If you only have a few days to explore Vancouver Island, you’ll have your work cut out for you. One experience not to miss is the newly opened Malahat SkyWalk. Set amid an old growth forest – just a 30-minute drive from Victoria, this outdoor adventure ought to be at the top of your hit list. Here’s a comprehensive look at what to expect at this stunning new attraction.
Table of Contents
Affording 360-degree views of inlets, fjords and mountains, you can’t help but gain a natural high and a deeper connection to nature when visiting Malahat SkyWalk.
Malahat SkyWalk is worth it, for its views, accessibly, adventure options and its inventive ways to experience the great outdoors. Within minutes of arriving at the attraction, you’re sure to breathe a sigh of relief, just as I did. Something about being surrounding by the towering giants of Douglas fir puts everything into fresh perspective. This is the spot where kids can blow off steam, and adults can easily refresh their senses.
Historically a meeting place of the Coast Salish Peoples, the SkyWalk is situated upon Malahat Nation land. Indigenous art is dotted around the attraction and education panels are displayed throughout the grounds. Not only are they interesting, they give parents suggestions on what to discuss with your kids to keep them engaged.
Everyone begins their SkyWalk journey by strolling down an elevated boardwalk platform. This TreeWalk path is a 600 m (1,968 ft) elevated wooden walkway flanked by arbutus trees.
It takes about 10 to 15-minutes at a leisurely stroll to reach the spiral tower, which looks like an upside down badminton birdie splayed out. If you like to walk at a brisk pace as I do , it’ll take you less than 10 minutes to reach the tower. If you enjoy reading the information signs, looking for animals and Sasquatch (I can’t tell you anymore as I don’t want to ruin the fun), budget 20-minutes.
The entire attraction was built to be accessible to all ages and abilities. The TreeWalk, Visitors Centre and washrooms are all fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. (No pets allowed.)
Along the TreeWalk, the grade is 5%, so it’s conceivable those in a wheelchair could wheel themselves, though one short section is at a 7% grade.
At the end of the TreeWalk you’ll come face to face with the Spiral Tower. Guests ascend its ramp 40 m (130 ft) to the top of the 10-storey architecturally inspiring lookout. I can honestly say, hand on heart that the views are truly better than anticipated.
At the top of the Spiral Tower, you’re 250 m (820 ft) above sea level and are privy to an incredible vista of forests, mountains, islands, inlets and an estuary of the Salish Sea. Look to your left and you’ll spot the United States. On your right, the North shore mountains butting up against Vancouver can be seen on a clear day. Keep your eyes peeled for Saturna Island, the San Juan and Olympic islands and on a clear day, Mount Baker. There’s a good chance you’ll spot eagles and falcons, too.
Not to be missed is strolling across the Adventure Net suspended across at the very top of the SkyWalk tower. The 84 sq m (900 sq ft) net is yet another exhilarating way to experience the spiralling structure.
Even though you’re not allowed to jump upon the Adventure Net, it’s still a thrill to walk across the ropes. Some people even lay upon it for supreme selfie shots. It’s extremely sturdy.
Malahat SkyWalk Restaurant
There’s no full service restaurant at Malahat SkyWalk, but there is a Cafe in the Welcome Centre. Here, you’ll find locally made sandwiches, quiche, energy bars, muffin, squares and strudel. Locals recommend the chocolate custard brioche. The Cafe is soon to be licensed, but for now you can enjoy barista-style coffee and tea, plus locally made kombucha.
Beside the cafe is a gift shop selling thoughtfully curated puzzles, cards, clothing, children’s books all supporting Indigenous artists.
There’s plenty of outdoor seating on the patio just off the Welcome Centre and Gift Shop. Feel free to bring your own provisions and picnic at their tables.
Malahat SkyWalk Slide
Your reward for walking up the SkyWalk is barrelling down their enclosed Spiral Slide. So long as you’re over 5-years of age and 42″ (107 cm) tall, you can swoosh down this 20-metre (64 ft) slide. Expect it to take 8-9 seconds, reaching speeds up to 25-km an hour.
For slide aficionados, don’t worry about what kind of fabric you’re wearing on your legs. They give you a fabric mat to sit on. It’s mandatory.
The major thing you should be aware of is that the slide is insanely popular when school is out. Mid-week, off-season, no problem. Somedays during the summer months, you might encounter 1-2 hour line ups for the slide. This doesn’t happen every day, but you never know. Best to arrive as soon as it opens.
Of course, you can descend the structure without going on the slide. Simply walk down the spiral ramp the same way you came up.
- Single riders only. No doubling up. (See height and age restrictions above.)
- Long sleeve shirts are recommend and keep arms tight against your body.
- For maximum thrill factor, don’t close your eyes.
- For maximum speed, stay on the slide mat.
- Lean back. Don’t sit up straight unless you want to go slow.
- Expect long lines in summer. Come off-season or early on a weekday.
Good to know
Malahat SkyWalk is open daily from 10-4pm off season. Hours extend during peak summer season. What’s great about this attraction is that it’s open every day of the year including Christmas Day.
I suspect this is going to be one of Vancouver Island’s top attractions. Go early and go now so you can experience it without the crowds.
Malahat SkyWalk Prices
Currently Malahat Skywalk Prices begin at $34.95 for adults and $20.95 for kids aged 6-17 years. Children 5 and under get in for free. They have discounted prices for families and if you visit more than twice in one year, it’s worth your while purchasing an annual pass. Note: prices are always subject to change.
Malahat SkyWalk Directions
Situated on the traditional territory of the Malahat Nation, this outdoor attraction is about a 35-minute drive north of Victoria. Directions to Malahat Skywalk couldn’t be easier as it’s right off the TransCanada Highway. From downtown Victoria the exit is the Northeast side of the road – the direction you’re headed in.
From Vancouver, you can fly into Victoria International Airport and from there it’s an 45-minute drive along Highway 17 until you connect with the TransCanada Highway. You can also drive from Vancouver, but you’ll have to take the ferry which arrives in the town of Sidney-By-The-Sea. Sidney is a charming town, and is just minutes away from the airport, so the same directions apply.
Malahat Skywalk Address
If you want to plug the Malahat SkyWalk Address into Google Maps, the address is:
901 TransCanada Highway, Mahalat BC.
MORE AWESOME ACTIVITIES ON VANCOUVER ISLAND:
Save this info by pinning the image below to Pinterest: