Travel & Culture

Experience The Sea To Sky Gondola Mountain Music Series With Us

July 4, 2024

A world-class tourist attraction that rises 2,900 feet above sea level, The Sea to Sky Gondola offers breathtaking views of Atl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound, Sky Pilot, and Goat Ridge. Within a 10-minute ride, that takes you straight from sea level to the summit, you can see Shannon Falls and the Squamish Chief from an entirely new perspective. —Michelle Hopkins

If that isn’t enough to entice you, I have another reason to head up to the Sea to Sky Gondola this summer: the Mountain Music Series. Being atop the Sea to Sky Gondola gives dancing and singing at the top of your lungs a whole new meaning  to “getting high on the dance floor.”

Recently, I made my way to Squamish for its Mountain Music Series to hear the Whiskydicks perform. The five-piece band successfully combines traditional Celtic, with country, rock and Roma music and filters them together with great fiddle playing, danceable pipes, foot-stomping trumpet and bass; while playing songs people know and love, but in a way they’d never imagine. The Whiskydicks renditions of John Denver’s Country Roads, Take me Home and the 1970s disco hit Rasputin were huge hits with the crowd.

There’s something so unique and epic about swaying to great tunes surrounded by spectacular mountain peaks and ocean vistas that is unlike anything else. This was my second time and I was dazzled yet again.

When it was over, (after a resounding encore), I was hungry. I took a seat on the summit’s patio. Like listening to live music, there’s nothing quite like dining with native beauty around you. While chilling, I enjoyed a glass of red wine (or two) and a healthy, hearty southwest bowl. P.S. During the concert, there is also a barbecue menu that changes weekly. 

My home for the night is one of my ultimate favourite retreats from city madness, where I can breathe and commune with nature – the Sunwolf Riverside Resort. This hidden gem – tucked away in a remote, picturesque setting along the Cheakamus River – is a place where you can decompress and find peace … Ok, I know I sound a little cheesy but truly this rustic resort offers a nature-filled sanctuary that will lure you to unplug and digitally detox, if you so choose.  

I stayed in the Cheekye Lodge, a 3,500 square-foot house that is adjacent to the Sunwolf Resort. A new addition to the resort, this 1918 home was renovated in 2011 and was occupied by the resort owners while they wre building their new home. Roomy, airy and a mix of modern farmhouse chic, it sleeps up to 16 guests. And may I add, the bed was comfy cozy. 

The next morning, I headed over to the award-winning Fergie’s Café, a popular fave amongst locals and visitors alike. Set amongst a forest of trees, the unpretentious, down-home, and darn-good bustling spot, takes Southern favourites—think biscuits and gravy—and turns them into seriously delicious breakfast bennies. I fuelled up on its equally delicious Cheekye breakfast sandwich.

FYI: There are line ups as soon as it opens at 9 a.m. but they move quickly as Fergie’s has several different indoor and outdoor sections. Before long, you will be happily noshing into a meal worthy of your next Squamish adventure. Post-brunch, wander through the heart of the Sunwolf Resort, or down to the Cheakamus River, a turquoise coloured river overlooking snow capped mountain peaks.

After such a hearty breakfast, it was time to head back up the gondola for a serious hike. There are several trails to choose from, most of them moderately easy. Even so, I initially decided to embark on Sparky’s Spin – a hike I’ve done many times before – which is an intermediate downhill trek through the forest with views of two notable peaks, Sky Pilot and Goat Ridge, as well as peek-a-boo glimpses of Howe Sound. However, my right knee was telling me to take an easier route.

I opted for a not so challenging but equally scenic route, the Panorama Trail, a 1.3 km loop trail that took me through coastal forest, rugged rock formations, Alaskan blueberry bushes, and granite outcroppings. I stopped to take photos at a few viewpoints, like the Garibaldi Highlands.

On my way down the gondola, I got a little more exercise by heading over to Shannon Falls Park, which is a short 15 minute walk easily accessible from the Sea to Sky Gondola parking lot. Dating back to 1882, these falls are the third highest waterfalls in the province, and are so worthy of your time. A short walk through ferns and cedars, and beofre long you will be rewarded with crashing water roaring down the steep cliffs. From the falls, you can access many of the trails in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, which is connected to the Shannon Falls Park trailhead by a short path and bridge.

At a Glance

The Mountain Music Series runs now until September 13 all summer long. This year’s line-up offers a variety of genres ranging from Classic Rock, Indie Soul, Modern-Acoustic, Celtic Rock, World Fusion and Country Rock. By combining a summer-inspired barbeque menu, breathtaking sunsets and toe-tapping music the Summit Lodge patio created the perfect venue for a memorable night. The cost to go up the gondola gets you the music series for free. A round-trip pass for adults is $68.


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