- Difficulty Easy
- Time 2 hours
- Round-Trip 5km
- Elevation Gain 160 meters
- Season year-round
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 30 minutes
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly Yes
Whyte Lake is a small, peaceful lake in the hills of West Vancouver above Horseshoe Bay. The trail is scenic, following Nelson Creek uphill through a grove of Western Cedar and Douglas Fir trees and pass several large old growth giants. The trail begins at a somewhat steep page but, overall, is relatively short and easy.
From the metal gate in the gravel parking area just off of Westport Road, walk down the gravel access road as it weaves and passes under the highway. Just after the overpass, follow the gravel access road up a steep slope. While the trail is rated easy, this will be the steepest section of your climb and is not very long, so take your time. 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 walk into the forest, continuing uphill.
This section of the trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail. It continues to climb at a more gradual rate as you enjoy the second growth forest. Within 15 - 20 minutes, you will reach a trail sign at a junction. Go 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. Go right and within a minute, you arrive at the small wooden dock and the quiet lake.
After enjoying your time at the lake, retrace your steps back down the hill, going right at the junction onto the Trans Canada Trail, then following the gravel road back down, under the highway and back to the metal gate where you began.
Hike Extension to the Baden Powell
For those looking for a longer hike, you can continue along the Whyte Lake Trail past the lake to where it joins the Baden Powell Trail. At the Baden Powell Trail, going left will take you down near the community of Horseshoe Bay. Turn right, will take you up to the scenic Eagle Bluffs viewpoint before the trail continues to Cypress. Keep in mind that this section of the Baden Powell is quite steep and challenging in sections.