Explore Squamish - July 12, 2018

Why Everyone Should Try Heli or Flight-Seeing

Photo: Mirae Campbell, Blackcomb Helicopters

Why Everyone Should Try Heli or Flight-Seeing

Canada is a vast and beautiful country, full of natural wonders, wild forests and untouched glaciers. People from all over the world have heard of Squamish's granite cliffs, isolated mountain lakes and unique volcanic history. Yet even the most observant hiker may not have noticed the lava flows running through Garibaldi Provincial Park. And even fewer have seen the electric blue glacial ice of Rumbling Glacier. 

When you soar thousands of feet above Squamish, you get a chance to see the fairytale-like beauty that Canada is known for. You gain a new perspective in two ways, a bird's eye view and a fresh outlook on our interconnected environment.
 

Reasons to Fly

Photo: Blackcomb Helicopters over Squamish Valley
 
  • Ease of access: David from Sea to Sky Air emphasizes that flight-seeing allows you to take in the vast beauty of Squamish in less than an hour and without having to break a sweat.
  • See the backcountry close up: Darren from Black Tusk Helicopter Inc. explains that heli-seeing takes you closer to natural marvels. You can hover over a bottomless glacier crevasse, or touch down on the very peak of a mountain. 
  • Discover the geological past: As you rise above Squamish, Jordy from Blackcomb Helicopters encourages sight-seers to observe as the landscape around Garibaldi Provincial Park morphs into an obvious lava flow from an ancient eruption. 
  • Capture amazing photos: Take a stab at aerial photography and fill your camera with photos of Squamish from above. Take a picture of the plane wing framing the Estuary below, snap a "pilot selfie" featuring yourself in your headset, and document remote mountains up close and personal.
  • Take the road less travelled: When you soar past the farthest stretching forest service roads, Ken from Glacier Air explains that you will discover the inaccessible and pass glaciers and mountains you would never see from the valley. 

Overview of the Experience

Photo: Sea to Sky Air on the Phantom Lake Tour
 

Your flightseeing experience starts the minute you arrive at the Squamish Airport where you will be greeted with a spectacular view across to the Tantalus Range. Of course, the views from the airport are merely a teaser of what is yet to come, and after your check-in and safety briefing, you will be in the air before you know it! 

Throughout the tour, you will wear a special 2-way headset that allows you to communicate with your pilot as they point out the must-sees on your trip. Tours can include glacier, mountaintop or lake landings giving you the unique opportunity to exit the aircraft and enjoy the mind-blowing environment few people are lucky enough to visit. As you descend back down into the Squamish Valley, along the Squamish River and land back at the airport, you will be left with a memory card full of images and a personal memory that will never fade.
 

Best Squamish Aerial Locations

Photo: Sea to Sky Air Above Lake Lovely Water


Rumbling Glacier  - David's pick from Sea to Sky Air

The sight of Rumbling Glacier as it cascades down the face of Mount Tantalus is one of the most spectacular sights in Canada. The sheer scale of the crevasses and vibrancy of the glacial ice is mesmerizing close-up. Pay attention to the waterfalls of snowmelt falling underneath the glacier, making their way into the Squamish River and Howe Sound.

The Squamish Estuary - Jordy's pick from Blackcomb Helicopters

In the valley the Squamish Estuary is prized by photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. A few thousand feet above it is equally prized and arguably even more beautiful as the meandering streams take form creating a multi-coloured braid that divides the valley below. Watch the fresh water pour into Howe Sound and discover the full spectrum of water colours from the sky.

Lake Lovely Water - Darren's pick from Black Tusk Helicopter Inc

Regarded as one of Squamish's greatest prizes, Lake Lovely Water sits at the foot of the Tantalus Mountain Range and over thousands of years has become one of the loveliest lakes in all of British Columbia. Surrounded by forests and striking black peaks dotted with expansive pockets of snow, the scope of this unique environment is seen best from the sky. 

Sphinx Glacier - Viewable on a trip with Glacier Air

Only accessible by air or a multi-day mountaineering trek, the Sphinx Glacier is a sight to behold. Located on the far side of Garibaldi Lake, many hikers have seen Sphinx Glacier from across the lake but to see it from above is another experience entirely. The contrast of the lake, the snow and the volcanic landscape is a must-see in Squamish.

Available Tours

Photo: Glacier Air Captured on the Garibaldi Park Volcanic Wonder Tour
 

Phantom Lake with Sea to Sky Air

Fly shoulder to shoulder with million-year-old peaks, over ancient valleys, and through a landscape worthy of a NatGeo documentary. Once you arrive at the lake, you can enjoy taking photos, swimming, or just relaxing in solitude by the rich turquoise waters of Phantom Lake. 

Tantalus Tour with Black Tusk Helicopter Inc

Experience the majesty of Mount Tantalus, Rumbling Glacier, magnificent waterfalls, and secret alpine lakes. 

Squamish Epic with Blackcomb Helicopters

Enjoy an aerial overview of Squamish with 24 Minutes in the air and a 15-minute landing at Haberl Hut or Serratus lake

Garibaldi Park Volcanic Wonder with Glacier Air

Explore the ancient lava flow, volcanic cinder cones and glaciers in this pristine provincial park. The tour includes a panoramic flight over gorgeous Garibaldi Lake and the Sphinx glacier. You will be amazed at the grandeur of Diamond Head, Table Mountain and the breathtaking Black Tusk.