John Harvey Photo

Stanley Park

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A large park in the center of the city.

Visit the Beach

Ochre Stars Over Rocks
Stanley Park is impressive.  Sure, it has forests, large fresh water bodies and many examples of wildlife asking for handouts.  As if there weren't enough bounty, you only have to walk a few steps off the sea wall to visit the Ocean.  Stanley park has a number of sandy beaches where people like to swim, but my goal was the rocky beaches with swift current found close to lions gate bridge.

Good tide pools aren't easy to find.  The best ones like Botanical Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island are worth the drive out to visit.  That said, finding a "pretty good" beach that is close by can be a treasure.  This is my second scouting trip Stanley Park - my first trip was to beach that turned out to be too sand and turned into battleground between seagulls and sea stars.  This beach was much better - plenty of sea stars and the mussels they like to feed on.

Blood Star In KelpBrown And Orange Sun StarLeather Star In Shallow Water
Hiding In Shadows
Low tide must be a rough time of the day for a sea star.  When low tide coincides with noon, it has to be especially rough.  Sea stars are found hiding under every ledge available at the low tide zone.  The much harder purple stars seems to be okay with lying exposed but the sunstars can be watched heading for deeper cover or water.   The purple stars don't seem to mind that the sunstar (which are a predator) are hanging about.

Sea stars aren't always plentiful - starting around 2012 they were hit with some sort of wasting disease and for a few years were much rarer.

Large Group Of Ochre StarsOchre Stars Under RockOrange And Purple Sun Star

The Sea Wall:

Perhaps the best known feature of Stanley Park is the Seawall. This combined walkway/bike route circimscribes the entire park and continue well outside of the park.  On beautiful summer days the sea wall can be a battleground between the go fast crowd (runners and bikers) and the go slow crowd (walkers and people crossing the bike lanes).  If you go with patience in mind, it's a beautiful day.
          Vancouver From Stanley Park

Downtown Vancouver From Stanley Park, in
On Siwash RockInukshun

Beaver Lake

Irises By Beaver Lake
There are two large bodies of fresh water in the park - Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake.  Beaver lake is  small lake, very shallow and filled with lily pads and ducks.

Lily PadsFamily Of Mallard Chicks
Bullfrog Covered In Bugs
Sadly Beaver lake is basically the poster child for invasive species.  The lake is filled (and being filled in by) invasive water lilies.  The outer edge is dominated by invasive iris.  American Bullfrog's are common in the water.


Considering how urban the park is, it supports more than it's fair share of wildlife.   There is a great blue heron colony in the park and many small forest birds are present in numbers.  Lost Lagoon is a great place to see ducks many sea birds.

Great Blue Heron On RailSpotted TowheeFox Sparrow

Lions Gate Bridge

The Lions Gate Bridge is a particularly scenic part of the park.  The causeway connecting Vancouver and North/West Vancouver bisects the park and exits off a cliff and over the first narrows.  The bridge is worth visiting at night because of great job they have done illuminating the bridge.

Lions Gate With Rocky BeachOne Tower Of The Lions Gate BridgeUnder The Lions Gate BridgeLions Gate With Streaky Traffic

Spotted Towhee
Species: Pipilo maculatus (Spotted Towhee)
Tags: bird, Stanley Park
Under The Lions Gate Bridge
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, fog, night, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Lions Gate With Rocky Beach
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, fog, night, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Hiding In Shadows
Tags: sea star, tide pool
Orange And Purple Sun Star
Species: Pycnopodia helianthoides (Sunflower Star)
Tags: sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Irises By Beaver Lake
Species: Iris pseudacorus (paleyellow iris, yellow flag), Nymphaea odorata (Fragrant Water Lily)
Location: Go To...
Tags: flower, invasive, lake, Stanley Park
Leather Star In Shallow Water
Species: Dermasterias imbricata (Leather Star)
Tags: sea star, tide pool
Lions Gate With Streaky Traffic
Altitude: 62m (203 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, light streaks, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Brown And Orange Sun Star
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star), Pycnopodia helianthoides (Sunflower Star)
Tags: sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
One Tower Of The Lions Gate Bridge
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, fog, night, Vancouver
Family Of Mallard Chicks
Species: Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)
Tags: baby, BC fauna, bird, Stanley Park
Fox Sparrow
Species: Passerella iliaca (Fox Sparrow)
Tags: bird, Stanley Park
On Siwash Rock
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking, rock, seawall, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Lily Pads
Species: Nymphaea odorata (Fragrant Water Lily)
Tags: flower, plant, Stanley Park
Ochre Stars Under Rock
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: beach, bridge, sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Tags: Stanley Park
Great Blue Heron On Rail
Species: Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)
Tags: bird, Stanley Park
Ochre Stars Over Rocks
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Large Group Of Ochre Stars
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: beach, sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Bullfrog Covered In Bugs
Species: Rana catesbeiana (American Bullfrog)
Tags: amphibian, invasive, pond, Stanley Park
Blood Star In Kelp
Species: Henricia leviuscula (Blood Star)
Tags: kelp, sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Tags: Stanley Park(19), sea star(13), tide pool(8), Vancouver(7), bridge(5), beach(4)
From: John Harvey Photo > Stanley Park
From: John Harvey Photo > Photos of Vancouver > Stanley Park

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Last Modified Saturday, January 28th, 2023 at 23:06:16 Edit
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