Situated at the west end of the North Shore Mountains where the Howe Sound meets the Burrard Inlet is a 185-acre park that hosts stunning scenery and miles of trails that wind through an ancient forest.
Lighthouse Park's lighthouse at Point Atkinsons is actually off limits to the public, but it still draws in the crowds for the surrounding views and vistas. Overlooking Vancouver to the south and Vancouver Island to the west, the original lighthouse was built in 1874, and the lands surrounding it were set aside by the Dominion of Canada to create a dark backdrop for the beacon. The park was later used for its strategic positioning during World War II as a lookout. The barracks and other buildings that were built there are now used by Girl Guides and other summer camps.
There are trails in the park that pass through the Valley of the Giants, home to 500-year old Douglas fir and cedar trees that reach 200 feet into the air. Other trails lead you through the park and out to the coastline to various viewpoints. Juniper Point is the westernmost point of the park, and it boasts the best views for watching sunsets. Flat and open on top, it is a great place for a picnic and pictures.
Juniper point is also one of Vancouver's most beautiful rock climbing areas. There are several short top rope climbs rated 5.6 to 5.12 that start right from the waterline on all sides of the point. At the top there are a couple of spots for cliff jumping. The water at high or low tide is deep enough for the 60-foot plunge.
The park is dog friendly, has ample free parking, and is only 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, making it a great place to spend the day.