Last month, I shared a post on how we spent last year’s spring break playing tourists in our hometown. We made a visit to Britannia Mine and had a marvelous mining experience. As a continuation of our staycation we also made a visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Now I know what some of you might be thinking… “Don’t get suck in on the tourist trap and visit the free suspension bridge.” But the truth is, when I get into a role of playing tourist, I REALLY get into it! And part of being a tourist is going to the tourist traps and enjoying the experience along the way. I totally love tourists trap like these! I love walking through the souvenir shops, reading interesting historical tidbits about the site, striking up a conversation with some stranger from halfway around the world and snapping pictures at every little thing that meet my fancy! Capilano Suspension Bridge allows me to do all this and more! In addition to getting my bragging rights for walking across the shaky bridge, I was also able to explore Treetops Adventure and the new addition, Cliffwalk.
When you enter the park, be sure to grab Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Map and Passport Brochure. Not only does it provide you with a map of the park but there’s a quest that you can complete as well. At certain attractions of the park, keep your eyes open for the passport stamp station. When you collect all of the passport stamps, make sure to stop at Guest Services on your way out and you’ll receive a special certificate.
Upon entering the park, you’ll head into Story Centre. Questions such as “Who was the original owner?” “Where did the name Capilano come from?” “How did Capilano Suspension Bridge become a tourist destination?” are all answered here if you take the time to peruse the information. Or take part in their complimentary history tour which starts every hour on the hour.
An interesting fact is that Capilano has the largest collection of privately owned totem poles in North America. You can see some of them here at Kia’palano. I think the workmanship in the cravings of these totem poles are spectacular!
Here is the main attraction: The Suspension Bridge! It stretches 450 feet (137 metres) across and is 230 feet (70 metres) above the Capilano River. The sway and the height of the bridge can be a bit daunting but you’ll discover a whole new world when you cross the bridge! Behind those tall trees are more attraction to this beautiful park. So definitely make your way across!
Once you’ve crossed the bridge, I recommend to explore the Treetop Adventure first. It starts at the Treehouse and you’ll walked through more suspension bridges lift high by the surrounding old Douglas fir trees. This part of the park reminds me of the homes of Ewoks in Star Wars.
If you have children, ask a host about the Rainforest Explorer Program at the Treehouse. It offers a self-guided tour where kids can collect research data and complete activities that all related to the rainforest. When you have completed the tasks, return to the Treehouse and you’ll get a prize! Although the program is designed for kids age 6-12, adults can do it too. It’s loads of fun and educational!
Next, grab a hot chocolate at Capilano Timber Co. and take a walk on Nature’s Edge Boardwalk. Marvel at how tall and big these trees are!
Just behind the Trading Post is Cliffwalk, the new addition to the park. The walkway is cantilevered or suspended onto granite cliff and it allows a stunning view of the Capilano Canyon. Not only was I impressed with the view, but the architecture of Cliffwalk is amazing too!
As you make your way back to the Trading Post, you will be impressed with the landscaping in this area. It has beautiful water features. You’ll also learn more about the ecosystem and one of Earth’s most important resource, water, provided by David Suzuki Foundation.
As you end your visit to Cap Bridge, make sure you visit the Trading Post (Gift Shop). They have an amazing collection of Canadian-made gifts and souvenirs. Be sure to venture to the back of the store. There are some delicious treats to be found here!
Here’s a few things to consider on your tramping adventure at Cap Bridge:
What should I wear to Capilano Suspension Bridge?
Wear comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing. There’s a lot of walking! It’s a good idea to bring a warm sweater or jacket in the event that the weather unexpectedly changes. The whole attraction is outdoors in a rainforest and we do experience a lot of rain in Vancouver (or Raincouver). Thankfully, the park also offers free and very fashionable ponchos when it rains. I also have to say that I appreciate Capilano Suspension Bridge more so when it rains. The park has less visitors so the experience is so much more relaxing and you can take your time taking in the scenery and taking pictures. What better way to experience a rainforest than in the rain?
Is it kid friendly?
For families with young children, strollers are not permitted in the park. But Capilano Suspension Bridge does a phenomenal job in offering children a thrilling experience as they explored and learn about the rainforest. My kids are still enjoying their bragging rights for crossing the bridge! They delighted in taking part in the Rainforest Explorer Program, which was educational and fun! To ensure the safety of the children, please note that the park enforces that children and youth must be supervised by a person 17 years or older.
How do I get there?
If you are going by car, Capilano Suspension Bridge is located at 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver. Simply take Highway 1 and head north on Capilano Road. You will see several signs along time way to direct you to the attraction. There is a $5 parking fee. Alternatively, they also offer free shuttle services that departs at Canada Place. For more information click here.
How much time should I expect to spend there?
To fully enjoy and see all the attraction of the park, I will expect to spend 2-3 hours. If your time in Vancouver is short and you want to visit as many attractions as possible, Grouse Mountain is also just a short distance away.
How much does it cost?
As of March 24, 2017:
Adults (age: 17-64): $39.95
Seniors (age: 65+): $36.95
Student (age: 17+ with valid ID): $32.95
Youth (age: 13-16): $26.95
Child (age: 6-12): $13.95
Children 5 and under: FREE
Prices are listed in CDN funds and do not include applicable taxes.
Visitors with wheelchairs receive complimentary admission as Capilano Suspension Bridge, Treetop Adventure and Cliffwalk is not wheelchair accessible.
The cost of admission is quite steep, but can be upgraded to an annual pass at no extra cost if you are a British Columbia resident. So we decided to go ahead and upgrade our pass to an annual pass. The annual pass also allows us entry to Canyon Lights which generally runs from late November to early January each year. For more information, check out Capilano Suspension Bridge website.
If you ever make a trip to Vancouver, consider making a stop at Capilano Suspension Bridge! It’s a great way to spend time with the family, learn about the ecosystem and history surrounding Vancouver, and reflect on the beauty of nature!