Two Fridays ago, I went on a solo mission to explore the Sea to Sky Bike Trail . This 30 kilometre round-trip journey from Whistler to Brandywine Falls brought a bit of everything: from breaking my favourite pair of Oakley sunnies to experiencing an annoying mechanical issue with my bike seat. But regardless of a few setbacks, it was a great adventure with beautiful scenery along the way and one that I could recommend to anyone who can ride on 2 wheels.
The Sea to Sky Trail, once completed, will link Squamish to D’Arcy with a 180 kilometre non-motorized trail. In the winter, you can snowshoe or cross-country ski, while in the summer months, it’s all about biking or running.
The Whistler to Brandywine Falls leg opened last summer. Overall, the ride wasn’t difficult; rather it was just long. Don’t expect to see any single track or difficult features. This is a mellow ride compared to the North Shore, Whistler Mountain Bike Park or Whistler bike trails, but it’s still a great way to get a bit of exercise and be outside.
The trail is quite wide with a moderate grade and is perfect for anyone who is an high beginner to intermediate level mountain biker. Some level of fitness does help, given the distance.
The views are stunning along the way as you cross rushing mercury-blue rivers and navigate through the lush, forest, along river beds and passed purple alpine flowers and waterfalls.
The Whistler to Brandywine route is more or less complete, although I did have a bit of trouble navigating the trail once I crossed the Cal Cheak Suspension bridge to Brandywine.
When I finally made it to Brandywine, I was rewarded with views like this:
Last fall, Neil and I visited Brandywine (by car) and he ended up with a sprained ankle from an ill-fated jumping photo. You can read about that here.
The Sea to Sky Trail has partnered with the Trans-Canada Trail, which makes it part of the world’s largest trail network. And that makes it super cool.
This project is funded with the help of government, First Nations and community partners, and also by donation. According to the website it costs $5,000 to build around 100 metres of trail, so you can imagine why they haven’t quite completed it yet!
Expect a little bit of adventure along the Sea to Sky Trail. Anything’s possible:
Here’s their introductory video featuring Dr. David Suzuki and also Paralympic skier Brad Lennae who discusses accessibility on the Sea to Sky Trail.
To access the Sea to Sky Trail
Bike south from Whistler Village via the paved Valley Trail. At Tamarisk, you’ll have to skirt onto the highway for about 10 minutes. Once you get to Function Junction, cross the highway to Cheakamus Crossing and keep right along the road until you come to the small Sea to Sky Trail sign.
Always check the weather forecast before you head out and make sure you bring plenty of food, water and a first aid kit.