City Name
Home » Recent posts » Lost Lagoon Guide: See Stanley Park’s Best Kept Secret

Lost Lagoon Guide: See Stanley Park’s Best Kept Secret

Ultimate Guide to Lost Lagoon
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

There’s something special about Lost Lagoon that captures the imagination, whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth. As I watched the sunset over the water, painting everything in golden hues, I knew this place deserved a deeper exploration. 

Read on to find out how this hidden gem in Stanley Park can become part of your Vancouver adventure.

What is the Lost Lagoon?

What is the Lost Lagoon

This spot is a paradise for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts, featuring a scenic 1.75 km trail that invites leisurely walks and peaceful reflections. 

Along the way, visitors can spot diverse bird species and maybe even a sunning turtle or two. 

The tranquil waters reflect the lush greenery and skyline of Vancouver, making it an ideal spot for photographers and those seeking a quiet escape in the city.

What is the history of the Lost Lagoon?

What is the history of the Lost Lagoon

Lost Lagoon became a permanent freshwater lake in 1916 following the construction of the Stanley Park Causeway, which transformed it from a tidal mudflat into the lagoon we see today. 

Originally part of Coal Harbour, the area got its name “Lost Lagoon” from a poem by Pauline Johnson, who felt the lagoon was ‘lost’ when its waters vanished at low tide.

That’s the same reason why the mudflats in the past are called Ch’ekxwa’7lech by the Squamish people – it means it “gets dry at times.”

Its name became official in 1922, long after it ceased to be influenced by the tides. The lagoon has been a focal point for both recreation and conservation efforts, reflecting shifts in public attitudes towards urban nature over the decades. 

The Jubilee Fountain, added in 1936 to commemorate Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee, is one of its most iconic features, designed by Robert Harold Williams. 

This addition marked a shift towards beautifying the lagoon, emphasizing its role as a scenic and cultural landmark in the heart of Vancouver.

Things to Know

Swimming: Swimming is not permitted in Lost Lagoon to protect the local wildlife and maintain water quality.

Fishing: Fishing is also prohibited in Lost Lagoon to preserve its natural ecosystem.

Dogs: Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times to ensure the safety of the wildlife and other visitors.

Parking: Ample parking is available near the entrance to Stanley Park, with spots close to Lost Lagoon for easy access.

Accessibility: The trail around Lost Lagoon is flat and well-maintained, making it accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

Restrooms: You can find them near the parking areas.

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Lost Lagoon is during the spring and early summer when the weather is mild and the area is bursting with blooming flora and active wildlife. 

It’s also the best time to see the lagoon’s bird population, including ducklings and goslings, in their most vibrant state. 

Fall is also a beautiful time to visit. The foliage around the lagoon changes color, creating a nice setting perfect for photographers and nature lovers. 

Regardless of the season, mornings are particularly magical. The light is ideal for capturing the stunning scenery, and the area is definitely quieter.

How to Get There 

Car: To reach Lost Lagoon by car, head towards Stanley Park via Georgia Street, and follow the signs for Lost Lagoon near the entrance of the park. Parking is available nearby.

Train: While there is no direct train service to Lost Lagoon, visitors can take the SkyTrain to Burrard Station and then catch a bus or walk to Stanley Park.

Bus: Many bus routes, including #19, serve Stanley Park. Disembark at the Stanley Park Loop and take a short walk to Lost Lagoon.

Bike: Biking is a great way to get to Lost Lagoon. There are plenty of bike paths leading into Stanley Park, with bike racks available near the lagoon.

Walk: If you’re in downtown Vancouver, a scenic walk through the West End will lead you directly into Stanley Park and to Lost Lagoon.

What to Expect in the Lost Lagoon

Wildlife Encounters

Wildlife Encounters

At Lost Lagoon, visitors often spot a variety of birds, from majestic great blue herons to playful ducks. 

Turtles are also common sights, especially enjoying the sun on warmer days. The area is a haven for those who appreciate observing animals in their natural habitat.

Great Landscapes

Great Landscapes

The scenery around Lost Lagoon is characterized by calm waters, lush greenery, and a backdrop of Vancouver’s skyline. This setting provides a tranquil contrast to the urban environment, ideal for photography or quiet contemplation.

Educational Insights

Educational Insights

Near the edge of Lost Lagoon, the Nature House offers insights into the local ecosystems and conservation efforts. This resource enriches the visit for those interested in learning more about the environmental aspects of Stanley Park.

What to Do in the Lost Lagoon

Trail Walking and Jogging

Trail Walking and Jogging

The trail around Lost Lagoon spans approximately 1.75 km and is perfect for a leisurely walk or an energizing jog. The flat, well-maintained path makes it accessible for everyone, providing a great way to explore the area while staying active.

Bird Watching

Bird Watching

Bring your binoculars and enjoy some of the best bird watching Vancouver has to offer. Lost Lagoon is a hotspot for bird enthusiasts, home to species like the great blue heron, various ducks, and during certain seasons, migratory birds.

Nature Photography

Nature Photography

With its stunning views and abundant wildlife, Lost Lagoon is a fantastic spot for photographers of all skill levels. 

The changing light throughout the day provides ample opportunities to capture the lagoon’s natural beauty and its inhabitants and get awesome photos for your Instagram feed.

Where to Stay Near the Lost Lagoon

The Westin Bayshore 

Address: 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia V6G 2V4 Canada
Phone: (604) 682-3377

Pricing: $$
Book Now

The Westin Bayshore is a cozy spot close to downtown but still near the quiet of Lost Lagoon. It’s great for those who want to enjoy both the city and nature. 

It’s also close to Marina Square and Cardero Park for some outdoor fun, and just a walk away from live shows at the PAL Vancouver Theater.

Blue Horizon Hotel

Address: 1225 Robson Street, Vancouver BC V6E 1C3

Phone: +1 (604) 688-1411

Pricing: $

Book Now

Located on vibrant Robson Street, the Blue Horizon Hotel offers easy access to downtown shopping, dining, and is just a short six-minute drive from Lost Lagoon. 

Rooms feature private balconies with stunning views and modern amenities like free Wi-Fi and Nespresso coffee makers. Guests can also enjoy the indoor pool, whirlpool, and a fitness area.

The St. Clair Hotel-Hostel

Address: 577 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z5, Canada

Phone: +1 (604) 684 3713

Pricing: $

Book Now

The St. Clair Hotel-Hostel blends the laid-back feel of a hostel with the comfort of a hotel, located in the heart of historic Gastown and just a short hop from the Granville Skytrain station. 

Aside from the budget-friendly dorm-style rooms and private spaces, guests can enjoy amenities like lockers, laundry facilities, and 24/7 security, plus a game room for some extra fun. 

Auberge Vancouver Hotel 

Address: 837 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1B6, Canada 

Phone: +1 855-678-8998

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Auberge Vancouver Hotel combines modern comfort with boutique luxury, ideal for those wanting to explore nearby attractions like Lost Lagoon. Rooms come with fully-equipped kitchenettes, offering convenience for longer stays. 

Step out onto the rooftop terrace for breathtaking city views, and when it’s time to dine, Palate Kitchen nearby provides a perfect spot for a tasty brunch.

Where to Eat Near the Lost Lagoon

Five Sails Restaurant

Address: 999 Canada Pl Suite 410, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-844-2855

Pricing: $

Located inside the Pan Pacific Hotel, Five Sails Restaurant offers a Four Diamond Award-winning dining experience with stunning waterfront views. 

The menu features exceptional dishes, culminating in must-try desserts like the acclaimed apple dinner dessert. It’s an ideal spot for a luxurious meal after a day exploring nearby Lost Lagoon.

Cardero’s Restaurant & Live Bait Marine Pub

Address: 1583 Coal Harbour Quay, Vancouver, British Columbia V6G 3E7 Canada

Phone: +1 604-669-7666

Pricing: $$

Cardero’s Restaurant & Live Bait Marine Pub, set in the picturesque Coal Harbour, offers romantic waterfront dining perfect for both locals and visitors. 

Just a 20-minute walk from Lost Lagoon, it’s advisable to book online to skip the wait during busy hours. This spot is known for its lively atmosphere and delicious seafood, making it a great choice for a memorable meal out.


Address: 1017 W Hastings St., Vancouver, BC V6E 0C4

Phone: (604) 695-9500

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Nightingale, crafted by Chef David Hawksworth, offers a vibrant dining scene just a short four-minute drive from Lost Lagoon. 

Known for its inventive dishes such as creamy, zesty rigatoni and crispy sweet potato appetizers, the restaurant provides a feast for the senses without stretching your budget. 

  • Visit Early or Late: To enjoy a quieter, more serene experience and increase your chances of wildlife sightings, try visiting Lost Lagoon early in the morning or later in the evening.
  • Bring Binoculars: Pack a pair of binoculars to better observe the diverse bird species and wildlife that make Lost Lagoon a birdwatcher’s paradise.
  • Check Event Schedules: Look up any scheduled events or guided tours at Lost Lagoon to enhance your visit with educational and engaging activities.
  • Respect Wildlife: Maintain a respectful distance from wildlife and refrain from feeding them to help preserve their natural behaviors and ensure safety for all.
  • Plan for the Weather: Since Vancouver’s weather can be unpredictable, bring appropriate attire like rain jackets or sun hats to stay comfortable during your visit to the lagoon.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

The Best Vancouver expert reviews directly to your inbox (and absolutely no spam!)