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Riding High at Cypress Mountain: The Ultimate Guide to the Eagle Coaster

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Riding High at Cypress Mountain: The Ultimate Guide to the Eagle Coaster

Cypress Mountain is a fantastic ski and snowboarding resort located just a short 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. 

It’s the largest ski resort in the area. And its top features, such as the night skiing experience with 22 LED-illuminated runs, have been attracting so many locals and tourists during the winter.

But when the snow melts, Cypress Mountain boasts its centerpiece – the thrilling Eagle Coaster. We’ve compiled all you need to know about this attraction, so read on!

The Cypress Mountain Eagle Coaster

Open since 2021, the Cypress Mountain Eagle Coaster offers a thrilling adventure during the warmer months. It’s a gravity-powered ride, about 1.7 kilometers long with a 279-meter drop.

That’s a 900-foot vertical drop, for those who need a better visual.

Riding a coaster, you can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour as you descend from the top of the Eagle Express Quad Chair down the side of Black Mountain. Each cart is designed to carry up to 118 kg (260 lbs), so riders of varying sizes can enjoy that speed.

If that’s too fast for you, though, there’s a manual brake that you can readily use to adjust your speed. 

Now, because the coaster doesn’t need much aside from gravity to move, it’s a more eco-friendly alternative to the typical roller coasters.

Except for the necessary ones at the bottom and those that are used for the Eagle chairlift ride up, the coaster doesn’t even have a lot of mechanical moving parts. Just a cart, a slope, and a scenic view for some simple but exhilarating adventure.

Best Time To Go

The Eagle Coaster at Cypress Mountain is open to the public during the summer season (June to September). The best time to go, however, can be affected by a few factors like weather and peak times.

On a busy day, it can take up to 45 minutes to wait for your turn to use the coaster. To avoid this experience, you may want to consider going earlier in the day or on the weekdays instead of the weekends.

The Eagle Coaster is also an outdoor attraction, so weather conditions can affect the ride experience. Check the weather forecast before you book.

How to Get There

The Eagle Coaster is located in Cypress Mountain, and here are different ways to get there:

Car: Cypress Mountain is just a short 30-minute drive away from downtown Vancouver. To get there, take the Lions Gate Bridge and follow Highway 1 until you reach the Cypress Bowl Road exit. Then, there are signs to Cypress Mountain Resort that you can already follow.

Bus: You can take the SeaBus from downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale Quay. From there, you can hop on either bus route 236 “Grouse Mountain” or 232 “Phibbs Exchange,” which will conveniently drop you off at the base of Cypress Mountain. 

Once you’re there, you’ll find a shuttle bus (Cypress Mountain Shuttle) to the resort. Just remember to check the transit schedules and plan ahead, as service may vary.

Shuttle: Since the pandemic, the shuttle only stops at the following locations: Vancouver Art Gallery, Lonsdale Quay, Park Royal, Cypress Downhill Ski Area, and Cypress Nordic Cross Country. It’s best to check the website for updates.

Tickets and Rates

Rides are pre-booked, so make sure that you purchase your ticket first before you go. As of July 2023, these are the rates we’re talking about:

One RideTwo Rides
Adult (16+ years old)CAD 34CAD 52
with additional passenger (age 3-7; at least 3’ 2’’ tall) '+ CAD 16 (or a total of CAD 50)  '+ CAD 26 (or a total of CAD 78)

If you’re within the 8-15 years old bracket, you’re still allowed to ride alone as long as you’re at least 4’ 1’’ tall. You’ll pay the same fee as adult riders, but you can’t have an additional passenger on the ride.

The rides already come with the ticket to the Eagle chairlift, which you’ll need to get to the starting point. If you’re getting the two-ride option, you can’t share it with others (as you might’ve already expected).

What It’s Like to Ride the Eagle Coaster

Once you’re on the small cart, attached firmly to the track, an attendant will explain the rules: basically, keep your hands inside the cart and keep one hand on the stick at all times.

You’ll know that’s good advice as the coaster starts slow but gradually picks up speed. To control your speed, push down to go faster and pull back to slow down. 

Every minute, a new cart goes down the track. So, by necessity, you can’t stop at any time in the middle of the track, which will happen if you let go of the stick.

The descent is full of drops, twists, and turns that you won’t fully appreciate until you’re there sitting on the coaster and eagerly (or anxiously) waiting for gravity to take the lead.

If you think about it, it’s like skiing down the mountain, but during the summer. The ride treats you to scenic views of open terrain and forested areas, and sometimes, when you find yourself right next to trees, you’ll feel an extra layer of excitement added to the thrilling ride.

So, the three to five minutes on the Eagle Coaster can give you a memorable experience. It cuts across the board, whether you’re a kid or an adult, alone or with a companion on the ride.

Tips and Things to Remember

  • Know the rules for your safety. Just like the Alpine Responsibility Code that Cypress Mountain reminds all their skiers about, you need to observe a few things to keep your Eagle Coaster ride safe:
    • Fasten your seatbelt
    • Push the stick forward to accelerate; pull it back for the brake
    • Don’t lean out to keep the cart’s balance
    • Never risk touching the track for obvious reasons
    • Allow a clearance of 50 m between your cart and the one before you
    • Go slow if you need to, but you’re not allowed to stop at any time or you can cause accidents
    • Once the ride’s over, exit the track immediately
  • Check Downhill Conditions & Cams. You don’t have to drive up to Cypress Mountain to check if you’ll be allowed to ride the Eagle Coaster.

They have live updates on the coaster’s operations up on their site, along with those for other attractions. If it’s raining and the coaster isn’t cleared to run, you’ll be notified of a reschedule.

  • Anticipate the cold and the sun. Dress in layers. Because the ride’s starting point is elevated, you can feel colder at the mountaintop compared to the base.

But on a regular summer day, the altitude also means direct exposure to the sun. Wear your sunscreen, cap, and sunglasses (but they should fit perfectly or you could store them in a small bag so they won’t fly during quick turns).

  • Do all preparations at the Cypress Creek Lodge. Other than a stand where you can get water or snacks, there are no amenities at the top, so make sure you’re all ready. 

Use the restroom at the Cypress Creek Lodge before you take the chairlift up. 

  • Check out other activities. While you’re at the Cypress Creek Lodge, be sure to visit the Big Bear Sports Shop and inquire about the Snow School, which of course won’t be available until winter.

The chairlift ride on your way to the top of the Black Mountain will show you majestic views of the surrounding waters and mountains. But if you want to explore on foot, consider taking the family-friendly Raven Ridge Trail or hiking to the nearby parks.

You can also time your visit to catch some of the events happening at Cypress Mountain. Every Saturday, there’s a Coaster Concert Series for an even more enjoyable time!

If you’re up for something different, you can learn about axe throwing and indulge your inner lumberjack instead.

App to Download

Cypress Mountain App

iOS | Android

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