During a recent visit to Vancouver, we decided to check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Having been to Vancouver a few times throughout the years, we had never taken time to go check it out. This one goes down as one of our top travel activities.
Since we didn’t rent a car, we did a little bit of research on how best to get there. There are some public transit options, but we also discovered that there is a free shuttle with 4 convenient pick up locations downtown. We decided to go with the shuttle since the Library Square pick up location was across the street from the Westin, where we were staying. We also bought our tickets online to avoid having to wait in any line once we got there.
The free shuttle was the right call. We headed to Library Square a few minutes before pick up time and didn’t wait long. It comes every 20 minutes in peak season, and 30 minutes off season. We hopped on the bus and after a few more pickups we were off to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The bus was very comfortable and the ride there was pretty quick, about 25 minutes in total.
The suspension bridge is impressive but there is so much more to the park. For those of you that like stats: the suspension bridge stretches 450 feet (137 meters) across and 230 feet (70 meters) above the Capilano River.
While walking across the bridge does sway quite a bit, but it does feel very safe. I do tend to be a little afraid of heights but this wasn’t a problem.
Once you cross the bridge, there’s a series of different paths that you can take. Some involve more suspension bridges up in the trees, the Treetop Adventures. And others are more at ground level but involving stair cases. We took our time and explored everything. It is so beautiful and the size of some of the trees is so impressive.
We visited on was a foggy, chilly day so we decided to treat ourselves to some hot chocolates to help stay warm.
Once our exploring was done, we crossed the bridge again and decided to do the Cliffwalk. The Cliffwalk is by far the scariest part. It is a heart-stopping cliffside journey takes you through rain-forest vegetation on a series of unobtrusive cantilevered and suspended walkways jutting out from the granite cliff face above Capilano River to previously unexplored areas of the park. Not for the faint of heart, it is high and narrow and, in some sections, glass (very strong glass) is all that separates you from the canyon far below.
Wary Travelers Tip:
From late November to late January, they have a winter festival called Canyon Lights. Hundreds of thousands of lights in the park. Unfortunately we didn’t get to experience it, but they were working on installing the lights. Since it was a dark day, we did get a preview. It would be an incredible holiday experience for those that are in the area during the festival.
There are places to eat and shop onsite, but aside from the hot chocolate we didn’t really take advantage.
Getting back to our hotel was just as easy as getting there. We hopped back on the bus and were back in what seemed no time at all.
You might be wondering how long this all takes. From waiting to the bus there and being dropped off at the same location, it took about 3 hour. With about 30 minutes of travel time each way, we spent about 2 hours exploring and we did get to see everything there was to see.
Wary Travelers Tip
Go early! The crowds get bigger as the day progresses. And take the FREE shuttle! It’s an easy way to get there, avoid the traffic and the parking hassles.
If you find yourself in Vancouver and having a few hours to spare, an adventure to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a must. It’s hard to believe that this little slice of heaven is nestled in the middle of such a populated area.
Finally, if you are planning a trip to Vancouver here are other posts that might interest you.
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