Wild Coast Tales Monthly Adventures: Exploring Whytecliff Park
Last month, I returned to one of my favourite spots in West Vancouver: Lighthouse Park. This month, the West Vancouver exploring continues with a trip to Whytecliff Park.
Whytecliff Park is located along the coastline of Howe Sound in West Vancouver, not far from Horseshoe Bay and the BC Ferries Terminal. The park has hiking trails, a beach and rocky island, picnic areas, and is even a popular spot for scuba diving! It is unsurprisingly a popular spot, especially for families on a summer day.
Like many of the hikes I do, I took transit to Whytecliff Park. From downtown Vancouver, you can catch a direct bus and get off a few stops before the BC Ferries Terminal in Horseshoe Bay. It is a 20-25 minute walk from the bus stop to Whytecliff Park, but there is plenty to see along the way. The road follows the coastline and is incredibly scenic. Look to your left, and there are staircases scattered along the way leading down to secret beaches.
The first few times I visited Whytecliff Park, I could never seem to find the hiking trails and didn’t spend much time at the park. This visit I was determined to find them! Upon arriving at the park, I first walked down the short path to Whytecliff Park Beach. During low tide, you can walk across the rocks to Whytecliff Island (a giant rock itself) and climb to the top. Either way, it makes for a great photo!
The tide was in and I wasn’t prepared to go swimming, so I scrambled up a few rocks to the right of the island. There are great views of downtown Vancouver, the mountains, and surrounding islands, and plenty of sunbathers!
From there, I walked to the upper section of the park, next to the overflow parking area and the start of several trails. I opted for a quiet, gently rolling trail that lead me through the woods of West Vancouver.
Every few minutes, the trees open up to reveal views of Horseshoe Bay and Howe Sound to my left. After 25-30 minutes of hiking, I reached a residential street in Horseshoe Bay and walked back to the bus stop for the trip back to Vancouver. If you are hungry and in the mood for a snack before heading home, Horseshoe Bay isn’t far and has a few good restaurants and coffee shops. Alternatively, bring a picnic with you, return along the trail to Whytecliff Park, and grab a spot to soak up the sun!
For the full Whytecliff Park trail directions, visit VancouverTrails.com.