Located in West Vancouver on the North Shore, Lighthouse Park is a beautiful park with nature, ocean, trails through forests and views of Vancouver.
The park is the best place for exploring the West Coast shoreline and for photography with its views of the ocean and Vancouver in the distance.
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver
Lighthouse Park is a hidden gem located in a rural part of West Vancouver on the North Shore. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Horseshoe Bay. The park is about 185 acres in size and full of trees, trails through the forest and a rocky shoreline.
There are giant old-growth trees, a rugged shoreline with cliffs, and the historic yet still functioning Point Atkinson Lighthouse (a National Historic Site) at Lighthouse Park. Built originally in 1875 and rebuilt in 1912, you can’t go inside the lighthouse, but you can get close enough for photos.
The park is a bit off the beaten track so it’s most easily accessed by car, although there is a public bus service to the area. The walk down to the waterfront from the parking lot isn’t too demanding but it’s not recommended for anyone with mobility challenges or high heels. Expect the hike down to take about 10 minutes and closer to 15 on the way back.
Dogs are allowed at Lighthouse Park. This includes off-leash in some areas so long as they remain on the trails and don’t go into the woods. Smoking, barbecues and cooking of any kind are not permitted.
Lighthouse Park is one of Metro Vancouver’s best places for photography.
Lighthouse Park Video
To get a good idea of what to expect at the park, check out the video below. As you can see, the place has forested areas, walking trails, a rocky shoreline and beautiful ocean views.
The video starts on the path leading down from the parking lot to the water and the terrain during that part of the trail is pretty easy. The people in the video then walk past a couple of buildings and down the rocky hill to the water. Beautiful views are offered on the shore. You can sometimes see Mt. Baker behind the City of Vancouver on a sunny day with clear skies.
The last scene in the video is of historic Point Atkinson Lighthouse. If you look closely, you’ll see a bald eagle on top of it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a zoom lens with us when the video was filmed. We wish we had! If you look carefully though, you can still see the majestic bird.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to Lighthouse Park.
TIP #1: The attraction is a popular spot. Consequently, parking is sometimes a challenge. There are more than 100 parking spots, but they can fill up. Arrive early if it’s a weekend on a sunny day between late May and early September.
TIP #2: Wear good walking shoes – this isn’t a place to take high heels or flip flops (although many people might still wear the latter).
TIP #3: Keep a close eye on little ones as some rock sections are steep and can be slippery. You definitely don’t want young children running around without close supervision in some areas.
TIP #4: The park isn’t good for people with mobility issues. The path down from the parking lot goes downhill but is easy to walk along. However, the part at the end that leads down to the beach is rocky. It’s not too challenging, but definitely not something you can take a stroller or wheelchair down. In other parts of the park, there are rocks to climb and cliffs to admire the views from.
TIP #5: Lock your vehicle and don’t leave valuables in your car, especially where they are visible. As you’ll see from signage in the parking lot, there are occasionally problems with break-ins. It’s very unlikely you’ll have a problem, but be careful just in case.
TIP #6: Not far from Lighthouse Park is Caulfeild Park. It’s not as famous, and parking in the area isn’t great, but it’s also a nice spot and worth checking out.
Sunsets from Lighthouse Park
Lighthouse Park can be a great place to see the sunset, especially from early fall until late spring. It’s a trek back up to the parking lot though, so don’t stay too late or you might struggle on the return journey. Bring a flashlight if you plan to stay until the sun goes down. It’ll be a challenge finding your way back if you don’t!
Click North Shore Sunsets for more great sunset views in North Vancouver and West Vancouver.
For more information about the park see the District of West Vancouver‘s website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Parks & Places in Nature
- Vancouver Places for Walking, Jogging & Cycling
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Outdoor Recreation
- Best Places for Hiking