I take a deep inhale as I stroll slowly through the forest, enjoying a moment of solitude before I turn the corner and my three children reappear on the horizon once more.
Suddenly, the air fills with a loud whooshing sound and the temperatures cool, letting me know that the river is coming up just around the bend. One more turn and we’re at the head of a sturdy suspension bridge strung across the rushing river that dazzles below. As we teeter across, clinging to the wire cables while swaying above the rapids, my children chime excitedly in unison, “Look! There they are!” and rush to the other side.
When I finally catch up with them, I stop in my tracks, completely awed by the visual juxtaposition of metal and nature that appears before me. In the middle of the quiet forest, sits seven crumbled, graffiti-covered box cars – some wedged between tall trees, some completely mangled into an almost unidentifiable mass of metal, and one dangling dangerously over the canyon, just above the river’s surface. We’ve reached the iconic Whistler Train Wreck, just a short hike in from the Sea-To-Sky Highway – only one of the many exciting stops on our road trip to Whistler, with many more hidden gems to discover along the way.
While the drive from Vancouver to Whistler is less than a two-hour journey, there’s so much to see and do along the way, that you’ll want to make a weekend out of the jaunt. From chasing waterfalls to teetering above the trees, to panning for gold, the Sea-To-Sky Highway offers a wide range of must-see spots for road tripping nature lovers. Here’s how to turn this drive-through highway journey into your final destination.