Vancouver has no shortage of epic places to catch a sunset, such as Bowen Lookout, St Marks Summit and Kits Beach. But one of our absolute favourites is the Horseshoe Bay sunset platform that is known locally as the Horseshoe Bay lookout. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this awesome spot, including exactly where to find it.
The Horseshoe Bay secret platform used to be one of the real hidden gems in Vancouver that few people knew about. But it has blown up in the last year on social media so it feels like it has lost its hidden gem status. While you may not be able to get this epic sunset spot entirely to yourself anymore, it is still totally worth the visit. And even with its newfound fame, there is still only likely to be a handful of people there.
How to Get to the Horseshoe Bay Lookout
You can find the Horseshoe Bay lookout platform along Horseshoe Bay Drive which goes along the east side of the bay, just under the Sea to Sky Highway out to Squamish and Whistler. The exact spot is marked on the map above and you will usually see some cars parked along the side of the highway, close to the platform itself. It is 1.2 kilometres past the junction for Marine Drive and Horseshoe Bay Drive on the left-hand side.
There are a couple of different places that you can park your car when visiting this spot. If you are driving from the Vancouver direction, then you will see a small parking area a couple of hundred metres past the lookout on the left-hand side. It is the third pull-off parking area on the left after you pass the Marine Drive junction.
There is another place to park, closer to the lookout, right near the bank you need to climb up. However, this is more of a shoulder on the side of the road and really only has room for 3-5 cars.
It takes around 20 minutes to drive here from downtown Vancouver.
You can also get here via public transit. Take the 257 Bus, the Horseshoe Bay Express, from downtown Vancouver which will drop you off at the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay. From here it is less than a 30-minute walk up to the platform on Horseshoe Bay Drive.
Horseshoe Bay Sunset Platform
If you know where to look, then the Horseshoe Bay sunset spot is actually quite easy to find. Follow the map above to the exact spot and you will see a rocky bank on the side of the road with a concrete divider protecting it from the highway. There is a small path running along the inside of the concrete divider and you follow this from your parking spot until you see the sign shown below.
This sign marks the exact spot where you can climb up to find the Horseshoe Bay viewpoint platform. You just have to climb a couple of metres up the bank to reach the lookout. As you reach the top of the bank you will see the wooden platform right in front of you and you’ll get your first glimpse of Horseshoe Bay from above.
The view from up here is spectacular and you get an awesome birds-eye perspective down into the busy bay below. Horseshoe Bay is always buzzing with activity as there are several BC Ferries routes that depart from here. You’ll see lots of ferries coming and going to Vancouver Island, Bowen Island, and the Sunshine Coast.
The wooden platform is an epic place to kick back and watch the sunset with some friends. The sun sets right behind Horseshoe Bay and you’ll get to enjoy the whole bay being lit up with golden light. You can obviously visit here at any time of the day but we highly recommend coming at sunset.
As this isn’t the secret spot it once was, you will most likely have to share the platform with a few other people but it’s big enough to sit a couple of groups and there is also lots of space around the platform to sit and enjoy the views. If you want to find your own spot you can actually walk along the top of the bank and find a spot that is a bit more secluded if you would prefer.
Although the secret is out, we still definitely recommend coming here to enjoy the sunset and it’s so easy to get here from downtown Vancouver. It’s also one of the few epic viewpoints in Vancouver you can get to with no hiking or walking, just hop out of the car and you’re pretty much there!
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