The Capilano Suspension Bridge is Vancouver’s oldest tourist attraction, having been built in 1889. Not only is it the oldest attraction, the Capilano Vancouver tourist attraction remains one of the most popular. So what is it that has continued to bring visitors here for so many years? Well, let’s just say that standing on a shaky bridge 226 feet above the canyon floor, attached only by small cables, still delivers the same thrills that it did over a century ago. The beautiful woodsy setting also helps. The Capilano Bridge Canada is set in the picturesque 20-acre Capilano River Park, an easy trip across the Lion’s Gate Bridge from downtown Vancouver. The Capilano Suspension Bridge website claims that it only takes 10 minutes, but realistically it takes around 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge itself is 135 meters (443 feet) long, a footbridge made of long cedar plank and steel cable. Below the bridge is the Capilano River, where visitors can sometimes see kayakers or salmon in the waters below, as they tediously cross the shaky bridge. A new attraction in Capilano River Park is the “Treetops Adventure”, similar to the Capilano bridge Canada, but bouncier and attached to giant tree trunks 80 feet above the forest floor.
Besides the Treetops Adventure, many other attractions have been added to make the Capilano Vancouver tourist attraction all the more interesting. At the carving center, you can watch Native wood carving demonstrations. There are also a number of totem poles on display in Totem Park that show off the Native handiwork. Other attractions include a lesson in the region’s natural history, two nice restaurants, and guides in frontier costume, telling stories of Vancouver’s olden days. There are guided nature tours, the Kid’s Rainforest Explorer program, and the Living Forest exhibit. All of these are included in the entrance fee (save your meal at one of the restaurants) which is a bit steep if you are only going just to cross the bridge.
If you want to save on the entrance fee and just have the experience of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, try the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. This bridge is in equally as beautiful a location as the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but has no entrance fee.
Just upstream of the Capilano Bridge Canada is a salmon hatchery, which is free and very interesting. The hatchery is usually open daily, hours differ in summer and winter. The salmon hatchery is a provincial operation created to help salmon spawn, around two million fish a year.
To get to the Capilano Suspension bridge from Vancouver, take the Trans-Canada Highway west, exiting at #14, the Capilano Road exit. If you are taking public transit, ride the Seabus from downtown Vancouver and take the #236 bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge.