Lighthouse Park Day Trip


For those of you who really love nature and natural places there is a ideal location to visit only minutes out of downtown Vancouver, and it isn’t Stanley Park.  Just over the Lion’s Gate Bridge and a bit west is Lighthouse Park; a place where the old trees still stand tall.  Lighthouse Park isn’t very large but it is packed with interest for nature lovers and people who love the great outdoors.

Trip Advice:

  1. If the day is sunny and nice try the bus (Route 250, goes over the Lion’s Gate Bridge which is a thrill on its own), as the small parking lot will be full.  I watched a number of cars circle it a few times then give up.
  2. If your not a big nature fan you could spend an afternoon or a morning there.  If you are you are you might make a day of it, but bring your own food as there are no restaurants near by.
  3. If your not fit and adventurous you can stick to the main paths and see quite a lot, with out exerting yourself.
  4. If you are fit, adventurous and wearing good shoes you can venture off the main paths.  One has to be careful because the paths can be rough and have steep and dangerous drop-offs.
  5. If you wish to extend your trip, going to Horseshoe Bay is a wonderful additional trip.

Our trip consisted of taking the bus to the closest stop to the park and then walking in, which only took a few minutes.  We looked at the map near the far end of the parking lot and decided to take the main route into the park, which went towards the lighthouse. The path was very comfortable and wide; a straight forward walk.

The first impression you get is of trees, they are simply huge!  As far as I’m aware, it is very hard to see similar trees anywhere else in Canada with such ease.  This is what Vancouver and environs looked like before the loggers arrived!  A vast cathedral of nature, a humbling experience.  

My family and I wandered on to some buildings and made a right and climbed the narrow path to some high rocks where we could overlook the lighthouse.  The view extended across the bay to the University of British Columbia.  

After that we went around the lighthouse to the beach.  Here was a classic BC scene; large rocks to climb and sun on, large pieces of driftwood scattered on the small beach, interesting marine life in little pools around the base of the rocks and impressive views.  From here we could see the light house, but turning the other way one could see the majestic Lion’s Gate Bridge soaring over the entrance to Vancouver Harbour beside Stanley Park, the glass spires of downtown Vancouver, and the anchored ships off English Bay leading to False Creek.  By the time I had taken in the view my wife had started sunning her self on one of the large rocks while my sons where attempting to clamber over everything.

We decided to follow a narrow path around the water’s edge.  This proved to be problematic as my wife was not wearing suitable shoes and the drop off to the sea below was unforgiving.  My eldest son scouted further ahead and reported back that the path would be too tough for my wife.  So we regretfully turned back and made our way to the main path to return.

On the return path I noted many dogs and their owners having a great time.  Some joggers and a kids day camp.

We caught the bus back and stopped in Dundarave and had a late lunch.  If your in town the Red Lion’s fish and chips are rather good!

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