Located inside of a beautiful old growth forest on the north shore of English Bay, Lighthouse Park is one of the great places to explore nature in Vancouver. This incredible West Vancouver park offers a diverse sample of what the wild west coast has to offer. Here you can hike on easy or moderate trails, with access to the incredible views of mountains, tall trees and the crashing waves of the ocean. There are several hiking trails, most of which are fairly easy treks, which can be explored while on the easy paths leading towards the Lighthouse. It’s the perfect place to spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful British Columbia Wilderness.
The main attraction is the Point Atkinson Lighthouse, which this incredible park takes it’s name from. The park was founded in 1972 and protects a large waterfront area with over 75 hectares of coastal rainforest and is recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada. The trails located here range from easy to moderate, so it’s accessible for visitors of all abilities. It has easy terrain to hike and plenty of trails to explore and several great views to experience as a reward for your hard work. The trails are dog friendly and a good place to build up some stamina for more difficult hikes around the city.
Lighthouse Park is one of our favourite excursions to escape the city and do some exploring.This is a great place for beginner hikers and explorers with young kids, as there are many different options through the forest here. This is certainly one of the best waterfront locations in Vancouver.
What makes Lighthouse Park so amazing?
This wild west coast destination is a great place to take in some incredible views of the downtown skyline alongside views of the towering snowcapped mountains and rocky coastline. The close proximity to the great outdoors is one of the things that makes Vancouver such a world class city.
The city offers a wide variety of options for those who want to explore the great outdoors and Lighthouse Park is a favourite for many reasons. The forest is filled with Red Cedar and Douglas Fir, tall old growth trees that make this wilderness worthy of a visit. You can quickly forget that your car is parked nearby and that you could be downtown in 30 minutes.
There are some truly amazing views here of the surrounding landscapes; north-west towards the Howe Sound and across the Georgia Straight, or South-East, shows off an incredible view of the Vancouver Skyline across English Bay.
Where is Lighthouse Park and how do you get there?
Lighthouse Park is located in West Vancouver, between Dundarave and Horseshoe Bay. The easiest way to visit the park is by driving along Marine Drive – or traveling along the Trans Canada Highway – but it is easy to travel by public transit along the same route. Many busses travel along here, departing from downtown along West Georgia Street on the 250, 253, 254, or the 257 busses, which takes about 45 minutes.
Atkinson Point was discovered and named by Captain George Vancouver back in 1792 while exploring the coast on his ship, the Discovery. The current lighthouse located here was built in 1912, replacing a series of wooden lighthouse that have occupied this location since 1874.
During the Second World War, Atkinson Point was used as an observation post for invading ships and there is a gun emplacement located here. The site is still home to several wood cabins which have been maintained since the war – including the officer’s mess hall and a bunkhouse – which remain as a reminder of the time it was used as by the Department of National Defense. Because of this, it has been named as a National Historic Site of Canada.