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Sun Just Starting To Set At About 8 Pm In Late April

Lighthouse Park West Vancouver Hiking

If you want an easy hike, check out the myriad of trails crisscrossing Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. The park is only about 75 hectares in size but it packs a lot into that acreage.

A visit in very short order leaves you feeling far removed from a big city. Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is peaceful, quiet and a balm for the soul. Nature lovers will love the place. Looking for a taste of old growth rainforest? This is a great park to visit. There are massive Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar trees in here along with lots of moss, lichens and woodland flowers.

The park owes its existence to an act that in 1881 

In 1881 the Federal Government set aside the 75 hectare park as a lighthouse reserve. This act saved the spectacular strand of old growth forest from logging. Today the municipality of West Vancouver leases the land for a whopping $1/ year. Many of the trees in the park are over 500 years old, and the sheer size of them is incredible. Some of the Douglas Firs reach up to 200 feet in the sky. The park has a storied history, including serving as a military defense base during WWII.

An early morning hike in Lighthouse Park in winter
An early morning hike in Lighthouse Park in winter

My favourite trail in Lighthouse Park

There are roughly ten kilometres of trails with most taking you through the forest while some, including the Juniper Point Trail, take you right to the water’s edge. I love this one in particular early in the morning when no one is around.

My niece is dwarfed by a tree in Lighthouse Park West Vancouver
My niece is dwarfed by a tree in Lighthouse Park

Why you’ll want to go to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver

The real purpose of our outing wasn’t a hike but to get some photographs at sunset. My niece has dreams of winning an Ipad Mini but she needed a photograph from the north shore of Vancouver with the caption – the right time at the right place. I figured the magic hour around sunset might give her a chance to get a winning shot.

We were late getting to Lighthouse Park. The light was already fading in the woods – and these woods are dark at the best of times. But once we hit the coast it was still bright and sunny. It was such a warm, beautiful night that we weren’t alone; a group of twenty somethings were enjoying sundowners on the rocks.

Sun just starting to set at about 8 pm in late April in Lighthouse Paek West Vancouver
Sun just starting to set at about 8 PM in late April
"Arbutus tree in evening light"
Beautiful light on this arbutus tree (Madrona tree to my American readers)
A group enjoying the setting sun
A group enjoying the setting sun in Lighthouse Park West Vancouver
Australians enjoying a "barbie" on the rocks
Australians having a “barbie” on the rocks
Fading light over Texada Island
Fading light over Texada Island

A lot of people come to the park to see the lighthouse, located at the point where Burrard Inlet meets Howe Sound. I knew there was no way we could get to it before dark set in. 

But a few years ago I took the two hour Sewell’s Seafari and had a chance to get some shots of the lighthouse from the water.

There wasn’t a chance the time I was in my kayak as I was doing my best just to stay upright as the waters around the point can get really gnarly, really fast with wild currents.

If you’re thinking about cliff jumping here, never do it at the point.

Kayaking past the Point Atkinson Lighthouse
The view of the Point Atkinson Lighthouse from the water

More information about Lighthouse Park West Vancouver

You can visit Lighthouse Park during daylight hours. There is no overnight camping. Dogs are allowed and there is lots of free parking. It’s also very accessible from downtown Vancouver via public transit. You’ll just have to walk a short distance along a residential road in from Marine Drive.

Click here to get a copy of a map of the hiking trails that you can download.

Further reading on things to do in British Columbia

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

An Easy Hike in Lighthouse Park, Vancouver



Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. So glad you enjoyed your walk through Lighthouse Park! (right in our backyard, almost :-). West Vancouver, where we live, has many wonderful forest trails, but you found one of the most delightful spots.

    1. @SandInMySuitcase I used to stop in at Lighthouse Park every Monday AM when there was not a soul around – after dropping my husband downtown for early AM flights – as we too lived in West Van for almost 10 years.

  2. The red and white sails on the boat nicely complement the lighthouse colors. good luck to your niece on winning the iPad mini. That terrific sunset view looks like a reward all in itself for the hike through the woods.

  3. I was there last Saturday (4th May) as well hiking most of the trails – I was geo caching. Not much luck in finding the caches – but did cover a lot of area at Lighthouse Park

  4. Looks like a very pretty hike. The rocky shore, pine trees, moss, forest flowers, the lighthouses… looks like Norway, it does. 🙂

  5. I love the Arbutus tree. I have only seen one other and it was in front of an iconic hotel in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Fingers crossed for the competition.

    1. @Jan The arbutus trees have a very narrow range of where they can grow. They are also incredibly hard to transplant as they have one very long tap root. I love the feel of the bark and the look of the tree.

    1. @Salika I like the silhouetted Aussies too – not perfect but they weren’t the most cooperative subjects – probably because they didn’t know they were being photographed.

  6. I love the reds in that last shot. The sunsets are impressive too.
    Hope your niece wins — Lighthouse Park looks like the right place at the right time.

    1. @Marcia Hopefully all the positive thoughts of my readers will put an Ipad Mini in mu niece’s hands. I’d be very happy if she developed a love for photography as it increases your sensitivity to your surroundings.

  7. Love the sunset pics… and lighthouses? There’s something completely charming, old-school, and just adorable about them.

  8. I hadn’t heard of Lighthouse Park before but it looks a beautiful place for a hike. I need to get my kids back out there to see the trees – Emma had just turned 4 the last time that we were in Vancouver and it was only for a day so she doesn’t remember much of it. The sunset photos are incredibly beautiful – if your niece’s are anything like yours then she should stand a good chance of winning!

    1. @Lisa Stanley Park has some real beauties as far as trees go but I have always enjoyed Lighthouse Park because it’s easy to get around and I would say more ruggedly beautiful than Stanley Park. Emma I’m sure would love the place.

  9. What a beautiful hike! I would love to visit the lighthouse and sit on the rocks watching sail boats. Sounds like a perfect and peaceful day!

  10. What a beautiful park! I admit I only know Stanley park in Vancouver so I love seeing Lighthouse Park. There’s something about this coast that reminds me of Northern California. Those sunset shots are stunning and I hope she got some great ones too. Good luck to your niece and I hope she wins.

    1. @Mary I agree that there is a resemblance to northern California. Love the park for its fantastic sunsets & sunrises as it’s out on a peninsula so you can get both. I’m hoping my niece wins too.

  11. Your shots are beautiful, Leigh. Love those sky colors. I hope you niece got her shot, and wins the contest! I’ll be in Vancouver in June before heading to Nova Scotia. I’ll have to try and get to this park.

  12. I love Lighthouse Park. Cannot recommend walking and lingering there enough. offers super convenient bus service to the park from downtown Vancouver. Via a pleasant route too. And for those driving, it’s just off the route to Whistler.

  13. A beautiful photo series, Leigh. I love lighthouses, and that’s a great shot. I spent a few days in Vancouver in 2011, and it was delightful in every way, so I really want to get back there in the future and explore further afield. This lighthouse hike is now on the list, so thanks for the post.

    All the best to your niece with her photo venture. (Nice for me to see the Aussies, if only in silhouette!)

    1. @Andrew This is definitely one of the lighthouses worth visiting if you go to Vancouver. It’s an easy ride by public transit from downtown as well – and interesting to see from the water.

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