday afternoons/evenings from 3 pm as it gets super busy with ski, hiking and biking traffic. You should also avoid driving from 6 am on weekends or days with heavy snowfall during winter as there will be thousands of others trying to get fresh tracks up at Whistler Blackcomb.

How to drive the Sea to Sky Highway without a car

If you don’t drive, don’t own a car or aren’t planning on renting a car for your trip to Vancouver, there are a few ways you can get to Whistler from Vancouver without your own car.

In fact, there are plenty of reasons why you don’t need a car when living or visiting Vancouver.

Sea to Sky Shuttle bus services

There are several local companies providing shuttle services in the area, including:

  • YVR Skylynx which serves Vancouver airport, downtown Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler
  • Squamish Connector which provides services from downtown Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Squamish
  • Epic Rides which operates between downtown Vancouver and Whistler;

To make the most of your bus journey from Vancouver to Squamish or Whistler, it’s best to sit on the left side of the bus when travelling towards Whistler and the right side on the return trip.

While the buses typically do not make stops at any attractions, you’ll still get great views of the scenery along the way.

If you’d like to stop off at the stops on the Sea to Sky highway, booking a tour like those below will be a better option.

Sea to Sky tours

Below is one of the most popular tours which you can book to take from Vancouver to Whistler and back over the course of a day.

Along the way, you’ll stop off at some of the best stops on the Sea to Sky highway and you’ll have a guide so you can learn more about the areas you drive past.

Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Day Trip

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure! Join this day trip from Vancouver to Whistler and explore the natural wonders of British Columbia along the way.

Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish and take in breathtaking views of the mountains, rainforest, and inlets of Howe Sound. Pass by Shannon Falls and the Tantalus Glacier on your way to Whistler, where you’ll have free time to explore the downtown shops, cafes, or hiking trails.

With a knowledgeable and funny tour guide and comfortable coach, this brilliant trip is not to be missed

Private Transfers

You can also take a private transfer from Vancouver to Whistler. From cars to luxury minibuses, there are vehicles to suit any group size. Simply provide your group details and desired itinerary, and they will provide you with a customized quote.

Rent a car or book an EVO

If you’ve been in Vancouver for a few days before your trip to Whistler, then chances are you’ve seen the black and blue EVO carshares around the city.

They’re a popular way for people to get around the city and out of it and don’t require a membership fee. You simply download an app, provide your license details (give 3-4 days for this to be approved) and you can rent a car.

You pay per minute and it maxes out at around $100 a day so is often cheaper than a rental car. PLUS you don’t need to pay for petrol since you can get reimbursed for that.

I used to use EVOs loads when living in Vancouver and they’re such a handy thing to have access to.

Use my code 227NTN4Z to join Evo for free and get $25.00 of free drive time.
Download the app (iOs & Android) or visit

Alternatively, you might want to rent a car if you’re staying up in Whistler for a few days (which I recommend!).

I use comparison sites like DiscoverCars and RentalCars to book my car rentals as it’s easy to check prices and compare the best deals!

Where to stop on BC’S Sea to Sky Highway

The Sea to Sky Highway is an incredibly scenic drive with many places to stop that offers a chance to take in stunning views, experience outdoor adventures, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

From waterfalls and mountains to charming towns and pristine lakes, the Sea to Sky Highway offers something for everyone. Be sure to add the following Sea to Sky highway stops to your road trip itinerary!

Read more: Get my list of the ultimate road trip essentials!


granville island market vancouver bc

Since you’ll likely be starting your trip on the Sea to Sky highway in Vancouver, you may as well spend some time exploring the city!

I’d recommend you visit; Gastown which is the oldest part of Vancouver, Yaletown if you want some fancy juices, Sunset Beach and English Bay, Granville Island and, of course, Stanley Park (see below).

Only have one day in Vancouver? Check out this 1 day in Vancouver itinerary!

Stanley Park

lions gate bridge biking stanley park

At just over 1,000 acres (1,001!), Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s top attractions. It’s home to about 1/2 a million trees, many of which have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years.

It’s a great place to explore, have a picnic or relax on one of the beaches with a good outdoor adventure book.

I recommend hiring a bike from one of the places on nearby Denman Street and cycling around the Sea Wall (anti-clockwise!) to take in views of Lions Gate Bridge, West Vancouver and, on a clear day, Vancouver Island.

Lions Gate Bridge

prospect point in summer

You’ll drive over Lions Gate Bridge as you leave Vancouver and start your journey up to Whistler. Lions Gate Bridge is Vancouver’s answer to the Golden Gate Bridge and is impressive whatever time of day you travel over it (although maybe not so much at rush hour, or the Sunday evening gridlock).

If you’re the passenger on this road trip then definitely make sure to enjoy the impressive views on either side!

Lighthouse Park

harbour sea plane vancouver

When I took my husband on the Vancouver seaplane tour for his birthday we spotted this lighthouse from the air. Then we researched how to get to it. It turns out it’s pretty easy since the lighthouse forms part of a park in West Vancouver.

The park is free to explore and has plenty of wooded trails.

Lighthouse Park offers one of the best views in Vancouver. Whilst you can’t get close to the lighthouse there are several parts where the trails open up and give you views of the lighthouse and across the waters to Vancouver.

We spent many an evening at Lighthouse Park over the time we lived in the city either rock climbing, paddleboarding, enjoying an easy hike near Vancouver or just having a sunset picnic.

Learn more about Lighthouse Park

Whytecliffe Park

whytecliff park west vancouver

Whytecliffe Park, located just west of Horseshoe Bay, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. As a free provincial park, it offers visitors the chance to wander through the woods, relax on the small beach, or enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the fancy West Vancouver mansions.

Take a stroll down to the beach and soak in the stunning views of Howe Sound and the nearby Sunshine Coast.

You can also head up to the bluff-top viewpoints accessible via the park’s hiking trails. If you’re visiting during low tide, make sure to scramble across the rocks to Whyte Islet, the rocky island just offshore.

To get to the park, take exit 2 for Eagleridge Drive from the highway and continue past the ticket booths for the ferry terminal. Turn left onto Marine Drive and find yourself transported to this beautiful cove surrounded by natural beauty and opulent mansions.

Horseshoe Bay

horseshoe bay vancouver bc

Horseshoe Bay is the main port for getting the ferry over to Vancouver Island.

There are a few shops and places to grab some food (mainly fish and chips!). It’s nice for an hour or so to watch the ferries come and go and admire the beautiful scenes at the bay.

Getting from Horseshoe bay to Whistler takes the best part of 2 hours so there’s still a while to go on this road trip, but so many beautiful sights to see!

Porteau Cove

porteau cove vancouver kayaking

Porteau Cove just off the Sea to Sky Highway has amazing views, particularly in winter when the clouds roll in. Take a break from your journey and pull over to take in the stunning scenery before continuing your drive north on BC’s Sea to Sky Highway.

The day-use area is an ideal spot to stretch your legs, and don’t forget to take a stroll on the pier for fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.

There’s also a campsite here but it’s notoriously difficult to get a campsite here since it’s one of the best campsites close to Vancouver.

The pier actually doubles as an emergency ferry terminal in case parts of the Sea to Sky Highway become impassable! It’s never been used for that though ?.

To get to the park, turn left at the sign for Porteau Cove Provincial Park.

Britannia Mine Museum

Britannia Beach, once home to the largest copper mine in the British Commonwealth, is now becoming its own little village with new condo developments.

Nowadays, the mine has been converted into a museum where you can explore the old machinery and learn about the village’s history.

My husband always wanted to stop and visit the museum whenever we drove past. And, while I wasn’t too keen originally we went one day and it’s actually so much fun! I highly recommend it.

The museum features historical displays that provide a glimpse into the lives of miners and their families. As part of the underground mine tour, you’ll go on a ride on an old mine train to get an immersive experience of mining for copper.

Get your museum tickets in advance here

There’s also an interactive show called BOOM!, where actors in period costumes bring the history of the mine to life.

To get to the museum, turn right onto Copper Drive from the Sea to Sky Highway at the traffic light in Britannia Beach. Follow the Google Maps driving directions to reach 1 Forbes Way, Britannia Beach.

Murrin Provincial Park

hiking murrin lake provincial park

Murrin Provincial Park is a popular destination for those looking for a refreshing swim in the warm waters of tiny Browning Lake. The sandy beach makes it an ideal spot for picnics throughout the year, and keep an eye out for rock climbers scaling the nearby cliffs.

For the more adventurous, a hike up to Quercus Lookout is well worth doing. You’ll get views of the road you’ve just driven as well as the water and surrounding mountains. Just make sure you’re prepared for the hike as there’s some tricky terrain to navigate.

To reach the park, turn left at the flashing yellow light and follow the signs for Murrin Provincial Park.

Shannon Falls

shannon falls sea to sky highway bc

At 335m tall, Shannon Falls is the third tallest waterfall in British Columbia. Luckily, a short and easily accessible paved trail leads to a viewing point for the falls.

Although the parking is free, you may have to wait for a few minutes to find a spot as this is a busy attraction. However, since it doesn’t take too long to see the falls, cars leave fairly regularly.

Make sure to visit both the upper and lower viewing platforms to take in the beauty of the falls from different angles.

To reach the falls, turn right at the Darrell Bay Road traffic light and follow the park road into the parking lot.

If you want even better views of the waterfalls, you can hike up the Sea to Summit trail which starts at the same point as the Stawamus Chief trail.

Sea to Sky Gondola

sea to summit trail squamish bc (4 of 4)

Just a couple of kilometres from Shannon Falls, the Sea to Sky Gondola is an absolute must-do stop on the Sea to Sky Highway.

Although a bit pricey, it’s worth it for the breathtaking views of Howe Sound, coastal forests, and mountains from the gondola. There are also hiking trails and suspension bridges as well as a cafe and restaurant at the top.

It’s easy to see why this is one of the top sea to sky highway attractions.

Opened in 2014, the gondola takes passengers from the highway to a lodge high above Howe Sound, offering an easy way to access the mountains without breaking a sweat.

If you’re looking to save some money, the challenging Sea to Summit Trail is a great option, climbing 900m over 7km and taking around 3.5 hours for most hikers. From the top, you can get a cheaper download ticket for the gondola.

Buy your Sea to Sky Gondola tickets ahead of time to save time.

Getting there: 36800 Highway 99, Squamish, BC. Watch for the entrance on the right hand side of the Sea to Sky highway just after the Darrell Bay Road traffic light.

Stawamus Chief trail

stawamus chief

The Stawamus Chief is the name given to the rock that towers above the town of Squamish. You’ll get views of Howe Sound and the mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

If you’re super keen to get lots of hiking in you can complete all three peaks of the Chief in a day or just do the shorter trip to the first peak which is the one most people do.

The best views are at sunset or sunrise when the light is less harsh but just remember to pack a torch if you’re planning on hiking back down after sunset!

Also be aware that there are a lot of steps, staircases, ladders and chains on this hike. While I think that’s what makes this so fun, it’s not great for everyone.

If you just want to pull over for a quick look, the best place is the roadside parking lot just after the pedestrian walkway.

You can park at the same parking lot as for Shannon Falls, or the climbers’ car park just after the gondola. Be aware that all these car parks fill up quickly.

Downtown Squamish

slhanay trail squamish hikes (1 of 4)

Squamish is the ultimate destination for adventure-seekers, with plenty of opportunities for mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, and exploring Squamish’s best hiking trails. It’s easy to see why it can claim to be the adventure capital of Canada!

Downtown Squamish has loads of cute shops and cafes. If you’re visiting on a Saturday during the spring, summer, or fall, don’t miss the Farmer’s Market for live music, crafts, local produce, and baked goods.

Getting to downtown Squamish is easy just turn left at Cleveland Avenue and follow it a few blocks into downtown Squamish. Click here for Google Maps driving directions.

Brackendale bald eagle viewing

eagles squamish brakendale

Squamish boasts the highest number of eagles worldwide, with roughly 1,300 of them visiting every year.

Many eagles come to Squamish for salmon and decide to spend the winter here. If you want to catch a glimpse of these majestic birds, head to the Squamish River in the Brackendale neighbourhood.

Even if you’re not visiting in Fall you have a pretty good chance of seeing one around here.

Volunteers with telescopes are available on weekends from November to January to enhance your eagle viewing experience.

To get there, take a left turn off the Sea to Sky Highway onto Garibaldi Way. Follow Government Road and park in the gravel lot on the right, just before the Watershed Grill or on the shoulder, as it nears the river.

Alice Lake Provincial Park

alice lake

For camping, swimming, fishing, mountain biking and hiking, Alice Lake is an excellent location for easy hikes in Squamish. The four lakes, namely Stump, Fawn, Edith, and Alice, are connected by a beautiful and not-too-challenging trail.

Camping spaces and a large beach area are also available, but be sure to reserve in advance to secure a spot!

In the summer, you can swim in the lake, or rent a kayak or paddleboard, making it a perfect place to cool off on a hot day.

To get there, turn right at Alice Lake Road’s flashing yellow light off the Sea to Sky Highway and follow the road into the park.

On busy summer weekends when the parking lot fills up, park rangers may close the entrance gates.

Brohm Lake

brohm lake squamish (2 of 3)

From the highway, Brohm Lake doesn’t look like much. However, it’s actually home to one of my favourite viewpoints in all of Squamish: the Tantalus viewpoint (not to be confused with the one accessible from the road below).

Brohm Lake is a popular spot for cooling off so the small parking lot gets full in the summer. However, if it’s not full and you want to stretch your legs, it’s well worth stopping off on your drive to Whistler from Vancouver.

To reach Brohm Lake, turn left at the sign for Brohm Lake off the Sea to Sky highway.

Tantalus Lookout

what to do in whistler in winter for non skiers (2 of 3)

The snow-capped peaks on the west side of the Squamish River are known as the Tantalus Range. While only a few trails provide access to the rugged summits since there are no roads, you can still enjoy a magnificent view by pulling over on the road.

It’s one of my absolute favourite sea to sky highway lookout points.

The best viewpoint is as you’re driving southbound back to Vancouver. However, there is a viewpoint as you head north too. Simply continue past Brohm Lake for about 2.5 km then go uphill slightly until you reach a small car park and a viewpoint.

Garibaldi Lake

hiking garibaldi lake

Garibaldi lake is absolutely stunning! Although the hike to get there involves a challenging uphill slog of approximately 9 km, the breathtaking views are definitely worth it. The Garibaldi Lake hike is among the most popular hikes in BC.

AllTrails is my go-to hiking app for finding, planning, and navigating while I’m out on the trails. With offline maps on AllTrails+ you can be confident you’re still on the right track, even without mobile signal.

You can plan a camping weekend by reserving a spot up by the lake or allow yourself 6-8 hours for the round-trip hike if you prefer not to camp overnight.

If you’re enthusiastic, you can extend your hike by adding the Panorama Ridge hike. The views are fantastic and whilst it can be done as a full-day hike (10+ hours), it’s best to do it as an overnight trip. Another similar option is Black Tusk which involves some scrambling but arguably even better views.

To get there, watch for the Garibaldi Provincial Park sign, then turn right onto Daisy Lake Road just after crossing a bridge. The trailhead is 2.5km down the road from the Sea to Sky Highway.

This is one of the best lakes near Whistler so be sure to check it out if you have time (and a hiking day pass!).

You will need a day pass to access popular BC parks, Garibaldi (from June 14 – Oct 9), Joffre (May 6 – Oct 9) and Golden Ears (June 14 – Sept 4). The passes are free and available from 7 am two days before your visit. All details & information here

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

brandywine falls whistler easy hike

Brandywine Falls is another must-see stop along BC’s Sea to Sky Highway.

Take a short walk from the parking lot and over a wooden bridge and train tracks then you’ll see Brandywine Falls in front of you.

Although the falls are not the tallest, only about 70 m high, they are still beautiful. The waterfall has carved a massive canyon into lava columns, making it one of the Sea to Sky Highway’s most famous attractions.

Another short walk takes you out to some viewing platforms for a different view of the falls.

To get there, turn right at the Brandywine Falls sign off the highway. Note that the gates are closed in winter and you cannot park on the highway.

Whistler Olympic Park

whistler olympic park

Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley hosted the nordic skiing, biathlon, and ski jump events during the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics. In the winter, you can c-country ski, snowshoe and try your hand at the biathlon too which is super fun!

In the summer, this is a popular place for hikes near Whistler as well as being a great place to spot bears too – just be sure to stay in your vehicle, and never feed or try to attract the bear.

To get there, head to 5 Callaghan Rd, Whistler, BC. Look for the Whistler Olympic Park sign and turn left off the Sea to Sky Highway onto Callaghan Road. Follow the road for approximately 15 minutes to the lodge, passing Alexander Falls along the way.

Whistler bungee

Sea to Sky Highway: Driving to Whistler from Vancouver activities bungee jumping
img via Tourism Whistler

Although I’ve never bungee jumped at Whistler (I did mine in Australia), my friends who have done this bungee jump raved about how incredible it was!

You’ll freefall 50 m off a narrow bridge into the Cheakamus River canyon. Since the river is glacially fed, it has a gorgeous bright blue hue. Even if you don’t take the leap, it’s worth visiting the canyon.

To get there, go to Calcheak Forest Service Rd, Whistler, BC. After the Whistler Olympic Park turnoff, turn right off the Sea to Sky Highway onto Cal-Cheak Forest Service Road. You’ll immediately cross train tracks, and then the road will become gravel. Follow the road for roughly seven minutes to the bungee bridge.

Whistler Train Wreck

whistler train wreck sea to sky highway

Just outside of the Function Junction part of Whistler is the Whistler Train Wreck.

A short walk through the forest and over (another) suspension bridge and you’ll arrive at the train wrecks.

These colour carriages are thought to have been here for a few decades. They’re now covered in graffiti and make interesting photo subjects!

Downtown Whistler Village

what to do in whistler in winter for non skiers (3 of 3)

Whistler isn’t all about skiing. It’s a pretty large town in its own right with plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants. In the summer many people visit Whistler for the mountain biking and hiking and camping in Whistler.

Even in the winter there are plenty of things to do in Whistler for non-skiers.

However, there are plenty of festivals and events happening to that’ll keep you entertained.

Whistler isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for a quiet, hidden resort (that’s more like Sun Peaks). But you’ve got to see it at least once! And hey, at least you can get a tasty meal after your drive and hikes around some of the best stops on BC’s Sea to Sky highway!

Extend your drive

joffre lakes trail pemberton winter v2 (13 of 32)
Beautiful Joffre Lakes

If you want to carry on driving past Whistler here are some pretty nearby stops that are worth the extra miles.

You’ll pass by these places if you’re taking the more scenic route between Vancouver and Banff by travelling from Whistler to Kamloops.

Eventually, you come out at Kamloops and can then go north to Jasper National Park, or continue east towards Revelstoke, Golden, Yoho National Park and Banff.

Nairn Falls Provincial Park

nairn falls whistler easy hike

Just 20km north of Whistler is Nairn Falls Provincial Park. The main attraction here is the 60m waterfalls but you’ll find plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails nearby too.


Despite being so close to the mammoth resort that is Whistler, Pemberton still retains an outdoorsy, small-town feel.

If you fancy staying somewhere quieter and more charming than Whistler on your journey of the Sea to Sky highway then Pemberton is a great choice.

Lillooet Lake

lillooet lake paddleboarding

Lillooet Lake is a beautiful turquoise lake that offers free camping, paddleboarding and fun times!

Joffre Lakes

Joffre Lakes is one of those incredibly blue-green lakes that seem to exist only in Canada. The round-trip hike is about 10km and, compared to some of the hikes nearby, it’s not too tough!

It’s worth a visit if you’re looking for something a bit easier than Garibaldi but with equally impressive views.

Best places to eat and drink on the Sea to Sky Highway

Having lived in Vancouver for a long time and driving this road most weekends, we’ve tried plenty of restaurants along the way.

Some of the best are in Squamish and it makes a great halfway stopping point on your Vancouver to Whistler road trip.

Fox & Oak

fox and oak doughnuts
Road trip donuts!

When we’re visiting our friends in Squamish, I always stop off here and get some coffee and doughnuts to take over to them. The doughnuts at Fox & Oak are SO delicious!

They have classic flavours such as chocolate and more experimental flavours such as Earl Grey tea, mini egg and more.

Backcountry Brewing

Backcountry Brewing is a craft brewery located in Squamish known for producing a wide range of high-quality beers, including IPAs, lagers, stouts, and sours.

In addition to its beer, Backcountry Brewing also offers delicious pizzas made with locally-sourced ingredients. It’s a popular spot among locals and so you may need to wait for a table during peak hours.

Alice + Brohm Ice Cream

Whether you need a refreshing snack to end a long day playing in Squamish’s great outdoors, or a three-cone dessert for the social event of the season, this New Zealand ice cream company in Squamish does delicious and unique ice cream flavours.

Alice + Brohm is not your average ice cream. Indulge in rich, velvety ice cream with chunks of fresh berries infused into every mouthful!

Fergie’s Cafe

Fergie’s Cafe serves some of the best food in Squamish and they’re situated in a super cool location with a treehouse-type feel.

They do breakfast and brunch so you’ll need to get there earlier in the day and you may need to wait as it’s super popular. We stopped off here after doing a mountain bike ride along the sea-to-sky trail and the food was delicious!

Sea to Sky Highway road conditions and driving tips

The Sea to Sky Highway can be driven throughout the year, but the best time to drive from Vancouver to Whistler is from June to September when hiking trails are accessible after the snow melts.

Weekends in July and August are busy, so mid-week travel is recommended. The highway was renovated for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but still has narrow and winding sections, especially south of Squamish.

From October 1st to March 31st, winter tyres, or mud + snow tyres are a must on a road trip Vancouver to Whistler, and failing to have them could result in fines. Services along the drive are limited except for Squamish, which offers gas stations, restaurants, and shops.

As a mix of locals and tourists travel on the highway, it can get busy. Stay in the right lane, except to pass, and drive courteously. Accidents are common, so drive slowly, regardless of locals speeding by.

Weather can affect the drive, with heavy snow in winter and rain and fog year-round. Check highway webcams to stay up to date.

Renting a car to drive on the sea to sky highway is easy.

I use comparison sites like DiscoverCars and RentalCars to book my car rentals as it’s easy to check prices and compare the best deals!

Is driving the Sea to Sky Highway worth it?

Absolutely! There are stunning views the entire way, starting with ocean views over Howe Sound, then transitioning to mountain views of the Tantalus Range as you get closer to Whistler. Plus, there are plenty of great viewpoints, hikes, and waterfalls to stop at along the way.

Is the Sea to Sky Highway easy to drive?

Driving the Sea to Sky highway can be challenging due to its turns and hills but it’s not challenging in terms of the road being bumpy. Pay attention to the speed limits and warning signs and you should be fine. In bad weather such as rain or snow, or at night, it’s important to slow down and be careful as skids and slides are common at high speeds.

How many lanes is the Sea to Sky Highway Vancouver?

In most places, it has four lanes – two in each direction. However, there are several long stretches where there is just one lane in each direction, especially south of Squamish.

Where does the Sea to Sky Highway start and end?

It starts in the Horseshoe Bay neighborhood of West Vancouver and continues to Pemberton, which is about 30 minutes past Whistler. You could say it goes from Whistler to Horseshoe Bay and vice-versa.

Why is it called the Sea to Sky Highway?

It’s called the Sea to Sky Highway because it starts at the sea – the Pacific Ocean in West Vancouver – and climbs into the mountains near Whistler – the sky!

Do you need snow tires for the Sea to Sky Highway.

Yes, winter tires are required between October 1 and March 31. Tires with a snowflake symbol on them qualify as winter tires, including snow tires, M+S tires, and all-season tires. However, they must have at least 3.5 mm of tread, and the police do random spot checks and issue tickets to people without winter tires.

What is the best way to see the Sea to Sky Highway?

You can either drive yourself or take a guided tour like this one.

Where are there public bathrooms on the Sea to Sky Highway

Public bathrooms are available at Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, the Sea to Sky Gondola, Squamish, and Brandywine Falls.

Is the Sea to Sky Gondola worth it?

Yes, it’s worth it despite the expense. On a clear day, you’ll enjoy incredible views of the ocean and mountains. The walking trails near the lodge are easy and great for most visitors, while the tough trails that lead up into the mountains are perfect for hardy hikers. Just remember to get your tickets in advance to avoid queues.

How long to spend on the Sea to Sky Highway Canada?

You can drive the entire route in about 2 hours, but plan to spend an entire day if you want to make any stops.

Where are the best stops on Sea to Sky Highway?

The best places to stop are Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, the Sea to Sky Gondola, Squamish, and Whistler. For more great stops, check out this guide.

How long is the drive from Vancouver to Whistler?

You can do the drive in 1 hour 40 – 2 hours with no traffic. However, if this is your first time in the area you should plan to take longer as there are many beautiful places to stop off at along the way.

Final thoughts about the best Sea to Sky highway stops

The Sea to Sky Highway is a breathtakingly scenic drive that runs from Vancouver to Whistler, with many stops along the way that offer opportunities to take in stunning views, explore charming towns, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

This post highlights some of the best stops to make on a sea-to-sky highway road trip, including Vancouver, Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge, Lighthouse Park, Whytecliffe Park, Horseshoe Bay, Porteau Cove, Britannia Mine Museum, Murrin Provincial Park, Shannon Falls, Sea to Sky Gondola, Stawamus Chief trail, downtown Squamish, Brackendale bald eagle viewing, Alice Lake Provincial Park, Brohm Lake, Tantalus Lookout, Garibaldi Lake, and Brandywine Falls Provincial Park.

Whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker, the Vancouver to Whistler drive has something for everyone with the numerous stunning stops along the sky to sea highway.

Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Hannah

Leave a comment

    This post may include affiliate links. These give me a small source of income and come at no additional cost to you.