I am an avid hiker with a focus on easy to moderate trails in natural settings. I occasionally do harder trails.
Choose Lighthouse Park Instead of Stanley Park
Lighthouse Park is one of my favorite parks in the greater Vancouver area. Stanley Park is in the same general area, however, I have criticisms of that park. Mainly, it also has a sketchy vibe to it thanks to its proximity to downtown Vancouver.
Lighthouse Park is a great contrast, the trails are actually more challenging than the ones in Stanley Park, the scenery is nicer, and it can still be accessed via public transportation. Furthermore, there are no parking fees at Lighthouse Park as of my last visit in the spring of 2021. Conversely, Stanley Park patrons often find themselves paying for hourly parking at a pretty expensive rate.
In the following video, I highlight a route that I planned to hike in Lighthouse Park in 2020. The map of the trailhead area is included in the video. The trails that I planned to use were both the Salal Trail and the Deer Fern Trail. Additionally, I used the Maple Trail in the park.
Lighthouse Park Parking Area and Trailhead
A Challenging Hiking Area in West Vancouver
This wasn't my first visit to this park so I knew what to expect. The trails in this park are often steep, you encounter a lot of loose footing from rocks, and there are roots in the trails as well. I have never encountered any significant wildlife in this park, whether on land or overlooking the waters.
The trails are difficult despite their shortness, however, the cliffs of the park are not immense. The trails are not long either and you get to the endpoints quickly. Although the trails vary, if I averaged them out then I would rate them as moderate-difficult.
Eagle Point Viewpoint in Lighthouse Park
The Eagle Point viewpoint is a shoreside viewpoint. From this area, you will be looking south toward UBC and Vancouver. You can also see the downtown area of Vancouver and Stanley Park in the distance.
You get there using a few differently named trails in the Salal Trail, the Deer Fern Trail, and the Valley of the Giants. However, the trails are diverse and intertwined in this park so there's more than one way to get to this viewpoint for someone that is getting adventurous. Furthermore, the trails are short so you really need to take multiple trails to make for a meaningful excursion.
This was a route that helped me improve my fitness for sure. However, it wasn't that long to get out to Eagle Point. Going out to this scenic area and then returning to the parking lot could be done in less than an hour.
Eagle Point Viewpoint in Lighthouse Park
Juniper Point Makes for a Short Hike
If you are looking for a trail to walk in this park that only involves minimal hiking, then you can go out to Juniper Point. This trail could be called quite easy except for there is a short area of loose rocks and uneven terrain in a narrow passage. There is also a part with some stairs and rails, features that will assist the trail walker in getting out to Juniper Point.
This is a pretty area that offers a nice west-looking viewpoint and you can see the BC ferries coming out of Horseshoe Bay and heading toward Nanaimo. If you wanted to visit Juniper Point, then most people would be able to get out there and back in less than half an hour. At the trailhead for this trail, there are flush toilets, a feature that you certainly don't get in a lot of parks.
Trail walkers should expect some tricky terrain at the end of the trail. If you want to get a nice photo, then you will have to negotiate a way up a cliff (see picture).
As a park that's not too far away from the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Lighthouse Park can be visited in conjunction with a day trip out to the Squamish/Whistler area. There are plenty of trails in that area, whether difficult ones, moderate ones, or easy ones. It's only about a 45-minute drive during mild traffic from Lighthouse Park to Squamish.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Shane Lambert
Liz Westwood from UK on September 02, 2021:
This looks like a very scenic trail. I especially appreciate the detail you add about the difficulty of the terrain.