Trailblazing 2019: Whyte Lake (West Vancouver)

Difficulty: Easy

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Round-Trip Distance: 5 km

Elevation Gain: Moderate - 160m

Season: year-round

Car Travelling Time from Vancouver: 30 minutes

Public Transit: No



Whyte Lake is a small, peaceful lake in the hills of West Vancouver ascending Horseshoe Bay. The trail is scenic, following Nelson Creek uphill through a grove of Western Cedar and Douglas Fir trees and along the way, you will encounter huge old growth giants. The trail begins on a steep note, but overall, is rather moderate.

From the metal gate in the gravel parking area just off of Westport Road, walk down the gravel access road as it loops through the highway. Just after the overpass, follow the gravel access road up a steep slope. This will be the steepest segment of your climb and is not very long, so have patience. Just after the road veers left and a water tower comes into view, look for a trail sign post to the right. Take this trail to the right and enter the forest, continuing uphill.


As you reach a trail sign at a junction, take note of the markers. Turn left onto the Whyte Lake trail and walk down the short hill to where the trail passes along some wooden railings. Through this section, be sure to look up at the trees as there are several large, old-growth Douglas Firs along the canyon.

The trail continues through the forest, eventually passing over a wooden bridge over Nelson Creek. In the spring, it will often be muddy and may occasionally have snow covering it during the winter months. Not long after passing over a second wooden bridge, the trail reaches a sign pointing to Whyte Lake to the right. Within minutes, you arrive at the small wooden dock and the peaceful lake.


After admiring the lake scenery, retrace your steps back down the hill, along the trail to the starting point.

Note: There is also a hike extension to the Baden Powell. For those looking to venture further, you can traverse past the lake to where it extends towards the Baden Powell Trail.