Whyte Lake Park is a large forested park in West Vancouver that has hiking trails, boardwalks, a small lake, marshland, creeks and massive trees.
West Vancouver’s Whyte Lake Park
Located between Nelson Canyon Park and Cypress Provincial Park, Whyte Lake Park is the biggest park within the District of West Vancouver. It’s about 306 acres (or 1.24 square kilometres) in size. Cypress is far larger at 7,413 acres (or 30 square kilometres), but it’s a provincial park and mostly outside and to the north of the municipality.
Inside Whyte Lake Park is Whyte Lake, home to the threatened Westslope Cutthroat Trout. While the park is large, the lake is tiny.
There are a few trails in the park and surrounding area. Whyte Lake Trail is popular and leads from the main parking lot to the lake. The trail also intersects with the Baden Powell Trail to the west and north, and with the TransCanada Trail to the east. If you continue along the Whyte Lake Trail past the lake, you can connect with the Baden Powell Trail and continue all the way to Eagle Bluffs (which is in Cypress Provincial Park and also connected by a trail starting at the Cypress Mountain ski resort).
How to Get to Whyte Lake
A good place to start your hike is from the Whyte Lake Trailhead at 5647 Westport Road. Head west along the Trans-Canada Highway and take the #4 turnoff. From there, turn left onto Westport Road and continue until the road goes under a bridge. The road goes underneath the highway at the bridge and the parking lot and entrance to Whyte Lake Trail is just around the corner on your right.
Whyte Lake Trail
The trail is about five or six kilometres from the parking lot to the lake and back and takes approximately two hours depending on how fast you walk. Once you reach the lake, there is a nice wooden dock that juts out towards the centre of the lake. This is an ideal place to sit and take in the gorgeous views.
There is a trail that allows you to walk around half of the lake but not all the way around. You’ll find an outhouse partway along.
The trail is fairly rugged and somewhat challenging in parts, but can be done by people of most ages and abilities. There is a bit of uphill trekking to get to the lake, though there are also flat areas and some boardwalks. The steepest part of the trail is near the beginning soon after leaving the parking lot. If you’re able to get through that the rest will be (literally) a walk in the park.
Video of Whyte Lake Trail
Below is a video of our trek along Whyte Lake Trail to Whyte Lake. As you can see, the trail is a mixture of dirt with roots sticking out of it and pristine wooden boardwalks. There are also a couple of flights of stairs as well as slight inclines.
Tips and Tricks to Navigate the Park
Here are some valuable tips to know before you go hiking through Whyte Lake Park.
TIP #1: Dogs are allowed in the park. However, they must be kept on a leash at all times to ensure they stay on the path and don’t destroy any of the ecosystems in the forest.
TIP #2: Although there are fish in Whyte Lake, fishing is not allowed as the marine is a threatened species.
TIP #3: Be in the moment as you walk. Make sure you take a minute and look up towards the sky while walking on the trail. There are so many huge trees in the forest that are fascinating to look at. Stop and listen too. When we last went we could hear an owl.
TIP #4: Help protect the forest ecosystem by staying on the trails. Walking over roots can unnecessarily damage the trees.
TIP #5: Whatever you take on your hike, be sure to bring it back. Don’t litter and don’t expect to see garbage cans along the way.
TIP #6: There is an outhouse just a short distance from the lake but it doesn’t always have toilet paper.
TIP #7: The parking lot by Westport Road and the highway isn’t huge. There might be room for maybe 40 or so cars, but no more. Therefore, don’t expect to find parking on a sunny weekend in the summer. The best times to go are earlier in the day and when you don’t expect the place to be packed.
TIP #8: Take a snack and water with you on your trip and wear good walking shoes or hiking boots. Be sure to also give yourself plenty of time to get back to your car before dark.
For more information on this scenic hike click Whyte Lake Park in West Vancouver.
To see more adventures you can go on like this one (or easier ones) check out any of the following:
- Vancouver’s Best Parks and Places in Nature
- Ambleside Beach and Scenic Walk
- Stanley Park Seawall
- Lynn Canyon Park
- Lighthouse Park
- Capilano River Regional Park