A Guide to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
A 15-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge is a Vancouver landmark. Since 1889, visitors and locals alike have flocked to this famous swinging bridge across Capilano Canyon, making it one of Canada's most popular attractions. The reason is simple - there are so many things to see and do. Committed to preserving and presenting its history, culture and nature in unique and thrilling ways, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is Canadian in nature, universal in appeal.
Things to Do
The first hemp version of Capilano Suspension Bridge was built in 1889. Since then it’s been replaced a number of times, and stretches 137 metres (450 feet) across, at 70 metres (230 feet) above Capilano River. Originally the bridge was the only attraction, but over the years, the area has been developed to include a number of other features for visitors to enjoy within the 11 hectare (27 acre) park.
The newest addition to the park, Cliffwalk follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms. With only 16 anchor points in the granite cliff supporting the structure, Cliffwalk is both environmentally sensitive and adrenaline- pumping!
Putting you over 30 metres (100 feet) into the tree canopy, Treetops Adventure offers a squirrel's eye view of the thriving coastal rainforest in the mid-story of 1,300-year-old Douglas fir trees. Treetops Adventure uses an innovative compression system—not a single bolt or nail is used in securing the viewing platforms and seven suspension bridges to the trees.
Discover the Capilano Tramps, those early adventurers who made the long "tramp" to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Life-size photomurals, artifacts and antiques, together with "voices from the past" and informative flipbooks chronicle the early history of the Bridge and the development of Vancouver. Today, visitors to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park can pose with the Tramps before they begin their walk through the Story Centre.
Part of Capilano's captivating story involves the tradition of placing totem (story) poles on the grounds at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Get a glimpse into the lives of B.C.'s First Nations people at Kia'palano, an educational feature of the park, where the historical connection between First Nations'culture and the natural world is highlighted.
Guided History & Nature Tours
Guided tours highlighting both history and nature of the area are complimentary and are offered hourly. The history tour takes visitors through the park's colourful past, including the endeavours of past owners, the involvement of local First Nations, and of course, information on the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge. Nature tours offer a highly-interactive introduction to the ecology of the West Coast rainforest. Learn about the flora and fauna found in the park's ecosystem, as well the climatic characteristics that make the West Coast a unique environment.
The Living Forest
You can’t escape the fact that Capilano Suspension Bridge is located in a real forest! You’ll find large interpretive panels introducing you to the delicate temperate West Coast rainforest ecosystem, including what you’ll find on the forest floor, in the rainforest canopy, and geology of the area. You’ll be well informed for your stroll through the rainforest, past tranquil trout ponds and majestic evergreens.
Kids Rainforest Explorer Program
The park's Rainforest Explorers Program is a self-guided interactive program for kids of all ages. They can explore the rainforest looking for signs and collecting research data while learning all about the West Coast rainforest. Kids pick up their explorer information from the Treehouse at the beginning of Treetops Adventure, and once they have collected all the answers, they earn their very own Rainforest Explorer's badge!
Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey
Each summer, visitors to Capilano Suspension Bridge are invited to interact with, and learn about featured birds of prey. Professional handlers interacts with guests to bring about a new understanding and appreciation for these majestic birds of prey and their importance to our ecosystem. Regular talks feature Great Horned Owls, Lanner Falcons and Red Tail Hawks in their natural habitat.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park's popular December holiday event is home to the world's tallest living Christmas tree! Standing 46.4 metre (152 feet) tall, this Douglas fir will be adorned in thousands of sparkling lights. Each year, park guests are dazzled by hundreds of thousands of lights glittering throughout the rainforest, across the Suspension Bridge and on Cliffwalk. A children's scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating, sing-a-long carols with the holiday band, and a Winter Pavilion complete with crafts and holiday treats are all included in a holiday season visit.
If you’re driving from downtown Vancouver, follow Georgia Street through Stanley Park and across the Lion's Gate Bridge. Take the North Vancouver exit to Marine Drive, then left up Capilano Road. The park will be on your left. Alternatively, take transit! Take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station in Vancouver over to North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. From there, Translink offers regular service to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park via the “#236 – Grouse Mountain” bus. For more details, visit the TransLink website.
Or, ride their round trip daily free shuttle service from downtown to and from Capilano. Offseason service is every 30 minutes, April and October is every 15 minutes, and peak season service is offered every 10 to 15 minutes with a choice of two routes.