Tuesday, 12 July 2011
A short 90-minute drive north of the city of Vancouver, the nation's gateway to the Pacific, is a recreational Shangri-La that attracts four season adventurers from around the globe to ski, board, hike, mountain bike, kayak and climb the local peaks.
This treasure trove wilderness playground stretches along the breathtaking Sea-to-Sky Highway affording breathtaking views of the Pacific as it follows Highway 99 north out of the sparkling gem of Vancouver from Lions Bay, through Squamish and Garibaldi and into the picturesque Whistler Valley.
As you drive out of the city, look at the mountains to the north. Grouse, Cypress and Seymour mountains provide easy access skiing for the happy winter adventurer and a beautiful backdrop to the young city of Vancouver, Canada's third-largest metropolis, year-round.
While the city sits on relatively young sandstone and mudstone, the North Shore Mountains are made from granite that formed deep within the Earth more than 100 million years ago.
Cretaceous plant material can be found at Brother's Creek as you head towards Whistler and the Sea-to-Sky highway. Following Highway 99, you’ll hug the coastline of Howe Sound, a glacially carved fiord which extends from Horseshoe Bay (20 km northwest of Vancouver) to the hamlet of Squamish. The road is perched high above the water, blasted into the rock of the steep glacial-valley slope and has been the chosen path for First Nation hunters, early explorers, the miners of the Gold Rush and now the rush of tourism.
Carved from the granitic mountainside high above Howe Sound, this scenic pathway has been a rich recreation corridor and traditional First Nation hunting ground for many years.
Steeped in a First Nations history, bountiful wildlife and gorgeous vistas, the Whistler corridor is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful spots on the globe with something for everyone.