High above Squamish, reaching a top altitude of 6,500 feet, we’ve broken free from a hot mid-August morning, on a tour with Sea to Sky Air, a Squamish-based flightseeing adventure company that offers a variety of ways to enjoy the scenic backdrop of one of our province’s top gems.
The Squamish Explorer is a great introduction to the area, offering spectacular views of waterfalls, glaciers, Alpine lakes and waterways that are jaw-droppingly gorgeous from the air.
We get acquainted with the enormous Rumbling, Zenith and Serratus glaciers, then get some great views of the Omega, Alpha, Tantalus and Ossa mountain ranges, dotted by bits of brilliant blue lakes.
Our pilot David Eastwood’s originally from the UK but has called Squamish home for several years, having first arrived in Whistler. He gives us a safety briefing, then loads the two of us on board as we prepare for our 35-minute adventure. As we gain altitude, the breeze begins to kick in and we soon forget about our short-lived heatwave down below.
The beauty of being inside a small craft is that the pilot is able to bring us closer to the breathtaking glaciers and mountain peaks along the way. David provides great commentary from both historical and natural perspectives.
We’re lucky that the weather’s provided a calm, clear morning of sightseeing.
Here’s a handheld video edit showcasing some of the tour’s highlights. If you look carefully, you’ll be able to make out a few streaks of blue glacier water in there.
We even get a great glimpse of the Sea to Sky Gondola and hikers atop the Stawamus Chief as our flight continues on through downtown Squamish and back to our starting point, Squamish Airport. The 35 minutes go by in a flash and before we know it, we’re back on land.
The Squamish Explorer flight runs several times a day throughout the year; early risers can take advantage of the 9 am or 10 am flights for $109 (regular price is $128 per person). Planes have room for three passengers.
Photographers will want to take advantage of their 75-minute Coast Mountain Photo Epic tour, a chance to work with your pilot in planning a customized tour over Squamish, Vancouver or Whistler, taking in over 1,600 km at a top altitude of 9,000 feet.
We’re told that this tour is equally impressive in winter, and hope to return to marvel this world draped in a white blanket.
Following our flight, we’re ready for lunch: nearby, Brackendale’s The WaterShed Grill is a lovely spot to enjoy a delightful meal with beautiful views of the river (here’s where numerous bald eagles come to roost and feed off chum salmon in winter).
A big thanks to the team at Sea to Sky Air for inviting us to experience a memorable summer adventure! Visit Sea to Sky Air online for more info on additional tours offered. Our flight was hosted by Tourism Squamish. Their site is a great source for outdoor adventure ideas and local outfitters.