Just across the Lion’s Gate Bridge from downtown Vancouver is the seaside city of West Vancouver. Wedged between the glittering Pacific Ocean and the snowcapped North Shore Mountains, West Van is an oasis of waterfront boardwalks, boutiques and lavish homes.
It also happens to be home to some truly wild parks – all just minutes from the city. Here are four places to get back to nature in one of Vancouver’s most exclusive suburbs.
- Lighthouse Park: Named for its 100-year-old lighthouse, this park on the edge of Burrard Inlet is home to one of the largest remaining tracts of old growth forest in the greater Vancouver region. Easy trails wind through glades of towering trees, converging on the rocky coastline and photo-worthy lighthouse.
- Whytecliff Park: Cliffs lined with arbutus, pine and Douglas fir plunge to the brisk waters of Howe Sound at this magnificent waterfront park. Enjoy the view of the island-studded sound from a park bench or take a trail to the beach for a refreshing swim.
- Capilano River Regional Park: Offering a little something for everyone, this park encompasses rugged Capilano Canyon. Hike along the riverbank, soak up views of Capilano Lake (source of Vancouver’s drinking water) or take a peek inside the fish hatchery, where you can see live salmon swimming upstream.
- Cypress Falls Park: This diminutive park deep inside the exclusive Caulfield neighborhood packs a big punch. A short walking loop brings visitors through coastal rain forest to old growth cedars and a series of thundering waterfalls.