A bit different from Toronto, you can see nature almost everywhere in Vancouver. And now I’m bringing a naturally thrilling attraction in VanCity, one of our faves, btw: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Since 1889 its 450 foot span has amazed world leaders, rock stars, royalty, visitors and many more from every corner of the planet. Now it’s your turn to get to know better this must-see attraction in Vancouver.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Ever wonder where the name Capilano comes from? It’s actually a First Nations name belonging to the Squamish Nation and originally spelled Kia’palano, meaning “beautiful river”. Kia’palano was the name of a great Squamish chief who lived in this area in the early part of the 1800s. Over time “Kia’palano” was anglicized into “Capilano”: a word that has become the namesake of the bridge and park as well as the river and surrounding area.
In 1888, George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and land developer, arrived in the young city of Vancouver in Canada. Mackay purchased 6,000 acres of dense forest on either side of Capilano River and built a cabin on the very edge of the canyon wall. In 1889 he suspended a footbridge made of hemp rope and cedar planks across the canyon with the help of August Jack Khahtsahlano and a team of horses who swam the ropes across the river. The ropes were then pulled up the other side and anchored to huge buried cedar logs.
Visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
When we arrived we noticed a sign indicating a tour that would start in a few minutes. It was definitely worth waiting because the guide taught us many interesting stories about the park and how everything began.
There’s a cliff walking that takes you beyond the cliff face far above the Capilano River Canyon.
Highlights of the park
Cliffwalk: a triumph of engineering to build, and for many, an act of courage to on. Especially in my case that heights terrifies me! The Cliffwalk takes you beyond the cliff face far above the Capilano River Canyon.
Treetops adventure: get your own squirrel’s eye view of a thriving coastal rainforest on this unique series of cable bridges suspended between tree-friendly platforms that reach as high as 10 stories.
Kids’ rainforest explorer: a self-guided adventure gives kids of all ages a fascinating & educational rainforest experience.
Story Centre: follow in the footsteps of the original visitors as they take you all the way back to 1889 & the days of the “Capilano Tramps”.
Raptors ridge: every summer you’ll get a close up introduction to their birds of prey.
Kia’palano: for the past 90 years, First Nations artists have been creating and placing story poles (totem poles) there.
Shop: the Trading Post holds BC’s biggest and most complete souvenir, treasure and keepsake collection including gifts, souvenirs, clothing and homemade fudge.
And more: guided tours, forest lookouts & trails, the tree house, Nature’s Edge, the Living Forest exhibit, and an old-growth rainforest. It’s all there for the price of one day’s admission.
How to get to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
There are a few ways to get to the park:
- Free shuttle: this is the option we went for. From Canada Place you can take a shuttle and you can check the times at capbridge.com
- Car from downtown Vancouver: Georgia St. west through Stanley Park across Lions Gate Bridge to North Vancouver, left on Capilano Rd. for 1.7 miles (2.74 km).
- Car from 2nd Narrows Bridge: Highway 1 west to Exit 14. North on Capilano Rd. 0.8 miles (1.3 km).
- Transit: seabus from Downtown Terminal to North Vancouver. #236 to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
One of the attractions we liked the most in Vancouver was definitely Capilano Suspension Bridge Park! I wasn’t aware of what to expect in the beginning but I can assure that it was a pleasant surprise! I’m completely afraid of heights, but I highly recommend this attraction in VanCity!
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Blog #PartiuMundo was welcomed as a guest, however it has not influenced our opinion. For more information about the park, visit its official website.
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