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BC Coast :: Sea to Sky :: Lighthouse Park

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Lighthouse at DuskLighthouse at DuskPoint Atkinson Lighthouse with UBC on the horizon

Point Atkinson Lighthouse at dusk

Trip Summary

January 19, 2013

Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is one of premier urban parks in Canada.  Location at mouth of Howe Sound is simply fantastic.  Everything that makes BC Coast special can be seen right here, without need to drive or hike far.  It is not just a family park though; network of developed trails offers many pleasant hiking opportunities that range from half an hour stroll to watch the sunset at Juniper point to half-day trip for loop of entire park.

Follow Marine drive west towards Horseshoe Bay, then turn left at signed Lighthouse Park junction. Large parking lot fills fast during the weekends.  Trail maps will help you organize your day.  Most people follow main artery continuing straight past the gate at south end of parking lot to Point Atkinson and the Lighthouse.  If coming late in the day and you don't have much time, great option is to take Juniper Point trail heading west from the parking. Trail ends at rocky bluff over the ocean where fabulous sunsets can be enjoyed.  This spot is very popular with rock climbers too.  Continuing south, you can follow Shore Pine trail past several viewpoints to Point Atkinson.  Best viewpoint is little beach just west of the lighthouse - it is accessed via side trail that can be rough at places.  In summer park rangers offer presentation at outdoor theater in Songbird meadows.  For full loop follow Arbutus trail to Eagle Point -- another fantastic viewpoint of the bay and downtown skyline. Bald eagles can often be observed here too.  To visit highest point of the park, continue on Valley of the Giants and turn to Summit trail to semi open bluff with partial views.  Parking lot is directly below.


Sunset from Juniper Point
Point Atkinson Lighthouse from West Side Beach
Main Visitor area in old growth hammock
Point Atkinson plaque
Downtown skyline and Mt. Baker



Overall Difficulty D2 Mainly flat trail with some moderate ups and downs.  Occasional roots and rocks
Snow Factor S1 Park is near sea level and snow free year round. Portions of trail might be icy and/or slippery in winter
Scenery Spectacular views of Howe Sound and Burrard Strait.  One of best places in metro Van to watch sunsets!
Trail/Marking Excellent Well defined and marked network of trails with signposts
Suggested Time 3-4 hrs Time for full loop, as shown on GPS track. Many options exist for longer or shorter outing
Elevation Start: 120m     Max: 250m     Total: ~250m (full loop) Round Trip: 6 km
Gear Day hikers are sufficient.
Water Drinking water (and restrooms) available at main park facility near Point Atkinson
Dog Friendly Yes Please keep dogs on leash / under control, as this is very busy area