The Sea to Summit Trail – Squamish, BC
Distance: 7.5kms / 4.6 Miles one way
Elevation gain: 918m /3011ft
Time: 3.25 Hours
The Sea to Summit trail starts out in the parking lot for the Sea to Sky Gondola ride in Squamish, BC. Before you start your hike, make sure you have money with you to pay for the ride back down! The trail wastes no time introducing you to the elevation gain you are about to experience as it begins on the same trail as the world-famous Stawamus Chief with steady uphill climbs and steep staircases. After reaching the turn off point for the Sea to Summit trail we left the masses behind and only saw a few other hikers the rest of the way.
The trail is a nice break from those hikes that are constant steady uphill grinds. This hike has several spots where is flattens out or heads downhill briefly and allows you to catch your breath and reduce your heart rate. The scenery amongst the trees is stunning, so be sure to slow down once in a while and look around, inhale slowly and deeply, taking it all in! Soon you will be back to a rigorous uphill section that will require your best effort.
The trail is very well-marked and has a bit of everything including some scrambling and sections where climbing with the assistance of existing ropes and chains is required. Along the way you will pop in and out of the trees and enjoy sweeping views of Howe Sound and beyond but the view once you get to the top will prove to be worth every ounce of sweat.
After taking some time to explore around the top of the gondola area and participate in an axe throwing challenge, we headed to the gondola for the ride down. From there we set our sights on a visit to A-Frame Brewing to rehydrate and relax.
A-Frame Brewing is just a quick 6 minute drive away from the trailhead so we hopped in the car and headed over. (Directions) A-Frame is a fairly new brewery that opened in December of 2016 becoming just the second brewery in the small town of Squamish and is locally owned by Jeff and Caylin, a sweet couple passionate about craft beer and community. All of their beers are aptly named after lakes from around the naturally diverse region and meticulously crafted by their talented brewmaster, Andrew Sawyer. I decided on a flight consisting of Okanagan Lake Cream Ale, Shuswap Lake IPA, Sproat Lake Dry-Hopped Pale Ale and Magic Lake Porter. Each beer offered something deliciously different and were all enjoyable. The cream ale and the porter we both stand outs for me. We enjoyed the serenity of the afternoon sipping our beers on their newly constructed patio and soaked in the sunshine while enjoying some food from a local food truck. It was a perfect post hike spot to indulge in some of BC’s finest craft beer.