Getting to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
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Getting to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park from downtown Vancouver is fairly easy. The park management provides a complimentary shuttle all year round on a first-come, first served basis. Which means that you cannot get on if the shuttle is full, or if your group size is too large.
The complimentary shuttle runs from Canada Place, its pickup point is at the road near the information kiosk. From Canada Place, the shuttle runs to several other key locations in downtown Vancouver, stopping at Hyatt Regency, Blue Horizon Hotel, and Westin Bayshore to pick up passengers.
Pick up point at Canada Place.
This is what the complimentary shuttle looks like. For a schedule of the shuttle service, check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park website. Note that although this a labelled as a ‘complimentary’ shuttle, it is really for passengers who have purchased an entry ticket to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. So if you haven’t purchased your tickets online before boarding, the driver will sell you one on board.
The ride from Canada Place to the Capilano Suspension Bridge typically takes about half an hour, passing by some beautiful landmarks in Vancouver along the journey.
There were always advantages to buying tickets online. At least we need not queue up to buy tickets when we reached the park.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Even the best laid plans gets disrupted by unexpected events. We checked into the YWCA Hotel Vancouver, to find this notice at its reception counter. There was going to be a mass-run event at downtown Vancouver on the day that we were to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
At first, we paid no notice to it. But fortunately, on second thoughts, we began to wonder if this mass running event would cause road closures and disrupt our plans to board the Capilano complimentary shuttle at the nearby Hyatt Regency. Well, I must say, we at least had the foresight to check, and true to our intuition, the shuttle for the day would only run directly from Canada Place to the Capilano Suspension Bridge to avoid the running crowd.
The Walk to Canada Place
And so on this early morning, we found ourselves starting the day earlier than expected to begin a 20-min walk to Canada Place from YWCA Hotel Vancouver.
At least the early morning walk gives us the opportunity to view some of the landmarks of downtown Vancouver. We spotted the Vancouver Lookout which we would visit later as part of the package offered by the Rocky Mountaineer as a prelude to the Rocky Mountains.
At Canada Place. A few years back, we were standing at this very spot, looking out at Diamond Princess at the harbour which would bring us to Alaska. It’s a sense of deja vu, being back at the same spot.
The Capilano Adventure begins!
At Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, we find that the Capilano Suspension Bridge was not the only attraction of the park. There’s also a Cliffwalk and a Treetops Adventure. We were about to find out how fun these attractions were.
These totem poles in the Capilno Suspension Bridge Park were exactly like what we had seen in Alaska! Do you know that the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park has the world’s largest private collection of totem poles?
Capilano Suspension Bridge
This was what we came for – the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The bridge was 140 metres long and 70 metres above the river bed of the Capilano River.
There was some filming going on that day, so although we were first to reach the bridge when the park opened for the day, we were not allowed to step on the bridge until the filming has completed.
In case you are concerned about safety, the suspension bridge is said to be able to take up to 96 full grown elephants at the same time. Still, the bridge gets a little wobbly and swings a little when there are too many people walking at different rhythms.
View of the Capilano River from the bridge.
This feels like walking among the treetops.
On the other side of the bridge. It takes only a few minutes to cover the distance of the bridge at a leisurely pace, and even if you stop to take pictures, the journey across won’t take more than 10 mins.
Rain Forest Trail
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park also features nature trails, rain forest tours, and exhibits highlighting the park’s history and the surrounding temperate rain forest.
The effect of the rainforest is immediately apparent. This part of the park is noticeably cooler than other areas.
Nature’s Edge Board Walk
Let’s head for the Board Walk…
Very seldom do I see living things that are 15 – 20 times older than me! Can you imagine seeing something that has lived for 800 years?
From the rainforest park, we could get another perspective of the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
The second attraction at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was Treetops Adventure.
Treetops Adventure takes us 30 metres high into the midst of a coastal rainforest on seven suspension bridges attached to old growth trees.
I feel like Tarzan here!
The newest kid on the block at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was Cliffwalk, an attraction that opened only in 2011. Cliffwalk is located just next to the Trading Post, which in actual fact was another name for the souvenir shop in the park.
The new Cliffwalk follows a granite precipice along the Capilano River on a labyrinth-like series of narrow bridges, stairs and platforms through rainforest vegetation. 16 anchor points provided the structural stability for the bridges hanging off from the cliff.
Looks dangerous? Actually it was not. It was quite fun to see the vegetation beneath our feet, and unlike the suspension bridge, this structure was very stable and did not shake. In some sections, glass was all that separated us from the canyon below.
Trading Post aka Souvenir Shop
The answer to my need to shop wherever I go, the Trading Post is the official souvenir shop at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park where visitors can pick up Canadian-made products.
My favourite are the Canadian-made dreamcatchers and accessories, something which I was later obsessed with buying throughout our journey through the Canadian Rockies.
We came to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park on the first available shuttle bus, and soon found ourselves looking for the first available return shuttle back to downtown Vancouver. That’s about only 2 hours spent in the park. It makes the entrance fee of $40 CAD each seem extremely steep for a park which can be covered easily in under 2 hrs at a leisurely pace, although there were new attractions in this park. Our verdict? Visit only if you have extra time and cash on your hands.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
3735 Capilano Road
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7R 4J1
If you like the outdoors, this might be the place for you. However, as entrance fees are pretty expensive for an attraction that can be covered in less than half a day, visit only if you have extra time and cash on your hands.
Follow us as we take a stroll in Yale Town!