Premier Listings for the Sea to Sky Highway

Highway 99 is the Sea to Sky Highway, which winds through five distinct biogeoclimatic zones in the Vancouver, Coast and Mountains region of BC, from coastal rain forest at Horseshoe Bay, through Squamish, Garibaldi Provincial Park, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

Intensely scenic, the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) crosses paths with two historic routes, the Pemberton Trail and the Gold Rush Heritage Trail, which linked the coast with the interior in the days before the automobile. Along these ancient pathways, generations of Coast Salish people traded with their relations in the Fraser Canyon, while in the 1850s, prospectors stampeded north towards the Cariboo gold fields. In 1915, the Pacific Great Eastern railway began service between Squamish and the Cariboo. For those in search of outdoor recreation, the railway proved an ideal way to reach trailheads in Garibaldi Provincial Park and fishing camps such as Alta Lake’s Rainbow Lodge, situated at the foot of London Mountain.

By the mid-1960s, the prospect of skiers heading from Vancouver to the fledgling trails on London Mountain – by this time renamed Whistler Mountain – prompted the provincial government to open a road north from Horseshoe Bay through Squamish to Whistler. Space being at a premium along steep-sided Howe Sound (North America’s southernmost fjord), the road and railway parallel each other for much of the 28 miles (45 km) between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish at the head of the sound. By 1975, the highway was pushed through to Pemberton, and by 1995 the last stretch of gravel road was paved between Pemberton and Lillooet. (Highway 99 and the railway part company in Pemberton but link up again at Lillooet.) Today, vehicles breeze along the entire route in five hours, the time it took in the 1960s to make the journey just from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler.

Both the railway, which now departs from its southern depot in North Vancouver, and Highway 99 have helped introduce visitors to the backcountry region in the Sea to Sky corridor. (The 12-hour train trip between North Vancouver and Prince George in the Central Interior is one of Canada’s most scenic rail journeys. Travellers can choose to disembark or be picked up just about anywhere along its route.) Certainly, Whistler’s success as a resort destination has propelled development, both commercial and recreational, in other parts of the region, particularly Squamish and Pemberton. So too has the popularity of the mountain bike and the sport-utility vehicle. The pace of mountain-bike trailblazing carries on today with the same zeal once devoted to the creation of new ski runs, while logging roads no longer intimidate drivers in search of backcountry getaways as they once did. And it’s not just the proximity to Greater Vancouver that drives this expansion. The landscape itself just happens to be some of the most ideal terrain for outdoor activity in British Columbia.

Squamish (population 16,000) is a relief. Smaller than Vancouver, larger than Whistler, and equidistant from them both, Squamish is the envy of the south coast. It has so many things going for it – location, geography, wildlife, weather – that as forestry declines as the town’s major employer, tourism and outdoor recreation have taken on greater importance. Travellers have always been drawn to Squamish, from the days of the Coast Squamish people, who journeyed between Burrard Inlet and STA-a-mus at the mouth of the Squamish River, to more recent times when steamships began ferrying anglers, climbers, and picnickers here over a century ago. There’s a rich history to the Squamish region, and the best way to experience it is through a favourite outdoor activity. No matter what your pleasure, you’ll follow paths laid down by fellow admirers who’ve cleared the way.

Something magical happens when you arrive at the summit of the small valley that contains Whistler. A cluster of little lakes is gathered here, reflecting the outline of the mountains high above. Alta Lake is the great divide in the Sea to Sky corridor. Water flowing from its south end reaches the Pacific via the Cheakamus and Squamish Rivers, while water flowing from its north end in the River of Golden Dreams eventually reaches the ocean through the Harrison watershed and the Fraser River. No other valley in the Sea to Sky region has such a wealth of small and medium-sized lakes. No other lakes have scenery quite like this to mirror. When you let your eyes rise from the reflection to admire the real thing, the contours of the ski runs on Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains pattern the forested slopes. Above the tree line, you can still see remnants of the most recent ice age in the glaciers that encrust the highest peaks. Take a deep breath of the freshest air imaginable.

Circle Tours: See the best of BC when you embark upon one of the many circle tours that take in the best of British Columbia. Take the Coast Mountains Circle Tour and head north out of Vancouver on the intensely scenic Sea to Sky Highway to the magical winter resort town of Whistler, and continue on to Pemberton and Lillooet. Cross paths with two historic routes – the Pemberton Trail and the Gold Rush Heritage Trail – which linked the coast with the interior in the days before the automobile. Return via the Okanagan and Fraser Valleys.

Location: Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver is the southern terminus of Highway 99. Lillooet, about 190 miles (310 km) north, is its northern twin. From Lillooet, a recent extension of Highway 99 (formerly called Highway 12) leads almost 47 miles (75 km) farther north and east to its conjunction with Highway 97 at Hat Creek. The southern terminus of the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) is reached via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) at Horseshoe Bay. The northern terminus lies at its junction with Highway 97, about 7 miles (11 km) north of Cache Creek. An alternative approach near its northern terminus is Highway 12’s junction with Highway 99 at Lillooet.

Despite major improvements over the past 30 years, such as rock scaling, bridge reinforcement, and frequent passing lanes, sections of this predominantly two-lane road can still be extremely treacherous in foul weather. Drive cautiously but not so slowly as to frustrate those who are more familiar with the route. All exits and trailheads are well marked, with adequate room for off-road parking.

The following towns are located on or near the Sea to Sky Highway:

Premier Listings

Photo of Wescan Charter Bus Lines
Wescan Charter Bus Lines
Box 466 7101C 120th Street Delta BC V4E 2A9 Work Phone: 604-805-4082Work Phone: 604-616-4082Work Fax: 604-596-4038Visit Website

Biographical Info

Our charter buses are fully insured, licensed and certified from 11 seats up to 58 seats and are ready to go anywhere in Western Canada and the U.S. The bilingual drivers and tour guides are available in English and Chinese. Our owner operators are always prepared to deliver outstanding service, ensuring complete customer satisfaction. We have several luxurious buses with some of the most experienced drivers in the industry.

At Wescan we provide exceptional service transporting large or small groups of people out for a day of relaxation or several days of sightseeing. Our drivers are very experienced, courteous, and safety trained so that we may get you to your destination relaxed and refreshed, hoping that you may remember your trip with Wescan as a once-in-a lifetime event.

Call for an immediate quote 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

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Photo of Sewell’s Marina
Sewell’s Marina
6409 Bay Street West Vancouver BC V7W 3H5 Home Phone: 604-921-3474Home Fax: 604-921-7027Visit Website

Biographical Info

Sewell’s Marina at Horseshoe Bay is one of the premier moorage locations in Greater Vancouver, offering exciting 2-hour Sea Safari wildlife eco-tours, self-drive boat rentals, guided salmon fishing charters, moorage and Group Sea Quest corporate Scavenger Hunts. Howe Sound is just minutes away, 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Come visit our Ocean Playground! Scheduled shuttle-bus service to and from downtown Vancouver.

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EMR Vacation Rentals
Vancouver Office: EMR Vacation Rentals Inc. #1118 Richards Street Vancouver BC V6B 3E6 Victoria Office: (Mailing address) #106-1016 McCallum Road Victoria BC V9B 4C6 Home Phone: 604-628-4435Home Phone: 250-483-6790Home Fax: 530-660-3079Work Phone: 1-866-800-8880Work Phone: 0-800-520-0932 UKHome Phone: 0-800-181-8907 GermanyVisit Website

Biographical Info

EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more.

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The Lodging Company
Vacation Lodgings throughout British Columbia Head Office: 200-510 Bernard Avenue Kelowna BC V1Y 6P1 Home Phone: 250-979-3939Work Phone: 1-888-676-9977Visit Website

Biographical Info

Ski Vacation Rentals: Ski-in/ski-out chalets, condos, and vacation homes at BC’s top ski resorts. The Lodging Company has the perfect condo for your next getaway and can arrange discount lift tickets and airport transfers! View our complete listing of properties online or call us Toll Free at 1-888-676-9977 for personal assistance in planning your vacation.

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Whistler Retreats
330-4370 Lorimer Road Whistler BC V0N 1B4 Home Phone: 604-938-8810Work Fax: 604-938-8872Work Phone: 1-866-944-7853Visit Website

Biographical Info

Whistler’s Accommodation and Vacation Planning Specialists. Affordable studios to 4-bedroom condos in the heart of Whistler Village, Creekside, and the Benchlands. Equipped with full kitchens, fireplaces, and TV/DVDs, many offer ski-in/ski-out access as well as pools and hot tubs. Call Whistler Retreats to book your discounted all-season vacation packages including accommodation, lift tickets and activities, rentals, and transportation Toll-Free 1-866-944-7853!

As one of the larger property management companies operating in Whistler Resort, Whistler Retreats is perfectly equipped to provide the most comfortable and affordable accommodations available, as well as discounted mountain bike packages for a memorable stay in Whistler, BC. Let us help you find the perfect accommodations to make the most of your summer and winter vacation that promises to be a relaxing stay in Canada.

Why not plan a romantic retreat in a mountain chalet, or spend a quiet evening enjoying a cup of cocoa by the fire after an invigorating day on the slopes! You will find accommodations suitable for any occasion, whether that special vacation or just a casual weekend in the mountains.

We offer activity and accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. If you have any questions about our condos or property management services, or if you simply would like us to assist you in planning how to spend your time in beautiful Whistler, feel free to contact us. We’re here to serve you and help you enjoy the Whistler Vacation of your dreams!

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Greenwood Country Inn
1371 Greenwood Street Box 724 Pemberton BC V0N 2L0 Home Phone: 604-894-5607Home Fax: 604-894-5637Visit Website

Biographical Info

Enjoy the quiet and spectacular mountain setting, the unparalleled views, and the contemporary West Coast wood construction of Greenwood Country Inn. Relax and unwind in our elegant Chalet-style home perched on a bluff above Pemberton, and within walking distance to town. We offer country living and warm hospitality, private air-conditioned bird-theme rooms, a romantic Honeymoon Suite, many view decks, and an expansive First Nations Art Collection. The guest lounge features 18-foot vaulted ceilings, fireplace and a piano. Delicious breakfast and warm atmosphere. German and English spoken.

Greenwood Country Inn is only 25 minutes away from cross-country and downhill skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, or try our local heli-ski company for an unforgettable day of fresh powder tracks. The area offers some of the best snowmobiling in North America, so rent a sled or bring your own.

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