Whytecliff Park – Vancouver’s Easy walks
Whytecliff Park is a pretty little park on the rugged coast of West Vancouver, over by Horseshoe Bay (where you can jump on a ferry to Bowen Island or Vancouver Island.) It’s not a place for a long walk, but it’s good for a little stroll before heading to Horseshoe Bay for fish and chips!
When it’s sunny, I have a strong urge to get outside. The problem is, sometimes we have sunny weekends when Marc or I are not feeling that great. The weather sort of demands that we leave the house, but we don’t have quite enough oomph to wake up early and head out on an epic adventure. On those days heading out for an easy walk somewhere like Whytecliff Park, is exactly what we need to do.
Whytecliff Park hikes – the basics
There are two sections of the park. There are pathways through the trees on the upper edge of the park, as well as other pathways are along the beaches and cliffs. If you wander along the entire network of trails, you’ll cover around 2km. We took a peek at the coastal area. Marc recently bought a tripod, so we were taking it easy and taking photos rather than walking.
I started by taking a peek at one of the high points on the cliffs. This area used to be called White Cliff City, but according to wikipedia, a Colonel called Albert Whyte pressed for the spelling change to Whytecliff in 1914. In any case, the cliffs are not particularly white (not like the White Cliffs of Dover!)
It’s quite fun meandering around the edge of the cliffs. You get to climb on the rocks and see lovely views towards Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast and the side view of the Tantalus mountain range.
In the other direction, you get views over to Vancouver’s beaches and UBC.
Whytecliff Park – Diving
This park is one of the first Marine Protected Areas in Canada. Apparently sometimes you’ll meet sea lions sunbathing here! While we were exploring, we didn’t see any sea lions, but we did see a large group of divers get ready and then submerge underwater near the beach. There must be lots of cool things to see in these waters.
There is a teeny island just off the coast from Whytecliff Park. When we first arrived, it looked like you could walk along a causeway of rocks to reach it. However as the tide started to come in, this looked less and less sensible. Still it looks lovely from the shore. Google maps calls the island Whyte Islet Park, so maybe it counts as it’s own teeny park!? While we were there it looked like a couple was getting engagement photos. We didn’t want to bother them, so we didn’t attempt the crossing.
Marc was having fun attempting to take wave photos, so I kept wandering along the beach looking at all the driftwood. At one point I found a bunch of mushrooms that had gone hard…they felt like shells, rather than fungi. I guess that happened when the log was floating in the sea.
Fish and Chips in Horseshoe Bay
It looks like my photos are really late in the afternoon, but that is just because the sun doesn’t rise very high at this time of year. It was actually midday. Whytecliff Park is pretty close to the village of Horseshoe Bay, so we headed over there for fish and chips for lunch. We’ve never found a place in Canada that does English-style proper chips, but these were not bad at all. It was served with coleslaw, rather than mushy peas (sob, I miss good mushy peas…) Anyway, we both enjoyed it.
We’ve visited Horseshoe Bay a few times to catch the ferry, but it’s quite a sweet place to visit just to wander around. I even found a couple of Christmas gifts to post back to the UK. We walked along the pier looking at the boats and making friends with posing seagulls.
Heading home via Lighthouse Park
We still had some energy left, so we decided to drop into Lighthouse Park on the way home. This is really close to Whytecliff Park on the drive back to Vancouver if you take the scenic route. We’d already spent a day hiking through Lighthouse Park, so this time we headed straight for the cliffs to watch the sun set.
The nice thing about Lighthouse Park is there are several viewpoints spread around the park. So, even when it is busy, you can normally find a quiet place to see the sky change as the sun sets. When we first arrived, the cloud formations made it look like there was a massive spotlight on one patch of water.
Then a few minutes later, the horizon started to be decorated with beautiful sun beams…
We watched the sun beams for a while, and then decided we had enough time to walk to the lighthouse and watch the sun set from there. We arrived at the rocky beach just in time to see the sky light up in pinks and oranges.
This giant tanker zoomed past and looked a lot prettier in the golden light.
Finally, as the sun set behind some clouds (just above the horizon) it started to rain, encouraging us to head home before we got too chilly.
Visiting Whytecliff Park, and then Lighthouse Park may not have been a particularly energetic weekend activity; But it was actually really nice to go slowly and try mini walks. If you’re looking for some easy places to wander and watch the sunset in Vancouver, these are fantastic options.
20 thoughts on “Whytecliff Park – Vancouver’s Easy walks”
Looks like the sort of place a grandmother could visit. Did you know about fungi being the reason this earth will never make oil again? When the wood and plants that oil comes, from died and was changed, there were no fungi to rot it away. So they vanished very slowly and changed in to oil, in that process. They are a more recent arrival on the planet. So wood will never rot away slowly enough again.,now that mushrooms can grow on it. Hence why we must use it very sparingly. Love Lis
You’d love the coast here mum!
Yeah, we learned about the oil vs fungi on our mushroom tour. It’s really interesting isn’t it! Scary to think how quickly it will all be gone.
Such gorgeous photos! Good fish and chips are quite hard to come by, I’ve found. I grew to really kind of like mushy peas!
No way!? The UK converted you to mushy peas!? That makes me so happy 😀
I do love good fat chips, but mostly because they are a good vehicle to get mushy peas into my gob…
Oh, so you use the chips to scoop up the peas?! I’m learning so much! I hope to one day be an adopted Brit!! 🤣❤️
Or Kiwi! They have really good fish and chips in NZ too! 😀
Once I feel like a real adult, I can adopt you. 😉
Yay!! I’ll be waiting 😉🤣
Those fish and chips look amazing. It looks like such a a beautiful place to explore.
love the ego of someone who angles for cliffs to be named after him. Such Chutzpah. Lovely walk as ever… now the other day I had the best cod and chips from Fat Ken’s and the mushy… soz, Josy. I will think of you tomorrow at the rugby when I’m munching through mine…
You lucky mushy pea muncher!! 😀
Whytecliff park looks gorgeous in your photos, ad surely you have enjoyed the walk much, as is quite evident from your write up….:)…the photo of the sunset on the water is amazing..
First time visiting your blog! super!!
Another gorgeous place! And I’m glad you found fish and chips that suits your British taste! 😉 You know, I’d be happy to do a parcel exchange soeday if you’d like… I can send you the British treats you miss in exchange for some Cabadians goodies.I did it with Katie, it was real fun!
Mixed and pinned…your hiking guides are terrific, always useful information and gorgeous pics!
Thanks John! I am really glad that you like them! 😀
It always makes me smile that the island is called Whyte Island when I grew up so close to the Isle of Wight 😉 Lighthouse Park is my go-to place for some gentle wilderness when Stanley Park won’t do – it’s an awesome park.
Which place did you try for fish & chips? We’ve found C Lovers to be decent and fairly reliable, while Troll’s is too variable – we’ve had great and terrible f&c there. Next time you head out to Buntzen Lake, check out Cockney Kings in Burnaby on the way back – naff name but good fish & chips and mushy peas.
We went to C Lovers. We were told Trolls is the famous one, but the queue was too long, so we went around the corner instead.
Thanks for the tip about Cockney Kings!! 😀
A lovely post on a really beautiful place. I feel very fortunate that I can walk to Whytecliff Park from my house. If you want slightly more exercise, a nice little loop is taking the forest trail up to a rocky bluff (too many trees for a good view) that ends up at the top of Isleview Rd where you can do a short residential walk back to the main park.
Oooh you live in such a gorgeous area!! If we go back I will definitely have a peek at the other trail *up* from the cliffs.
You have such a good place to watch sunsets as well!