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 a 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 about a 15-minute drive from Horseshoe Bay. It’s about 185 acres in size and full of trees, trails through the forest and a rocky shoreline.
At Lighthouse Park there are giant old-growth trees, a rugged shoreline with cliffs, and the historic yet still functioning Point Atkinson Lighthouse, a National Historic Site. Built originally in 1875 and then 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 most easily accessed by car, although there is public bus service to the area. The walk down to the waterfront from the parking lot isn’t too demanding, although not recommended for anyone with mobility challenges or high heels. Expect the hike down to take about 10 minutes, and back up closer to 15.
Dogs are allowed at Lighthouse Park, including off leash in areas, so long as they remain on the trails and don’t go off into the woods. Smoking, barbecues and cooking of any kind, however, 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’ll 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. The terrain on that part of the trail is pretty easy. The people in the video then walk past a couple of buildings and then down the rocky hill to the water. The views from the shore are beautiful. On a sunny day with clear skies you can sometimes see Mt. Baker behind the City of Vancouver in the distance.
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. When we did the filming of the video, unfortunately, we didn’t have a zoom lens with us. 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 your visit to Lighthouse Park.
TIP #1: This can be a popular spot on sunny days in the summer, so parking can sometimes be a challenge. There are slightly 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 (although the odds are you’ll still find parking eventually, if you are patient).
TIP #2: Take 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: It’s a good place for children to climb the rocks, but keep a close eye on little people as some rock sections are steep and can be slippery. In some areas you definitely don’t want young children running around without close supervision.
TIP #4: Lighthouse Park isn’t a good park for people with mobility issues. The path down from the parking lot goes downhill, but is easy to walk along. The bit at the end, leading down to the beach, however, 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 a safe neighbourhood, but a very affluent one (which might be why it can be a popular spot for thieves). It’s very unlikely you’ll have a problem. Just don’t leave your Rolex where everyone can see it!
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 finding your way back up through the trails. If you plan to stay until the sun goes down, take a flashlight. If you don’t it’ll be a challenge finding your way back out!
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