The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a popular attraction in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Originally built in over the Capilano River in 1889, the bridge has been rebuilt numerous times over the years and has grown in popularity for adventurous tourists visiting Vancouver.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River. While the bridge is the main attraction, there are other activities that have been added to the park that engage visitors in exploring nature – and challenging their ability to deal with heights!
Over the suspension bridge lies the Treetops Adventure, a series of seven smaller suspension bridges attached to eight 30 ton, 250 year old Douglas-firs. Viewing platforms between the bridges are attached to an innovative tree collar system that uses no nails or bolts to attach to the trees, thereby allowing them to continue to grow, unhindered.
The suspension bridges reach as high as 110 feet (33.5m) above the forest floor. Visitors can choose to take a guided nature tours or participate in the Kids’ Rainforest Explorer Program while enjoying this unique rainforest experience. Both the Treetops Adventure and CLIFFWALK have excellent educational components for teaching kids about their environment while on the journey.
Before crossing back over the suspension bridge, take a look at the Birds of Raptors Ridge, which is a program that runs weekends from April 14th to October 9th and everyday from June 17th to September 4th and features birds of prey including hawks, falcons and owls (sadly it wasn’t open when we visited).
Back over the suspension bridge and near the gift shop lies the newest attraction to the park, the CLIFFWALK. This cantilevered walkway is attached to the granite cliff above Capilano Canyon and gives another high view of the surrounding forrest and water below.
Before leaving Capilano, take a close look at Totem park, where a series of totem poles placed in the park by local First Nations tribes.
What time should you get there?
The bridge is extremely popular and gets very busy throughout the day. I would highly suggest getting the first shuttle bus of the day at 8:30am and arrive at the park as it opens, or visiting at twilight, in the last two hours that it’s open.
How long does the experience take?
Around two hours
The easiest way is to catch the free shuttle service to Capilano Suspension Bridge from one of several pick up points in downtown Vancouver. The shuttle also offers a free return service back into town.
Getting to Grouse Mountain
A popular day trip is to connect Capilano Suspension Bridge with a visit to Grouse Mountain, which is a five minute drive down the road. Catch the local 236 bus from out the front of Capilano park, which stops directly in front of Grouse Mountain down the road.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain in One Day
We arrived when the bridge opened and left at about 11am. We caught the local 236 bus that leaves from directly across the road from the park and, after arriving at the bottom of Grouse Mountain, lining up for tickets and catching the sky tram, were on the mountain around 12pm. We caught the free shuttle bus back from Grouse Mountain to Canada Place at around 4pm. More info on our time on Grouse Mountain here.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!