I found an article a while ago called “The Best Easy Hikes in Vancouver” on VanCityBuzz and thought it was pretty good. One of their suggestions is to visit Lighthouse Park.
Chris and I are trying to do two main things this summer:
- Enjoy the beautiful weather more & get some exercise
- Go new places and trying new things
This article is going to help with both goals. This weekend we tackled our first “easy hike” and headed off to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. We really had no idea what we were in for, except that it was very green on the map.
About Lighthouse Park
This 75 hectare (185 acre) lush virgin rainforest is located on the coastline of the Burrard Inlet in West Vancouver, BC Canada. It marks the point where the Burrard Inlet meets Howe Sound. Lighthouse Park receives more than 50 inches (1,300mm) of rain annually. The park is full of hiking trails that lead you deep into the forest canopy or down to the beautiful coastline.
In Lighthouse Park you will find West Vancouver’s last standing first-growth Douglas Fir trees along with some Western Hemlock and Western Redcedar. Most of the surrounding area has been logged but the park grounds were set aside in 1881 as the Lighthouse reserve. Some of these first-growth trees have grown to 200 feet (61 meters) and are approximately 500 years old.
Lighthouse Park is open year-round, park gates close before dusk and there is no camping permitted. – LighthousePark.ca
Our trip and experiences
So Sunday morning we go up early, sorted out a couple of chores and things and headed to the bus stop. From downtown, the 250 Horseshoe Bay is the only bus to get there. We grabbed it behind the main Post Office and settled in for the 45 minute trip. The weather was gorgeous as we sped through Stanley Park and over the Lions Gate Bridge. The view from the bridge never fails to impress.
After winding along Marine Drive, we arrived at the rather unassuming and nearly invisible entrance to the park and hiked in to the main parking area. We found a map board, and a pamphlet and chose our course. We headed west on Juniper Loop, then south on Shore Pine Trail and it was awesome! The paths aren’t hard but also not “easy” as they are largely a natural path and has plenty of ups and downs.
After a little while we reached the western edge of the park and had an unobstructed view across to Vancouver Island. It was bright and sunny on the cliffs after being in the forest and the extra heat was welcome. We even saw a Bald Eagle searching the shore for food. It swung by and then reversed course to the north and vanished. It’s only my second wild Bald Eagle setting so it was pretty exciting.
From there we continued south to the actual Lighthouse and stood on the rocks above it looking out at Vancouver and Point Grey in the distance across Burrard Inlet. Quite impressive.
We decided to call it a day at this point, about 90 minutes in, so we could head home to rescue Rumble (trapped in his air conditioned room). Unfortunately, as we expected, the hike back up Beacon Trail, teasingly labelled Bacon Trail at one point, was all uphill and I think that caused more sweat than everything else. Eventually the bus came for us and shuttled us back downtown.
If you’re looking for a nice easy hike with beautiful views, we can recommend Lighthouse Park. The only disappointment was that our FitBits only showed 7500 steps from the entire excursion!
Not sure what we’ll try next from the list, but I think we’ll rent a car to get there if it’s very far. Translink’s timing is iffy at best on the weekend.