Whyte Lake Hike
Follow along the Whyte Lake Trail as it meanders along creeks, over moss-covered bridges, and past mammoth old-growth Douglas Firs. Relax on the secluded north shore beach of Whyte Lake, or hop off the wooden dock to cool off for a swim. This scenic hike offers a prime example of hiking through a Pacific temperate rainforest climate.
Join our newsletter
Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers
Route Description for Whyte Lake Hike
The Whyte Lake Trail is a short out-and-back hike in West Vancouver that meanders along Whyte Creek before arriving at its namesake, a tranquil lake nestled within the Pacific temperate rainforest. The trail itself begins with a fairly steep incline but levels out quickly, making this 5.5 km hike a great option to get out for some exercise with the family before spending some relaxation time hanging out by Whyte Lake.
Setting off on the trail from the parking lot along Westport Road, pass by the metal gate and follow the gravel road as it passes underneath the highway. As you come out on the other side of the overpass, continue to follow the gravel path as it begins a short but steep incline. This section of the trail is the steepest and most strenuous; however, it levels off rather quickly and you can easily continue on your way up to the lake.
As the road bends to the left, you will notice a water tower that will come into your view. From here, locate the sign on your right, marking the start of the trail and follow it uphill into the forest. Continue walking through this section of mixed forest as it gradually climbs up the Trans Canada Trail.
After 500 m, hikers will approach a junction in the trail with a sign directing you left toward Whyte Lake. Follow this path down the hill as it passes along sections of old, wooden, moss-covered railings. Throughout this portion of the hike, you will be able to spot a number of old-growth Douglas Fir trees. Keep an eye out for their mammoth, lichen-covered frames as you breathe in the purified rainforest air while walking along the canyon.
As you approach Nelson Creek, you will need to cross a wooden bridge that, depending on the season, could be covered in mud, snow, or ice. Shortly after this, you will come upon another bridge that spans Whyte Creek. Roughly 400 m after crossing this second bridge, there will be a trail marker to the right designating Whyte Lake. Following this path to the right will lead you to the tranquil lake and a small dock that you can use for swimming if you so wish.
Alternatively, you can continue on the path to the left, which skirts around the lake, allowing you to reach its north shore. Take some time to relax and have lunch on the secluded beach that can be found here, before heading back down the trail to return to the carpark.
Hiking Trail Highlights
With a quaint wooden dock and a secluded beach on its north shore, Whyte Lake is the perfect spot to lounge around the water or go for a quick swim after your hike. Although there aren’t any vantage points of the surrounding area, the forest around the lake is very scenic, with towering trees that provide a perfect backdrop for a peaceful hike.
Insider Hints for Whyte Lake Hike
- While many people swim in the lake, there is a sign stating that it is not suitable for this purpose. Do so at your own discretion.
- Although the trail is accessible year-round, portions of the trail can become covered in mud, snow or ice during winter months. Use caution when hiking these areas and wear proper hiking footwear/crampons.
- Arrive early or on off-peak days, as the parking lot on Westport Road will fill up quickly.
- If you don’t mind a bit of mud, try this trail during or after rainfall. The moisture in the air creates a mist that lingers through the trees, creating a real rainforest atmosphere!
Getting to the Whyte Lake Hike Trailhead
To get to the Whyte Lake trailhead from downtown Vancouver, follow BC-99 north for 16.5 km and take exit 4 toward Woodgreen Drive. Turn left onto Westport Rd and follow it for 1.9 km. The parking lot will be on your right, sandwiched between Westport Rd and the highway.
Whyte Lake Hike Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Whyte Lake Hike Reviews
Add a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.