Welcome to Sea To Sky Hiking Trail
The best view that you can get no doubt about it, but it’s no joke hiking up a 885m high and almost 10km long ascending and descending path. It’s definitely an unforgettable experience any one could ever have, and maybe for some, an experience that is once in a lifetime. I’ll tell you why, join me in my most difficult hike so far as I show you around the Sea To Sky Hiking Trail. Let’s get the fun started!
Sea To Sky Trail
Watching you tube to get an idea about this trail is not enough to give you an idea of how much challenge you will face once you actually do it. I watched several videos and it did look challenging to me, certainly it looks more difficult than doing the Grouse Grind. Seeing the chains, the ropes, the ups and downs made me rethink if I am really ready to do this. But there were also some good points, the views from different elevation were fantastic and truly breathtaking, plus it’s always fun doing it with friends. And so, I convinced myself to do it.
To start with, let’s get a glimpse of how high we are climbing. See cables going up? If you follow that until the “half way” mark, that’s only half of the distance, almost double that height is how high the climb will be. You cannot see the entire distance from below because the second tower is past the “half way” mark. I cannot believe that was even possible for me to do, but we did it anyway.
Tips Before You Go:
- Check the weather condition
- Notify someone that you are doing the hike
- You have to be in a good physical condition to do this tail
- Wear proper shoes
- Bring more than 1 water bottle
- Bring some snacks
Now that the checklist is complete, let’s do this.
What Lies Ahead
The trail is 885m high and 7.5km long, but if you take the longer and easier route in the last 3km it will be around 10km hike. This trail is for intermediate and advance hikers as the terrain is quite challenging. Just to name a few:
- Few minutes from the starting point, expect never-ending wooden stairs. It just goes on and on and on. And that was just the beginning.
- The trail goes really up and down. I don’t get the point when it goes down and down, I was expecting it to be going up and up. Isn’t that the point of going to the top? I find the downhill challenging to my knee as I do not have strong balance and I would have to really take it slow every step of the way. Then when you get to a low point, that’s when you started climbing up again.
- Expect ropes and chains in some area of the trail for support in climbing up. This we’re one of the challenging areas in hike for me.
- Expect areas where you have to grab on to the roots of big trees for support in climbing.
Here is the base of the Sea To Sky The starting point of the hike is just at the right side of the parking. We started at 11:00 am and the estimated time is about 3-5 hours. There were quite a few people of different ages in the trail. I can tell that some of those are seasoned hikers and physically fit to do hikes like this. They were running up and down like they were doing it in a flat ground, it was very impressive to watch them do it.
The BEST View is Always From The Top
I hike a lot but I wouldn’t consider myself a seasoned hiker. I’m more of a leisurely hiker, I like take my time and enjoy the view,and I like to stop a lot to take photos. I’m not concerned about breaking any record, well I don’t have any sense competitiveness in my body and for me pressure takes away the fun of doing it. I don’t mind people passing me by, I just like to take my time.
I’ve done quite a few hikes around Vancouver like the one that we are known for “The Grouse Grind” and I thought that was difficult until I did this Sea To Sky Trail, it’s a KILLER! Sorry, I really need to have it in capital letters just to stress how I feel about it. I know some people consider this easy, but I guess I am not one of them. I’ve never done a hike where I promise myself I’m never going to do it again, I just want to arrive at the top safe. The high rocks where I have to climb up and the never-ending stairs at the start. I don’t even know if I should be thankful of downhill because downhill means I have to climb up again at some point. The ups and downs are seriously never ending. How on earth do you have a lot of downhill when you are climbing the mountains?? In my mind I should be going up, not down. But unfortunately, it goes down and down and then up and up. It took us almost 5 hours because we decided to take the longer easier route at the last leg. There’s an option either longer but easiest or hardest but shortest, of course we choose the first one. It added about 3km more but at least I don’t have to do more downhill and uphill, it’s mostly flat but with uneven gravel ground. I would prefer that than climbing or going down. But will all the hard work, we were rewarded with fantastic view at the top, several times in different locations, at least that is something. The view was stunning to say the least, and I have to admit I couldn’t get any better look at the view from where we were. It was a tough hike (at least for me), but it was truly a memorable experience.
Views to Watch Out
There were 4 main areas to look forward too. These spots will be jars to miss.
The first look out, first glimpse of the water view. This will come at around 2km.
The water falls is another area to watch out for. I did not go down at the base but it’s doable for some people. Be careful as the water falls is quite strong so don’t go dipping into the natural pool area. This is in 3km point.
If you run out of water, there is a lower waterfalls that is not far from the first one. This is a good spot to refill your water bottles. The water was quite cold and clear.
Another amazing spot is when you start going out of the open area where you can see the gondola passing over head. This is one of my favorite spot. Being at the stop and looking at the Gondola gave me a sense of accomplishment, I’ve made it that far and all I have to do is keep going and I’ll soon get to the top.
The best view comes last, this is the treat that you will see after climbing the steep rock with the help of a rope along the side. Look at that view?
Last but not the least, the last view-point to watch out is this one, which is just few steps and climb away from the last view above. There’s a lot more space here to move and take photo as compared to the other one. This spot will also require a little bit of effort as it is quite high and steep.
The best view among all of these, is reaching the top and seeing the final destination after a long and challenging hike. I can never be more happier. Once you get at the stop, there is more to see and do. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect when you reached the top. I have a detailed post “One Fine Day at Sea To Sky“, check it out. That post is most focused on what to do and see at the top, that also comes with a short video.
At the Top
Sky Pilot Viewpoint
The Suspension Bridge
Panorama Trail – The Chief Look Out
For a more details of the Sea To Sky at the top, check out my One Fine Day at Sea To Sky post
Although challenging, it was a truly fun and exciting day that I will always remember. Thank You for visiting my website, If you like this post, kindly click on the “Like” button below or leave me a comment.
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