Sea to Sky Gondola has announced an elevated tree canopy walk, providing panoramic open-air views – the first of its kind in North America.
The tree walk, in Squamish, BC, will begin at Summit Lodge, at the end of the 10-minute gondola ride. Guests will then embark on a 2.5 kilometre walk through the clouds, trees and over wetlands along Panorama Ridge.
At the end of the walkway, the 34 metre spiral will offer 360 degree views of the area.
According to the proposal, the unique and elevated trail experience will be accessible for guests of all ages and abilities – strollers/pushchairs and wheelchairs included – as the company aims to make it easy for people to connect to the great outdoors.
The attraction’s architecture is also designed to provide cover over the walkway, making it accessible all year, regardless of wet weather.
Sea to Sky Gondola hopes that the new attraction will bolster Squamish’s recreation economy by providing accessibility for all, and activities whatever the weather.
“The elevated tree walk we have envisioned and propose will make it easy for our guests of all ages and abilities to better connect to the great outdoors, regardless of the season and no matter the weather,” said Sea to Sky Gondola’s general manager, Kirby Brown. “This structure would be Canada’s newest iconic landmark, and its location, immersed in nature, will solidify Squamish as a must-see Canadian tourism destination.”
“With this new phase, we continue to honour the unceded traditional territory of the Squamish Nation where we reside,” Brown added. “We are also proud to align our objectives with the strategic plans and land use policies of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District and the Province.”
The project is subject to approvals from local and provincial governments, as well as engagement with First Nations.
Construction will begin in autumn 2019 with plans to open to the public in spring 2020.
Tree canopy walks a new trend
Last year, Sequoia Park Zoo announced a new Redwood Canopy Skywalk, with local tourism organisations pledging $1.7 million for the construction of the new attraction, slated to open in 2020.
The new skywalk will allow visitors to walk through the giant redwoods at least 60 feet above ground level.
Canopy walks are becoming increasingly popular at tourist attractions in tall tree areas, with opportunities to enjoy the view and share instagrammable moments. The Greenheart TreeWalk in Vancouver has become one of the city’s most popular features, taking visitors up into the forest of Douglas and grand firs, and cedar.