As the bridge swayed 230 feet in the air I held tight to the rail and grabbed my bladder to keep from peeing my pants at Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Sometimes you need to stretch your comfort zone.
You know, that little safety bubble you surround yourself with that gives you the nice cozy feeling?
Yeah, that one.
All of us have it. And for each one of us, it’s different.
I personally have this nice zone of keeping my feet on things solid. I like the ground, rocks, even the floor of an airplane. But solid. I feel secure. Safe. Comfortable. But since I challenge my kids to try new things and expand their own pallets, I think it’s only fair for me to continually to do the same thing. So when we headed over to Vancouver to experience the Capilano Suspension Bridge, I knew I was headed for some stretching.
Considering a suspension bridge has spanned the canyon of the Capilano River since 1889 and the millions of people who have crossed the bridge hadn’t died, then I knew I had a pretty good chance of living to tell about it too.
Let me tell you, there’s almost nothing like standing 230 ft above a small river on a swaying bridge with your 3 children while you act like this is no big deal and not let on how terribly afraid you actually are.
As this 450 foot long bridge swayed in the air I held tight to the rail and grabbed my bladder to keep from peeing my pants.
See? Doesn’t this look fun?
I’ll just say, it was a stretching experience for me.
If you are looking for a fun family or kids activities in Vancouver, then Capilano Suspension Bridge is a great one for your travel plans.
Can you spot the person in the picture who did a planking photo bomb to Jay!? Either that or she died.
The park itself is quite unassuming. From all the pictures online it looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere surrounded by miles of forest land. But actually, it’s in the heart of beautiful North Vancouver. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is nestled among shopping and neighbourhoods, though while you walk around the beauty of West Coast Canada, you completely forget about it.
It’s quiet here. Well, apart from all the people. But really, I found it wonderful to hear so many different languages and accents from all over the world…literally.
As I walked from tree top to tree top with the kids, I imagined seeing an Ewok from Star Wars popping out around one of the tree trunks.
Treetops Adventure is the first venue of its kind in North America, offering a squirrel’s eye view of a thriving coastal forest.Visitors venture from one magnificent Douglas-fir tree to another on a series of elevated suspension bridges, some reaching as high as 100 feet (30m) above the forest floor. (Photo and Caption courtesy of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park)
And it’s not every day that I get to walk along a cliff’s edge and look down the canyon through a glass floor.
CLIFFWALK is the latest heart-stopping attraction to debut at Capilano Suspension Bridge. 300 feet (91m) above Capilano River, CLIFFWALK is an adrenaline-pumping series of narrow suspended stairs, bridges and walkways. A u-shaped bridge cantilevered over the river canyon, and glass bottomed decks highlight the journey and offer spectacular river, canyon and rainforest views (Photo and Caption courtesy of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park)
This was a favourite for my adventurous boys who had clued into the fact that this was a stretching exercise for their mama.
There was so much to do here that we spent a solid 4 hours in the park. We brought our own picnic lunch to save some money and enjoyed a few breaks throughout. We went on the cliff walk twice, the tree top adventure twice and I think I actually crossed the suspension bridge itself 6 (SIX!) times.
I promise it got a bit easier each time.
Traveling Islander Tips
Brought to you by Jay, my dear husband, who is forever making sure that those who follow in our footsteps have an even better experience than we did.
1. Timing matters
YES! It matters BIG time. We visited during the peak summer season and were warned to visit before 11:00am or come after 3:30pm. We promptly ignored that warning and were met with a full parking lot and several tour bus groups. Trust us! Arrive after 3:30pm during summer months and you are guaranteed to have a quieter experience than we did because there will be far less people and far less tour groups. You know all the Capilano promo pictures you’ve seen with 2 or 3 people in the picture on the suspension bridge or cliffwalk? Yeah… that can only be possible during the off season or closer to the end of the day.
2. Plan a few hours for your visit.
Two to three hours will give you enough time to see and experience everything. If you have young kids, plan on 3 hours with at least one break. That’s why we recommend this attraction being an activity saved for a late afternoon/early evening during the summer. There are fewer people and you’ll have ample time to enjoy everything Capilano Suspension Bridge Park has to offer.
3. All the attractions are included with your admission ticket
I know it might seem obvious to some, but we couldn’t tell online if there were separate prices for the different attractions at the park. Not to worry, once you pay your entrance fee then everything is included at the park.
4. You don’t need a car to get here
If you are staying in Vancouver then you’ve got it made. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers a free shuttle service that has frequent pick up and drop off’s at easy to find locations. It’s a great way to save money too because you’ll avoid the parking fee.
5. Capilano is not the only suspension bridge in the area
Just 10 minutes down the road you will find Lynne Valley Suspension Bridge which is much smaller and doesn’t have the bells and whistles of Capilano Suspension Bridge like the 300ft high cliffwalk or the treetops adventures, etc. But still has a suspension bridge, fantastic hiking trails, swimming holes and waterfalls, less people and the best part…it’s FREE! Even the parking is free.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Address: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Toll Free: 1.877.985.7474
Hours & Rates (BC Residents get a season pass with the price of admission! Woohoo!)
Located 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver
While our visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was complimentary, you can rest assured that my thoughts, opinions, and findings are my own as always.