The Whyte Lake trail is an easy hike that starts from near the Nelson Creek Bridge (Trans-Canada Highway) in West Vancouver. There is nice little parking lot just for this hike (see location below for parking and trailhead location). After passing under the bridge, you will pass a reservoir and start into the forest. The hike is mostly uphill all the way to the lake, which is only 2.5 km away. The trail follows the east side of the Nelson Creek Ravine; as you head north, the ravine gets noticeably smaller. The trail is well established and easy to follow. Today, I completed the hike in a loop (I choose a different way down), but most people will return the same way. With the loop I did, there is a little more elevation gain and the trail isn’t marked (but it is easy to follow assuming no snow on ground). There is a tree-obstructed view of Howe Sound from a small branch off the loop trail.
Here are the stats for the loop/or return on same trail route:
Distance: 6.2 km (loop) / 5.0 km (same trail)
Time: 2 hours (lots of breaks)
Low point: 96 m
High point: 343 m
Elevation gain: 247 m
Calories burned: 600
Trailhead: 49° 21’ 38.7” by 123° 15’ 31.4” (Google Map)
Before heading out on your hike, make sure you are well prepared. This means, having the TEN ESSENTIALS. It is also important to leave a trip plan (route details and estimated return time) with someone you trust.
Bring your smartphone, fully charged and put it in airplane mode while hiking. I always bring back-up battery packs for extra piece of mind. It is highly recommended that you bring a GPS device; I use my smartphone with a GPS app (Backcountry Navigator). The GPS will work in airplane mode. Learn how to use it before your hike.
For anyone new to hiking, there is a rule to which hikers follow; it is called “Leave No Trace” or LNT. The concept is generally to pack out what you pack in and respect nature, so all future visitors can enjoy what you have enjoyed.
To learn more about LNT, please check out this BLOG by a certified LNT Trainer.