The Secret Beaches of West Vancouver

secret beaches of west vancouver

Image courtesy of Colin Knowles | Flickr.com

With this April heat wave happening in Vancouver, there’s no better time to head to the beach to start working on your tan! Some brave souls are even starting to take a dip into the frigid waters of the Pacific to cool down… It’s summer time in Vancouver! (almost).

But, if you’re a bit put off by the crowds at Vancouver beaches, there are a few little secret beaches in town that offer peace, quiet, and tranquility with awesome waterfront views. You just have to take a little trip across the Lions Gate bridge and into the posh neighbourhoods of West Vancouver to get a taste of the secret beaches of Vancouver.

When you think of beaches of Vancouver, the usual suspects come to mind: English Bay, Spanish Banks, and Third Beach. But, we’ve got some other names for you to test the waters in secluded serenity:

Altamont Beach Park

Beach: Rocky
Parking: On the street
Washrooms: not available
Location: Google Maps

You won’t find any signs pointing you to this little rocky beach. This secret stretch of beach offers a great location to kick back on top of a large, hot rock and relax. Don’t forget to bring water shoes, because it’s not exactly easy on the feet. It’s a common place for artists to hang out in, so don’t be surprised if you’re sharing the space with someone painting the landscape

secret beaches vancouver

Image courtesy of Google Maps.

West Bay Park

Beach: sandy/pebbles
Parking: on the street
Washrooms: Available
Location: Google Maps

Located down a small little path is a cool little bay flocked with huge West Vancouver mansions. This beach is only really a beach when the tide is out, so make sure to watch the tide schedule. Follow Maple Lane from Radcliffe Avenue, and emerge out into a sunsoaked and sandy cove. It’s a nice little gem to find, if you can track it down… Stumbling out onto the beach is all part of the adventure!

west vancouver beaches

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Stearman Beach

Beach: sandy
Parking: Where available
Washrooms: Not available
Location: Google Maps

Hidden by huge mansions, this secret beach is a great find on a hot summer’s day. It’s a smaller, sandy beach that is great for families with kids. There are tidal pools, streams running down to the beach, and lots of logs to discover. There’s a bit of shade from the trees, but it’s mostly sunny. This is one of the best secret beaches of West Vancouver, if you can figure out how to find it…

secret beaches of vancouver

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Sandy Cove Park

Beach: sandy / pebbles
Parking: Can be very hard to find
Washrooms: None
Location: Google Maps

Sandy Cove Park can be hard to find, but that’s a good thing. In the midst of summer the small beach is crowded enough without everyone knowing about it. The sandy beach offers great swimming opportunity and there is also a shady grass space behind the beach for those seeking shade. There is also a resident seal who often keeps an eye on the swimmers! Make sure you go when the tide is down, otherwise the beach shrinks substantially.

secret beaches of west vancouver

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Caulfeild Park

Beach: sandy / rocky
Parking: Available on Dogwood Lane
Washrooms: Rustic
Location: Details here

This beach is not really a secret beach, but it does offer a great place to relax in West Vancouver. It’s mainly known by locals, so there is less of a chance of big crowds. Caulfeild Park has sandy beaches and calm, protected water, making it a popular summer swimming spot. It also has a scenic waterfront walk where wedding photographers can regularly be spotted.

caulfield park

Image courtesy of Google Maps

There are lots of other small patches of beaches around West Vancouver, which may seem like private property – but are actually completely public (when the tide is down). Just remember that you are in front of someone’s house (in some cases), so try not to make a ruckus. Respect the neighbours and always clean up your mess!

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6 Responses to The Secret Beaches of West Vancouver

  1. Pingback: The Secret Beaches of West Vancouver – Gunboat Bay Lodge

  2. Shari

    I would appreciate it if the word Caulfeild was spelled correctly. I guess these beaches I grew up enjoying will not be a secret any longer!

    • Hilary

      It is spelled correctly. Caulfeild is the correct spelling of the area in West Van.

      • Shari

        OK I see you have changed it now. Initially it was spelled ‘field’.
        Thanks.

  3. Helen simpson

    Dundarave beach and pier with lovely shops and great outdoor cafes and miles of sea walk along the oceon,heaven

  4. Wreck Beach is nice too http://www.wreckbeach.org/