One of the most magical things about Vancouver – and I imagine why people love to live there – is the proximity to nature. Visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge was on our “must do” list, and it truly was magical.
At about a 20 minute drive out of downtown Vancouver, you really do move from city to gorgeous trees and mountains so fast! It’s also very easy to get to this attraction with a free shuttle that you can pick up at several stops in downtown. It also runs every 15 minutes (we had the whole bus to ourselves on the way home).
I recommend going earlier in the morning to beat the crowds. We were there in May, off season, and got there at 9:30 a.m. when it was still quite tranquil. When we left about three hours later, it was filling up a lot (with some pretty loud folks).
Capilano is more than just the suspension bridge. But, the bridge truly is a sight to behold! It’s 450 feet long and 230 feet high. It does sway the more people are on it (another reason to go early), but if you walk in the middle and walk like a duck, it helps. It’s fun and a gorgeous view. I can see if you are scared of heights this may not be for you. But trust me, it is very safe. We learned here that in the 1980s one of the very large trees nearby fell right on it during a severe storm. The bridge survived. The tree didn’t.
Some advice. Please don’t be one of those people who stops in the middle to take a photo, and it takes forever, and you block the bridge for 25 people. It’s annoying. Be like David and take photos of your loved one as they walk in front of you. He did this a lot. My own personal paparazzi.
Once you cross the bridge, you have a couple of amazing world-class features. The Nature’s Edge Walk is really lovely walking down among the base of the trees (is actually a rain forest) with many look outs towards the river below. I thought of my dad a lot, as the walkways reminded me of the wood walkways he built in the Banff area many years ago.
As you walk around, you also get up close and personal to nature and some amazing trees that are hundreds of years old – up to 800 in one case!
The other amazing feature on this side of the bridge is the Treetops Adventure. You walk up on suspended bridges among the trees, with platforms along the way. It’s all “tree-friendly” here, as the platforms are somehow attached to the tree without any nails or anything digging into the trees themselves. It is breathtaking! But it did make David and I did wonder where the Ewoks were (Star Wars reference)!
As we walked back over the suspension bridge, we made our way to the Cliffwalk. It’s basically a bridge that is built out beyond the cliffs, so you can really see the canyon and river below. It’s very sturdy, and for most of the way it has a nice covered walkway. Once we hit the clear grate area, I was done. I don’t even walk on grates on city streets, convinced I will fall through!
Capilano truly is an adventure and incredibly beautiful. The park costs about $40 per person, but is totally worth it. It is by far one of the best things we did in Vancouver, and we will never forget it!