|Lower Mainland Nature Viewing Region|
|Metro Vancouver Area|
|Pacific Spirit Regional Park - Point Grey Foreshore (Vancouver)|
|Beach & Trees: photo by Bill Kinkaid||Logs on Beach: photo by Bill Kinkaid|
|Mostly undeveloped foreshore, with no vehicle access. Steep cliffs with uncut forests. Part of the Fraser River Estuary Important Bird & Biodiversity Area.|
|Geographical Description||Fraser Lowlands (foreshore of the peninsula of Point Grey), Georgia Basin|
|Area/ Trail Length|
|Seasons to Visit||Year round; beach areas are extremely busy in summer months and can be risky in winter weather.|
|Habitat||Mostly old growth western hemlock/red-cedar and red alder/vine maple; sandy and cobble beaches, marsh wetlands.|
|Viewing Highlights||Easily reached intertidal marine habitat at Wreck, Tower, Acadia and Spanish Banks beaches.|
The foreshore area provides habitat for spawning feeder fish such as smelt, particularly along the northwest portion of the foreshore in the boulder intertidal area.
Marsh habitat south of Wreck Beach to Log Booming grounds.
Good birding in woods and foreshore. The tops of the bluffs behind Museum of Anthropology and Cecil Green Park are particularly good for spring migrants.
Good views of geological features on foreshore.
|Other Features||Adjacent to the area are the following:|
The UBC Museum of Anthropology is a world-renowned research and education facility, especially noted for its collection of Northwest Coast First Nations artifacts.
The UBC Botanical Garden is likewise an excellent botanical research and education facility.
Nitobe Gardens is a replica of a traditional Japanese garden.
UBC Farm provides 24 hectares of integrated farm and forest lands on UBC’s South Campus.
The remains of a World War II gun emplacement are preserved behind the Museum of Anthropology, and two reconnaissance towers remain on Tower Beach (no public access)
|Main Access||Trails 3 and 6 are short but steep trails descending to Wreck and Tower Beaches from Marine Drive. |
There is pay parking at several lots administered by University of British Columbia. The Rose Garden Parkade and the Museum of Anthropology lot are nearest to Trails 3 and 4, the Fraser Parkade to Trail 6.
Free parking along Marine Drive and Old Marine Drive but space is hard to find, especially when UBC is in session.
A number of buses serve the UBC campus; the closest route is 68 which serves Museum of Anthropology and UBC Botanical Gardens.
|Secondary Accesses||A shorter and easier trail reaches Acadia Beach. |
Trails 4 and 7 also reach the beaches from Marine Drive and are similar steep to 3 and 6. A good half day hike can be had by starting at Trail 7 and hiking to Trail 3 or Acadia Beach (allow at least three hours one way). There is a trail through the forest between Trails 6 and 7 but otherwise hiking is on the beach. Check the tide tables as it is not passable at high tides.
|Cautions||These beaches are “clothing optional” so use discretion year-round.|
Sections of the beach and the forest trail between Trails 6 and 7 can be slippery so use caution, especially in cold and wet weather; watch the tides so you don’t get caught in between with no escape. Daytime tides are especially high in winter and much of the foreshore may be inaccessible.
There are a number of informal trails which are rough, not maintained and are not recommended.
|Jurisdiction||Metro Vancouver Parks|
|Regulations||No camping, fires or alcohol. No dogs March 1 to September 30.|
|Facilities||Pit toilets or port-a-potties at each of the numbered trailheads and at the Acadia Beach parking lot. There are also pit toilets on the beach at Wreck Beach.|
Picnic tables at Acadia Beach and by the Fraser Parking Lot near Gate 7.
Seasonal food concession at Wreck Beach and at the Trail 6 trailhead. Many other food options are available across the UBC campus.
|Other Recreational Activities|
|Other Connections||To the east, paved paths continue from Acadia Beach to Spanish Banks, Locarno Beach and Jericho Park, and trails connect to the upland section of Pacific Spirit Park.|
|History||The eroding sand cliffs below the Museum of Anthropology and UBC’s Cecil Green Park caused much concern in the 1970s. To stabilize the cliffs, a natural looking beach berm was created using specified sized smooth river cobble. This berm was carefully constructed along the foreshore to stabilize the beach portion to prevent further erosion from the foot of the cliffs. Vegetation was planted on the cliffs themselves. This work has been largely successful, although the landform of the cliffs is considered generally unstable. The sand cliffs are covered with a thin layer of glacial till, and within the sand are occasional layers of clay which can cause slides if punctured by development foundations above. |
Most of what is now the park was known locally as the University Endowment Lands and was logged in the 1900s: selectively in some areas, clearcut in others, burned in places, and in one extensive area north from University Blvd was cleared by bulldozer for residential development (now the alder forest). Plans for development were largely stalled by the Great Depression and World War II. A portion of the area in the southwest was established as an Ecological Reserve in 1975, and another small area became Frank Buck Provincial Park. The GVRD took over most of the undeveloped land as Pacific Spirit Regional Park in 1988, following extensive public meetings in the 1970s and several provincial government proposals in the 1980s for housing developments over portions of the forested lands.
|FMI||Metro Vancouver Regional Parks West Area Office 604-224-5739 |
|Links||Metro Vancouver Parks|
|Pacific Spirit Park Society|
|Wreck Beach Preservation Society|
|Musqueam First Nation|
|Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas|
|© 2019 BC Nature|