Overview of Whytecliff Park

Whytecliff Park

Vancouver, BC
Canada

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Whytecliff Park is the premier dive spot for divers of all capabilities. You can find dive classes exploring the inner cove, and advanced divers venturing further out toward the Queen Charlotte Channel. All the classic sea life of this area can be found within an afternoon of touring the slopes and walls. For the non-divers, food and restrooms are found close the parking area.

2014 Note from Chanel MacKay:
I am the current operator of the concession at Whytecliff Park and am in the process of reducing my hours of operation for the fall and winter 2014. I thought I would reach out to you to see if there would be any interest in my staying open for coffees, soups, and sandwiches over the park's off season. I know from speaking to divers this summer that the fall and winter are generally better for diving at Whytecliff. Would a hot drink and snack be appreciated by your divers or do they prefer to take off once out of the water and head somewhere warm to shower and dry off properly? Any feedback you could offer would be greatly appreciated as this is my first year in operation and I would like to make sure I'm meeting the needs of park guests. Please email me at foxfoodsvancouver *at* gmail*dot*com. Thank you!!

Directions: From the Copper Cove dive site turn right onto Marine Drive. In a short distance you'll see the entrance to Whyte Cliff Park.


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08/26/2013 Paxdiver (Avg: 3.11 Review) - Update review from 2010. Not much has changed. Summer vis is poor best to dive late fall and winter. Left side still has rope with great nudibrands and the left side incredible wall of large sun sea stars. Great for new OW divers or advanced. This a go slow dive area. Slow down and be amazed at what life is in the smallest of areas, easily missed if quickly finning quickly past everything.

06/06/2010 Neil Daley (Avg: 3.78 Review) - Dove this site over two days and loved it. The first day was from 'The Cut' which is accessed from the very highest point of the parking area. After a huge climb down the mountain, the giant splint in the granite opens up into a tiny cove for entry over a mix of small to medium loose rocks so hold on. Follow the wall to the right and you will see a huge area of plumose anemone between 45-60 fsw. The wall has an amazing amount of diversity and it is completely covered with life. The only negative was my timing, summer vis is low, and the climb back up the hill - about 100 ft vertical climb with gear. Dove the cove on the second day and it was a nice area - can easily see why they train here. The left wall of the cove stays around 60 fsw until you go around the point and then it drops to more than 400 feet. Be sure to check out the life on the ropes - lots of tube anemones and sponge. Not as much life on the cove walls but still a nice dive.

04/25/2009 OkiMike (Avg: 2.40 Review) - My first dive in this kind of cold water. Our group stayed inside the cove and did drills for an upcoming tech class. A bit of a current picked up as we made our way North to the wall. Can't wait to try this with a bottom stage at 240 fsw.

01/18/2009 Anonymous (Avg: 4.10 Review) - Easy access to park. Lots of parking available, however arrive early in the summer months. Making your way down to the beach you will have to negotiate a set of stairs or a ramp leading to the shore. Consult tide tables carefully. On an incoming tide you may think that by diving on the east side of the bay you may get a drift coming back in; however the tide pushes off the north side and makes its way around to the opposite side which can make your return swim tiring. Best to be tackled at slack tide.

10/08/2008 Anonymous (Avg: 3.33 Review) - If you want to avoid the student divers, don't dive Whytecliff on the weekends. It's a beautiful site. The bay is sheltered and there is no boat traffic. It's easy to get to, and there is all sorts of marine life. No wonder all the local dive schools train there.

08/19/2008 Matt Lees (Avg: 3.45 Review) - 'EnjoysWater' pretty much nailed it. This is a large site where most local dive shops take their classes, though they do tend to stay shallow. The wall on the right is a great place to spend the afternoon. If you can get in the water for your first dive by 9-10am you should be able to avoid most of the classes. No Showers, but there is a place to hose off gear and a canteen to get food on the summer weekends.

01/29/2007 EnjoysWater (Avg: 3.88 Review) - On Saturday January 27th 2007 I dove Whytecliff Park. This was my first dive in Vancouver B.C., and I enjoyed it very much. The drive up from Seattle is not too terrible. I didn't hit traffic, as I made the drive late Friday night and stayed at TWU. The site is easy to find, and has great mountain/water views. If you have never been up there, or have never gone to Whistler, etc., it is a very scenic area. Despite the abundance of parking, arriving at 9am was a bad choice. The water was already being infiltrated by a large dive class and multiple, no tons, of other divers. Lots of guys with duals, for good reason -wall dive. While the class went straight out into the bay, most other more experienced divers should go to the right (the cut? I think it's called) and dive along the wall. My buddy has seen a decent sized octo on the wall (shallower, maybe 30 fsw) and there is lots more to see as you keep going farther. We turned around at 110 fsw as the dual manifold divers armed with scooters zoomed past and around and up and down. I would definitely dive here again, as there is much to see on the wall. Plus, the thrill of not having a bottom for much of the dive is always fun. If you plan to visit Whytecliff, beware of the Saturday class crowd and weekend warriors. 50fsw and up was pretty churned up. Solid site with easy entry, and a huge park for topside walkers / joggers / swing set / toys / restrooms / showers? (in the summer most likely).

09/06/2006 Stephen Scott (Avg: 3.33 Review) - Did several dives here, both in the day and the night. Decent amount of life and variety. Had some good and some average dives here. Did a night dive and was visited by a resident seal who put on a show in our lights.

05/15/2005 Ian Wong (Avg: 1.89 Review) - I live in Vancouver. I have almost 200 dives, BUT never even worn a wetsuit. I decided to get my dry suit certification because I kept reading about all the wonderful diving in my backyard!. You have to realize this diving is NOTHING like Caribbean diving. It's FREEZING (even in my dry suit). Did my 2 dives at Whytecliff and won't be diving in cold water again. This type of diving might be for some people, but definitely not for others (like me).

01/10/2005 T.B.M. (Avg: 2.87 Review) - Did four dives here on the second weekend of December. Tons of sea stars, a few decorated shrimp, lingcod, rockfish, mini schools of flounder, and oh so many plumose anemones! Off to the right there are some interesting walls and there are quite a few memorial plaques to deceased divers in the fields of anemones. I've found two…

09/24/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 4.03 Review) - I am from Ottawa and I dive in fresh water ( St-Laurence ). I was amazed with the difference between salt water and fresh water. The aquatic live of salt water is amazing. I saw millions of star fish at this site.

05/04/2004 Glenn 1 (Avg: 3.84 Review) - Myself, wife, son and son's girlfriend traveled from Tacoma to this site for a weekend of diving. Dove the Nakaya and the Granthall. Great dive site. Long swim similar to Edmonds Underwater Park in Washington. Vis was approx. 30-35 ft. Great dive with very friendly and informative local people. Will do this site again soon.

02/01/2004 Ralph Bender (Avg: 4.18 Review) - Easy access to water down some stairs or a ramp for wheel chairs. Good site with showers but they are closed in the winter. Water is between 40 & 50F, and year-round visibility is best in fall and winter about 40 feet. There are two dive areas in the bay which are good for beginners, and the cut which is for advanced divers. You really have to look but there is lots to see. Lots of students in the center of the bay, but you have to start somewhere

12/15/2003 Advanced Diver (Avg: 4.72 Review) - Excellent dive site. Always something new. Great divers. Don't forget your dry suit during colder months though...

11/21/2003 Dive Master (Avg: 4.45 Review) - Whytecliff Park is an excellent dive site for divers of all skill levels. It is also a wonderful spot to have a day picnic or do some skin diving. It is Canada's first Marine protected area as of 1993, this offers over 200 marine species for viewing and safe interactions with. It is great because of the life. If you are really lucky you might have a encounter with the parks seal, "Pearl". Whytecliff is easy accessible for all and even includes a divers ramp. Have Fun & Dive Safe!

08/26/2003 Brian Elliott (Avg: 4.04 Review) - Great site for all level of divers. Lots to see for fish life and invertebrates. Night diving is awesome here.

05/27/2003 Master Dive Master (Avg: 3.48 Review) - Good dive except for all the damn students!!!! Dive the cut side to avoid the bottom humpers!!!!!

05/14/2003 Brian Elliott (Avg: 3.79 Review) - Something different every dive. Sandy bottom to 100 feet in center of bay. Wall dive to South side and also to South side. Many variety of Sea Stars, Rockfish, Nudibranchs, Kelp Greenlings and Plumose Anemone. Resident Harbour Seal often spotted.

03/12/2003 Mermaid Hunter (Avg: 2.33 Review) - Some life, however the silting has prevented an abundance

03/09/2003 Anonymous (Avg: 3.78 Review) - Awesome deep walls.- A lot of places to explore. I like to go around the point on the right. Seals hang out here- almost guaranteed.

03/08/2003 Kate (Avg: 4.58 Review) - Whytecliff is a fabulous site. Shallow bay for beginners with walls of stars etc. Plumous anemone forest around the point an intermediate dive and just breathtaking. Wall drops very deep near the cut lots of beautiful cloud sponges. Tonnes of life! Night dives very fun in the bay because friendly harbour seals use your light to hunt.


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Site Photos

Maps
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Photo
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Comments
Entrance

 Map     Sat
GPS: VA1601
N49°22.3070'
W123°17.3919'

 

Entrance at Whytecliff Park 

The entrance is well groomed and nicely marked. For dog owners, your 'best friend' isn't allowed in the park, not even to wait in the car.

Entrance

 Map     Sat
GPS: VA1602
N49°22.3070'
W123°17.3919'

 

Entrance at Whytecliff Park 

Wind your way around the central grassy area until you reach the parking next to the beach.

Parking

 Map     Sat
GPS: VA1603
N49°22.3474'
W123°17.4661'

 

Parking at Whytecliff Park 

Suit up at your car; the walk is about 50 meters down hill.

Trail Head

 

 

Trail Head at Whytecliff Park 

A rock stairway takes you down to the beach. Restrooms are found in the structure to the right.

Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: VA1605
N49°22.3080'
W123°17.4428'

 

Entry at Whytecliff Park 

Two divers are seen braving the cold. For clearer, less crowded waters, head out toward the Western point in the background.

Overview

 

 

Overview at Whytecliff Park 

This is a view of the beach area from the Western cliff. The restrooms and entry can be seen in the background.

Last Verification: July, 2001  

 

Diver Averages for  Whytecliff Park  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.57
Bottom Conditions:  3.38
Reef Conditions:  3.48
Animal Life:  3.90
Plant Life:  3.52
Facilities:  4.00
Solitude 2.57
Roads:  4.38
*Site Average:  3.59
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.14
Beginner Scuba:  4.19
Intermediate Scuba:  4.33
Advanced Scuba:  4.10
Night diving Scuba:  4.33

Number of reviews for this site: 21

421-3-1-16


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