Life At The Top...
... Of a mountain. When we reached the Czech Republic, we didn't know our accommodation was going to be this unique.
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HellOooo everyone! The weather FINALLY cooperated enough for us to visit Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver yesterday. It's one of the most amazing scenic parks you will see on the West Coast. Walk through acres of first-growth Douglas Firs and stand next to trees that are considered to be giants.
Spectacular views of the Strait of Georgia combined with hiking trails that lead through beautiful west coast forests, makes Lighthouse Park one of the best year-round parks to visit on the North Shore. It’s the viewpoints and trails around the park that make this area a must to visit.
Lighthouse Park is located in West Vancouver and can be accessed from Marine Drive at Beacon Lane. The Lighthouse itself is situated at Point Atkinson, the point that separates Howe Sound from Burrard Inlet. The first lighthouse was built in 1874 and the current structure was built in 1912, the same year the park land was leased to the District of West Vancouver.
West Beach: Situated just to the West of the Lighthouse, this angle gives the best view of the Lighthouse as well as a great view out towards the Strait of Georgia. You can get to this viewpoint by walking a short distance west from the buildings, following the trail and continuing past the Lighthouse viewpoint until you reach a junction that points to the West Beach Trail on your left.
Juniper Point: This viewpoint is located at the northwest point of the park and is easily accessed via the Juniper Loop trail, which begins further down the parking lot. The view looks out towards Passage Island, Bowen Island, and Howe Sound.
Shore Pine Point: Located to the West of the Lighthouse, the Shore Pine Point view looks out into Howe Sound and towards the Strait of Georgia and the Gulf Islands. Follow the Shore Pine Trail west and a sign points to the viewpoint to the left.
Eagle Point: This viewpoint is located on the east side of the park and offers views of Burrard Inlet, looking across towards Vancouver and even as far as the Lions Gate Bridge. Eagle Point isn’t visited as much as the other views but it’s worth the time and the beautiful hike along the Arbutus Trail.
Starboat Cove: While Starboat Cove does not offer quite as wide a view as the other viewpoints, it’s still beautiful . You can rest on the bench on the rocks above or make your way down to the beach to the old boat. The trail to Starboat Cove is located just a short 10-minute walk east of the Lighthouse and buildings.
Lighthouse Viewpoint: Whilst this is one of the most visited viewpoints in the park, it’s definitely not the best. Located just a few steps up onto the rock to the west of the nearby buildings, the trees in the area have grown and block a good portion of the view of the lighthouse and water.
There are a variety of trails throughout Lighthouse Park with various types of terrain and levels of difficulty. Most are easy to moderate and provide access to most of the park. Some trails lead to bluffs with views of the coastline while others lead you to the various coves and beaches you'll find in the park. I recommend that you wear appropriate hiking or walking shoes and dress accordingly for the weather. Some of the local favourite trails are:
Valley of the Giants
In the winter months, this trail becomes a stream, so avoid it until it dries up. Valley of the Giants is a beautiful walk full of first-growth Douglas Fir trees that will simply amaze you. Some of these s have grown to 200 feet (61 meters) and are approximately 500 years old. Take your time to look around and enjoy the incredible forest. At the end of the trail, you'll come to the delightful viewpoint at Eagle Point.
BEACON LANE TRAIL
This trail is the direct route to the Lighthouse Viewpoint. If you’re out for a quick stroll (which we were) this is the perfect trail as you’re rewarded with some lovely coastal views at the end.
Other activities include:
Picnics in the park. The bluffs on the waterfront and the beaches make for great picnic locations. Bring a blanket to sit on and relax in the beautiful surroundings.
Dog walking. Very popular among local West Vancouver residents. Please take note of signs to ensure that dogs are permitted on the trails
Outdoor Amphitheatre. There is a grassy clearing in the middle of the park with an outdoor amphitheatre. It is open air with no cover and very rustic, but it’s a great spot to have some imaginative fun at a family gathering.
Rock Climing. In the summer months, Rock Climbing is fairly popular in Lighthouse Park. There are approximately one dozen routes on solid granite. Definitely add this park to your to do list.