Suppose you are fascinated by bridges and walkways through the trees. In that case, you must visit the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, situated in the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
History of the Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver
Initially built in 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was owned by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver. Since 1983, the owner of the suspension bridge has been Nancy Stibbard,
The suspension bridge went under many renovations and modifications ever since it was built. It is an impressive structure of 140 meters (460 ft) long and 70 meters (230 ft) tall bridge, serving as a pathway overtop the famous and beautiful Capilano River.
Initially, the bridge was the only attraction in the park. The park started gaining popularity in May 2004 when it inaugurated Treetops Adventures consisting of seven elevated suspension bridges from old-growth Douglas Fir trees on the west side of the Capilano Canyon, creating a walkway up to 33 meters (110 ft) above the forest floor. Later in June 2011, a Cliffwalk was also added to the park for the visitors to enjoy. Currently, the Park draws over 1.2 million visitors per year.
This iconic swinging bridge across the Capilano river has also been featured as incredible scenery in the episodes of various television series, including Sliders, Psych, MacGyver, and The Crow: Stairway to Heaven.
Things to See and Do
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is known for satisfying the adventurers and visitors in unique and thrilling ways. This 11 hectares (27 acres) of beauty and amusement is home to the world’s largest private collection of totem poles, exhibitions, events, story centers, and many other cheesy tourist attractions.
Read on to discover the attractions of the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park.
Suspension Bridge Park above the Capilano River
Launched in 1889, The Capilano Suspension Bridge was made of hemp ropes and was later rebuilt by strong cables that stretched 137 meters (450 feet) across, at 70 meters (230 feet) above the Capilano River.
As you walk across the long bridge, you will be mesmerized by the incredible view of trees, hills, and the Capilano River.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park brings you the city’s most thrilling and soul-stirring Cliff Walk. The walk will take you through rainforest vegetation, a labyrinth-like series of narrow and unobtrusive cantilevered bridges, and a granite cliff along Capilano to unknown sites in the park. It was added to the park on 3rd June 2011.
This activity is not advised for the faint-hearted. But if you love thrilling experiences, you must try this out. It is one of the most hair-raising activities of the Vancouver park.
Experience the squirrel’s view of a thriving coastal rainforest in the mid-story of 1,300-year-old Douglas fir trees, from above 30 meters (100 feet) into the tree canopy. Treetops adventure is the right place for you. Treat your eyes with a higher perspective of the West Coast rainforest only at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
The journey of Treetops Adventure from one magnificent Douglas-fir tree to another, on a series of about 110 feet (33.5m) high suspension seven bridges, will surely increase your excitement level. The seven suspension bridges are attached to eight 30-ton, 1,300-year-old Douglas-firs trees.
This innovative and award-winning attraction, Treetops Adventure, was started in 2004. The extraordinary structure of these treetops adventure enables the trees to grow continuously. Not a single bolt or nail is used in these canopy walks.
Learn about the early adventurers who made the long “tramp” to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park at the story center. Explore the exclusive collection of informative flipbooks chronicle the early history of the Bridge and the development of Vancouver.
The story center also includes amazing life-size photomurals, artifacts, and antiques. Stop by the story center before your adventure to pose with the Tramps, relax and enjoy the past stories.
Experience the magical season of Christmas in the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge Park’s Canyon Lights. Witness the 46.4 meters (152 feet) tall and thousand-year-old Douglas decorated with sparkling and colorful lights. The world-famous bridge is also lit with a multi-color changing display above the illuminated Capilano River.
You will be captivated and mesmerized the d by the sight of hundreds of thousands of lights glittering throughout the rainforest, the light tunnel on the way to Cliffwalk, and the Treetops Adventures. It is one of the best places to celebrate your holidays with family and friends. Make sure to book your tickets early to reserve your date and time of visit.
You can also get a chance to win a family getaway in the Canadian Rockies through the Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt.
Canyon Lights are open from November 19, 2022, to January 22, 2023. It is closed on Christmas day. The visitors are welcomed from morning 11 AM to 9 PM evening.
The Living Forest
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is developed in the middle of a real forest in Vancouver. In your stroll through the West Coast rainforest, you’ll discover large interpretive panels on the forest floors, about 1500 years old trees, the rainforest canopy, the geology of the region, and the delicate temperature to spend quality time near tranquil trout ponds and magnificent evergreens.
Dinning in the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Along with adventure, you can also expect some delicious and flavorful food and drinks at various cafes and restaurants available throughout the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Discover more about the on-site restaurant in this article.
The Cliff House Restaurant
A restaurant overlooking the Capilano canyon, the suspension bridge, and the West Coast rainforest, The Cliff House Restaurant is one of the well-known stops for great dining in the Park. The restaurant is named after the original Cliff House built in 1889 on the edge of Capilano Canyon.
The restaurant operates from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm daily. You can order West Coast-inspired or locally inspired meals. Ocean Wise seafood products, clam chowder, burgers, salmon, regional craft beers, and BC wines are also available at the restaurant.
Admission tickets are required to be presented at The Cliff House for dining. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You might not want to miss the awesome patio dining during summers exclusively at the cliff house.
Click on the link for Brunch and Happy Hour Menus!
If you love snacking on your trips, you can stop by Loggers’ Grill for a quick-service counter that provides burgers, hot dogs, barbecues, roasted organic coffee, and more.
Satisfy your hunger with a juicy Canadian sirloin beef burger, certified Angus beef burgers, gourmet dogs, or any West Coast meal from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm at the Loggers’ Grill cafe.
Ice Cream Creamery
Treat yourself with flavored ice cream at Rocky Point ice cream. This ice cream center uses locally sourced products and offers a wide range of flavors ranging from vanilla, strawberry, lime, chocolate, salted caramel, maple walnut honey, lavender, and many more. Enjoy your favorite combination of ice cream only at Rocky Point Ice cream center.
Dr. Woods Cabin
The Dr. Woods Cabin is famous for its signature Beaver Balls. The cabin is located opposite the suspension bridge. Treat yourself with your most loved beverages or baked goods after crossing the bridge.
You must try their Beaver Balls that arrive in a cup full of small and fresh pancakes, showered with Canadian maple syrup and sprinkled with sweet or sugar. The Cabin runs from the morning at 9:30 am to the evening at 6:30 pm.
The Bridge House Cafe
The Bridge House Cafe is the best option for coffee lovers. It is conveniently situated near the main entrance, outside the park. The cafe offers roasted Moja Coffee, espresso, fresh wraps, sandwiches, daily-baked muffins, and scones. Recharge yourself with your favorite coffee drink before exploring the park.
Price of Admission
You can make a smooth entrance to the park with admission tickets. The facility to purchase a ticket online is available through the booking portal. You can enjoy all the park attractions with a single-day admission ticket. The park offers many discounts for visitors in groups and individual visitors.
You can book your tickets in advance online. It is suggested to arrive close to the opted arrival time. Once you enter the park, you can explore all the amazing things until the park operating hours.
The current charges for entrance according to various age groups are:
- Adult 18-64 years $59.95
- Senior 65 years+ $54.95
- Student 18 years+ $46.95
- Youth 13-17 years $31.95
- Child 6-12 years $21.95
Completely free tickets for Kids under 6 years can be issued on arrival at the park.
Family tourists can purchase tickets as a bundle. There are two options available for family admission.
- Family of 4 Day Package $150.00. It includes 2 Adults and 2 Children/Youth of 6-17 years.
- Family of 3 Day Package $130.00. It includes 2 Adults and 1 Child/Youth of 6-17 years.
It is always advised to check the updated rates on the official website. The students must present their ID on arrival. You can unlock large discounts with the student ID cards on tickets. Youth 13-17 years and Children 6-12 years can enter the park only if accompanied by a person 17 years or older.
Residents of British Columbia can get their hands on the complimentary annual pass when purchasing a single-day admission ticket. The Annual Pass also includes admission to the most famous Canyon Lights Day.
Click here to book your tickets.
Days and Hours of Visiting
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is open all days except on Christmas Day. Hours are subject to change depending on the season. The visiting hours are scheduled as follows:
- April 1 – April 30: 9 am – 6 pm
- May 1 – September 5: 9 am – 7 pm
- September 6 – October 10: 9 am – 6 pm
- October 11 – November 18: 9 am – 5 pm
- November 19 – January 22, 2023: 11 am – 9 pm (Canyon Lights)
Kindly check the official website for the updated list.
Getting to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
The park is located in the middle of the forest in North Vancouver. There are many options available to reach easily to the park. You can travel by car or the free shuttle service that the park offers from various locations in downtown Vancouver.
You don’t have to book separate tickets for the shuttle bus as it is free of cost. However, you need to present your purchased ticket as proof. The free shuttles are not open for groups of 15 or more. Even pets cannot be accompanied by tourists while traveling in the free shuttle bus.
The free shuttle service is accessible from the following locations:
- Canada Place: Canada Place Way near the info kiosk
- Hyatt Regency Hotel: Located near the Melville Street entrance
- Blue Horizon Hotel: Located outside the front of the Hotel
The shuttle generally runs between 8:35 am and 5:00 pm. You can check the latest news on shuttle @capshuttle on Twitter.
You can also opt for the Public Transit (Bus) Routes to reach the destination. From Downtown Vancouver, the visitors can ride the SeaBus from the waterfront station to Lonsdale Quay and switch to the #236 bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
You can also take bus #232 from Phibbs Exchange. The #246 bus from downtown Vancouver, North side of W. Georgia Street will take you to stops at Granville Skytrain.
The park gives paid parking facility for the visitors arriving in a personal vehicle. However, there is no facility to park the Class A vehicles. Park overnight is also prohibited.
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