Sea to Sky Gondola proposes new summit infrastructure - an elevated tree walk experience
Since their inception, Sea to Sky Gondola has been focused on their purpose; to make it easy for people to connect to the great outdoors. They intend to stay true to their brand “Adventure by Nature,” by proposing to erect an accessible, architecturally stunning tree walk that will wind 34 metres into the sky, offering soaring 360° views and access for guests of all ages and abilities. The elevated trail experience would start at the Summit Lodge and lead guests on a 2.5km return trip through the trees and over wetlands along Panorama Ridge. The elevated tree walk would be a significant multi-million-dollar infrastructure investment for the Squamish-based tourism destination that opened in the spring of 2014.
Pending approvals, the iconic structure would be the first of its kind in North America and would be designed to integrate into nature from all angles and viewpoints beautifully. The tree walk will gently wind around a structure that draws visitors from the base, through the treetops, and up high into the clouds. The unique, spiral architecture will not only offer panoramic open-air views, but will also provide cover over the walkway for a year-round, weather-independent, sightseeing experience that will enthrall adventurers of every ability.
“The elevated tree walk we have envisioned and propose will make it easy for our guests of all ages and abilities to better connect to the great outdoors, regardless of the season and no matter the weather,” says Kirby Brown, Sea to Sky Gondola General Manager. “This structure would be Canada’s newest iconic landmark, and its location, immersed in nature, will solidify Squamish as a must-see Canadian tourism destination.”
Prior to construction the project is subject to First Nations engagement as well as local and provincial government approvals. The Sea to Sky Gondola has received the appropriate development applications from the Squamish Lillooet Regional District with the goal to be breaking ground in fall 2019 and opening in spring 2020.
“With this new phase, we continue to honour the unceded traditional territory of the Squamish Nation where we reside. We are also proud to align our objectives with the strategic plans and land use policies of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District and the Province,” says Brown.
“The tree walk will preserve, connect and enhance access to natural areas while protecting environmentally sensitive areas,” continues Brown. “We are also confident this new experience will bolster Squamish’s recreation economy by providing accessibility to nature for visitors of all abilities, as well as enhancing the tourism activities Squamish has to offer in off-peak times and during inclement weather. Our goal is to ultimately create another unique and spectacular year-round visitor experience.”
About the Sea to Sky Gondola
The Sea to Sky Gondola is one of British Columbia’s newest iconic tourist attractions and is located in Squamish, BC within the unceded traditional territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam First Nations. The gondola was featured in the New York Times' 52 Places to Go in 2015 list, where they cited the attraction’s “unusual combination of West Coast wilderness and accessibility." The gondola is situated between Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief and transports guests to the Summit Lodge on a ridge leading towards Mount Habrich. The summit of the Sea to Sky Gondola provides a base camp for further exploration.