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tourists crossing the capilano suspension bridge in vancouver bc canada

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Visit Guide (2024)

If you’ve ever desired to stroll across a breathtaking yet somewhat unsteady bridge suspended amidst a forest, then the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver is a must-visit.

Certainly, when contemplating a suspension bridge, our minds often gravitate toward the bustling city traffic or the iconic panoramic views from a helicopter over San Francisco.

But this is Vancouver.

Having grown up surrounded by rainforests, we are not inclined to let architects take centre stage. I believe the park’s 800,000 annual visitors would share this sentiment.

⚠️ Warning (12/01/23) ⚠️ Prime entrance slots are selling out quickly for the holiday season and the famous Canyon Lights feature.

Make sure you lock in your Capilano Suspension Bridge tickets in advance online or risk missing out.

How to Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

  1. Capilano Suspension Bridge
  2. Things to do
  3. Price and tickets
  4. Hours
  5. Directions
  6. Visiting tips
  7. Restaurants
  8. Shopping
  9. History
  10. Popular Culture
  11. FAQ

Capilano Suspension Bridge

a long range view of the capilano suspension bridge and capilano river vancouver bc canada
Instagram: @capilanosuspensionbridge

The modern version is a 460-foot (140 m) long simple suspension bridge.

This type of swing bridge, built entirely without towers or piers, dangles 230 feet (70 m) above the Capilano River in the middle of North Vancouver’s west coast rain forest.

And you can walk on it!

The subtle sway and vivid view increase the heart rate, resulting in one of the most unique tourist experiences you’ll ever have.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is also home to the world’s largest private collection of totem poles, hosts many seasonal events, and is a history lesson with exhibitions explaining the area’s history and First Nations’ past.

Stay tuned for my 13 visiting tips at the bottom of the article, though I’ll give you my first here if you’re feeling a little woozy at the idea of crossing the suspension bridge:

Holding onto the bridge’s handrails increases the swaying sensation, so if you’re looking to feel more secure, just let go.

It sounds crazy, but try it!

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

The Cliff Walk

the cliffwalk above the capilano river in north vancouver
Instagram: @capilanosuspensionbridge

The opening of the Cliff Walk gave the area a second great attraction in June of 2011.

What you get here is the chance to meander your way through the heights of the forest on 20-inch wide platforms, bridges, and stairs protruding directly out the side of a granite cliff face.

Your heart will skip a beat in the teeth-grinding glass floor portion.

With just 16 anchor points along the entire route (an engineering marvel and an environmental necessity), you’ll swear you’re seconds from death.

Related: Capilano Suspension Bridge vs. Sea to Sky Gondola: Which is Better?

Treetops Adventure

The Treetop Adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Let’s start with eight 60,000-pound old forest Douglas Fir trees that are old enough to remember the 1750s, shall we?

Next, we connect them with seven suspension bridges to give visitors an adventurous walk with an eagle-eye view of the coastal rainforest. But don’t worry; this won’t induce full-on panic mode like our previous two tremble-inducers.

At the Treetops Adventure, you’ll walk 110 feet (33.5 m) over the forest floor and take in that cedar-scented air.

The best part of all?

At no point have the old-growth trees been penetrated with bolts or nails. This means they’ll remain healthy for years and even accommodate future tree growth.

 

The Story Centre

The good folks at the Cap Bridge Park wouldn’t let you get away without some local education, would they?

You’ll see the area as it was a hundred years ago through the eyes of the Capilano Tramps, the early pioneers who made the harrowing trip up to the bridge not for photo opportunities but for life’s necessities.

Take a photo with one of them and their turn-of-the-century dress. Then check out some flip books on the bridge’s construction and the history of North Vancouver. All the while experiencing artifacts and photo murals that bring the area to life!

Related: Best Vancouver Festivals

Kia’Palano

The area’s earliest human connection goes back thousands of years to the local indigenous populations. This history is marked by several captivating totem poles throughout the park.

This is where you’ll be educated on the deep connection of indigenous people with the natural world.

But what really gets my attention every time are the stunning displays of the unique Coastal First Nations art.

Guided Tours

Complimentary guided tours are available for those looking for clarification of the area’s unique history. Learn tales from the area’s earliest settlers to the construction of today’s world-class tourist spectacle from your knowledgeable local guide.

You’ll also receive a unique and interactive look into the area’s flora and fauna from a climate expert – so be sure to try and stump them with whatever question should come to mind!

The free tours are offered hourly.

Related: Top Vancouver City Tours

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Prices

The great thing about getting tickets for Capilano Suspension Bridge online is that there are no hidden costs or annoying add-ons.

  • Adults: $73.45
  • 65+: $68.20
  • Youth (13-17): $41.95
  • Child (6-12): $31.45
  • Under (0-5): free

Buying Capilano Suspension Bridge Tickets Online

It is strongly recommended to book your Capilano Suspension Bridge tickets in advance, especially on weekends, as you run the risk of your time slots being sold out:

sold out timeslot on capilano suspesion bridget tickets online

Additionally, in booking beforehand, you’ll also get some extra amenities:

  • Entrance to the entire park
  • Access to the suspension bridge
  • Access to the Cliffwalk
  • Access to the Treetops Adventure
  • A 10-minute history and nature talk with a knowledgeable guide
  • A complimentary “I Made It!” souvenir certificate
  • Complimentary ponchos in case of rain
  • Live entertainment of the season

Finally, if you book Capilano Suspension Bridge tickets via Tiqets using the orange button below, you’ll get also get a free shuttle from downtown so you can skip the driving worries.

Looking to see Grouse Mountain at the same time? Consider a Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge tour.

Visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge on holiday? Save up to 5% app discount with the Vancouver Attraction Pass.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Hours 2024

  • January 22nd to February 1st, 2024: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • February 26th to April 25th, 2024: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • February 2nd to February 25th, 2024: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. (Love Lights feature). (Extended hours until 9:00 pm from February 14th to 18th, 2024)
  • October 11th to October 31st to, 2024: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. (Canyon Frights feature).
  • November 15th,2024 to January 20, 2025: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. (Canyon Lights feature)

If you’re wondering how long to spend at Capilano Suspension Bridge, expect to have it done properly in around two hours.

The Best Time to Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge

This thrilling bridge hanging over the Capilano River attracts visitors all year round, and there’s no bad time to visit. However, the “best” time can vary depending on what you’re hoping to experience.

  • Spring: As the weather warms, the park springs to life with lush greenery and blooming flowers. The crowds are also thinner during this time, giving you more space to take in the sights at your own pace.
  • Summer: The busiest season, with extended hours and extra activities. The weather is typically beautiful, making it a popular time for tourists. You may want to visit earlier to avoid the crowds.
  • Autumn: Autumn offers a stunning display of fall foliage, and the cooler temperatures make for a comfortable visit. Plus, the park is less crowded compared to the summer months.
  • Winter: Visiting in winter provides a completely different experience. The park is transformed into a winter wonderland with the Canyon Lights festival, where thousands of lights illuminate the bridge and surrounding forest.

No matter when you choose to visit, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park promises a thrilling and memorable experience. Just check the weather before you go, and dress accordingly!

Whatever you choose, you can pick your time slot using the calendar below:

 

Related: Best Time of Day to Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge

How to Get to Capilano Suspension Bridge

Free Shuttle

Before even answering the question of how to get to Capilano Suspension Bridge – know first that you’re going to have to get to the suburb of North Vancouver.

If you’ve booked one of the top Vancouver hotels downtown, your best option is to book your Capilano Suspension Bridge tickets via Tiqets to get a free shuttle from downtown at Canada Place.

Hours depend on the season but generally run between 8:35 am and 5:00 pm.

Public Transit

From downtown Vancouver, you can also take bus #246 from the North side of West Georgia Street, a block east of the starting point on the map above.

There is also the option to take the Seabus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay – from here, you can grab bus #236 from the Lonsdale Bus Loop.

For bus schedules and route info, you can visit Translink.

Related: How to get from Capilano Suspension Bridge to Grouse Mountain

Driving + Taxi

Expect a 20-40 minute drive from downtown Vancouver depending on traffic. I’d highly recommend avoiding rush hour altogether due to the traffic on the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

As you can see, it’ll double your travel time.

You can also try ride-sharing or grab a reasonable $38.93 Vancouver taxi from downtown.

Related: How Many Days Do I Need to Spend in Vancouver?

13 Visiting Tips for Capilano Suspension Bridge

a girl peers over the edge of the capilano suspension bridge in north vancouver, bc.
  • Buy your Capilano Suspension Bridge tickets online to avoid long lines (especially in high season)
  • Ignore websites advertising Capilano Suspension Bridge discount codes (they’re all fake)
  • Go as early as possible or after 5:00 pm to avoid the crowds
  • Set aside about two hours to visit the entire area properly
  • Pack your own lunch if you don’t want to pay premium prices for food
  • Looking to save money? There is a 30% reduced ticket at twilight (after 5:00 pm)
  • If rain is in the forecast, bring shoes with grip for maximum comfort
  • Those with mobility issues or vertigo are recommended against visiting
  • Raining? Grab a complimentary yellow rain poncho from guest services
  • Try to combine your visit with a day at Grouse Mountain or Lonsdale Quay
  • Do the Cliff Walk first since its granite cliff is the ‘least scary’ scary attraction
  • Leave your drones and selfie sticks at home, as they are not permitted
  • Take advantage of the free WiFi to make your friends jealous with pics!
  • Stay on the designated walkways, or you may be kicked out of the park
  • Bring your camera to get those crucial Capilano Suspension Bridge photos

Restaurants at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Personally, I prefer heading back to the best restaurants in downtown Vancouver – or at the very least, the best places to eat near Capilano Suspension Bridge.

If you’re hungry, there are a couple of options on-site.

The Cliff House Restaurant overlooks the entire Capilano Canyon and fires out a casual West Coast menu of Oceanwise seafood, craft beer, and BC wines.

There are no reservations: tables are first come, first served (12:00 pm – 9:00 pm).

If you’re a bit more rushed but don’t want to skip on the quality, there is also some great barbecue at Loggers Grill. The local, sustainable, and ethically-raised proteins here are top-notch.

Try the sirloin burger or a Canadian classic: poutine.

Those not looking for a full meal can also find great locally roasted Moja coffee at Bridge House, small batch ice cream (try the maple walnut!) at Ice Cream Creamery, and quality baked goods and beverages at Dr. Wood’s Cabin.

Big on beer? Check out the best brewery tours in Vancouver.

Shopping Options at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

The aptly named Trading Post takes gift shops to a whole new level. The store is known for its Vancouver-friendly variety of local specialty food products, wind and rain-savvy clothing brands, and First Nations art and jewelry.

You’ll also get your fix of Canadian collectibles and souvenirs, which I’ve covered more deeply in my post on the best shopping in Vancouver.

All the products here ship to anywhere in the world.

Capilano Suspension Bridge History

The Capilano Suspension Bridge in the late 19th century

Capilano River comes from an anglicized version of the indigenous word kia’palano (beautiful river).

Scottish developer George Grant Mackay bought property on both sides of this North Vancouver river canyon (Capilano Canyon) to build the first bridge with hemp rope and cedar planks.

After Mackay’s death, the bridge changed hands multiple times, and the newest wire-cable version was built in 1903.

In the 1920s, locals began calling it the 8th Wonder of the World.

It was only in 1983, though, that it went from a casual stop-off to a destination attraction – under the guidance of owner Nancy Stibbard.

 
couple talking on the capilano suspension bridge in an almost dark setting

The Capilano Bridge has served as a backdrop in various TV shows like MacGyver, Sliders, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, and Psych.

In June 2019, the Korean Pop group NCT 127 shared a video documenting their visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge as part of their world tour NCT 127: The Origin.

Additionally, the bridge has made appearances in the racing games Mario Kart Tour and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, featuring in the “Vancouver Velocity” race track during the first lap.

How to Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park FAQ

Where is Capilano Suspension Bridge Park?

The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is found in the mountainous area of North Vancouver, across the harbour to the north of downtown.

Is Capilano Suspension Bridge Park free?

The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is not free, due to its massive maintenance fees and the availability of many secondary attractions on the site. Those looking for a free suspension bridge in Vancouver should check out Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.

Is Capilano Suspension Bridge safe?

Yes, Capilano Suspension Bridge is safe and the only fatalities have resulted from foul play and/or undue care and attention. Anybody taking standard precautions will not be in danger of any kind.

Is Capilano Suspension Bridge Park scary?

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is not scary but some people are frightened by the gentle sway of the bridge and the dizzying effect of its height. Most report a pleasant feeling of being suspended in the air.

How long is Capilano Suspension Bridge?

The Capilano Suspension Bridge spans 140 meters (459 feet) long, comparable to Vancouver’s tallest skyscrapers.

How high is Capilano Suspension Bridge?

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is high. It is 70 meters (229 feet) off the ground – about the height of a 21-story building.

Is Capilano Suspension Bridge kid friendly?

Yes, Capilano Suspension Bridge is kid-friendly though it is naturally advised for parents and/or guardians to pay great attention to children during the visit. Keep in mind that no strollers are allowed on the bridge, Treetops Adventure, or Cliff Walk.

Why is Capilano Suspension Bridge famous?

Capilano Suspension Bridge is famous for exploring treetops and experiencing an exciting canyon walk. Originally built with hemp rope and cedar planks, the bridge has seen a few upgrades since 1889 like seasonal lights.

How long is the walk on Capilano Suspension Bridge?

The walk on Capilano Suspension Bridge takes 5 to 15 minutes to cross, while exploring the entire park typically requires an average of 2 to 2.5 hours.

What should I wear to Capilano Suspension Bridge?

In Capilano Suspension Bridge you should wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing. All attractions at Capilano Suspension Bridge are outdoors and require walking or climbing.

How strong is Capilano Suspension Bridge?

Capilano Suspension Bridge is strong. It can support the weight of a fully loaded 747 airplane or approximately 75 full-grown elephants.

Visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Other Vancouver Attractions

Certainly, I’ve thoroughly explored and written extensively about Vancouver’s famous bridge, but there’s always a lingering question… what might I have overlooked?

I’m open to addressing any comments or questions as we strive to (excuse the pun) narrow the gap between ignorance and Vancouver victory on your well-deserved holiday.

Did you enjoy this guide to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park?

Undecided? Check out our article: “Is Capilano Suspension Bridge Worth It?

Ash

I've lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project - my hometown, Vancouver!

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