These 8 Capilano Suspension Bridge facts are perfect for first time visitors to Vanouver and the city’s famous Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge and park is one of the most popular destinations in Vancouver, receiving over 1.2 million visitors per year. While the park’s biggest attraction is the suspension bridge, there are plenty of other worthwhile things to see and do during your visit to the park.
The 8 Capilano Suspension Bridge facts below highlight the top things to see and do at the park during your visit, along with a few tips to make your time there more enjoyable.
8 Capilano Suspension Bridge Facts for First Time Visitors
Just a couple quick tips for planning your visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
If you want to avoid the majority of the crowds, try to arrive right when the park opens, or at the end of the day just before closing. The park also makes a perfect last stop after a Sea to Sky Highway road trip if you decided to get out of the city for a while.
You should plan to spend anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours inside the park. There’s a lot more to see than just the bridge.
Take your time and read the information signs around the park, it’s history is quite interesting. Plus it’s fun to learn about all the plants and critters that live there.
Also, wear something nice if you want good photos. I forgot and wore jeans and a hoodie, not my finest fashion moment.
Finally, don’t forget to put your camera down and just enjoy your surroundings.
1. Capilano is from the First Nation’s word Kia’palano
When you first enter the park you’ll come across Kia’palano, an exhibit that discusses the history of placing totem poles at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
Through this exhibit you’ll learn that Capilano came from the First Nation’s word Kia’palano, meaning beautiful river. Kia’palano was the name of a Squamish Chief from the Squamish Nation who lived in the region in the early 1800s. Over time, Kia’palano was anglicized to Capilano.
In 1935 local First Nations were invited to place their totems in the park. Today, visitors walk through the Kia’palano exhibit to view the totems and admire the craftmanship in creating them.
Be sure to read the accompanying signs for the various totems. Each totem tells its own story and is just as important to the totem as its unique design.
2. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is 230 feet high
The Capilano Suspension bridge is situated 230 feet above the Capilano River. It spans 460 feet from end to end.
The bridge is constructed of cable and concrete and according to the park’s website, can hold up to 96 fully grown elephants.
3. Learn about nature on the Living Forest Walk
The Living Forest Walk includes a series of boardwalks along the forest floor.
Visitors walking along the boardwalks can learn about the various wildlife living in the park. This includes large varieties of plants, insects, birds, small animals, and some very large trees.
There are actually 9 types of trees in the park’s rainforest including Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar.
Nature and history walks are conducted by the park rangers for those interested in learning more.
4. Get a birdseye view of the park from the Treetops Adventure
The park’s Treetops Adventure features a series of 7 suspension bridges attached to a handful of the park’s 250 year old Douglas Firs.
What’s really cool is that these bridges are adjustable. As the trees move and grow, the suspension bridges can move as well, giving the trees the freedom to grow naturally.
The various bridges are as high as 110 feet, giving you a unique and interesting view of the surrounding rainforest, plant life and wildlife.
5. You can take a stroll on the cliff walk
One of the most exciting features of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, well besides the suspension bridge of course, is the Cliff Walk.
The Cliff Walk is a series of narrow walkways that circle around the rainforest tree tops. Visitors can reach the Cliff Walk through a set of wooden stairs. If you’re not afraid of heights it’s totally worth the trek.
The views from the Cliff Walk are impressive and its a really unique way to experience the park and take in the surroundings.
The pathway itself is attached to a cliff overlooking the nearby canyon. The semi-circle walkway is narrow and open, so you may wish to hold onto the railing on this one.
6. The bridge was originally built in 1889
The earliest version of the Capilano Suspension Bridge was built in 1889 and made from hemp rope and wooden planks.
In 1903 the original bridge was reconstructed and made from wire cable.
In 1956 the bridge was again completely rebuilt in just 5 days, and you can see this version of the bridge today.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge also happens to be Vancouver’s oldest paid tourist attraction. While it’s definitely more expensive today than it was in 1889, it remains well worth the cost of admission.
7. You can try Beaver Balls
Yes, you read that right.
After you’ve finished enjoying the park, you can head over to The Cabin to enjoy a beverage, some fresh baked pastries, and their famous Beaver Balls. These are basically miniature pancakes with maple syrup and powdered sugar.
If Beaver Balls don’t sound tempting enough for you, the park has several other dining options. Consider grabbing lunch or a light snack at one of the parks cafes or restaurants below:
8. The best time for pictures is in the evening
Since the Capilano Suspension Bridge is such a big tourist attraction, you can expect crowds as shown in my picture above. However, the closer it gets to closing, the fewer people you’ll have to share the bridge with.
As one of the top photo spots in Vancouver, I recommend arriving at the park about an hour or so before sunset. Once golden hour rolls around you’ll have beautiful lighting for your photos. If it’s still crowded, stick around the park until right around closing time.
If you’re determined and strategic about it, you can get a picture of yourself on the bridge without other people in it. Theoretically you could also do this right when the park opens in the morning, but if you aren’t the first one to the bridge, you’ve likely missed your shot. Also, I just think the park is a bit prettier at sunset.
One more thing. Don’t just take pictures of the bridge. There’s a lot of other great photo spots in this park. Explore and get creative.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Information
Below you’ll find some additional information to consider when planning your visit to the park.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Hours
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is open year round. Park hours will vary depending on the season but typically range from between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. You can see the breakdown below.
Hours are subject to change. Be sure to check the park’s website before your visit.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Price
The cost of admission to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park varies depending on your age. The breakdown as of August 2020 is below:
As always, be sure to check the cost of admission prior to your visit. These prices will absolutely change over time.
You can also purchase tickets online ahead of time if you’d like to save time when you arrive at the park.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 8 Capilano Suspension Bridge Facts and that I’ve helped you plan your visit. If you’d like to support this blog please consider sharing this post. Thanks for reading.
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Eden FitePart-time Traveler | Dog Lover | Avoider of Crowds
I help busy people find creative ways to travel more.