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.
Cicerone Press offer a range of books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Europe and beyond. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors. The guides also cover cycling, via ferrata, scrambling and some winter activities. Explore Cicerone's Catalogue
Do enjoy yourself when out walking and choose a route that is within your capabilities especially with regard to navigation.
Do turn back if the weather deteriorates especially in winter or when visibility is poor.
Do wear the right clothing for the anticipated weather conditions. If the weather is likely to change for the worse make sure you have enough extra clothing in your pack.
Do tell someone where you are planning to walk especially in areas that see few other walkers.
Do take maps and other navigational aids. Do not rely on mobile devices in areas where reception is poor. Take spare batteries especially in cold weather.
Do check the weather forecast before leaving. The Met Office has a number of forecasts for walkers that identify specific weather risks.
Please Note - These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that Walking Britain is not held responsible for the safety or well being of those following the routes as described. It is worth reiterating the point that you should embark on a walk with the correct maps preferably at 1:25000 scale. This will enable any difficulties with route finding to be assessed and corrective action taken if necessary.