Kids In Vancouver: A Local Family’s Summer Bucket List

Summer bucket list

Summer hiking in Vancouver | Photo: Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

Vancouver is known for its stunning sea-to-sky adventure scene – from zig-zagging down the ski slopes of the local mountains, to trekking up the tree-lined mountain trails, to kayaking and paddle boarding along the city’s coastline – the city has something to offer for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

While my family is fortunate to have been born and raised in the picturesque city of Vancouver, there are a number of local adventures that we have yet to try. That’s why each Summer, we put together a bucket list of new local gems we’d like to explore. Here’s what we’ve added to our Summer bucket list for this year.

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Kids In Vancouver: A Local Family’s Summer Bucket List

Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

Discover Outdoors Upper Shannon Falls7

Shannon Falls Photo: Rob Weiss

Do waterfalls capture your imagination?  A waterfall, almost any waterfall, is fascinating mesmerizing, awe-inspiring.  We stand for hours listening, admiring, photographing, painting.  For centuries waterfalls have inspired poets, artists and musicians. Today we post pictures to Instagram and tweet on #WaterfallWednesday.  Personally, I find myself inexplicably drawn to their power and beauty.  Something about the thundering roar of water cascading down a mountain stirs me deep inside and energizes me to follow the trail toward them, as if drawn by their sheer energy.

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Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

Celebrate Valentine’s Day among the Trees: Sea to Sky Gondola’s Lovers’ Lane Stroll & Supper

Sourced from the Sea to Sky Gondola website

Sourced from the Sea to Sky Gondola website

A couple days ago, I saw a look of distress in my boyfriend’s eyes as he suddenly realized that Valentine’s Day was less than two weeks away. “S” is sweet and kind but since he can’t translate romance into a mathematical equation, he finds it hard to grasp the concept. However, he’s made a resolution to up his boyfriend game this year, and assured me he will come up with something impressive (we’ll see).

Fortunately, if you’re like S and romantic creativity is not your strong suit, a Valentine’s Day package offered by Sea to Sky Gondola might just be the thing.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day among the Trees: Sea to Sky Gondola’s Lovers’ Lane Stroll & Supper

Four Ways Vancouverites Can Give Back this Holiday Season

Sea to Sky Gondola

Giving back to those less fortunate is top of mind throughout the holiday season. Whether you’re in search of Santa, a tree-lit beach walk or a mountain-top view of Howe Sound, these activities boost Christmas spirit while offering an opportunity to give back.

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Four Ways Vancouverites Can Give Back this Holiday Season

Sea To Sky Gondola re-opens for winter with Christmas cheer

Snowshoeing is coming soon to the top of the Sea To Sky Gondola. Photo credit: Sea To Sky Gondola/Paul Bride.

Snowshoeing is coming soon to the top of the Sea To Sky Gondola. Photo credit: Sea To Sky Gondola/Paul Bride.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Sea to Sky Gondola, which just re-opened for its winter season on November 27. And while there’s not quite enough snow yet to strap on the snowshoes, rest assured that it’s coming…. and so is Santa.

Located in Squamish, about an hour north of Vancouver, the Sea To Sky Gondola made its debut last May and drew summer hikers and sightseers from far and wide.

After closing for a few weeks of maintenance in November, it’s now up and running and poised to launch new snowshoe trails and a new tube park for kids. There will also be backcountry ski touring for experienced skiers around and on Sky Pilot Mountain, Co-Pilot, Skyline Ridge, and Goat Ridge.

And this Friday (December 5), holiday activities kick off at the Summit Lodge to get everybody into the Christmas spirit. Fondue, anyone?

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Sea To Sky Gondola re-opens for winter with Christmas cheer

PHOTO ESSAY – Great Vancouver Hikes: A New Alternative to The Chief

UpperShannonFalls-67Everybody loves the Chief.  The iconic hike to the peak of the 700-metre-high granite monolith in Squamish offers some of the most astounding views in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, if not the entire province.

There’s just one problem: Everybody loves the Chief.  On weekends and sunny days, the 11-kilometre roundtrip trail can feel like one long queue, with lines of people forming at critical junctures where the trail narrows.

There is, however, a brand new alternative offering similar views with fewer crowds: the Sea to Summit trail.  The route (which partly follows an older path called the Upper Shannon Falls trail) starts at Shannon Falls at the base of the mountain, then climbs for approximately four hours (around 9 kilometres) before reaching the new Sea to Sky Gondola facility at the summit.  Along the way, it winds past raging rivers, thundering waterfalls, moss-covered forest and dizzying viewpoints.  And the best part: For $10 you can ride the new gondola back down in a brisk five minutes, skipping the long hike back.

I checked out the Sea to Summit trail over the weekend.  Here’s a quick photo essay of what you’ll see along the way.  If you’re considering doing the hike, keep in mind that the trail has an intermediate difficulty level, with some steep sections.  The entire route is well marked with bright green Sea to Sky trail blazes.  More detailed information is available on the Sea to Sky Gondola website and on Vancouver Trails. Continue reading:
PHOTO ESSAY – Great Vancouver Hikes: A New Alternative to The Chief

New Sea to Sky Gondola Ready to Open Outside Vancouver

Photo sourced from Sea to Sky Gondola.

Photo sourced from Sea to Sky Gondola.

The long-awaited Sea to Sky Gondola is finally set to take its first passengers.

Situated in Squamish, about one hour north of Vancouver, the gondola will begin whisking visitors from sea level to a height of more than 885 metres on May 16.

The $22-million facility is situated on a strip of land between the famous Stawamus Chief Provincial Park (better known as “the Chief”) and Shannon Falls.  After a 10-minute ride in plush, eight-person gondola cars, passengers disembark on a mountain peak situated high above Howe Sound.

Up top, there’s an entire adventure centre tucked away high in the Coast Mountains.   Continue reading:
New Sea to Sky Gondola Ready to Open Outside Vancouver