Our Canadian Road Trip is all about us visiting our neighbor to the North and seeing a new part of the world. It is also about knocking a few items off my insanely long and eclectic bucket list.
A few years ago, on a whim, I started a Google Map that has pins in all of the places that I’ve seen photos or heard about and found interesting. Of course, number one is The Land of Falling Lakes but not much further on the list was Capilano Suspension Bridge.
For years I had looked at the amazing photos of the narrow suspension bridge crossing a very deep canyon in the British Columbia rain forest and dreamed that I’d get to visit someday. Well, that day has come!
Miles and I rode our bikes downtown to the Westin Bayshore to catch the completely full free shuttle up to Capilano on the north side of the Vancouver Harbour. After a quick 15 minute ride, we arrived at the Capilano Park. In the last couple of years, additional attractions were added so now it’s a full-fledged tourist attraction.
One of the first attractions when entering the park is a whole section dedicated to the First Nation people that inhabited the area before Europeans arrived. There’s a large and impressive collection of totem poles carved by various Aboriginal artists. It is the largest privately owned collection of totem poles in the world. They were beautiful. The skill and artistry required to work on such a large scale are mind-blowing. Most of the totem poles had a very strong Taltan Tlingit influence as several of the carvers studied under the famous Dempsey Bob.
From there we went to the Cliffwalk. This narrow path hangs off the side of the canyon giving visitors a spectacular view of the suspension bridge, the surrounding forest, and the river that carved the canyon. Of course, it made for some amazing photo opportunities. Unfortunately, the day we visited was pretty cloudy so the photos didn’t come out all that nice, which was very disappointing.
After a quick detour through the insanely crowded gift shop, we headed over to the even more crowded suspension bridge. Normally, crowds can ruin a place but on a suspension bridge that all changes! The large number of people crossing the bridge made it sway and swing wildly. While many people were perturbed by all the movement, Miles and I had a blast trying to walk with the bridge swaying to and fro unpredictably under our feet. Luckily no cell phones or cameras were lost to the canyon.
After giggling (me) and man-laughing (Miles), our way across the bridge, we spent an hour or so walking the peaceful paths on the other side of the canyon. Despite multitudes of people present, the paths are long and winding enough to let one get immersed in the wonder of the British Columbian rainforest. This ended up being my favorite part.
Lastly, we went up to the Treetop Adventure. The views from the elevated path were impressive, they really provided a different perspective. It almost made me feel like a bird, seeing everything from above. Again though, as the path is quite narrow, having tons of people on it makes you feel more like cattle being led to slaughter than a bird.
Although the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a gorgeous natural and much-needed break from the concrete and glass of Vancouver, it’s not a break from its crowds. We very much enjoyed our visit but we can’t even imagine how someone could enjoy it with how packed it gets in the summer.