Stanley Park, Vancouver
Country - Canada
Region - Vancouver City
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 10.0 km / 6.3 miles
Time - 5.00 hours
This wonderful park is one of the main attractions in Vancouver and provides the basis for an excellent walk. Because of the nature of the park and its individual attractions, which are scattered in a number of locations, it is probably better to suggest some ideas rather than a specific route. Before starting the walk do try and get at least a basic map of the area that shows the key places and attractions. Once in the park there are many information boards that offer detailed maps and indexes of attractions.
The start is the trolleybus loop which is served by route 19 with buses every 10 minutes. The city centre boarding points include a number on West Pender Street. We opted to walk clockwise around the headland. This means that you have a few attractions to see on the west side of the headland before completing a 5km walk and then finishing with another group of things to see.
Leave the trolleybus stop and make for the south side of Lost Lagoon. From here continue to Second Beach. Once on the shore turn right and walk with the sea on your left. You pass Ferguson Point to reach Third Beach. The going is easy and there is usually plenty to see out in the harbour. Siwash Rock soon follows and then there is a section of seawall that leads you around the northern shore of the peninsula to Prospect point and Lighthouse.
Soon you pass under the Lion's Gate Bridge. Opened in May 1939, this superb piece of engineering has a main span of 1550 ft that has a clearance of 200 ft over the water below. Turning south the walk leads alongside the Burrard Inlet which always seems busy with ships. You will also see seaplanes landing and taking off on this section of the walk. Heading south continue along the path passing the 'Girl in a Wetsuit' and the 'Empress of Japan'. You can head right at this point but the preferred route is to continue around Brockton Point with its lighthouse and a little further on the 9 o'clock gun.
On your left is a superb view towards downtown Vancouver. Look out for the signs on your right taking you to the Totem Poles just after passing the 9 o'clock gun. This is the start of the final section of exploration of the park before returning to the trolleybus loop. Apart from buying some food and refreshments we opted not to pay any additional admissions. This loop took us about 5 hours which allowed plenty of time to take in the sights.