Nestled in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park provides the perfect outdoor escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while being only a stone’s throw away. With 27 kilometres of trails to choose from in the 405-hectare park, there’s really something for everyone in this slice of nature right in downtown Vancouver.

Take in the views of the North Shore’s mountains or try your hand at spotting some birds or harbour seals while making your way around the Stanley Park Seawall, a 10-kilometre paved path that encompasses the park. Third beach, which is located on the west-most side of the seawall, provides enticing ocean breezes for mid-adventure breaks as well as spectacular views of the sunset and even Vancouver Island on a clear day.

If you want more solitude on your day out in Stanley Park, head in towards the middle of the park for abundant ecology surrounding Beaver Lake. From the seawall, hop on the accessible Ravine Trail or from the bus loop, the Tisdall Walk, and make your way towards the 1.5-kilometre loop around this nature-rich wetland. Look out for birds, squirrels, and towering trees surrounding you as you walk around the edge of this marsh. If you happen to be there around dawn or dusk, you may see one of the five beavers inhabiting the lake, working on the dam that keeps this area a home for many species of flora and fauna alike. It is one of our favourite trails at Power To Be; we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

While on the trails in Stanley Park, look out for Douglas fir, western red cedars, hemlocks, Sitka spruce, and big leaf maples; and if you’re lucky, you may even find a monument tree, some of the oldest trees in the park! (Try checking out the Siwash Rock trail, Third Beach Trail, or Lake Trail just north of Beaver Lake).

Whether you enjoy meandering around Lost Lagoon, hiking one of the many trails through the park, or hanging out near the ocean at First, Second, or Third Beach, be sure to check out Stanley Park and all that it has to offer!

Keep an eye out for
  • Seals along the seawall
  • Salal bushes surrounding Beaver Lake
  • Towering red cedars
  • One of the five Bald eagle pairs nesting in the trees
  • Vancouver’s urban nesting site for Great Blue Herons
Know before you go
  • Plan your trip
  • Pay parking is in affect throughout the park
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles even in urban settings to reduce human-wildlife conflict
  • Note that the park can get busy in the summer months
How to get there

There are two access points by car into Stanley Park: one from the North Shore and one from downtown Vancouver. If driving, follow signs for Stanley Park Drive from Lion’s Gate bridge coming from North Vancouver or Georgia Street from downtown Vancouver. If transiting from Vancouver, the #19 bus will get you to the Stanley Park Loop near the Miniature Train. If coming from the North Shore, catch one of the Vancouver buses and hop off at Georgia Street and Gilford Street and make your way under the road into the park.

This blog was written by Steph Wood, one of Power To Be‘s amazing Program Facilitators. Steph has spent her whole life exploring the B.C. Coastal mountains hiking, trail running, skiing, rock climbing and back country camping.