I'd recommend Lighthouse Park to visitors who want to experience an enjoyable and easy hike through an old growth temperate rainforest within a short drive from downtown Vancouver.
What most visitors (and locals) don't realize is that most of the forests immediately surrounding Vancouver were logged before the 20th century. That is, the very first logging mills set up in Gastown were logging most of Vancouver and the local mountains of Seymour, Cypress and Grouse. Even Stanley Park was completely logged! The forests you now see in these locations are second or third generations post-logging. The trees may be tall, but they weren't nearly as thick as the original trees that once grew there.
However, one of the few places that has never been touched by large-scale logging is Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. As a result, Lighthouse Park boasts to be one of the few virgin temperate rainforest parks in the area. The forest here is "mature" with all stages of growth present. While you'll see very young trees and medium-aged trees, you will also come across some of the thickest and oldest trees still growing in the area.
There are numerous paths through Lighthouse Park. All are well maintained and can be done within an hour or two. Picnic tables and flush toilets are conveniently located through the park.
No fancy equipment or footwear is needed for a visit to Lighthouse Park. This makes it ideal for families and people who want the sense of wilderness without having to travel to remote areas. Just bring a good pair of walking shoes, a camera, binoculars and your lunch!
The park offers beautiful views of the nearby inlets and islands, as well as the local mountains. The old lighthouse at the end of the trails is no longer functional but makes for beautiful quaint maritime scenery.
Lighthouse Park is located in West Vancouver and is a park filled with trails and towering trees. We went there in search of the Point Atkinson Lighthouse and eventually found it but along the way we had a good walk. The views from the rocks on the shore of Vancouver were also good as we watched some of the boats go sailing by. There are some good picnic spots but bring a sweater as it is right on the ocean water.
A very short drive from downtown (you can stop by on your way to Whistler) there are great views and lots of hiking to be done and the best part is that parking is free (a rarity in Vancouver)