49°21’39” N, 123°15’32” W
Tucked away behind the sea-to-sky highway – just above Eagle Harbour – this popular West Vancouver trail is the perfect quick hike to get your outdoors fix. The winding path takes you through the old growth forest and up to a small lake, where in the summer some are brave enough to take a refreshing dip. Whyte Lake offers an easy hike immersed in nature’s tranquility, just 20 minutes outside of Downtown Vancouver. This local favourite is accessible and a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Escape the city
Whyte Lake offers an easy hike immersed in nature’s tranquility, just 30 minutes outside of Downtown Vancouver. This local favourite is easily accessible by car, and a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
While the steady incline will make you break a sweat, the mossy rainforest canopy makes it hard for the sun to shine through. Make sure to bring a couple layers to stay warm, as you cool down quickly when standing still.
Elevation Gain: 178m
Highest Point: 295m
5.5 km – out and back
Open all-year round, this hike is fun rain or shine – or even snow! Although, be forewarned: if you choose to go up despite snowy and slushy conditions, be ready to slip at at least five times. And that’s not counting the times you’ll slip on the way back down. I would also be lying if I didn’t say it was part of the fun. The terrain is a mixture between roots and rocks, with a boardwalk surrounding the Whyte Lake to protect your feet from the marsh. The trail is clearly marked; however, once you’ve reached the top, the path becomes less obvious with the snow.
Stay on the trail – for your own safety, as well as for trail conservation.
These tall coniferous trees begin to all look the same, especially once you lose sight of the trail. It is incredibly easy to get lost in a forest, and I wouldn’t underestimate the power that nature has against an unprepared day hiker. Even some of the most experienced hikers will recommend you don’t venture off in uncharted lands.
I was reminded of this when the trail I thought I was following was starting to get steeper and steeper. Turns out I was just following dog tracks and had veered way off course. Luckily, I was able to turn right around and retrace my steps.
Pros: Easy to get to, and short enough to fit into your morning or afternoon. If you’re a local, you’ll be sure to bump into somebody you know.
Cons: Very slippery with snow or rain. Can get pretty busy, so pick your day and time of day appropriately if you’re hoping to have the trail for yourself.
Have you completed this hike? Share your experience bellow!