Waveforms in West Van
cean or mountains or both can often be devoured wherever you stand in Vancouver. But the most breathtaking panoramas of our city by the sea really require you to breathe a little faster. Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is a brisk hike just off Marine Drive.
The scent of salt sifts through trunks and boughs. And as soon as you step from the trees, onto a rock ledge, you hear the lap of water on stone.
The seascape before you will catch your breath — from West Van’s seashore to the Lions Gate Bridge, then all of the West Side to the distant mountains on Vancouver Island. Unblemished blue or clouds on the canvas of sky; the view is always pretty as a picture.
Next, navigate your way to the pebbled beach where fallen trees lie like dinosaur bones — mysterious and ancient.
It’s best to visit at low tide so you can venture onto the beach and climb the crags that jut out where Howe Sound meets the Burrard Inlet. Layer upon layer of mussels make the rocks look like they’ve been dipped in caviar, and their crackling as water drains from their shells should be on Spotify. Mussels at Low Tide — you may also like Rain Storms, and Jungle Waterfalls, and Crashing Waves.
Find a smooth flagstone to sit on and watch the horizon, the freighters, the clouds, the sea — and listen to Nature’s playlist, no earbuds required.
Retrace your steps to the rustic cluster of cabins and take a left at the sign for Shore Pine Trail. You’ll know you’re going in the right direction just when you think you’ve lost your way — the path is hidden on the other side of an enormous rock platform. Beyond is the famed lighthouse with its red crown.
If you’re hiking after a rainfall, you can’t tell whether you’re walking in a stream or along a trail. At the first fork, you need to take a left, towards the water, or you’ll miss the best part. Facing Bowen Island, with the city out of sight, it’s possible to feel like you’re on a new planet — just Mother Nature and you.