Whytecliff Park is one of the most underrated places to visit if you’re checking out the Vancouver area. Though it’s a small area, it’s only 30 minutes away with a lot of things to do and in this post, you’ll see what the top options are.
Here are the 7 things to do in Whytecliff Park:
- Beautiful beach walks.
- Walking across the park onto other islands during low tide.
- Scuba diving.
- Explore Lighthouse Park.
- Whale watching tours.
Now aside from that, just exploring this park is highly recommended, especially if you’re looking for places to hike and explore that are close to Vancouver. Whytecliff Park gets awesome reviews (including from me) and while it is small, not a lot of people know about it which makes it even better for exploring if you don’t like crowded nature places.
Whyte Cliff Park map info (things to know):
Whytecliff Park is located not far from Vancouver and you can find it by driving north west from the city on road 99. Officially it’s in West Vancouver. Here’s a Whytecliff Park map where you can find some hiking trails but overall because it’s a very compact place, you won’t really find too many challenging hiking activities there. But there’s a lot of variety and beauty which is what makes this place so special.
Note: Sometimes people mistake this with Whitecliff Park (a completely different park in Missouri).
I’ve been to Whyte Cliff Park 2 times, once when I was 18 and another time when I was 33 and I personally love it, not just because of the nostalgia I got the second time I came here, but because of all the amazing activities that are just so packed into this small region which I’ll cover in a second in detail.
The 7 things to do in Whytecliff Park Vanvouver:
I mentioned them above, but I’d like to get into more details on them here:
1) Hiking (Whyte Lake Trail is the most popular):
Despite being a relatively small park, you’ll find some beginner level and challenging hikes in this area. In fact, while going through my old pictures the first time I went there, I found one where I went up to the top of one of the rocky hills in this park, with steps drilled into it.
Even at 18, I had that urge to climb and hike beautiful areas and naturally when I saw the beauty of this park, I had to do as of it much as possible! While I did that hike, my relatives took a photo of me from the overlook. And the picture you saw above was another iconic spot in Whytecliff park you can walk down to. This area is a small gorge with beautiful scenery that I re-explored when I returned many years later.
2) Check out Whytecliff Beach:
Within the park area, there’s 1 small beach area you can check out. It’s also connected to the cliffs and hikes in the region so you can get a great mix of walking across different terrains. At the same time, further south of this park is a lighthouse you can also explore which also has some beach walks too. The point is, if you’re into relaxing, scenic beach walks, Whytecliff Park has this too.
3) Visit Whytecliff Park during low tides (here’s why):
This is one of the most amazing things I learned when I first came to this park. When there is low tide at Whytecliff Park, there are certain islands and regions which become accessible by foot due to there being less water. As a result, you can explore even more of this park. I added one picture here to illustrate that. You’ll see that you can literally walk to the mountain further in Horseshoe Bay when there’s a low tide.
Note: If you’re going to do this, always make sure to check when the low tide will actually occur at it’s peak before going and of course, time it so that you can get back to your original destination before high tide traps you. The good news is that you will likely have a few hours to do this, but the tides do change depending on the season and time. While exploring places during low tide is cool, it can quickly get dangerous if you time it wrong.
4) Explore Whytecliff Scuba beach:
Yes, Whytecliff Park actually has scuba diving areas and that is where you can find it. Considering all the animal life that is in this area, it would certainly make for a great adventure and considering how awesome the nature looks on land, I can only imagine how awesome it looks below the water there. Additionally, this park is located near a very nice looking neighborhood and island so the scenic drives you can around this spot are also plentiful.
Note: There is an official place for diving called Copper Cove Dive site and you should be able to find tour options and rentals in the marina near that spot (Horseshoe Bay).
5) Kayaking and paddle boarding:
It’s very beautiful and scenic to kayak around this area and for that I would recommend visiting the park during high tide to have more areas to go through. Again for rentals, I would recommend going to Horseshoe Bay nearby. In addition you will likely also see beautiful views of Vancouver in the distance while exploring this park.
6) Visit Lighthouse Park nearby:
This area is right next door to Whytecliff Park and is excellent for cool hiking trails, amazing views and more. And yes there is a beautiful lighthouse there and this is something you enjoy looking at, I can also recommend a few others that are “sort off” on the western side of Canada and the US:
- There are a few more lighthouses near Vancouver you can explore.
- In Washington State, there are at least 20 different lighthouses to check out too.
- The next southern state from that is Oregon and I’ve created a post on the best lighthouses on the Oregon Coast to see.
- I’ll also be creating one on California soon.
- Another area with many lighthouses is Maine State (that is actually on the eastern US coast).
7) Whale watching:
There is a possibility you may also see whales while exploring this park from the shoreline, but a better way to get closer to them is to either do a scuba dive, or an actual whale tour which is offered in the same Horseshoe Bay marina. A specific business that runs these types of tours is Sea Bay Charters right in that same marina. I also want to mention that whale tours are common throughout the greater Vancouver area, including Vancouver Island too, as well as the west coast (see Oregon Coast whale watching tours for example).
Other Whytecliff Park reviews:
There are tons of reviews I saw for Whytecliff Park and so far, they all seem to rate this place 5 stars (there are 1,000s of them) and as for me, I’m also going to give it that score:
Question about Whytecliff Park:
Can you swim at Whytecliff Park?
Yes there is a beach available to swim at in Whytecliff Park. In addition to that, there is also scuba diving.
Is Whytecliff park dog friendly?
Yes, you can bring dogs and even take them off leash in this park.
More Whytecliff Park photos (many during sunset, another great time to go here):
5 things to see near Whytecliff park:
- Cypress Falls Park: Very close to Whytecliff too. It has nice trails, gorges and waterfalls (it’s very inland though so you won’t really see many coastal views).
- Cyprus Provincial Park: A great ski area with nice hikes and views of Vancouver.
- Stanley Park: This is the most popular park right outside Vancouver, only about 15 minutes from Whytecliff Park.
- Shannon Falls: This is a 1,000+ foot waterfall north of Whytecliff (20 minutes north).
- Vancouver Island: This requires a ferry ride but the Vancouver Island area has many similar (and better) things you can explore.
There are other parks and amazing places to see, but I’ll be doing a separate post on what to explore near Vancouver for that. For the time being, the 7 activities above for what to do in Whytecliff Park should be plenty to get an amazing experience exploring this area and if you have personal experience doing that and can recommend even more things, I’m happy to know more about that below!