Whyte Lake Trail

We were hoping to review Whytecliff Park and its trails today, but once again parking was impossible on this sunny Saturday morning both at the main lot and the overflow lot. So we scrambled for an alternative, and happened upon the beautiful Whyte Lake trail. We followed this AllTrails route to complete the 5.5km, 209m elevation gain trail.

Trail condition

This is a moderate intensity trail for us, starting with a stretch of uphill climb that cold starts the heart, with lots of rocks and tree roots to climb over. There are also some stairs and small bridges. Some parts of the trail are pretty steep and sandy, making it quite slippery. I actually slipped on my way down on one of the steep slopes, but luckily the sleeping baby that was on me did not even notice.

The forest view is beautiful, with lots of old trees, different types of vegetations, and the occasional tree trunk lined steps. Our toddler loves walking up and down the tree roots along the trail, but got tired fairly quickly. This trail is definitely a big energy burner for the kids.

The trail took us about 3 hours to complete (including our snack time by the lake). There were a few other trails in the area but they aren’t well marked. We followed the GPS on our cellphone and it was quite straight forward to navigate. There were enough other hikers on the trail to feel very safe, as one could ask for directions or assistance if needed.

As for Whyte Lake, there is currently no fishing or swimming allowed, since it contains “unknown hazards” according to a close by warning sign. Another sign says there are cutthroat trout which is protected.

The south side of the lake has a dock but it was quite busy. We didn’t approach the crowd for sake of social distancing. We walked around the lake and on the north side there is a small beach, much fewer people. We took a snack break here. Whyte Lake is quite small and muddy. I wouldn’t swim in here even if there were no warning signs.

Cellphone Reception

There is NO reception in this trail. We brought along our walkie-talkies to communicate.


Throughout the whole trail there is only 1 bench overlooking a small creek. However, it was occupied both on our way up and down. There are big tree logs along the way and I tried breastfeeding while sitting on one of the logs, it’s fairly comfortable if you can find one that is just about the right height.


There is NO washroom by the parking lot nor on the trail.


There is a small parking lot at the trail head. If it’s full, you can park on Westport Rd about 500 meters to the east.

Roadside parking on Westport Road.
The parking lot and trailhead was pretty nondescript.
The parking lot actually goes a little deeper and has a fair number of spots, but they were mostly taken up when we arrived at noon on Saturday.

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