Whytecliff Park: Essential Visitor’s Guide

Whytecliff Park

Vancouver Island in British Columbia is loaded with almost everything intriguing, beginning with magnificent monuments, ancient buildings, and the dynamic charm that permeates the city. Unless it’s Stanley Park’s famed coastline or a photograph of the historic Steam Clock in Gastown, many spots in the capital confuse travellers.

However, there seem to be many spots beyond the metropolis that are ideal for an exciting family vacation. These sites around Vancouver are not only stunning, but they also provide a multitude of things to do.

A few of the 200 marine mammal species at Whytecliff Park are lounging sea lions. The playground, located approximately west of West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay district, is most known for its outstanding diving possibilities.

The area, which is approachable by automobile or public transportation, has a longstanding experience of being a significant aspect of West Vancouver’s stunning features.

Whytecliff park
Photo by Holly Booker on Unsplash

1. History 

Whytecliff Park is situated in West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay Suburb, which was previously known as White Cliff City when it was first built in 1909.

Colonel Albert Whyte lobbied from White Cliff City to Whytecliff in 1914.

The Universal Steamship Firm bought the fifty-acre Boultbee estate in 1939, and indeed the family owned a Bowen Island Ferry from Whytecliff from 1939 to 1941 and 1946 to 1952.

The surroundings encircling the Park were designated as Canada’s first Salt Water Marine Park Protected Area in 1993, assuring a fantastic oceanic habitat for Vancouver’s diving and snorkelling. Explorers may see coastal seals, sea pens, lingcod, nudibranchs, sea cucumbers, and, on rare occasions, octopus. The park is said to include over 200 sea creatures!

2. Parking and Directions

  • Head west on the BC-1A/BC-99 N towards Horseshoe Bay.

  • Start taking exit #2 for Eagle Ridge Drive as we perceive the ferry port.

  • Start taking the first exit at the junction through Marine Drive access to Highway 99 N.

  • Turn left onto Marine Drive, then start taking the first exit at the roundabout to stay on Marine Drive.

  • Drive straight at the following roundabout to continue on Marine Dr.

  • The park’s parking area has a good amount of space.

Whytecliff Park
By Wirestock Creators from Shutterstock

3. Trekking Trail Guide to Whytecliff Park

Whytecliff Park is located near the West of Vancouver and has some small pedestrian walkways also called short trails or a few rugged paths amid the woods above the grassy meadow and park.

The route won’t immediately take passengers on some of those routes, instead, it will instead keep going down the coastline paths to the seashore and toward Whyte Islet (tide dependent). Park’s cliffs and beach areas have the nicest panoramas.

Wander up above the restrooms to the edge of the sidewalk first from the parking area. You’ll pass a grassland area with a patio table on the left. Somewhere at end of the tarmac, there is a dirt road that ascends to a high vantage point with views of Howe Sound and Bowen Island.

There must be park seats here from which you can rest and admire the natural beauty of the ocean while watching the BC Ferries arrive and depart from Horseshoe Bay.

4. A Place of Many Excursions

Whytecliff Park is located near a scenic campground and a restricted animal preserve close to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

whytecliff park
By Pierre Leclerc/Shutterstock

Before 1993, the reserve was a Saltwater Marine Protected Area. The forest signage suggests that this location is a safeguarded wild seal sanctuary. This is also sometimes accurate, as we may see seals sunning on the scorching boulders of Whytecliff Island.

Boating, birding, trekking, and picnics are among the interesting attractions in the parks. The reserve is also a famous snorkelling location. The seals monitor the researchers while the divers watch the seals.

We may find a natural stone beachfront with wooden pieces in the facility’s bottom part. It is not a lounging beachfront, but it contains a swimming area. Most people choose to sunbathe on the neighbouring grassy knolls and lawns.

An isolated strip of pebbles and pebbles joins the parkland to Whyte cliff Island at low tide. If the winds are appropriate, one may stroll. The gravel spits toward the land and gets some magnificent scenery of Howe Sounds.

4.1. Whytecliff Attractions

Whytecliff Park includes other attractions in contrast to its golden highlights. The playground spans over landscaped grounds altogether. The whole family enjoying the beautiful corner of the world surrounded by a grassy area, a nearby small cove, and spectacular views are what small kids and family members crave to sightsee.

Colourful mountains, marine life, a picnic area, underwater diving, a tiny beach, incredible houses alongside in the vicinity, you name them and are an elevated lookout area.

Park has been equipped with proper access points, and stone steps along with concrete steps to walk on.

A large open space, a small children’s play area with a parking lot, jumps, tennis courts, public bathrooms, changing facilities, and a sheltered picnic table are all included. On busy weekends throughout the summertime, also exists a small cafeteria.

4.2. Some Important Points 

Surfing, swimming, and climbing on short trails or long ones are the greatest attractions around Whytecliff Park in BC. The breathtaking perspective of Howe Sound from the park is a quick summary that should not be overlooked.

1. Trekking –

This region has a variety of hiking paths spanning in difficulty from basic to challenging.

2. Whale Viewing –

Because the area is adjacent to the water, it is an excellent location for whale watching during high tide and low tide.

3. Fishing –

This area provides excellent fishing options.

4. Picnicking –

This park includes several picnic spots that are ideal for a quiet day out.

5. Some of The Fun Things to Enjoy in Whytecliff Park

By from Shutterstock

5.1. Walking Along the Seashore

The shores in this region are beautiful, the waters are clear, and the landscape is breathtaking. And while the atmosphere in this region is frequently foggy or wet, one must have discovered that no dismal weather detracts from its beauty.

In reality, we’ve discovered that the greater overcast the climate there, the much more lovely nature appears.

5.2. Picnicking

The quietness and tranquillity of this region are ideal for picnicking if the conditions allow.

It’s peaceful, serene, and then almost surreal.

5.3. Take a Walk to The Various Islands(During Low Tide)

This characteristic of the park and the western Canadians astounded visitors when they initially read about it.

Unless you intend to accomplish this, verify whenever the low tide reaches its height and, of necessity, schedule so that you can return to your original location when a tidal surge catch there.

5.4. Scuba Diving

With all the living creatures throughout this region (dolphins, turtles, marine mammals, seals, etc…), it really would surely make for a terrific trip, and knowing how beautiful the landscape is on the surface, one can only imagine how beautiful it is beneath the ocean underwater.

Because this campground is nearby a very lovely-looking community and island, picturesque drives during this location are available.

Whytecliff Park is well-known for its wonderful, chilled water swimming chances. It provides base jumping for all abilities, including introductory lessons in the immediate bay region to the more experienced excursions in Queen Charlotte Channel.

Octopuses, sea anemones, killer whales, whales, oysters, and reef life are among the faunas. During March and October, the water is cleanest, and local diving companies may organize leases, courses, and trips.

5.5. Kayaking and Paddle 

Kayaking around this region is attractive and picturesque, and when the waves are also too strong to trek over to other rocks, kayaking is your option.

5.6. Lighthouse Park

This region is next to Whytecliff Park and is ideal for cool trekking paths, breathtaking vistas, and more.

5.7. Hiking Trails

For something like an exposed rocky path or a short stroll around the campground, look for the pathways at the northwestern corner of the sandy overflowing parking garage.

At low tide, visitors may safely stroll from across boulders to Whyte Island’s cliffs – but remain vigilant on the wave to avoid being caught out there.

Visitors might witness marine mammals sunning on boulders in the water depending on the year’s season, or you might encounter permanent orcas in summer.

5.8. Swimming

Swimming is a popular summer recreation, and the spongy sand beach receives direct sun most of the day. The waters rarely truly warm up but are safe to swim in

Since you are located in a Marine Protected Area, you should be conscious of any limitations and handle the animals with care – diving shops may assist you with this.

Introductory sessions are usually held at the beach near the facilities, where there isn’t much sea life to observe due to the number of people and relatively muddy waters.

But the sections to the east and west of the beach area provide excellent observation chances and are just 5-ocean swimming from the shoreline with depths of around 10 meters. Explorers with more experience can examine slope corals and a relatively close diving barrier just north of something like the beach area.

Whytecliff park
Photo by George Stackpole on Unsplash

6. Guidance to Follow Before Visiting

Below are some pointers to making the most of any vacation to Whytecliff Park

#1: If visitors wish to tour the area without swimming, go while the tide is low. At storm surge, it’s an island. It does, however, reconnect to the continent during the intertidal zone. Storm surges can tell you which tides will be during any given time.

#2: When ascending the mountain or one of the park’s numerous dangerous rocks, proceed cautiously and pay close attention to little pebbles. The pebbles may be quite difficult! Moreover, be extra cautious in chilly cold weather and when it has rained.

#3: Scuba diving from around the park is global, having a scuba diving flag painted. Snorkelling may also be enjoyable!

#4: The stadium has a decent-sized parking garage, although it can be filled up during the weekend with beautiful weather, particularly in the summer. There is a spillover space on the privilege just beyond the park’s entryway and a little farther along the road.

#5: Unless you’re taking the boat from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo or Bowen Island and have some extra time, Whytecliff Park is a fantastic spot to stop. If the ferry leaves in less than about 60 minutes, Horseshoe Bay Villages is a great spot to visit.

#6: Remember to bring your digicam! Including its craggy mountains and seaside vistas, the region is ideal for photography.

More About the Marine Park

Whytecliff park
Photo by Holly Booker on Unsplash

The craggy coastline and cobble beach of Whytecliff Marine Park is in West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay neighbourhood. The governmental Whytecliff Park received Canada’s first Marine Protected Area in 1993.

Whytecliff Park is located at the end of the 7000 blocks of Marine Drive just west of Horseshoe Bay.

It is illegal to collect or gather any sea creatures beneath the waves of this area. Having lived in Canada’s most wealthy municipality, approximately 200 sea turtle types with unique names like the multi-coloured sanddab or the daisy faced various challenges: calling those waterways their home and paying no real estate taxes.

The scene is striking here at the opening of Howe Sound, with the expanse of the Strait of Georgia stretching out to the west. Ferries servicing Vancouver, Bowen Islands, and the Sunshine Coast arrive and depart at Horseshoe Bay.

Waves are created when the surge from larger vessels hits the shoreline. Even if it’s little, it’s a unique sight within those calm seas.

Visitors may locate a peaceful location with a wooden log for a headrest on all but the hottest weekend afternoons. Explore a few rocky but well-worn pathways that meander all along cliffs’ ledges.

Narrow stairways made of stone connect to different locations. A sound barrier connects to the neighbouring Whyte Islet. Visitors may scramble up its steep inclines at sea level and discover a protected refuge behind a lone coast pine. Maintain a check on the tide’s progression. It’s a long, icy wade back to the mainland.

You’ll undoubtedly witness sweaty folks emerging from the riverbank or navigating their way toward the water as people walk along the shoreline at Whytecliff Marine Park.


1. Is Whytecliff Park dog friendly?

Ans– Absolutely. Pets are only permitted off-leash in the park’s pathways section on the eastern edge of Marine Drive. Anywhere else in the garden, they must be kept in a cage.

2. Is Whytecliff Park known for a Nature Walk?

Ans– Within the park, there are several small routes for walkers to enjoy. The landscapes of Howe Sounds and the distant Tantalus Mountains are not to be missed. The pathways are found on the western edge of Marine Drive, where a second parking lot leads to the entrance.

3. Is swimming at Whytecliff Park an option?

Ans– Yes. Keep aware that you may come across seals when swimming. Do not approach them or disturb their environment. The Park’s sheltered bay is an excellent place to cool down on hot summer days.

4. Can one go Canoeing or Kayaking in Whytecliff Park?

Ans– This is an excellent location for a seaside canoe or kayak trip.


Whytecliff Park welcomes all its tourist with great adventures and enjoyment possible. Visit the park and enjoy the hiking trail and short walking trails near the rugged coastline and sandy beaches.

The park is located at a great place in Vancouver where one could go exploring having a map in hand, can go swimming have the facilities of changing rooms, can click photos or pictures next to the amazing views, can go hiking-on-hiking trails, and spend time exploring most areas including eagle ridge drive under good weather.

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