If you do any internet search for the top things to do in Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park will surely come up. It is as unique as it is popular, which is I guess what most people are looking to do on vacations right? I do not typically like to go to the heavily touristed spots, mostly because they are normally quite crowded. But during the winter months at Capilano, the crowds are significantly less than in the summer. I also don’t like to spend a lot for tickets and this place is pricey at $53.95 CAD per person. However, we spoke to another couple while we were taking in a Vancouver Canucks hockey game when we first arrived and they said it was a must do, especially if you go at night during the winter when the forest is decorated with lights for what the park calls Canyon Lights. So my wife and I decided to give it a go on a cold and rainy Vancouver night.
From the moment we walked into the place, we couldn’t help but notice how clean and organized it was, the word spotless came to mind. I was still skeptical if this was going to be worth the price of admission but once I saw all of the offerings, I started to feel quite encouraged.
Most people immediately head for the parks namesake suspension bridge but we decided to do the Cliffwalk first. The walk is along a granite canyon face and is held in place with eight cables that are connected to a single anchor point. It sounds like it isn’t enough to keep you safe but when you see it, you just know it will do the job. As I’ve written in previous articles, I have an issue with heights so this was a true test for me, and I didn’t pee myself! Down below on the rainforest floor the Capilano River flows, and while walking along the Cliffwalk I was in awe as I saw two eagles following above the curve of the water. It was an unexpected bonus.
Moving on to the suspension bridge, which takes you 230 above the Capilano River, you’ll sway for over 450 feet before planting your feet on terra firma on the other side. The walk across the bridge was exciting and began to give the park a Swiss Family Robinson feel, which we really enjoyed. Beware of tourists stopping suddenly in front of you all along the bridge to capture that ‘perfect’ selfie shot.
Once on the other side, you’ll see what is called the Treetops Adventure which is seven smaller suspension bridges strung between the evergreens as high off the ground as 100 feet. The Swiss Family Robinson feeling is now in full swing.
The park embraces native culture and you’ll find totem poles and other First Nations art on site. If you manage to be here at night during the winter holiday season, you’ll be treated to lights all over the place, adding even more character to the park.
We spent over four hours in the park and enjoyed every minute of it. It was expensive and a bit touristy but we loved it and it was so worth it. So if you’re ever in Vancouver, you should definitely go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.