Vancouver’s Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

With shoulder season stretching longer these days, and since anyway I won’t be doing much skiing this season, it’s time to look for some adventures close to home.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Beautiful winter day

After the cold spell last week and then the pouring rain afterwards, we finally got a break in the weather on Sunday, so we headed out for a walk along the beach. Or as I like to call it “Vancouver’s secret beach”. Not everyone is aware that there is a stretch of beach behind the rich people’s houses on Point Grey Road, only accessible by foot or boat.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

“Vancouver’s Secret Beach”

I actually first became aware of this beach a few years ago when our friend Ignacio took us sailing on a catamaran and I saw this lost piece of land from the sea. I never really thought about what happens to the beach once you leave Kits Beach and before you enter Jericho. Well, it turns out that it’s out there, waiting to be explored.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Granville Island – the start of our tour

So on Sunday morning we left on our walk not too early and went down to Granville Island, an easy ten minute walk from our place. We walked along the water till we hit Kits Beach and explored Kits Point. I am so used to cycling in that area, but walking actually has lots of advantages too. We noticed so many things we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, like small ponds, many Canadian Geese, or even the dog beach. I never really noticed it till now, but on Sunday morning the beach was crowded with many happy dogs running free and their owners chit chatting and throwing a ball for their dogs.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

The dog beach

Then we walked behind Kits Pool, which has turned into duck habitat these days. A short path led us to the entrance of the “secret beach”, a territory only for the explorers. Stand-up paddling became very popular recently and there were quite a few of them despite the cold weather. It looks like they can go quite fast.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

The entrance to the secret beach

Unlike our last time, a rainy summer day with my dad, this time we actually checked the tide schedule in advance, so we (sort of) timed our walk to coincide with the low tide. Mostly the walk is very pleasant walking along the beach, but there are a few sections that require some rock hopping and paddle hopping.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Rock walking

High above us we could see the big houses, some of them have their own path to the beach. We stopped for a snack and it was quite amazing how we were still technically in the city, but all alone with mostly nature around us. Despite of everything (mostly the rainy weather) Vancouver has its charm.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Fish, not only in the water

We kept on going till we almost reached the yacht marina in Jericho, but then the water took over the beach and we couldn’t continue any farther, so we took the last stairs we saw back up to civilization.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

The stairs that led us back to civilization

Once we were at street level, we found ourselves in Hastings Mill Park, so we walked a little bit farther till Jericho beach and had a picnic for lunch. Finally we could enjoy some rays of sunshine. Unfortunately the “secret beach” is north facing, so it doesn’t get any sun. The upside is that you get good views of the North Shore Mountains all along the walk.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Picnic at Jericho beach and some sunshine

We stayed at Jericho till it got colder and then backtracked to start the long walk home. This time we walked on the street level along the nice new seaside cycling lane on Point Grey road. I still can’t understand why many people who live there objected it so much, it seems like they got a much quieter and more pleasant street in return.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

The seaside of Point Grey Road

On the way back we again noticed many things we had never noticed before. Like stories of Vancouver in wartime carved on some big boulders, or houses completely covered by green creepers.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Interesting house

We’ve been living in this city for over eight years, and yet it still never stops to amaze us how much more there still is to explore. Close to home, only by foot power, we had yet another perfect day.

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Kits Beach

Vancouvers Secret Beach: Exploring Close to Home

Paying attention to the details

Posted in Hiking & Scrambling, Metro Vancouver & North Shore, Trip Reports, Urban | 3 Comments