Whyte Lake – West Vancouver

notes from Jenavieve


Last summer Dad came up with one of his brainstorming ideas:  A family hike to Whyte Lake.  “Ummm…No!” was my response.  It was Sunday afternoon and I had better things to do—like change the colour of my nail polish.  His reply:  “How about dinner after at YaYa’s restaurant in Horseshoe Bay (which is called Olive and Anchor now, but I like YaYa’s better).  “Well, okay, maybe, but only if it’s less than two hours long, and doesn’t have a lot of hills,” was what I said.

Done!  Within ten minutes we were driving towards Horseshoe Bay and inside of 15 minutes we were parked alongside the Trans Canada Freeway by Westport Drive.  If this sounds too vague for you, take exit four and follow Westport Drive.  It’ll take you there—trust me.  Although, having said that my sense of direction is really not my strongest point.  I should learn how to drive, apparently it helps.

If you’ve never heard of Whyte Lake Trail, you’re not alone.  It hasn’t been around that long.  Dad said it was built around the same time as the 2010 Olympics.  If you look at a map, you’ll see that Whyte Lake Trail connects the Baden Powell Trail with the Trans Canada Trail, making a big loop.

The trail was easier than I thought it would be:  a few small hills, but nothing you’d break out into a sweat over.  To be honest with you, I don’t remember too many of the details.  I mean, when it comes down to it, a trail is a trail.  Whyte Lake Trail has a wooden bridge going over Nelson Creek, and a few boardwalks to get you over the wet spots, but for me the most interesting part was the lake.

I remember as we got close to the lake we could hear voices, lots of voices.  I wondered what was going on.  Coleman thought we were closing in on a beach, and he would go swimming.  As it turned out, he was half right and half wrong.  His beach was a floating dock alongside the water’s edge.  The noise was a group of teenagers, Mom surmised a church group because no one was swearing.

To Coleman’s disappointment, the water was deemed by Mom as un-swimmable.  It was murky with logs and stump remains scattered here and there.  To top it off, tadpoles were popping out of the water everywhere.  This was one time I had to agree with Mom:  “Yuck, Coleman, anybody who swims in there must have a hole in their head.”  The words barely finished coming out of my mouth when we heard a big splash, followed by another one.  There before our very eyes were two boys happily swimming in the un-swimmable water.  Go figure.

Coleman made one last ditch attempt:  he was already wearing board shorts and didn’t need a towel.  That was all Dad needed to unleash a 15 minute sermon on the perils of becoming a “follower” in life.  Coleman was more interested in the dogs that were racing by.  “Aren’t these dogs supposed to be on a leash?” Mom asked.  That started Dad on another sermon:  May 29th, 2007, the day he absent mindedly stepped in doggie do-do while hiking the Baden Powell trail.  By the time that was over and done with, we were back at the car.

My main concern at that point was what to have for dinner.  I narrowed it down to the Tuna Salad or Indian Chicken.  According to my calculations I burned around 400 calories.  Maybe I’d have room for the Crème Brule as well.  I could hardly wait.


The trail to Whyte Lake is 2.9 km (one way).  Going west on the Upper Levels Highway, take exit #4 (Caulfeild, Woodgreen Drive) and follow Westport Road north, which goes under the highway, and a little further you will see a parking lot.  A trail map can be found here.


West Vancouver


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