Close to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, Whytecliff Park is one of Metro Vancouver’s most beautiful parks, with a rugged shoreline and amazing views.
Whytecliff Park has short walking trails, a beautiful beach, an island to explore (depending on the tide), and exceptional scuba diving in the area. The beach is mostly rocky, but there is a sandy patch.
Whytecliff Park can be a great place to spend a day or the better part of a morning or afternoon. An evening visit can also be pleasant when the days are long. Wear good walking shoes and climb the island very carefully. You can admire one of the Lower Mainland’s most spectacular 360-degree natural views from the island.
Dogs on a leash are permitted in most areas except for the beach.
Directions to Whytecliff Park
Whytecliff Park is located just a couple of kilometres from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. The address of the park is 7102 Marine Drive.
When heading along the Trans-Canada Highway towards Whistler from West Vancouver, take the #2 exit – the one right after the exit to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. From there, get onto Marine Drive and keep going.
The main (very large) island you see across the water from Whytecliff Park is Bowen Island.
Whytecliff Park Amenities
You can expect to find a small number of short walking trails, giant rocks and cliffs to climb and a beautiful pebbly beach at the park. An island can also be seen and connects to the rest of the park at low tide. The island is an especially fun place to explore and admire the views from.
In addition to its natural landmarks, Whytecliff Park also has further offerings. This includes a large open field, a small children’s playground with swings, tennis courts, public restrooms, changing rooms and a covered picnic shelter. In the summer, on busy days, there is a small canteen too. In total, the park is close to 40 acres in size.
Whytecliff Park is a popular venue for short hikes, exploring the rocks, picnics and hanging out at the beach. It’s also a year-round destination for scuba diving, even in winter! The water there is a designated Saltwater Marine Protected Area. It’s home to a wide range of sea life including crabs, rockfish, lingcod, sea anemones, seals, starfish and more.
Advice and Suggestions
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to Whytecliff Park.
TIP #1: If you want to get out and explore the island but don’t want to swim, go when the tide is low. It’s an island at high tide. At low tide though, it connects to the mainland. To find out where the tide will be at various times, check out Tide-Forecast.com.
TIP #2: If climbing the island, or any of the other rocky cliffs in the park, go carefully and keep a close eye on young children. Also, be especially careful in cold winter weather and after it has been raining. The rocks can get slippery!
TIP #3: Scuba diving conditions around the park are world-class. Snorkelling can be fun too!
TIP #4: There is a fairly large parking lot at the park, but it does fill up on weekends with good weather, especially in the summer. Past the entrance to the park, however, and just a little further up the road, there is overflow parking on your right.
TIP #5: If you’re catching a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo or Bowen Island and have tons of time to kill, Whytecliff Park is a great place for a short visit. If your ferry departs in less than an hour though, the better place to explore is Horseshoe Bay Village.
TIP #6: Don’t forget to take your camera! With its rocky cliffs and ocean views, the area is a great place for photos.
For more information about the park, see the District of West Vancouver‘s website.
To learn more about the area check out our articles about West Vancouver, Horseshoe Bay and Vancouver’s North Shore.
Other North Shore parks you might enjoy include the following:
- Ambleside – a park with a paved walking path, dog-friendly areas and a long sandy beach in West Vancouver.
- Baden Powell Trail – a 40-kilometre network of hiking trails going from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove through the forests and mountains.
- Capilano River Park – a park where you’ll find forested trails, beautiful views, bridges over the water, the Cleveland Dam and the Capilano River Hatchery.
- Cates Park – a park with beaches, a boat launch, dock, walking trails and a giant children’s playground.
- Caulfeild Park – located less than a 15-minute drive from Whytecliff Park, this medium-sized park has a rugged coastline, sandy beaches and a hiking trail through the forest.
- Lighthouse Park – a waterfront park that’s similar to Whytecliff Park and just a short drive away.
- Lynn Canyon Park – a world-famous park in North Vancouver with lots of steps to climb, trails to explore and a suspension bridge that’s free to cross.
- Lynn Headwaters Park – a regional park with trails that are suitable for both people wanting a serious hike and those just wanting a stroll.
- Maplewood Conservation Area – a waterfront park with level trails and bird-watching opportunities in North Vancouver.
- Rice Lake – a small lake with walking trails, a dock and fish to catch.
- Seymour Demonstration Forest – a park with paved trails for cycling through the forest.
- Whyte Lake Park – a hiking trail and large forested park in West Vancouver.