Cates Park (Whey-ah-Wichen) Beach
This beach is located on the unceded territory of Tsleil-Waututh nation.
This is a great beach for all weather play, from beach combing during low tide to digging and building and splashing in summertime. Surrounded by the trails, grass fields, playgrounds and amenities of North Vancouver District’s largest seaside park, this beach visit can easily be extended into several hours of play and exploration.
ACCESS AND FACILITIES
You can access the beach from multiple points along the park’s shoreline that stretches over a kilometre within Cates Park. There are several entry points right near the main parking within Cates Park, including near the concession stand and washrooms. If you want to explore further, you can get on a walking path (Malcolm Lowry Trail) near the canoe display, heading towards Little Cates Park, and find staircases leading down all along the pathway, all the way up to Little Cates Park. Or alternatively, you can start your experience at Little Cates and find the first beach spot that suits your fancy. During low tide, you can also walk along the shoreline.
There are washrooms at both Cates Park as well as Little Cates Park. While there is ample parking at Cates Park, it does fill up very quickly on nice weekends in the summer, so plan accordingly. Access via public transit is, ahem, not great. There are picnic tables at both ends of the park, and benches along the trail to take in the view and/or rest.
The shoreline is long and expansive, and has a very pleasant peaceful natural feel to it. You get great views of Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet. Even on busy weekends, you can often find less crowded spots on the beach if you are willing to venture beyond the area closest to the parking lot. Most adults and kids would probably prefer to wear water shoes for swimming and running around on the beach, as the shoreline is coarse sand mixed with pebbles. During low tide, you can scramble around rocks and explore the intertidal zone for marine life.
You can wander about in the expansive Cates Park and its trails, and check out the two playgrounds in the park - at Cates and Little Cates. The seasonal concession stand is the quickest summertime food option, otherwise you need to trek out to Deep Cove, Parkgate or, if getting on the highway, Northwoods Village. For those in the mood for walking or biking, you can cross Dollarton Highway and take Roche Point Dr (steep hill!) to Roche Point Park main trail which connects you with Seymour Village and eventually Parkgate.