Whyte Lake Park is a large forested park in West Vancouver that has hiking trails, boardwalks, a small lake, marshland, creeks and massive trees.
PARKING LOTS CLOSED
To discourage too many people from using Whyte Lake Trail, parking lots at entrances to the trail were closed temporarily due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Similar measures were taken at both Whytecliff Park and Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. As of the middle of May, however, the parking lots have reopened.
To learn more about measures the District of West Vancouver is taking to limit the spread of the virus, see westvancouver.ca/news/covid-19-updates.
For a comprehensive list of other places of interest that have been impacted by the pandemic, see our article about COVID-19 & Vancouver Cancellations & Closures.
To learn more about Whyte Lake Park, and to see a video about the place, continue reading.
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 in size. At 30 square kilometres in size, Cypress is far larger, but it’s a provincial park and mostly outside and to the north of the municipality.
Inside Whyte Lake Park is Whyte Lake, which is home to the threatened Westslope Cutthroat Trout. The park is large, but the lake is tiny.
There are a few trails in the park and surrounding area. The Whyte Lake Trail is both popular and well-hiked and leads from the main parking lot to the lake. The trail also links up 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. Heading west along the Trans-Canada Highway, take the #4 turnoff. From there, turn left onto Westport Road and continue until the road goes under a bridge. At the bridge the road goes underneath the highway 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. Part way along you’ll find an outhouse.
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, but also flat areas and some boardwalks. The steepest part of the trail is near the beginning soon after leaving the parking lot, so 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 of Navigating the Park
Here are some valuable tips to know before you go hiking through Whyte Lake Park.
TIP #1: Dogs are permitted in the park but they must be kept on leash at all times to make sure 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 they are a threatened species.
TIP #3: While walking on the trail, make sure you take a minute and look up towards the sky. 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 unnecessarily can 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. Consequently, don’t expect to find parking on a sunny weekend day in the summer. 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. Also, be sure to 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