Lighthouse Park is an ecological reserve boasting old growth douglas firs and rock dating back 187 million years. It also contains a... more » myriad of trails (both "official" and "unofficial" it would seem).
What to know:
The trail surface in this park is rocky and filled with potential areas to twist an ankle. It's a little slow-going due to the need to step carefully at times!
Locating this park can be tricky. Though the directions via public transit seem easy enough, the bus stops in West Vancouver are not marked and the buses do not announce the stop names. I missed the stop on my first attempt, and only after careful googling did I find it the second time. So be on the lookout.
Paper maps are not available at any of the kiosks I came across. Be sure to bring your own. Though I managed to not get lost, it's easy to see how one might.
- It's beautiful here and that's reason enough to come!
- The views and the (relatively) easy access to the shore made this park a great place to explore. I really enjoyed going down to the water and scrambling around a bit on the rocks.
- I think you could come to this park more than once and experience it differently each time -- there are enough trails to walk a different configuration each time and I'm guessing, depending on whether it's high or low tide the shoreline would change too.
- This is another "off leash" park and locals take advantage of that. The pups here are eager & friendly, but they do often run ahead of their owners meaning you encounter them often far before you encounter their owners.
- Parts of the trail here are pretty challenging, particularly the trails on the east side of the park (Arbutus in particular). The are used less, which means you'll encounter fewer people, but they're more primitive with more difficult footing.
- Though it's Lighthouse Park.. they're really aren't any views of the Lighthouse! The immediate area surrounding the lighthouse is restricted, so the only view you get is of the top 1/3.
From the parking area, I stayed to the right and entered the trails via Juniper Loop. I continued on the Shore Pine Trail until I reached Shore Pine Point at .37 miles. Staying on Shore Pine Trail, I reached a look out point and West Beach in another .22 miles. The West Beach trail is only .16 and definitely worth the short detour. Continuing on the Shore Pine Trail, I reached the Lighthouse View Point in another .2 miles (roughly 1 mile total at this point). From the View Point, I stayed to the right and detoured to East Beach - another short .2 miles that is steep, but worth it if you want to explore the shoreline. After a quick break, I looked for the Valley Trail to the right (and forgot to turn my Garmin back on here.. sigh) so I'm not sure how far I walked until I reached the Arbutus Trail turn off.
The Arbutus Trail is well marked and you'll know you're there because it's a steep ascent. I followed the Arbutus Trail and made the quick detour to Eagle Point (also worth the amazing view!) for .7 miles. As I mentioned, to me this was the most difficult part of the trail system. I then took the Summit Trail for .3 miles which led me back to the parking area. The trail in this area was a little confusing because all signs seemed to point different directions but lead you to the same place: the parking area.
All in all, the path I took was around 2.4 miles. The first portion of the trails are well used and contain relatively small rolling hills. The second portion (venturing onto the Valley Trail and the Arbutus Trail) are much steeper ascents. less «