West Vancouver : Lighthouse Park

Transit: Take 260 towards Horseshoe Bay from Vancouver City Centre Station  (Georgia Street in front of the bay).  Get off at Light House Park (Marine and Beacon).  About 40 minutes ride.

I was looking for an easy hike that was accessible by public transit and I found this place.  There are a few fairly easy hiking trails in the forest and the main route cuts through the park, which lead me to the Lighthouse.

The road to the Lighthouse Park is not too hard to find, just remember to get off at the right stop, because below is the only sign there is (unless you request the bus driver to tell you where you get off).

Bus Station
Bus Station

The walk towards the park brought me across some residential areas but just continue on Beacon Lane.

path towards the park
path towards the park

At the parking lot, here is a path to the right, which leads to the Juniper path.  However, going straight through the parking lot lead me to the route towards the Lighthouse.  There isn’t a visitor center here but there are park boards that has large maps as well as information boards about birds and animals.  There are free maps for visitors to take, and it’s not a bad idea to take one to see where the trails and viewpoints are.

the gate!
the gate!
path across residential area
path across residential area

The park is famous for their rain forest.  The path towards the lighthouse is easy and the covered in shade thanks to the surrounding tall trees.  The post marks are fairly easy to spot and it’s hard to get lost.

gorgeous rain forests along the way
gorgeous rain forests along the way

Close to the end of the road is a picnic area as well as a few houses.  The park was used by the the Department of National Defense during WWII and light stations, bunkhouses, officers’ mess hall, dining hall and a guard hut (source)

shack
shack

The most southern tip is the Point Atkinson lighthouse, which was originally build in 1874 as one of three projects the newly formed federal government of Canada agreed to do when British Columbia joined Canada.  The current one was constructed in 1912.

Visitors cannot walk to the lighthouse, but there are various viewpoints.  The closest viewpoint gets pretty crowded with tourists, I find that most locals go to the two beaches to the side.

Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Point Atkinson Lighthouse
Point Atkinson Lighthouse

I only took one photo from here … I went to the East Beach next, which I think is the best spot of the entire park.  The East Beach is a bit larger than other viewpoints and has a side view of the lighthouse as well as direct view of U.B.C.  If there was one place to go while here, I would just come here.

East Beach
East Beach

The city from the distance …

view
view
view
view
view
view
the lighthouse
the lighthouse

I stayed for a bit because the breeze was really nice and there wasn’t a lot of people.  Moreover, almost everywhere had a good view (unless you decide to hide behind a rock).  Reluctantly, I left because I was curious if the West Beach was just as nice .

return to the forest
return to the forest
going up
going up

The West Beach was less spacious, and there were a lot more people.  The view was also alright, but this time, you can see a bit of Bowen Island on the other side.

West Beach
West Beach
west beach
west beach
West Beach
West Beach

I didn’t stay at West Beach that long, because there weren’t any good spots left to sit.  Therefore, I proceed to hike the Shoreline Pipe trial, which took me down the western coast of the park.  There are mainly viewpoints along the way, including the Jack Pine Point.

JackPine Point
JackPine Point
Jack Pine Point
Jack Pine Point

Almost at every view points, you can see people relaxing, having a picnic or sun bathing.

back in the forest
back in the forest

The Shoreline Trail has fewer people and there are some places where the path is not as define.  There are some spots that are kind of slippery, especially if you plan to climb on the rocks and go uphill.  I slipped twice and afterwards, I just focused on walking and not walk and take photos at the same time.

Forested area
Forested area

The hike was really nice though, the air was fresh.  There was a mystique about it, especially when the trees are so tall and different lines of sunlight shines down from above.  Nearing 3 PM, I found that were actually more visitors in the park than midday.

The last stop I made was the Juniper Viewpoint.

Juniper Viewpoint
Juniper Viewpoint

Afterwards, I went back to the bus stop and waited for the 260 towards Vancouver.  There are no stores or restaurants in the park and I don’t believe I even saw a vending machine; therefore, bringing snacks and water is a must.  For those that attract mosquitoes, it might not be a bad idea to bring mosquito repellent.

I eventually got hungry and stopped over at Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver to have a hot chocolate.

Hot Choco
Hot Chocolate

Date of Visit: May 9, 2015

[Updated]

A year later, I went back to Lighthouse Park with a group of friends. We drove this time and parked at the side of the road because there was no parking space left.

I just brought them to west side of the beach for the best view of the lighthouse.  It was surprisingly quiet, I thought there would be more people here but there was only a few lying on the beach.

We also saw a Harbour Seal bobbing its head up and down the water.  It was so cute, such a shiny head.

WP_20160604_005

Lighthouse Park is located in North Vancouver, so we have to visit a .. Korean Restaurant and had Bulgolgi, then frozen yogurt at Menchies!

June 2016.

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