When driving the Sea to Sky from Vancouver to Whistler, we often just get from A to B. However, it’s such a lovely corridor, winding up from the ocean, along rivers, through the mountains, there’s plenty to stop and see along the way. For the first time – ever – we stopped at Brandywine Falls Provincial Park when we were heading to Whistler earlier in the fall.
Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
How to Get There: Head north on the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver for about 80 minutes, and you’ll spot the Provincial Park sign around Daisy Lake (15 minutes from Whistler)
Features: View a trail map here
I had only previously seen the 70-metre waterfall from the window of the Rocky Mountaineer train. While you can’t get as close to it as Shannon Falls, another lovely waterfall stop on the Sea to Sky, the viewpoints give a unique panoramic view of the vast rugged terrain from lake to peak.
The whole park is about 420 hectares. In 2010, park was tripled in size to include unique habitat for red-legged frogs (a provincial “blue listed” species at risk). A number of existing recreation trails were included in the expanded park as well.
Brandywine Falls Trail: In the winter, BC Parks says the park trails provide good beginner snowshoe opportunities. Enjoy a 10 – 20 minute (one way) walk or snowshoe across the covered footbridge and through the forest to a viewing platform overlooking Brandywine Falls. Continue along a short walking path to a second viewpoint of the falls and another of the surrounding area of Daisy Lake and the Black Tusk.
Swim Lake Trail: This is a short branch off the the main Brandywine Falls Trail that starts just before the railway crossing. It has one short steep climb, leading to a small lake.
The canyon is extremely unsafe and has very significant public safety concerns due to unstable slopes and falling rock. Public visitors should not be travelling off of designated and approved trails/viewpoints. Help us protect the sensitive ecosystem and stay out of the canyon. Stay behind fences and away from the river’s edge. Use caution when crossing the Canadian National Rail line. Trails in the park are not maintained during the winter.
Always be prepared for the elements and tell someone where you’re going even if it’s just a quick stroll through a Provincial Park. Follow AdventureSmart for advice and preparedness tips.
On the Road
Thanks to Ford Canada for the Escape Titanium Hybrid for this adventure.
Using the Adaptive Cruise Control on the Sea to Sky Highway was a breeze, and I love that how going downhill or braking (which you’ll do a lot on the mountainous route) charges the electric battery.
The Head’s Up Display (HUD) minimized distraction and I like how my cruise control was locked in there. Lots of cargo space, seat heaters (it’s that time of year) and a Bang & Olufson sound system made for a very comfy ride.
Related: Fall at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, 7 Local Waterfall Hikes Around Vancouver