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Lighthouse Park is a scenic place that should be visited by all tourists coming to beautiful Vancouver.
There are several trails there, some of them really mellow that can be enjoyed by visitors of any age, including toddlers and those with locomotion issues. It’s a park that is great for kids and for seniors as well.
A bit of history:
The park is surrounded by the Burrard Inlet. The most advanced point in the park is called “Point Atkinson”, named by Captain Vancouver when he got to our region in 1792.
The first lighthouse was built in 1874 and the one that came to replace it was erected in 1912.
During World War II, several lighthouses were built along the coast. They were used mainly as observation points. Canada was afraid that Japanese ships and submarines could invade our country, entering through Burrard Inlet.
At that time, a bunker was built,and also a lodge for the Canadian troops.
The old house where the ammunition deposit once stayed received the name Sk’íwitsut, honoring a First Nations family who lived there by the beginning of the 19th century.
Breathtaking is not enough to describe the ancient forest, the animals and the landscape. You must go there to experience it yourself.
Attention: Although there are easy trails, be extra careful when you walk on the rocks or near them. There aren’t guard rails and a fall from the cliff can have horrible consequences. Specially if you have kids in your group, you must be extra vigilant.
How to get there:
By Car: It’s only 30 minutes away from downtown Vancouver, driving the super scenic highway 99 north. Take exit 4 “Caulfeid”. Another option is drive along Marine Drive (going west) till you see signs to “Lighthouse Park”. Ample free parking there.
By Transit: Take bus #250 downtown Vancouver (along West Georgia Street). It will cross the Lions Gate Bridge (gorgeous views from the bus!!!). After crossing the bridge the bus will stop in front of Royal Park Mall, one of the best shopping centers in the big Vancouver area. From the shopping mall it will go to Dundarave Village. The closest bus stop to the park is located on Marine Drive, after Beacon Lane crossing. To make sure you will not miss the correct bus stop, tell the driver you are heading to Lighthouse Park and he will be happy to tell you when to get off.
By Bike: Bike along Marine Drive (going west) till Caulfield Marina. When you get there, there will be signs to “Lighthouse Park”. Make a left on Beacon Lane and continue on Beacon Lane till you reach the park. It’s really easy. Take care when biking because there isn’t a “dedicated bike road” and you will drive on regular roads.
The park is open from 6AM till 10.30PM. I would recommend carrying a bell if you intend to go during the early hours or late in the evening. Although I have never seen or heard of about bears there, I guess carrying a bell to make some noise keeping eventual bears away will not hurt… 🙂
Plenty of clean toilets. They are all flush toilets. No pit toilets there! 🙂 The ones located close to Sk’iwitsut are larger and also have sinks and hand driers.
The park is an ideal place to meet friends for a picnic or potluck. Note that grills aren’t allowed.
I recommend that as soon as you get there you go straight to the “Viewpoint”. There, you will have nice views of the Lighthouse.
After admiring the views from the “viewpoint”, turn back to the sea and start walking to your left. There will be a trail going down. When you start it, there will be no signs, but after a few meters you will see “West Beach Trail”.
Take this one and go all your way down. Please note that this trail is not suited for people with walking problems or strollers.
When you get to the bottom you will be close to the sea and will have the best views of the lighthouse standing own the rocks. You will also see downtown Vancouver in the distance and some beautiful eagles flying just over your head! It’s really amazing there!
One more advantage of going to this park:
I don’t know the reason, but it’s not very popular with tourists. I guess all tourists stay in Stanley Park! 🙂 The good point of that is that it’s like a “local park” and it does’t get crowded. The area is huge, with lots of trails, so, basically you have the feeling that you have the park just for yourself! 🙂
The park is very safe, like everything else in Canada. Only make sure not to leave personal objects inside your car that can be spotted from the outside.
Dogs are welcome there and it seems they love the park as well!
Below is an image from my mobile showing the map of Lighhouse Park and where Artinkson Point is located. Enjoy you visit! 🙂
If you have something to add to this article, please feel free to make your suggestions below. They will be much appreciated! 🙂 Thank you! 🙂