While this beach in the western part of West Vancouver is not large, it has phenomenal views, it’s in a protected cove that’s great for swimming in the summer, has a tide-dependent rocky path you can take to a small islet, and beach side cliffs to walk or scramble up. Last but not least, pair it with the rest of the Whytecliff Park and you have the makings of a great outing.
ACCESS AND FACILITIES
There is ample parking in Whytecliff park, but it does fill up on nice summer weekends, in which case you won’t be able to enter the park by car. The beach lies within Whytecliff Park, and you can walk down to the beach from the park via multiple paths. The easiest way is to head towards the concession stand (if standing at the playground, look across the large grass field) and find the footpaths on either side of it, one of them stroller friendly. If minimizing walking is important to you, then there are parking spots right at the entrances of the paths. Alternatively, you can take the narrow somewhat adventurous rocky path that leads out near the viewpoint (head to the visibly highest point from the parking lot)
For simple refreshments, there is a seasonal concession stand. There are washrooms in the park and down at the beach.
The beach is a fairly narrow strip, even narrower during high tide, especially in the winter. The beach is largely pebbles, with small pockets of sand here and there. Most people would prefer water shoes. There is plenty of driftwood for play, and of course the rocks! Depends on your child’s interest, but it’s been a hit with ours in all seasons. The beach backs onto trees, so in the summer you can often find a shaded spot for resting. The park is a Marine Protected Area, and sea lion sightings are not uncommon (we can personally attest to that!). It is also a very popular scuba diving spot, so you’ll probably see divers getting into or out of water. During low tide, you can follow a rocky footpath to Whyte Islet a short distance away. Getting around the islet, including to the top of it, involves light scrambling, so it may not be for the youngest of tots.
If you want a similar type of beach, but don’t care much about the facilities or the rest of the Whytecliff park (or if Whytecliff is too crowded!), consider walking over to Bachelor Cove. This small beach is accessed off of Marine Drive, about ~400 meters before Whytecliff park. You’ll get a great view of it as you drive or walk along Marine Drive. Look for a set of stairs leading down to the waterfront, along with a small pullout for cars. For food and a playground, consider stopping nearby at Horseshoe Bay.