The mountains have been calling as we’ve noticed the snow line more and more. With hearing that we’ve been receiving some of the best snow in awhile we knew we wanted to get out there, and go play in the snow.The Sea to Sky Gondola is located on Mount Habrich, which is right in the heart of the Sea to Sky corridor. It’s a gorgeous area any time of the year for taking in the sights of Howe Sound and the Coastal Mountains. The Sea to Sky Gondola is a little over an hour drive from our home in Surrey, BC. As a family with two young children (an almost 3 year old, and 2 month old) we felt this was do-able for us to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and allow our oldest daughter the opportunity to play in the snow since we have yet to receive any substantial snowfall in the valley.
We arrived early for when the gondola opened at 10am so that we could be some of the first ones to go up. We were amazed to see how many other vehicles full of visitors pulled in soon after us. There wasn’t a wait for us to get to go up as there are 20 gondolas going up and down the mountain, and each holds up to 8 people. It is about a 10minute ride on the gondola, and you will want to have your camera ready. The view is incredible, and will leave you awe struck by the areas beauty. My daughter loved going through the clouds and being above them, looking down to Howe Sound.
The Sea to Sky Gondola has a lot to offer for families, and anyone who wants a winter adventure. There is winter walking, snowshoeing, and a tube park. If you are experienced skier, snowboarder, of snowshoer you have access to the backcountry. We went up to check out snowshoeing for the first time. Once at the summit we headed into the lodge to get out snowshoe rentals. The staff were extremely helpful and made sure we knew how to put on the snowshoes properly before we headed on our way along the Panorama Trail. Our goal was to get to The Chief viewing platform. As a first time snowshoer I was impressed by how easy it was to attach the snowshoes to my winter boots. All I had to do was slide my foot in and make sure the strap was snug and secure around the back of my boot. My husband did help me because I already had out youngest daughter attached to me in our baby carrier.
We brought two Ergobaby carriers with us. As mentioned I carried our youngest, and my husband carried our oldest on his back. If you are planning on going snowshoeing and carrying your children in some sort of baby carrier be sure to dress in layers just in case you find yourself getting overly warm. We did not opt to take poles with us since we were doing a trail that was supposed to be more easy going, and we found we did not need them. On other trails where you may find yourself going up or down steeper parts I would definitely recommend them.
It was so peaceful walking amongst the snow covered trees and passing some ice covered water areas. What a difference wearing snowshoes makes while walking in the snow. I was impressed right away that we were not sinking into the snow nearly as much as we had been when we were just walking around in the snow when we first arrived to the Sea to Sky Gondola. The Panorama Trail to The Chief viewing platform took us about 45minutes there and back. It’s the perfect length if you have young kids who may get tired a long the way. At one point I found myself multitasking by bottle feeding out youngest while she was still in the carrier, and keeping up with my husband while snowshoeing. It was still very relaxing, and great exercise. I’m seriously debating buying a season pass, and my own snowshoes now I enjoyed the experience so much. I would love to be able to go snowshoeing more often, and I know I have family members and friends who would want to join me. Everyone started asking me about our experience after seeing photos from our trip.
We sadly did not have enough time to go check out the tube park, but that is on my to do list for the next time we get to visit. We did go and explore, crossing the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge and walking a bit around the decorated Spirit Trail. At the back of the Summit Lodge there was a flat, snow covered area that had a snowman built, a Charlie Brown cut out photo opportunity, and a play house. This was perfect for keeping our oldest happy while playing outside in the snow. We warmed up by the fireplace inside the lodge while we had some snacks. Inside there was even a little play area for children. I really appreciated that they had a child friendly area for my daughter to play with trains, read books, colour, and do puzzles at. It helped us to have our hands free and enjoy some food too. There are washrooms in the lodge, and yes there are change tables in both the womens and mens washrooms!
We headed back down the gondola, making a pit stop at the washroom at the base to get ready for our drive back home. At the base of the gondola is a beautiful play area. The Sea to Sky Gondola really has gone out of their way to make sure it’s a family friendly destination. You can even bring your stroller up if you would like, though not all areas are stroller friendly. We really enjoyed our time at the Sea to Sky Gondola, it had become an instant go to day trip destination for our family. We will definitely be back in the spring/summer time to go hiking. Below are some of the photos from our visit there.
Tell me, have you ever been snow shoeing? What is your favourite winter activity?
Disclosure: We were provided with site entrance tickets, and snowshoe rentals in order to facilitate this review. The opinions shared here are completely my own.