Erik’s Famous Capilano Tour Part Four: The Capilano Suspension Bridge

The Capilano Suspension Bridge rhythmically shook side to side as I walked across its 146ft length. Forest filled my peripheral vision and the Capilano River could be seen flowing 230ft below.

The fourth and final part of the day trip might sound like an exciting experience when put into words, but, for me, the reality felt a bit like an anti-climax.

This could be because the first three sections of the trip had left such an impression on me.

I much preferred going hiking right into the forest where Twilight was filmed, learning about the salmon run along the Capilano River and seeing the stunning mountain views at Cleveland Watershed.

For the hefty admittance cost of around $30 for an adult, I was expecting much more.

Despite me not finding my walk across the suspension bridge too memorable, this is actually one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver, pulling hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Millions of people have crossed it since it opened in 1889.

While the sturdy bridge is today made from wire cable, it was originally constructed out of hemp rope and cedar planks attached to fir trees. Now that sounds a lot more like Indiana Jones!

It was created by Scottish civil engineer and land developer, George Grant Mackay, who had purchased 6,000 acres of land on eitherside of the Capilano River and lived in a cabin nearby.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is not the only attraction.

There is a chance to walk high up in the forest with the Treetops Adventure. This comprises of seven suspension bridges that route their way around the area, along with a number of viewing platforms.

Again, after all of the amazing forest and river views I had already seen during the day, I was not blown away by this.

My favourite suspension bridge was the Cliffwalk.

Circling out from a granite cliff, the narrow walkway provided the best views and allowed you to fully appreciate the setting, and almost become a part of it.

This is actually the newest bridge that was only erected in June 2011.

After being amazed by Grandpa Capilano in part three of the tour, an 800-year-old Douglas Fir, Grandma Capilano is located here and is a staggering 1,300 years old – the oldest tree in the forest.

We only had an hour at the end of the tour to see the park – and this was enough time to make our way around all of the bridges at a steady pace.

There were some elements of that I missed, due to time constraints, such as viewing the largest private collection of totem poles in North America.

If you are planning on visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge from Vancouver then I would highly recommend taking Erik Graff’s Hostelling International tour.

He is a Vancouverite with a wealth of knowledge, that he willingly shares with the group.

It is also cheaper and more interesting.

For $34, you get your return transport, a trek through the forest and other features such as the salmon hatchery and Cleveland Dam, along with the presence of an experienced, award-winning local guide.

As I explained earlier, the admittance cost to get into the Capilano Suspension Bridge alone is around $30 – not including transport costs or any of the extras included in this trip.

Free shuttle buses run to Capilano Suspension Bridge from Vancouver centre, but you have to make your own way back. So the tour is definitely the best value.

This is the fourth and final installment of my series on Erik’s Famous Capilano Tour.

Have you ever visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge? Did you enjoy it?

 

2 Comments

  1. May 19, 2012 / 01:52

    These have been informative and well documented posts of a very popular site here in Vancouver. I’m sure you’ve seen much more than most. Thanks for sharing this with the world.

    • May 19, 2012 / 17:37

      Aww thanks Darlene, I tried to be completely honest about the experience – most of which was fantastic! :-)