Sunday, October 03, 2010

Playing on the Spit

The weather gods determined that Vancouver hadn't had quite enough summer this year, so last week they sent us four more days of 20 degree weather with lots of sun and clear blue skies. On Saturday, the last of those four days (for the moment, anyway - it should be 18 again by the end of the week!), Mike and I decided to go check out Iona Beach Park. This is a small-ish park out by the airport, which consists of not much more than a beach, two jetties (one has been left au natural, and the other is a 4km paved path), and two small marshes. But I assure you, this park is definitely worth a visit!
Mike and I chose to walk out along the north arm of the park, which is the more beachy-looking spit. (those are the mountains of the North Shore/Sunshine Coast in the background, just for reference)
The tide was in, so we were limited to actual ground (when the tide is out, the bay between the two jetties becomes a huge mudflat). But even then, it was hard to see just how far out we'd be able to walk. The path just kept going and going! :)

Iona Beach Park sits at the mouth of the north arm of the Fraser River, right where it flows out into the ocean. Its nicely sheltered behind Point Grey (seen here - its where UBC is located, if you sort-of know the city), so it makes a great place for the logging industry to store their big "barges" of logs before dragging them off for use in sawmills and pulp and paper mills.

The park is also just north of the airport - on Saturday, we were directly under the landing line for all the propeller planes coming in to land. This wood sculpture was clearly designed for aerial viewing.

Turns out that regardless of tides, you can walk the full 2.75 miles to the end of the beachy section of this jetty - from there on, its just a 1.5 mile-long rock pile, topped off with a little light post at very end. Look closely, maybe you can see it!
Here's the view looking back the way we came:

Next time you're in Vancouver on a sunny (or at least not rainy!) day, I highly recommend a trip out to this park. Just remember the rules: no camping, no fires,
and no cocktail parties! :)

PS: I have not adjusted the colour saturation of these photos - the skies really are that blue out here! :)

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Oh man, that is near our house! Guess we'd better go check it out one of these sunny days. Beautiful!